Taxi & Limo Tips
For convenience sake, there is nothing better than arriving after a long flight, getting your bag at baggage claim, and walking outside to the airport taxi stand. However, if you are new in the city area make sure you inquire before hand with the cab driver to get an approximation of the fare. Finally, as about traffic at the time you get your taxi, and ask him if he/she knows the alternative routes. Carry a map to your destination - many taxi operators are not native to the area (surprise!) and may not know all the short-cuts. You might also want to ask what the airport pick-up surcharge is. This way, your taxi ride to your destination will be stress free.
But believe it or not, often times a limo is cheaper than a cab! And unlike taxis, limo rates are fixed. Are you ready to indulge?
Public Transportation Tips
Public transportation is most economic way into and out of the airport, but it can also be the slowest form of ground transportation. So be prepared for a longer trip, particularly in times of rush hours. Also note that during off-peak hours and holidays, certain options may either not be available or may be running a reduced frequency. Make sure you have prepared accordingly beforehand to save yourself any undue frustation.
Pros & Cons of using Airport Door-to-Door Shuttles
Door-to-Door airport shuttles are typically small passenger vans that go to/from the airport, from/to local communities within the greater city area. The main advantage of these airport shuttles is the cost typically you can save half or more compared to a taxi. Also, the rate is fixed, so if your airport shuttle gets stuck in traffic coming from airport, you still pay the same. The disadvantages are that you share the ride with other passengers, and may find that if you are going to airport, you might be the first pickup, and may make several stops until your shuttle van is full. The same holds if you use an airport shuttle going to the city from airport. Some of the shuttles that leave the airport are on a schedule, meaning they leave at designated times. Others may only leave once the shuttle is full. Its best to ask first to make sure!
Best ways to get to/from the airport: cab, taxi, rental or park your car
A frequent dilemma amongst even seasoned travelers is "what is the cheapest, fastest, most convenient way to get to or from the airport"? Going to the airport, you have the option of driving your car and parking at the airport, taking a taxi, or using an airport shuttle. To get an idea of what is cheapest, you'll need to arm yourself with some info. Go to the airport parking page to see the parking rates, or look for even cheaper off-site parking. Compare what you would spend for your parking vs taking a cab roundtrip (anywhere from $1.50 to as much as $3 per mile). If you are arriving at the airport, you might even consider renting a car vs taking a cab - but it depends on how far you are going.
Shuttle van/limo Tipping Etiquette:
- Shared ride shuttles: if you're taking bags and the driver helps you loading/unloading them, its appropriate to give the driver a few bucks for his/her efforts.
Sedans/limos: the most appropriate form of tipping is a percentage of the fare, usually around 15%. Drivers derive much of their income from tips and usually deserve a gratuity if their service was satisfactory.