Another important factor to bear in mind, which is often overlooked, is that airports are constantly changing. It may be that a smaller airport will be full of holidaymakers in March, but by November flights arriving from abroad will be a thing of the past. It’s important to understand that your airport shuttle service will only work if you can predict the traffic patterns onto your airport before your service starts. Then you have to ask yourself if you can provide your passengers with on-time pick up and transfer times. Do I really need to say it, but I do? Assuming, of course, that you’re offering airport shuttle services to local people, it’s wise to post up your services online.
How to Start an Airport Shuttle Business
Establish where the demand is like, and include contact details for your company and residential contact details. You also need to set up your online registration so that airport visitors can automatically be directed to your online landing page. This will convert potential overnight guests into customers, since they’ll always know where to find shuttle services and the cars that make up your fleet. Some people put their fleet information on their website but ignore it (or worse, it’s turned into “mock-up” land). That won’t help your flying guests take the next step to book a car and get picked up! It’s a good idea to put your contact details and a map on your landing page, as well as the contact details of your contact person at your business. This way you can be contacted should any problems arise with approaching customers for choice bookings.
The more information you can provide, the clearer it is in your mind that you can provide a service that your passengers will actually enjoy, rather than one that sucks. I’ve already given away that pick-up times aren’t really crucial, but they are to local residents. And even your worst-case scenario will still be better than your worst-case scenario with taxi drivers. Think about what’s best for the local residents though. Warring loyalties in a war-weary community may be considerably inconvenient, but a middle-aged mother of three in Covid-stricken France might expect different treatment. Whether it’s a rigorous quarantine or a raging bureaucratic fight, your customers should expect a smooth, hassle-free operation at least. For this reason, you have to ensure that you can call/emergency services, and are able to give clear verbal and written instructions. This doesn’t have to be too complicated, but it does require research to make sure you meet this criteria. ***If you book by phone, it’s always worth it to book in advance.
How to Start an Airport Shuttle Service With a Family Minivan
To find out if there is a demand for airport shuttle services, you can utilise the information offered on Cheltonian Cars, which will show the airlines’ scheduled services. Cheltonian Carsis particularly useful as you can see which flights connect to each of the terminals, which gives you a clear idea of how busy the airport is.
You can then decide whether to introduce a no-frills shuttle to the airport that offers passengers the bare minimum.
Many airlines offer the remaining services along with the full-fare.
Alternatively, if you’ve got some cash to spend, a simple Facebook post to announce you’re doing a shuttle service to an airport may just draw in some business.
How do you identify the demand for airport shuttle services?
Once you know the demand, you need to determine if it fulfills your needs. Is it economical? Are there enough staff to manage the incoming traffic? Nothing sucks more than explaining to a sceptical customer why an airport shuttle isn’t on the way.
An airport shuttle must have a certain amount of capacity
Let’s say you’re delivering pet food to an airport, and you know there is a three-hour limit. How are you going to spend the time between flights keeping an appropriate amount of food on-site?
This is where the staff on board your airport shuttle vehicles come in to play.
To ensure the staff are up to the task, you’ll need to ensure they know there is a specific, quoted time limit. Knowing this will ensure they operate within the airline’s permission, ensuring customers get their goods promptly. It’s also a good idea to tell your staff what to do if something becomes out of control, and whether there is an on-site emergency response team that you can contact should there be an emergency.
If you’re looking to expand to more terminals, then ensure airport staff know which services are common between terminals so they know how to handle cases where there are a lot of passengers boarding at once.
How to Start an Airport Shuttle Service With a Family Minivan
Airlines are strapped for cash, so there is no need to treat your airport service like a business, therefore it’s important your offering is economical, reliable and reasonably punctual.
As with any business, the more efficient you can be, the better your return on investment. However, to do so, there is a way to market your airport service.
Check the passenger flow
Next, you want to work out how many passengers fly through your airport per month. This can be easily ascertained by purchasing a flight ticket and walking through the departure gate and counting the passengers.
Airport shuttle services generally cost more than standard scheduled flights, but for some flight types, such as cargo, there is typically a lift-off, landing and similar core functions that often don’t vary much from day to day.
So if you consider airport shuttle services, consider how often they’re used, and whether they spend more time at the busiest terminals than other flights from the same airport.
Start a small business
Portability usually helps to cut costs and maximise the number of sites you can use, so the next crucial step is attempting to secure the airport’s lease or hold it for your passengers.
For an airport shuttle, you will probably need to visit the airport manager to request the lease. If you’re operating a truck or van service, then even meeting the airport manager is unlikely to be necessary, as virtually all commercial flights are flown through that airport or leased from it.
However, if you want to operate a full-fledged airport shuttle, you need to locate the airport manager and apply for a lease agreement.
This is likely to be the final hurdle, since airport managers are slow to adapt, and are usually only willing to go along with your plan if that’s what most of their business is based around.
After an initial application, you may get a letter stating that the airport manager isn’t interested, or is refusing to sign to a lease agreement. Until this happens, you may want to consider placing a booklet or flyer near the manager’s desk a few times.
Once you do, make it very clear to them that you need an airport lease. They may get very annoyed and give you a stiff refusal, but if you have the proper ID with you, they’ll understand why. Acceptance isn’t an easy process, so plan for the worst!
Make sure you can expand
Once you’re in the market with a proper lease application, there are a few things that you can, hopefully, start doing right away:
Not only can you start to arrange securing the airport lease, but you can start to plan your service routes.