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Travel Horror: Why a taxi is definitely not a towncar.

November 1st, 2008 · No Comments · Limousine, Taxi

Seattle Taxi
As a frequent traveler – we’ve found airport shuttles to be a great alternative to parking at the airport and offsite airport lots. Parking involves a shuttle anyways, and when we travel with the family and tons of luggage – it’s just too much hassle.

We’ve found – after searching many towncar / limousine companies — a towncar service which takes us from our suburban home to the airport for a reasonable price. But there’s always a cheaper alternative. Taxis charge less – by around 25% – 30% so we thought we’d give it a try.

Our outbound trip to the airport used a towncar. The driver was cleanly, polite, on-time, helpful, and highly professional. We loved the service and it was a great start to the trip. During the trip, we made an online reservation for a taxi service. The price was lower by about $20 which made it worth it – and we’ve used the service before with reasonable quality. We did have a lot of luggage and two children under the age of 6 along with us.
Seattle Limousine

After picking up our luggage, we called the service for our reservation. Phone service was very poor and rude– even questioning why we would be calling. The towncar service was always prompt and helpful. The dispatcher was difficult to communicate with, and had us go to a different level of the airport. The taxi service is not allowed to pick up at the baggage claim – one of the primary conveniences of the towncar.

Phone Call #1: We’re here, where can we meet the driver? : We were put on hold for about five minutes and told the driver (nowhere to be seen) was coming.

Phone Call #2: Where should we go? : Called the driver – put on hold again. Told to go to different airport level.

Phone Call #3: There is no cab. : He’s there, can’t you see him?

After around fifteen minutes of this round-robin, the driver (who was polite) finally arrived after driving past us at about 50 miles per hour. He explained that the van who was to pick us up had picked up other ready passengers to make a quick buck, and that luckily he was already at the airport zone.

So we saved $20, but not sure the hassle was worth it. Towncar service was enjoyable and impeccable — I think it might be worth the extra cost. Taxi service was – um, not great. What do you think — is “ok” service worth a 25% discount in these “troubled economic times”? We’ve definitely already shopped around for the cheapest towncar service.

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