Transportation Choices to and From the Airport - Which Is Best?

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Those who are traveling have many choices of how to get from the airport to their destination, or home to the airport. There is airport limo service, buses, trains, shared-ride vans, taxis and driving oneself then utilizing long or short-term parking. The decision is never easy, but to help decide here are some tips and info on each method.

Taxis

As far as convenience, there's not better than getting to the airport, picking up baggage and then walking outside for a taxi that's ready and waiting. However, depending on where one is headed the fair may be astronomical. If unsure of typical fares, it's smart to ask ahead of time what the fare would be approximately. It's easy to become frustrated when hopping in a cab only to be dropped off and told that twice as much is owed as planned for. That will really cut into a traveler's budget!


Another consideration is current traffic, and how long it will take to get to the destination. Does the driver know alternate routes to avoid backups? When the meter is running, every second counts. To be sure, a street map is smart to have on hand so that the rider isn't swindled. Is there a surcharge for airport pickup? Many taxis add this on, and automatically assume that the customer is aware.

One last tip is to call ahead to the hotel and ask about how much a taxi from the airport will be, armed with this information one can be better prepared. Plus, they may recommend a better, more affordable method to getting there.

Airport Limo Service

To the surprise of many, airport limo service is sometimes cheaper than securing a taxi. This is because the rates for airport limo service are fixed and have nothing to do with traffic or the time it takes to get to the destination. In fact, limos count on incentives or tips to get their passengers from one place to the next, and have an interest in getting them there safely and comfortably. Many drivers will give tips and information on the area as well. This is a great way to indulge upon arrival and enjoy a stress-free ride.

Public Transport

Public transportation is certainly the most popular and affordable way to and from the airport. There are buses, trains and subways that one can take depending on the destination. However, depending on what time it is this choice may not be the fastest as they may frequent stops and could require transfers. So, if one is on a tight schedule they should consider a taxi or airport limo service instead.

Trains tend to be a lot faster than buses or taxis, since they have to navigate through traffic. However, many don't like dragging luggage up and down stairs and through terminals as it can be a headache. Check the schedules before making a decision and see if it will work for the time frame involved.

Shuttle Vans

Perhaps the cheapest way to get to and from the airport is the provided shuttle vans that most airports offer. They are definitely great for a vacation budget, and will pick up a group of passengers right from their doorstep, office or hotel and be sure to get everyone to the airport on time. They're certainly cheaper than a taxi, and have the airport's reputation to uphold so drivers are friendly and helpful.

Etiquette:

· Shared ride shuttles: for anyone taking bags and having the driver help unload or load them it's typical to give them a few dollars in tip money.

· Sedans/limos: for airport limo service, the most common type of tipping is a percentage of the fare. This is usually around 15%.