airport transportation

Rides from the airport?

Blacklane

I usually opt for public transit into the city when I land at an airport, but my flight to Boston was scheduled to arrive late in the evening and a cab or some sort of car service was going to be the only option for getting to the place I’d be staying that night.

I could have taken my chances and tried to book an Uber-type ride once I landed, but I decided to book ahead and take Blacklane up on its offer to try out their service.

The Berlin-based on-line ride booking service uses professional drivers, partners with established chauffeur services, operates in more than 180 cities around the world and offers service to and from more than 300 airports.

Reservations can be made in advance, the fare is fixed and includes taxes, tolls and tip.

As promised – and reconfirmed via email before my trip started and again when my flight landed (with the name and phone number of my driver) – my driver, a veteran of the industry who had been Anthony Quinn’s regular Boston driver back in the day – was waiting for me in a town car in the spot designated for limos outside my terminal at Boston Logan Airport.

I quizzed him on the way into town.

Had he tried offering his services via any of the Uber-like companies?

Yes, he said, but no more.

He didn’t like the high fee those companies took as a booking fee for each ride and he’d had experiences with customers from those companies who disrespected him and his extremely well-maintained car.

Of all the companies now offering book-online car services – and there are now oodles of them – what did he like about working with Blacklane?

They were fair and super-organized, he said, and only worked with professional drivers. And he marveled at the fact that they were running this world-wide business out of one office in Germany and yet, day or night, kept in close contact with each driver and fully accessible to customers.

If my personal budget for airport transportation was a bit larger, I’d definitely use Blacklane’s service on a regular basis. (The fare was about $15 more than I’d have paid for a cab and, given some of the news reports lately, I would not have taken an Uber-like service alone, late at night heading to an unfamiliar destination).

But, I’m putting the Blacklane website into my list of favorites and will definitely add them to the options I consider in the future when a bus or a train isn’t an option for getting into town from the airport.

And I’m happy to pass along the discount code they gave me – 9JMT1SQC – for $10 off one ride.

DFW’s Skylink marks a moving milestone

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is celebrating a few milestones this summer,  including  the 10-year anniversaries of Terminal D, the Grand Hyatt DFW and the Skylink people mover, which connects all five DFW terminals and is billed as the world’s largest automated airport bi-directional train system.

To celebrate, Hudson Group and DFW put together this nice infographic:

 

DFW SKYLINK

Airports adding – and rejecting – ride-shares

Flying car

Airports across the country are grappling with how to deal with taxi-alternative services and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and each week a few deals are being made.

This week San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced an agreement with Wingz, a company that connects citizen drivers with people needing airport rides. The pilot permit allows drivers to pick up and drop off at the airport, starting within the next 30 days.

Last month, SFO announced agreements with Sidecar, Lyft and UberX, awarding each a permit for a 90-day pilot program to allow the airport to evaluate the businesses.

This week, the Houston City Council approved rules granting Uber and other app-based companies access to the Houston airports, but in Cincinnati, signs are now posted at CVG airport alerting travlers that only permitted ride-share companies have permission to operate at the airport.

SFO inks deal with Uber & Lyft

Uber app

Airports around the country are grappling with how – and if – they can regulate and collect revenue from  taxi-alternative companies such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX, which maintain that they do not fall under the same rules that apply to traditional taxis that operate at airports.

Some airports have taken a hands-off approach to the problem, but San Francisco International Airport has been adamant that these ‘transportation network companies’ are operating illegally at the airport.

But things have changed.

Earlier this month SFO announced that it had come to an agreement withe Sidecar to allows that company to operate legally at the airport.

Now comes word that the airport has worked out a deal that allows Lyft and UberX to pick up and drop off at SFO as well.

All three companies should be operating – legally – at the airport within the next 30 days and the deals will no doubt serve as a guide to help these companies work out their differences with other airports as well.

SFO makes deal with Sidecar

Sidecar

In a first for California, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Sidecar have come to an agreement that allows the Transportation Network Company (TNC) to operate legally at the Airport.

The permit, which allows the company to drop off and pick up customers at SFO, represents the first airport TNC agreement in the state of California. Sidecar, which is headquartered in San Francisco, expects to begin operations at SFO within the next 30 days.

“SFO is one of our most in-demand places for ride requests,” Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul wrote in a blog post on the company’s website, “so we’re excited and proud to work with them to offer riders safe and affordable travel to and from the airport.”

SFO officials say permit discussions continue with other transportation network companies, including Lyft and UberX, but that so far neither have signed a permit with SFO and so are not legally allowed to operate at the Airport.

Last November, SFO came to an agreement with Relay Rides – a company that offers free airport parking, a car wash and a cut of the proceeds to travelers who let the company rent out their cars to others. A similar company, Flight Car, does not have legal permission to operate at the airport.