Airport Transfers

A whole industry has evolved around helping people transfer to or from airports. The range of choice can be bewildering, and varies from airport to airport. This article looks at finding airport transfers to suit your needs and budget.

The most common methods are:

  1. Public transport - train, bus, coach, tube
  2. Local taxi
  3. Transfer services
  4. Executive car
  5. Hire car

1. Public transport - Train, bus, coach, metro

Many airports are served by public transport. Typically this will be methods such as train, bus, coach and metro. The World Airport Guide website details information on the public transport and other facilities available at airports. The airports own website may also have additional details.

2. Local taxi

Airports will have a taxi rank, though you may have to queue if it's busy. You could alternatively look up a local taxi company on Google and pre-book it yourself. Most local companies keep an eye on flight times, so if the flight is late you won't be stung for the additional time. With a pre-booked taxi you can enquire about larger taxis for groups or excess luggage, for say ski trips, which may not be catered for at the airport rank.

Some airports also operate a system whereby a taxi rank controller fixes the rate before you set off. This tends to be in places where taxi drivers have gained a reputation for ripping customers off with extortionate fares.

3. Transfer services

There are a number of companies on the web offering transfer services. These typically cover:

Shuttles Typically mini buses that are shared between passengers. They pick up at the airport and will drop off at hotels. If you are lucky your hotel may be the first drop off, or if unlucky maybe the last. Unlike a taxi, prices are per person so the journey costs are split between the passengers. Handy if it's just you, but if several people then hiring a taxi maybe a cheaper option.
Taxi Typically you are given a voucher that you give to the local driver when they meet you off the plane. There tends to be a premium over using a local taxi company yourself.
Coaches and minibuses Best for larger groups.
Limousine / executive cars Posh taxi really.

A web search will reveal many transfer companies. A selection of these are:

A2B Transfers Offer taxi, minibus, coaches, and shuttles in over 200 destinations.
Airport Taxis Offer taxi, minibus, coaches, shuttles & executive cars to and from UK destinations to airports.
Flightline Offer taxi, minibus, coaches, and shuttles in over 20 counties.
Holiday Taxis Offer taxi, minibus, coaches, and shuttles in over 4000 locations.
Key transfers Taxis, cars, minibus, coach in locations worldwide.
Resort Hoppa Taxis, cars, minibus, coach in locations worldwide.
Shuttle Direct Offer taxi, minibus, and shuttles in over 18 counties.
Taxis Abroad Offer taxi, minibus, coaches and limousines in over 500 locations.
Taxis Abroad Taxis, cars, minibus, limousines.

For an example of how transfer companies compare have a look at a comparison exercise I performed for a taxi / shuttle at Barcelona.

4. Executive car

For a treat why not hire an executive car to collect you? It's very common to start or end to a holiday in the US by being picked up in stretched limo. Often the competition between companies reduces the costs of these cars to not much more than hiring a taxi. Good places to look for such services are via search engines such as Google.

5. Hire car

With hire charges being very competitive these days, sometimes it can be cheaper to hire a car and drive yourself. See the hire car section for more info. This is particularly relevant where transfer distances are larger. Remember to take into account the extras the article mentions for things like insurance and child seats.

For an example of how airport transfer costs compare have a look at a comparison exercise I performed for an airport transfer from Barcelona Airport .

Helping you on your journey.

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