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Guide To Arranging Airport Pickups for Small & Large Groups

You’ve finally reached your destination. You wait 20 minutes to get off the plane, collect your bags from the conveyor belt, and then struggle with all of your luggage to get out of the airport.

 The last thing you want to do at this point is figure out how you and the other 20 people traveling with you are getting to your destination amidst all that airport traffic.

 If you’re traveling with a group or arranging travel for a work function or family event, then there are better options out there than waiting for everyone to pull out their phones and start price shopping Uber and Lyft pickups.

 Ideally, your group would arrive and you’ll have a chartered bus waiting for you when you step out of the airport. The driver already knows where you need to go, and there’s plenty of seating for your whole party to travel together.

 This is why a chartered bus is so perfect for groups, both large and small. Here are a few tips for arranging airport pickup for your group.

Person holds on to suitcase in airport and stares out the window as a plan takes off

Options for airport pickups

When you’re planning air travel for a group, you usually have a few options when it comes to your pickup – you don’t necessarily have to opt for an airport shuttle rental.

 You could choose to go with any of the following common options.

Public transportation

Depending on the city, public transportation may not even be an option – or it could add hours to your overall travel time. Unless you happen to be flying into New York City, LA or San Francisco, this option could cause more frustration than it’s worth, especially for a group traveling together.

Uber or Lyft

Ride-sharing works well for an individual or a couple. But for a group of more than three people, you may not find a pickup vehicle that can comfortably seat all of you and your luggage.

White shuttle bus drives down the road

Shuttle bus

If your group is going directly to a hotel that supplies their own shuttle bus, then you could be in luck. Call ahead to find out if your venue or hotel offers complimentary airport pickups. You’ll also want to find out how many people their vehicles seat, and how often they operate their shuttles.

Chartered bus or minibus rentals

A private, chartered bus or airport shuttle rental is the most convenient and customizable option. If you charter a bus, you can select the appropriate vehicle size for your group, and schedule the arrival time. This is the only option that allows your group to travel together, and lets you arrange every detail in advance so there’s nothing to worry about upon arrival.

 And depending on the size of your group, a minibus rental may actually be a more economical option than asking everyone to individually order their own transportation.

When to charter a bus for airport pickup

Clearly, a chartered shuttle bus rental is a great option when arranging airport transportation. A chartered bus is appropriate in any of the following situations:

     When it’s important that everyone arrive on time, such as for a wedding or corporate event

     When you have a group of 8 or more people traveling together

     When the destination is more than 30 minutes from the airport

In any of these scenarios, a chartered shuttle bus ends up being the most convenient option. It allows everyone to get from the airport to their destination together, at the same time, with zero stress.

Charter bus sizes

Once you’ve decided to rent a shuttle bus for your group, you’ll have to figure out the best size vehicle for you.

 If you call any charter bus company, you’ll likely find that you have a range of shuttle bus rentals or mini buses to choose from. The right choice depends on the needs of your specific group.

 Determine in advance how many seats you need, and partner with the shuttle bus company to figure out which charter bus size is best for you. Be sure to take into account luggage and other space requirements. (For example, if you expect some of your travelers to bring wheelchairs, strollers, or bikes, you should account for that extra space). Charter buses typically have room to seat anywhere from 30-60 people; but even if there are fewer than 30 in your party, a charter bus may well be the most convenient and comfortable transportation option.

 If you’re working with a reputable charter bus company, then they’ll partner with you to choose a shuttle bus that fits your needs, at an affordable price.

 Tips for chartering a bus from the airport

Your charter bus company will handle most of the fine details for you. But there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make sure the transportation goes as smoothly as possible.

 Decide where your entire group needs to go, and provide that information to your driver in advance. If anything changes, or if people need to make additional stops on the way, try your best to find that out beforehand and inform the dispatcher or the driver. This way, they’ll have an easier time choosing the fastest route and avoiding traffic. It also minimizes confusion when you’re all en route.

 You may also want to provide the flight number to your charter bus company. This way, they can track your flight progress and plan accordingly if it looks like you’re arriving late or ahead of schedule. You won’t have to worry about calling them as soon as you land, or texting updates if there’s a delay.

 Most importantly, choose a reliable company for your transportation. Before handing over your credit card info, find out how long they’ve been operating. You’ll want to work with an organization that has top reviews and is transparent about their driver qualifications and vehicles. You can ask for photos to make sure the shuttle bus you’re renting looks to be in good condition, and meets your expectations.

Green Motor Coach West bus against partly cloudy sky background.

 Get quotes for your shuttle bus

Once you know the details of your trip, you can always call around to find out which charter bus companies are able to accommodate your needs. Request a quote for a chartered bus early on so you can settle on a specific company and arrange your airport pickup well in advance. The process is always more stressful if you wait until the last minute to make travel arrangements!

 And that’s it. With just a little planning, you’ll have a smooth arrival and a stress-free pickup. 


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