Liquidation Sale Sheraton Atlanta Airport hotel
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The Mythical Airport Shuttle.

Do they even exist anymore?

Once upon a time in the olden days, some of the inns of yore offered a complimentary amenity that knights who frequently traveled enjoyed upon their stay: the mythical airport shuttle, which would whisk guests — swords and all — to the comfort of a room whilst enjoying a grog as they commiserated about the disadvantages of traveling for weeks.

Back then, airport shuttles were horses — not buses — but thou digresses…

The Mythical Airport Shuttle.

…but in current times, airport shuttles — or shuttles of any sort, for that matter — seem to be headed towards extinction at hotel and resort properties.

a white background with black text
Source: Holiday Inn.

As an example, the Holiday Inn Denver East hotel property offers an “area shuttle” as one of the benefits to guests. The shuttle may not necessarily serve the airport; but an “area shuttle” is usually a bus that is operated by the hotel property with which guests may use at no charge to go within a certain distance — which is typically five miles — so that they may shop or eat or partake in some entertainment within the vicinity.

a screenshot of a shuttle
Source: Holiday Inn.

However, when accessing the area of the official Internet web site of the hotel property, no shuttle service — local, airport, or otherwise — is available.

Final Boarding Call

This is only one of numerous examples with which hotel and resort properties advertise an amenity which is either more limited than implied — or not offered at all altogether.

The buses that are used as shuttles for hotel and resort properties are expensive to operate, maintain, and keep filled with fuel — not to mention that a human being needs to be compensation for driving the vehicle.

I myself recently experienced a hotel property which offers shuttle service to and from the airport — only to have had to pay to get from the airport to the hotel property because no shuttle service was offered at the hour at which I arrived. The complimentary 24 hour airport shuttle apparently ends daily in the afternoon at this hotel property.

To managers of hotel and resort properties, here is a little unsolicited advice: if you are not going to offer shuttle service, be honest about that in your marketing materials…

…and the lesson these days for guests is to call the hotel or resort property first and find out if a complimentary shuttle service actually exists before booking a reservation. If so, ask what are the actual hours during which the complimentary shuttle service operates, as that information could potentially save a lot of time, money, and convenience — especially if competing hotel and resort properties offer a complimentary shuttle service that operates for a longer period of time during the day and provides more frequent service.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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