Travel with Grant wrote an entertaining rant entitled, Airport Shuttles are the Bane of my Existence. I hold a different viewpoint.
He lays out a string of recent horror stories involving airport hotel shuttles and vows to never wait for a hotel shuttle again when Uber/Lyft are viable alternatives.
My message to Grant: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Trust me, I hate waiting for hotel shuttles too. In fact, I had a similar horrific experience waiting in Terminal 5 at Chicago O’Hare over an hour for my shuttle to the Marriott at FTU last weekend. Thankfully, I immediately sought refuge from the freezing cold inside the vestibule…but it didn’t make the 70-minute wait any better. At least I had my laptop and stayed productive.
But on the way back, the shuttle left the hotel on schedule and I had it to myself. It took only seven minutes to get to the airport.
Grant talks about the problems he had at San Francisco Airport prior to Chicago. I also recently stayed at an airport hotel in SFO, the Hyatt Regency. The airport shuttle pulled up as I exited the terminal. Less than 12 minutes later, I had my room key was heading upstairs. No problems on the return either.
Meanwhile, Uber is not without serious issues. In some places, Uber will call you and cancel if they don’t like where you are going. More often, Uber just makes you wait almost as long as a shuttle. My average wait-time for an Uber X at LAX is between 12-15 minutes. It is rare that hotel shuttles make you wait much longer than that.
I don’t believe in luck, but under the law of averages you win some and you lose some. I had a horrific experience in Hawaii recently. There’s no Uber at the airport, I refuse to use taxis in the USA, so I used the Roberts Airport shuttle, primarily because the agent promised a shuttle would be leaving within five minutes for my hotel. It actually took 45 minutes to leave, putting our drive into Waikiki at the height of rush hour. It was a miserable experience.
But overall, in hundreds of shuttle rides over the years, I cannot say that it has been so bad that I won’t subject myself to it any longer. It’s just part of the travel experience. Uber is not the savior.