Davis Airporter comments from 2008:
2008-03-19 23:11:56 I had an awful experience with the airporter. No matter how many good experiences I had had previously, that one time ruined it for me. I no longer feel that it is reliable and I will no longer use this service. —TalaDandan
2008-04-18 08:48:21 THE WORST. They called me thirty minutes before I was supposed to be picked up to say that they were running late. Then, five minutes later, they called to say that actually now they were early, and they were ready to leave now, and could I please rush over to the van now (they were waiting in the Best Western parking lot). I told them that I couldn't re-change my plans, that I'd see them in 25 minutes, at the just-altered meeting time (which they'd just called to alter!). They said OK, but as I approached the van 25 mintues later, IT PULLED OUT OF THE PARKING LOT, as I was waving my arms and jumping up and down. I was, maybe, 15 feet from the van as it pulled out of the parking lot. I immediately called them to ask them to call the driver and have him turn around and get me—he couldn't have been one mile away from me at this point—and they refused!! I had to take a cab to the airport to catch my plane. They refused to apologize, were extremely defensive with me on the phone. "We're very reliable," they said, as if this whole mess were my fault, somehow. They've also double-charged me before; I had to reverse the charge on my credit card. Just the worst. Use Supershuttle. —henry
2008-04-18 19:54:31 A couple of experiences to share. One time the driver was leaving the airport and getting on I-5 southbound, presumably to approach Davis from the east side. A passenger yelled (where are you going? Turn here!) The drive recklessly changed direction and got on I-5 northbound, reversing his intended route. Why he was listening to the passenger I'll never know. Another time the driver was cruising down county road 102 about 70 miles per hour when he sped right past a parked highway patrol man. Needless to say, the chipper whipped around, pulled our guy over, wrote him a ticket and we all got home late. At times, these guys are downright unsafe. —DavidFeliz
2008-06-17 21:30:42 I am an international student and have used Davis Airporter many times since Freshman year. However, I know I will never use the service again. Minutes ago, I was actually called a liar by the manager because I understood the term "carry-on" in its usual meaning and not to mean a purse or a laptop. She proceeded to yell at me and threatened to refuse service, as though Davis Airporter was the only airport service in the world. To top it off, she hung up on me as well. So I called the village cab, and the person I talked to was a lot friendlier and gave me a 40% discount. If you are a prospective customer of Davis Airporter, be prepared to be insulted and talked down to. —Kyonghwa
2008-06-20 11:26:10 After booking a shuttle from SFO to my address just outside the Sacramento region for my 60 year old father coming in from England, their dispatcher told the shuttle driver he was over 8 hours on his shift time and told him to drop my father off at the Sacramento airport instead. My father had provided him with the address of my home at the time he boarded the shuttle and through thr 2.5 hours in the shuttle, no problem/issue was expressed. But at the last minute, the dispatcher called and said the shuttle drive had to drop my father off at Sacramento airport. They offered no assistance for alternative transportation, were rude to my father on the phone and then charged him $90 and left him standing on the curb at a strange airport with three large suitcases. (I wish he hadn't given them a penny - I wouldn't have.)
My father had to hail a cab and pay another $80 in cab fares to get to his final destination, arriving 3 hours late due to the detour. The original price quoted by Davis Airporter was $110 (indicating they did know they were not taking him to SMF) but the total cost for my father to get to my house ended up being $170!!!
When we called the Davis airporter to complain they were rude, surly, and unable to offer us anything other than their rules and regulations. They plain just didn't care about the inconvenience or servicing us in any way. They claimed that we booked the shuttle to Sacramento airport (complete hogwash - I provided my home address to them online and had no reason to book something to SMF) and said we didn't check the email attachment they sent to us at booking (an attachment which I can prove we never received - I have the email). They refused to offer us any kind of discount for the service they did not provide (although they claim they did) or for future services, in order to retain our business.
This was the second time we have used them and the last. The first time, the reservation process was a complete hassle. The reservation representative didn't seem to understand English, didn't know their prices, couldn't seem to schedule the shuttle at the right time (confusing A.M. and P.M.) and kept repeating back to me the wrong information - it took me 3 phone calls and 45 minutes to get them to get the reservation right. I thought that was just a poor employee issue but it seems that's not the case - they are all rude and incompetent.
If you have had similar bad experiences with this business, please post them here - www.davisairportersucks.blogspot.com. Airline travel is stressful enough without having to deal with problems with your ride to/from the airport. Hopefully by getting the word out there about this company, they will be forced to change their poor level of customer service, or lose business. —Shelly75
If you paid with a credit card, be sure to have your card issuer do a chargeback. If not, small claims court is pretty easy. They sold you a service they did not provide, and through their inaction, caused your father to incur expenses he would have not otherwise had. —WilliamLewis
2008-06-23 17:33:48 This is a response to the above postings of Kyonghwa and Shelly75. I was in the office when the manager was talking to Kyonghwa and the others in the party, so this one I can answer firsthand. The manager asked for a luggage count, and, when told that half of those were carry-ons, explained that for the Davis Airporter, a carry-on is a purse/backpack/laptop, or anything of that size—anything that can travel on the passenger's lap or underfoot. The manager also explained why we need to know this (if we arrive at the pickup with the luggage area already half-full, we have to be sure that the rest will fit. If not, people might miss their flights). The person talking to the manager said that each person had 4 bags, and was informed that it would be $10 extra for each person, or $40 total. At this point, a different girl took the phone and said that those extra bags were carry-ons. The manager repeated the Davis Airporter's definition of carry-on for the second person, who could be heard arguing with the others in the background. The manager didn't call anyone a liar, but she did stress that it was important that they were telling the truth, because if we got there and the luggage wouldn't fit(the day in question was VERY busy, and many vans were already slated to be full), then either a) the driver will charge extra, or b) we won't be able to provide the service.
We recently had to send an office worker to pick up a party who had given us an incorrect luggage count, as it wouldn't fit on the van with the other passengers' luggage. And our luggage space is HUGE. It was from Davis to SFO, so it amounted to a loss financially for the Airporter. I don't know what the luggage of the Kyonghwa party consisted of, but it was clear from the conversation why the manager saw the red flag.
As for the "refusing to provide service" that Kyongwa reports, believe me, it is simply not in our financial interest to do that, especially for a large party. The manager was explaining that if we arrive at the pick-up, and the carry-on baggage doesn't meet the criteria that she was explaining, then
we might have to refuse the service.
In all my years here, we have, to my knowledge, threatened to refuse service only once- when someone was inexplicably nasty to a reservation agent, even before she attempted to take the reservation.
Regarding the case of Shelly75: I hope I don't come across as making excuses. Just reporting what happened for the benefit of the poster and others. Both parties (mostly us) were at fault here, and restitution was offered (see below). The online reservation was incorrectly processed by us as a reservation from SFO to smf (sacramento airport), as opposed to Orangevale. The poster is correct that the $110 fare should have indicated that smf was not the proper destination. The poster may be correct that she did not receive the email reply attachment, which confirms the destination, though our email reports it as sent successfully. I should note that all of our emails include a text message instructing
the customer to open the attachment, which includes the details of the reservation. We assume that anyone who makes an online reservation will be checking their email for
a confirmation, and will therefore read the text message. If it instructs the customer to open an important attachment that isn't there, we assume and hope that the
customer, in this case Shelly75, would call us immediately.
At any rate, Shelly is correct that full service was not honored.
The driver, because of school obligations, truly couldn't take him all the way to Orangevale. Again, that was our mistake.
When we were in contact with Shelly, she was understandably upset. We offered her a discount, but she would accept nothing less than a full discount (free ride). That might be applicable in certain situations, but not this one—we had driven him 100 of the 120 miles. Not exactly a "job well done", I know, but not a free ride either.
Shelly, I honestly understand your frustration with this episode, but saying, as you did above, "they are all rude and incompetent" is neither correct nor believable. Every day at the Airporter is an exercise in taking episodes like the one with your dad and, customer-service wise, making the Airporter a better company.
I have never used your service and I never said that "they are all rude and incompetent". I was simply stating that the company owed the complainant (who isn't me) a full refund, and if such a refund was not offered, they should attempt to obtain one through their credit card company or the courts. Leaving someone high and dry is unacceptable and should NEVER happen under ANY circumstances. The only acceptable remedy is a complete refund and covering any additional expenses incurred above and beyond the refund amount. —WilliamLewis
2008-06-26 11:07:00 Note: This post was written unnecessarily in a case of my mistaking the name of the original poster with someone else,(see WilliamLewis below making it clear to me) but it does clarify a couple of points I left out of one of my responses, so I'm leaving it up with the names corrected:
Shelly, we can appreciate the statement that a full refund makes to the customer, but the reality of this business is that if we offer a full refund for an incident like this, it isn't just a matter of taking the short-term loss to keep a customer. Word gets around (believe me, people talk), and soon we would have customers deliberately booking incorrect destinations to get a free ride. It wouldn't be often, but it would be enough to make the policy counter-productive.
I do agree with your statement that "no one should be left high and dry under any circumstances". It is my understanding that your father was advised to take SuperShuttle, which is $34 from smf to Orangevale. Looking at his situation (being from England), it's possible he had no idea what that meant, and I can envision the driver, in a rush to get back to class, not explaining it fully to him.
At any rate, in this case, we would not offer a full refund. We would pay the difference of the SuperShuttle ride so that your father's total expense didn't exceed the agree-upon total of $110, plus perhaps a reasonable inconvenience compensation (20 dollars or so, it would be up to the manager). Simply put, the SuperShuttle ride from smf to Orangevale must be considered another leg of the same trip. Mistakes like these are extremely rare, and while we can almost always adapt our
schedule to unexpected changes, there are times when we can't. In this case, we book a cab for the passenger, and we cover the difference of the cost.
SuperShuttle operates on a walk-on basis for departures from smf, so in your father's case, we wouldn't be able to call them and book the ride ahead of time, but the reimbursement concept is the same. Again, I apologize if the importance of taking SuperShuttle instead of a cab wasn't adequately stressed to your father.
Again, I have no relationship to the complainant whatsoever. Stop with the "your father" bit. —WilliamLewis
2008-06-26 23:21:00 My apologies Mr. Lewis! I saw your name at the bottom of the post made by Shelly75; I saw your name before I saw hers and mistook you as the poster. Commence editing yesterday's posts...Engage. Sorry again. AirporterDriverPete —AirporterDriverPete
2008-09-14 20:52:18 * important advice *
DO NOT EVER CALL THEM
you have other shuttle services and taxis or rather pay your friends to pick you up.
just google other services,
do not waste your time and money and energy with them.
everytime i used them, i had horrible experiences.
especially when i had flight to other nations, kuz the problem gets bigger when you miss international fights.
i would have not mind bad drivers or rude assistances, but they are all the above plus liars.
i actually MISSed my planes several times, or had to pay 150 dollars for last minute taxi cab.
it's either they don't show up, or they wait for you at the parking lot for 3 min without noticing you,
and when you call them, they would tell you they they waited for you for extra 20 minutes.
and will never say sorry even if you missed ur plane kuz of them, and you're lucky if they don't yell at you.
and if you were really lucky and you found them in front of your door on time,
they will spend next hour or two picking up other ppl, and when you pay them, they will keep the change for tip.
sometimes they will "automatically" cancel you from schedule,
and when you call them and say that you were never noticed about it,
they will say that they e-mailed you, when you never GAVE them your e-mail address.
if you have friends who's flying on the same day,
just call taxi, kuz they charge you the same, where davis airporter charges you per person. —dda1gii
2008-09-21 19:31:27 I've never really had complaints with Davis Airporter, although use them less frequently than I used to. Last night, though, I experienced the sort of frustration that others have been bringing up.
Two weeks ago, before heading to Mexico for two weeks, we made a reservation to be picked up on our return. After the process of submitting a web form, and then separately being requested to send in credit card information via e-mail, I received the confirmation that we'd be picked up from our 10:25 p.m. flight from Mexico.
The flight made it on time, we made it through immigration and customs in 10 minutes, and I called the Davis Airporter. At that time, I was informed that "our driver is running behind...it'll be at least 50-60 minutes." Anyway, not wanting to hang out at the emptying airport for an hour (at least), Super Shuttle brought us back to Davis.
I would really like to support local business, but, in the end, you've got to get on the train that's running. —ScottLay
2008-09-21 20:57:05 I used the online reservation request the last time that I used the Davis Airporter. The process was a little bit frustrating. You fill out an insecure, unencrypted form online (the form appears to ask you if you are doing a round trip or one way trip, but it isn't clear if you need to fill out both sections of the form. Once you have filled out the form, you are sent an e-mail with an attachment and directions that say that your reservation will be canceled if you don't provide a credit card number. No instructions are provided on how to provide the credit card number, but let's look at the two possibilities:
1) You reply by e-mail. You have just sent your credit card number by e-mail as plain text. Anyone who has access to the network that your message passes over, or to any of the mail servers involved, or to your browser cache, now has access to your credit card number (and name and address since they probably also have the e-mail you are replying to.) This is a very bad practice, and ignores the basic security measures taken by nearly every site that performs transactions over the web.
2) You reply by phone. Davis Airporter must now look up your reservation details, and you provide the credit card number. You've just lost the convenience of submitting your reservation online, since you now had to call, and possibly wait on hold. So why bother submitting the request online?
Of course, you also might not see the e-mail for 24 hours, in which case you've just lost your reservation!
The web site and booking process are in need of some redesign... —IDoNotExist
While the vast majority of our passengers make their reservations by phone, you make a good point—our online reservation system
is useful only if you don't mind typing in your CC number into an unsecured site (not a good idea) , or calling our office and possibly waiting on hold.
I will bring it up with the manager.
Update, 12-11-09: Just found out today that the reservation site has been secure (encrypted) since this past summer ('09). Appreciate your input.
I think scheduling and customer service need to be added to the redesign list. —ScottLay
2008-09-21 20:59:30 Was it Sacramento or LA that used to require shuttle drivers to circle the airport three times before leaving unless they had a full van? If it was Sac, what happened to that rule? —IDoNotExist
All shuttle services get charged by the airport for the amount of time spent there, or in the case of SFO, 4 dollars every time a shuttle/taxi circles
the airport. Sac Airport puts transponders on all vehicles, so they know when we come in, circle, or leave. They just started this a couple of
years ago, but I've been here a long time, and they never had such a rule, at least since '97. LAX being as busy as it is, I can picture a strange
rule like that being concocted.
2008-11-15 15:52:01 I just want to say Davis Airporter is awsome! Hi Davis airporter driver Pete!!! Tell your manager I said Hi! —Wendy23
2008-12-20 14:57:32 It used to be a reliable shuttle service. But I had a bad experience this time. My work place doesn't have a physical address (off campus), they used to ask me the direction and it was fine. Today a rude lady totally rejected me, and when I told her they did this before and I got ride couple of months ago, she put me on hold and picked the phone and said we are fully booked!!!! You need to call at least 48 hours in advanced!!! It might be just her. But I no longer trust them. They put me on my own when I need them. ***It's a sign of a bad business*** —james234
James, it always pains me when I hear stories like this. On one hand, the agent's reaction was wrong, but on the other hand, you called during the busiest time of the year for us, and I can imagine the agent, especially if it's a new one, not feeling equipped to deal with anomolies when the office is in busy holiday mode. It's a VERY stressful time. We have no problem picking people up whose address requires directions, but for a special case such as yours, it's probably better to call a few days in advance if it's a super-busy time of year. Or, as I stated in one of the above answers, call the overnight guy, after midnight, as he doesn't have so many things on his plate at once, and he's perfectly capable and willing to tailor the reservation to your needs.
I know you've done it before without incident, but you never know when you're going to get someone who is worried about the potential fallout from taking a reservation in a way that conflicts with their training. Sorry, I know that common sense should win out, but it doesn't always.
Also, always get the name of the person you're dealing with. I would be happy to bring this up with her if you have a name. Or, if you have a good description of a distinctive voice, I'm sure I can figure out who it was.