A fool-proof list to ensure a smooth journey.
1. TIME MANAGEMENT Allow plenty of time for delegates to get to the airport. Airports are often situated near busy motorways and the last thing you want is a member of the group or even the whole group missing their flight. Everyone will appreciate being at the airport and all checked in rather than cutting it fine adding to the stress of travelling
2. FINE DETAILS Make sure you give the airline any dietary requirements and important medical information at the same time as the passenger names. Always reconfirm diets and any other special requests with the airline a few days before travel
3. DOUBLE CHECK Where feasible double check your group’s seat allocation. Different airlines have different procedures. Your group may all want to be sat together, then again they may not want to be!
4. BE PREPARED Before heading back to the airport for your return journey, double check that no one has left their passport in their hotel room safe (there’s always one!)
5. ALWAYS HAVE SPARES Keep spare copies of e-tickets. From experience so many delegates don’t realise that e-tickets are required to be kept for check in for the return flight and discard them as a piece of paper that’s no longer required. Taking spare copies of the groups’ e-tickets and distributing them on the way to the airport will save time and a last minute panic!
6. ADDITIONAL CHARGES When organising transfers clarify all charges including waiting time. Often fees will increase if transfers are delayed e.g. if an incoming flight is delayed and the coach and driver have to wait longer than anticipated to collect a group. Build in contingency in your budget for this happening where possible along with a gratuity allowance for the driver
7. KEEP CONTACT WITH YOUR DRIVER Ascertain a mobile phone number for your driver. If you’re arriving into a busy airport arrivals hall with your group and can’t find your driver, make sure you have a way of contacting them and finding out where they are as quickly as possible and you can keep your group informed. If you aren’t able to get a number for your driver, get a 24hr one for the transfer company. They will be able to contact the driver and come back to you
8. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY Double check drop off and pick up points and meeting points and communicate these clearly to your delegates
9. ALLOW FOR EXTRA TIME Give delegates a transfer travel time that’s 5-10 minutes ahead of the time you have agreed with the transfer company to allow for those that are late to arrive
10. PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING Put everything in writing to your suppliers so you have proof of the line of communication. Anything that’s booked over the phone, follow up by email and keep a copy on file