Transportation Chapter 9
Objectives After completing chapter 9, the reader will be able to: • Discuss the benefits of contracting an official airline. • Identify several different types of ground transportation. • Develop preliminary plans for a shuttle service between multiple hotel and event sites. • Determine the advantages of securing the assistance of a professional travel management company to handle pre- and post-meeting tours.
Air Transportation • Meeting attendees may make their own transportation arrangements, or the meeting manager may elect to manage travel costs on their behalf by naming an official airline that has agreed to provide reduced rate airfares. • Select a carrier which has an adequate lift into the city where the meeting is being held. • Once the contract is signed, the meeting manager may decide to use a travel management company to help with administrative details such as promotion, reservations, ticketing and tracking.
Air Transportation (continued) • The primary benefit associated with designating an official carrier is the discount available to meeting attendees. It is currently possible to negotiate a percentage off published fares based on the location, dates and expected passenger volume of the meeting. In addition, zone fare programs offering guaranteed, unpublished fares from pre-determined sections of the U.S. and Canada to the meeting destination are available.
Air Transportation (continued) • Additional benefits of naming an official carrier can include site inspection tickets, productivity tickets and discounted or complimentary transportation of meeting materials to the site. Site inspection tickets can be offered either complimentary or at a reduced rate that may be fully refundable after a meeting or convention has fulfilled its contracted number of flight reservations.
Air Transportation (continued) • Productivity tickets are awarded after the meeting based on the number of attendees who actually flew on the airline (for example, one complimentary round-trip ticket for every 40 passengers that were ticketed against the meeting contract number). Freight discounts will vary according to the carrier. These are all negotiable items to be included in the contract.
Air Transportation (continued) • Consider travel benefits and limitations before completing the program schedule. • It is also very important to consider the lead time necessary to promote an official airline program. Motivating attendees to travel on the designated carrier will increase the number of complimentary tickets earned by the organization. Set the contract up far enough in advance to disseminate information, and always include the airline in promotional materials for the meeting.
Remote Locations • Local air, rail or bus service may be minimal or non-existent. Investigate alternatives: • chartered planes in small private airfields • shuttle buses from the nearest airport or station • limousines or rental cars • larger groups may use local area ground operator to provide shuttle service from nearest transportation hub on a predetermined schedule.
Ground Transportation • Transportation services: • local rail system • airport service buses • complimentary hotel vans • regular and group fare taxis • private limousines • Investigate availability, cost and type of vehicle for each service offered.
Ground Transportation (continued) • If special services have been arranged specifically for the meeting, be sure attendees are notified in advance. Advise the airport authority and travel agency or destination management company (if they are providing the meet-and-greet) about special buses arranged to meet flights during certain hours. Tell the selected service provider when to expect peak loads of arrivals and departures.
Ground Transportation (continued) • Shuttle service from meeting to meeting • complex and expensive • To keep costs down and avoid problems • understand how suppliers handle logistics; • develop customized schedules for each meeting; and • determine costs
Shuttle Service (continued) To keep expenses down and avoid problems: • The easiest method is to include the cost in the registration fee or secure industry sponsorship.
To provide the best shuttle service for the least cost, refer to the overhead for guidelines.
Shuttle Service (continued) • Assign someone to monitor bus usage. • Work with the supplier to adjust the number of buses and bus schedules when necessary. • Evaluate whether bus routes are being affected by traffic patterns during various times of the day. • Request a post-meeting usage report from the supplier.
Local Tours • It may be advantageous to use the shuttle bus supplier for sightseeing tours. If a destination management company is being used for sightseeing tours, it may be beneficial to have the company manage shuttle service as well.
Shuttle Bus for Tours • Proposal should also include: • Tour description and prices, • What is included in the tour price (admission, guides, meals), • Minimum/maximum number of participants required for each tour, • A contingency plan in case a tour is under-subscribed,
Shuttle Bus for Tours (continued) • Proposal should also include: • Whether minivans are available for smaller groups, • The cutoff date for cancellations in order to avoid paying a penalty, • Lead time needed in order to provide an additional bus/van, and • The organization’s responsibilities (promotion, sales and ticket pricing).
Pre-Post-Meeting Tours • Pre-post meeting tours are popular and attract more attendees, however: • they requires different skills, and • different priorities; • Keep in mind they provide a total experience for the duration of the trip.