What is “Waiting Time”?

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When you order a limousine, sedan, SUV, or any other type of commercial conveyance, you schedule it with a specific pickup time in mind. Or do you?

When you reserve your ride with a typical limo service, you are given a pickup time, and that is the time the company assumes you will be ready to go. However, they may have a different definition of “ready to go” than you do, and herein lies the problem. To a traveler, a 10:00 am pickup may mean 10:00 (ish). To a chauffeur, it means being at the pickup location at 9:45 am and being on the way to their destination by 10:00. So you might be asking…what’s the problem?

Most chauffeurs work on a commission/gratuity basis. They are also responsible for various expenses, including gas and car washes. So, to a chauffeur, time is truly money. If a chauffeur has an “efficient” day, he will be profitable. If his day is “inefficient” (say…a few rides where clients run late), he can potentially lose enough time and money to effect his profit negatively. Since chauffeurs have bills to pay like everyone else, it makes sense to have something in place to compensate them for their waiting time…and this is why waiting time exists.

The intention of waiting time is not punitive, and this is where confusion sometimes comes in. The waiting policy is set up so that a 15 minute grace period is granted before any charges are imposed. If a client is running a few minutes late, this grace period should be enough to keep charges from being accrued.

There are ways to avoid waiting charges. Start by being realistic about your pick up time. For the frequent or seasoned traveler, cutting your time short may be your solution. You are not likely to run too late if you have limited time to make a flight. This however, is not recommended. A better solution would be to pick a time that makes sense for you, and plan to be ready early. If there is something that is keeping you from being ready on time, you could always call and ask for your car to come a little later. Most companies have restrictions on how much time you have before you can change a reservation, so be familiar with policies and procedures of the company you’re dealing with. But make no mistake, a good and reputable company will be willing to work with you. Just keep in mind that someone’s time and livelihood is at stake.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.