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Private Airport Transfers - Safety - Prices

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
After working as a private transfer driver alongside ski instructing in Obergurgl - Austria for many years, I´d like to help everybody (visiting families/groups/individuals and local transfer/taxi companies) out with some inside knowledge.

There seems to have been lots of changes in the Tirolean (Innsbruck) area, and I assume in other regions also, in how transfers are booked and the companies people are booking over the last few seasons.

The main focus seems to be the Price! Most people seem to look for the cheapest option.
Is this a good idea?
Is saving 30 - 100 Euros worth it when talking about the safety of your family/group? Especially in comparison to the total cost of a ski holiday.

Around the Innsbruck area (Resorts of Obergurgl, Ischgl, St Anton, Lech, Mayrhofen, and many, many more), several years ago most airport transfers were operated by local taxi companies based in the resorts themselves. Recently however more and more larger online companies are cashing in on the transfer business. Some of these masquerading as a local company but operating as a partner of the larger online sites.
What are the benefits? - Cheap price - Simple and fast online booking - Credit card payment - Modern, fancy website with pictures of shiny new Mercedes minibusses.
What are the downsides? Reality? - No personal contact when booking - Complicated or bad customer service if changes need to be made - Delays/waiting times on busy days - No show/last minute text message cancelation when it gets very busy due to flight delays or flight diversions - vehicles smelling of cigarettes - drivers who can´t speak English or German (often from eastern European countries to cut down on the company´s costs) - drivers with no experience of winter driving or the ski resort, so no advice can be given on restaurants or ski schools or ski rental, etc - little experience with snow chains, so often won´t drop you off or collect at the hotel door during a snow storm - the booked luxury Mercedes minibus turns out to be an old clapped out and dirty minibus or smaller - and, and, and.

Why choose a smaller, local transfer/taxi business?
Benefits - Direct contact when booking (or booking through Hotel) - usually no booking fees - experienced drivers with winter expertise and knowledge of the resort - easy to change/cancel when plans change - good quality reliable vehicles with high safety standards - reliabilty and experience with delayed or diverted flights - more likely to speak English - will drive considerately/slower if asked to.
Downsides - Price, usually more expensive as they have higher costs for drivers and driver accommodation in resort - older websites, booking via email or telephone.

How do I choose the best transfer company?
Online you can look at the reviews on TripAdvisor or Google reviews for registered companies - Don´t forget to read the bad reviews too.
Ask the advice from your Hotel reception. Maybe they work together with a local company or they have heard good reviews from other guests.
Ask here on Snowheads for company recommendations.
Google local transfer/taxi companies and contact them asking for quotes and information. Choose the one that feels best.

Bad or good experiences: Please comment with your experiences and your recommendations.

And another tip: If you are experiencing a bad/scary driver.... tell him/her to slow down, tell him/her not to use their phone or worst case scenario, tell them to stop. Then call another local taxi. Mention the word tip and he/she will usually become a different character.
Oh, and please tip your driver if he/she was good wink

I hope that helps and enjoy your holiday! Very Happy
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Good advice...
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@shreddyteddy, Good transfer experiences:
1. I've used Four Seasons/Tirol Taxis several times from Munich airport to the Zillertal and return. They have desks at both Munich airport Terminals 1 and 2 and I've found the drivers to be good and they speak good English.
2. From Salzburg airport to the Ski Amade resorts I've used Huber (they used to be called HuberReisen but I think they changed their website name to taxihuber recently:
3. From Venice airport to/from Alleghe and the Alta Badia resorts I've used Venice cabs Most recently on a return from Alleghe last year when there was heavy snow on the road, the taxi arrived already fitted with snowchains and after we'd driven some distance lower down and out of the snow the driver pulled in and speedily removed the chains, so they seem well versed in snow chain usage.

I can't say that I've yet experienced a bad airport taxi transfer experience.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
We recently used - for the return trip from Salzburg airport to Westendorf.
Perfect service from a local Westendorf taxi company. Great experience. We would recommend.
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