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DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

Buffalo, New York
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136 posts
350 reviews
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DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

Our family of five had pre-booked and paid for a transfer service to take us from Rome (FCO) airport to the Civitavecchia port for a cruise. It was Consorzio Airport Shuttle Rome (www.airportshuttle.it), recommended in Rick Steves' "Italy" book. I emailed them our flight info and asked if they would be able to tell if there were any problems - they assured us they would be there. As it turns out, our flight from Detroit to Rome was delayed by 6 hours and we arrived in Rome at 3pm rather than our expected 9am - I emailed the transfer service from Detroit of the delay as well. When we arrived at the airport, we found a person with our name (misspelled so badly we almost missed it!) and that there was car ready - she told us there would be a car arriving in an hour or so - they said since we did not arrive at the time we stated they could not give assurance of a car being there (by this time, we were close to missing our cruise departure and frantic and over-tired from 24 hours of being in airports and airplanes!) - the person claimed to speak very little English and when we tried to speak to the person at the desk they had, she claimed she spoke no English - to which the very nice man in the airport information booth told us that she was lying - he said everyone that worked in the airport knew English! I was in near tears when another driver told the person he would take us to Civitavecchia - he did, and we made our boat with a half hour to spare! The other really awful part of this whole experience is that we were originally a party of six - my Dad was to accompany us and had passed away one month earlier (we went ahead since it had been what he wanted) - my Mom was a wreck already and this made the start of the trip so much worse - and when I had emailed the service to let them know there would be 5 instead of 6, they said they would refund the portion that would have been my dad's - which they never did. SO - DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE - THEY ARE NOT RELIABLE OR TRUSTWORTHY!!!

Tustin, California
6 posts
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11. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

I was sorry to hear about the company you used...but it's good to post even negative stuff so that the others are warned! I came to Italy more than once and I can tell you that you were unlucky...I've used other companies and they were simply great! Never had any problems either for the airport transfers or the tours. Next time make sure you contact a reliable company....let me know if you need any help and I'll give you the name of the company I used for the majority of my travelling.

Saint Louis...
5 posts
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12. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

Thanks for the feedback...always good to know who to use and who to avoid! There are many you can use in Rome...I did some research and found the right ones.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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33,187 posts
16 reviews
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13. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

I totally disagree. I was in Rome just last month. A **week** before our travel dates we had to change an airport pickup time by two hours. The company we were using emailed me later that day to say that it was impossible since they were already booked.

It's not the transfer company's fault the plane was late. They may have been totally booked and not gotten the email or been able to respond to it by the time the OP got on the plane. If the OP was concerned she should have arranged something else while she was waiting in the airport. The fact that they had a rep there who told them there would be a car within the hour means they tried to do the right thing. You're assuming the transfer company had cars waiting around for you when in fact they have a car at the time you say you need it. They then take into account the other customers who will be traveling later in that same day. To expect them to hold a car for you for 6 hours is absurd. I'm sorry this happened to you but I don't really think they did anything wrong.

Donna

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
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10,712 posts
95 reviews
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14. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

Donna ... I totally agree. The OP was 6 hours late and had barely an hour to get to their ship, for all we know the bus/cars were at the ship with people who weren't late. It's not the OP's fault but it's also not the car service's fault ... but the service seems to be taking the flack for Delta being late and the OPs bad planning.

The other question that is raised is she states she "texted" them to let them know about the delay (although originally states emailed) so ... did the text get through?

Edited: 07 August 2013, 22:28
pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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33,187 posts
16 reviews
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15. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

And at what time did she text or email them? Usually flights from the U.S. leave in the evening which is the middle of the night in Italy. They might not have gotten the text at all or they probably didn't see it until the next morning, which explains why they might not have answered her.

I think if anyone is to blame it's the airline for the delay and the OP for arriving the day she needed to be at the port. Poor planning often comes back to bite you as it did in this case. I would say the next time she should come in at least the day prior to the cruise or more. This will avoid any stress of late planes and poor planning.

Donna

Aberdeen, Scotland
Destination Expert
for Aberdeen
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5,922 posts
37 reviews
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16. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

Did you check the full terms &conditions when you booked. I can not see all the conditions without booking, but I'd guess they will be the same as other companies. You are required to PHONE to advise of delay, not text or email, which hey may not have been in the office to receive.

You will also see they clearly state that you should allow a minimum of three hours from your arrival at the airport to the port.

They also state that they will wait for one and a half hours, further delays being chargeable. They were actually entitled to charge you hundreds of euros extra.

Seems to me, they went way beyond their contractual obligations and you should be very grateful that they managed to squeeze you in at all.

Buffalo, New York
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136 posts
350 reviews
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17. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

Wow people! Everyone seems to have very strong opinions on this subject! This is my last post on the subject: I agree, the majority of the fault lies with Delta Airlines (another story altogether), but I made as much of a good faith effort as I could to ensure that our arrival would be problem-free - our arrival was for 9am and the transport for 10am to get us to the port with plenty of time (boat left at 7pm) - that someone said I was unorganized is simply untrue- I made the reservation well in advance of our trip - and I provided as much information as I could to the company - as I stated earlier, I have used transport companies before who track flight information on their customers and know of late arrivals - I emailed the company several times to ask if the contact information I had was accessible in case of a delay - and was told it was - when I sent the message from Detroit, it was midnight - so at least 7am in Italy - and plenty of time for them to get the heads up for our late afternoon arrival once they got to the office - they had the flight number already and now a new arrival time. I had also emailed them ahead of time - as a courtesy to them, to let them know we were now a party of 5 rather than 6 - my Dad passed away one month before this trip - I was making an effort to keep them as informed as possible (that was when they told me they would refund his portion - which they never did). And after they seemed not very interested in our plight and I spoke with the airport information desk and he was ready to help (so yes, we were ready to make other arrangements), that was when they jumped into action - I think if we had just quietly waited there, we would have waited much longer. All said, there is nothing else I could have done or could ever do if something like that ever happens again - just bad luck and a bad experience. I have written many reviews on TripAdvisor and am not often critical - I think it is as important to complement good services and products as well as acknowledge those less than satisfactory - that is all I have done here!

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
33,187 posts
16 reviews
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18. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

That's not all you've done. You said not to use this company. You assume that just because you were late they should have a car for you. You're agreement was for a car 6 hours earlier than when you arrived. That's what they planned for. You cannot assume that they had someone waiting around for 6 hours just to drive you to the port. That's not how these things work. You contracted with them and then you were 6 hours late. It's not their fault and they did nothing wrong. You're advising people not to use them because they weren't at your beck and call is absurd. If you booked a tour for 2pm and were 6 hours late would you expect them to take you on the tour at 8pm? It's the same thing.

Donna

Edited: 09 August 2013, 02:43
19. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

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Removed on: 10 August 2013, 12:54
NY
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3,610 posts
82 reviews
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20. Re: DO NOT USE this airport tranfer service!!!

In fact do not use any airline, since this can happen to all of them

It seems that the shuttle company rep was there and said they would have the transport in about an hour after the late arrival, which seems reasonable given the 6 hour delay. The shuttle service has no responsibility to turn cartwheels to make up lost time due to the airline even when you are facing a short time to sailing.

It is also not true that everyone who works at the airport speaks English, or that the rep could somehow make a shuttle appear.

To blame this shuttle so severely does not seem reasonable, but if you paid in advance perhaps they should refund your money, not sure all the T&C's