Following on from last weeks blog on the outward journey to the airport, I thought I would take you all through a typical inward airport journey. The most frequent airports I currently visit are Bristol, Gatwick and Heathrow, although I am able to go to any airport depending on my clients needs.
2 days before, I SMS my client to confirm that I will be at ‘Arrivals’ for them when their plane lands, also confirming the flight number, arrival time and terminal. This again ensures peace of mind that they have not been forgotten.
Once again within 24 hours before I do the journey I ensure that I am not taking in any alcohol whatsoever. to ensure that I am fit to drive within not only legal limits but also within our self imposed limits.
Depending on when the flight arrival time is, I will prepare the car the day before or, early in the day if I am due to meet the client later in that day. By preparing the car, I clean and detail her much as I have described in earlier blogs inside and out.
When it is time for me to leave our base, wearing a black 3 piece suit, white shirt, black tie and a chauffeurs cap, I check the flight to ensure it is scheduled to arrive on time and progress on the journey to the airport.
I arrive in time to once again clean car from the journey there, using a detailing wax spray for waterless cleaning. Since we launched DB Executive Travel, I have not noticed any other chauffeur or driver doing this - it’s attention to detail is what we are focussing on all the time.
Once I am happy with the car, having frequently checked the flight on the monitoring app on my iPhone, I make my way to the terminal with my chauffeurs cap on and iPad in hand already loaded with my clients name on it.
As I progress towards the terminal and as I make my way to the Arrivals area, I am often given a few second looks as they wonder which famous VIP I am picking up. I have now got used to this and I find it quite amusing really!
On a particular occasion, I stood by another chauffeur and checked the landed board (not landed), and as I did, I bid him good afternoon. He responded appropriately and said ‘chauffeurs cap, nice touch. I used to wear one until the car roofs were too low’.
We exchanged chuckles about that and I pointed out that yes, that is an issue and requires careful attention to avoid the obvious mishap, which is why I lower my drivers seat as low as it can go, adjusting mirrors etc and take extra care. Again attention to detail.
I keep watching the landed board and as soon as the status is updated to ‘Landed’ I SMS the client’s spouse to confirm the plane is landed. If it is delayed I SMS appropriately. When landed, I SMS my client to confirm I am here in Arrivals and will remain here until they come through regardless of how long, and ask them to let me know their coffee/tea choice once they get to immigration, so I can get it ready for them. Peace of mind and another nice touch.
As they come through Arrivals, I present them with the drink of their choice and help with their suitcases. As we make our way to the car park I check if they need anything else and I pay for the parking without passing that charge onto my client.
On one particular occasion, when my client came through at Gatwick Arrivals, I heard her very clearly say to her colleague who was not travelling with us ‘Here’s Dave, he’s mine!’ Its good that my clients are so pleased to see me!
The rest of the journey is mostly the same as the outward journey which I described last week in Part 1.
Once we have our first encounter with any client, we aim to do our best to make sure that is not the one and only time they choose us - we are looking for a longer term business relationship by providing exceptional service every time to every client.