Finally, the plane has landed after a delayed turbulent flight, lasting over 7 hours. My executives all too often experience uncomfortable seating with cabin noise levels and poor quality food that make it hard to actually work, rest or sleep on long haul flights.
Once off the plane, they go through lengthy queues to get through immigration before finally collecting their luggage. Not all my executives have the budget to afford business or first class travel, so fast track is not always an option.
As they enter the arrivals area the automatic doors open and immediately they see me with my suit and cap on, their smile of relief is obvious! With their coffee in hand, I give them a warm welcome back to the UK and take their bags.
The final leg of their journey begins…
"Tired, just hope I can now rest and recover"
Will my chauffeur be there for me?
How will I recognise him/her?
The flight may have been delayed for an hour or more. If he is there, what will the extra charge be for the parking fee?
How can I get that extra expense approved when I submit for payment?
I need a coffee and can’t get one as that will only cause more delays. I’m hungry - the in flight food was ‘plastic’!
My phone battery is flat and I need to let my loved ones know the plane is landed
I just need to unwind and rest before the next meeting
I hate travelling in a filthy vehicle as that can give an indication of how careful the driver is - attention to detail!
Preparation before we meet:
Two days before travelling they receive an SMS confirming that I will be there for them, offering a choice of hot drink
Even after doing a journey before I get to the airport or other pick up location, I clean the car with a detailing spray wax
When a mobile number has been supplied, they know I have SMS’d their dependant to confirm that they have safely landed
Once the plane is landed they receive an SMS confirming I am there with that drink
Meet & greet
Coming through Arrivals, my executive knows that I will be there, easily recognisable as I always wear my chauffeur’s cap along with my chauffeur 3 piece suit, their coffee in hand
It is always a relief to see me, as my executives know they are being cared for - I offer to help with their luggage and after paying for parking (no added charge), I escort them to the pristine Jaguar
Approaching the car
Once at the car, I open the door(s) and the executive can rest inside while I load their luggage
Waiting for him in the car, is a bottle of mineral water, snack bar, mints, tissues, quality magazines and a daily newspaper usually of their choice
They can recharge their mobile with charging cables provided using the twin USB points
I confirm that my mobile is on flight mode and the radio remains off, unless they request it
During the journey
Soon after starting the journey, I check that the air con is set correctly for them, and offer a charging cable for their mobile
My executive is able to either rest, make phone calls in private, or work in comfort while I drive them in safety to their destination, making any requested stops en route
I only engage in conversation when the executive initiates it
If they need internet access and their carrier has no reception, I offer them a hotspot off my mobile
On the journey, I drive to maximise their comfort and safety - I plan my breaking and cornering and do not accelerate rapidly
I ensure a steady journey that progresses comfortably within legal limits and at a safe distance from the cars in front
To the door
Once the journey is complete, my executives pay the pre-agreed amount by any major debit/credit card using our reliable Worldpay card machine.
No surcharges are added and the price is the same as when they booked initially. They are given an invoice for their records
If raining, I offer to escort them to the door under a large umbrella
How different things are when we are not there. Alternatives being public transport:
After coming off the plane often in a daze:
Executive needs to find his way to the taxi rank
Stand in a queue not protected from the rain and sometimes next to someone who is smoking
Once his turn comes, often he will have to load his own luggage into the dirty cab, open his own door, and the meter has already started
Then, the executive explains where they are going, noticing that the car is either too hot to too cold and smells of smoke, or worse - ok if you are a smoker but if you are not?
Driving standard is poor and often illegal - the taxi driver is preoccupied with the ear piece which is connected to his mobile (where they use the mobile ‘legally’)
Driver is also known to be ranting about the standards of other drivers
… is talking to his office about the next job or even on his own personal call
… has his arm resting on the door, not in full control the vehicle, braking erratically and swerving from lane to lane carving up others
They are asked about what work the executive is involved in and tells him about his clients he has had in the car before him or discusses the current news having a very strong political opinion that he must share
Does all or some of the above sound familiar? Probably, because that has often been my experience in my past employments when I have used a taxi. There are of course, exceptions to the rule and some taxi drivers are far superior to others.
One of the worst taxi trips I have ever experienced was in Istanbul when I was on a business trip for the corporate company I used to work for.
Our team were being taken back to the hotel late at night by two taxis. The drivers drove at an unsafe speed, braked erratically, cornered sharply with the result that we were literally being thrown about.
Fearing for our lives, for some reason, it seemed they stopped in the middle of the road and refused to go any further.
We had to pay and get out - I have no idea to this day why and all I can think of is that perhaps we hit a time limit for those particular drivers shift.
That led to me walking back to our hotel alone in the middle of the night through a rather risky part of Istanbul, but that is entirely a different subject!!
On another occasion, I was coming through UK Arrivals and checked through the sea of faces and sheets of paper and card with names on and mine was no where to be seen.
I checked my emails and messages, and sure enough I had arranged for a lift but he wasn’t there! I rang the taxi company who argued with me but eventually decided to send someone out. I was later home than expected, tired and frustrated.
Other times, a driver was giving me his opinion on an election campaign in the UK, not a great subject that I wanted to engage on when tired from the previous flight and a stressful series of business meetings in a foreign country. “I just want a quiet journey - is that too much to ask for?”
All the above and many more experiences propelled me to offer an entirely different service to my clients once we started our family business.
The options are clear, but the standards are so very different. We provide the high level that defines our executives so that when they arrive they are relaxed, calm and ready to face the next opportunity with a rested mind and body.
Dave has been working in the corporate world for over 15 years before he decided to set up his own business and provide a much higher standard in chauffeur experience than he ever received himself. As well as being a quality chauffeur for executives and private people, he has also successfully set up a Jaguar wedding car business that exceeds expectations, being selected as a finalist in the Whitewed Startup Business of the Year 2017 - watch this space for the awards ceremony in February 2018!
Additionally, Dave makes sure his driving is of the highest standard and after passing the IAM Roadsmart Advanced Drivers qualification in 2013, he has just passed the IAM Roadsmart Masters qualification as well - demonstrating his commitment to excellence.
Below are just a few of the many recent reviews on our website:
“Earlier this week a colleague of mine and I were at a conference and award evening and decided to travel back home to Fleet in Hampshire and Swindon instead of paying for extremely expensive hotel rooms. We approached Dave and he happily came up with a solution which suited our circumstances along with great value for money. Dave was prompt on arrival and called us and text us to let us know he had arrived and on approaching the front of the hotel, he greeted us like clients and not just BNI members which was great. The journey was very smooth and comfortable in his high quality Jaguar and having a snack bar, water and phone charger made the experience all the more enjoyable. If you are considering any form of travel or booking wedding transport and want to take the worry out of the situation, I would strongly recommend DB executive travel. Thank you Dave" Mark
“The best chauffeur experience we have ever had: exceptionally professional and reliable, for both business and personal circumstances. Could not be any happier with Dave! We will definitely use DB Executive Travel as often as they are available.” Qing
“DB Executive Travel provided me with an airport pick up after a long haul flight and I must say the experience truly was exceptional, every detail was covered including a 'welcome home' coffee. This was no ordinary airport transfer. Thank you!” Adam