Preparing For The Perfect Storm

Posted on October 31, 2012 by - Also by this author

A recipe for financial disaster
With the remnants of Sandy drifting away, financial disasters of all sorts exist. When the public stops traveling, it clearly sends a pinch to the bank account.

Natural disasters or terrorist made disasters in the case of 9/11 tend to bring the public to a halt. As I listened to news reports about political campaign travel being suspended as a result of this so-called “perfect storm,” I knew that business travelers around the world were going to stay put.
Every day, we deliver people to various airports with their final destination being New York. That doesn’t count people traveling to other eastern seaboard cities. With no air service flying in our out of New York on Monday and Tuesday, I knew that business travelers would be calling and canceling their orders.

It puts us in a weird predicament. Normally, if someone canceled on the same day of the trip, the entire price of the arrangement would be due. That is our policy for trips from Bakersfield to LAX. The entire trip takes us five hours to make. If I tie a car up on your word, I don’t want to lose five hours of service/revenue just because you got wishy-washy.

However, in this case, there are two options we can follow. We can offer the client a complete refund, even though it kills us to do so. Or, we can hold the money on account until the trip is rebooked. Even if we perform the latter, we still end up with tumbling revenue while bookings get canceled left and right.

I want to applaud the folks over at Exclusive Sedan Service for being proactive and sending out email blasts advising their clients to check their destinations, check their flights, and expect delays in service on the East Coast.

Being a West Coast/Central California guy, I am enjoying sunny weather in the 80s as I write this blog. It is hard to believe the loss in revenue due to “bad weather” when I look outside and it is so bright and sunny. I send my prayers and concern to my fellow operators on the East Coast that you may ride this thing out, both the physical damage and the financial damage.

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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