Spending is estimated to advance another 7.1% in 2018 and will expand to $1.7 trillion total by 2022.
asterRIDE makes use of a professional chauffeur network, so it’s not really a TNC. According to its website, the operators it uses are “industry leaders of limousine, black car, and livery service. Every chauffeur is licensed in the cities they operate, holds commercial insurance, and are properly background checked. Each chauffeur is personally screened by our operators.”
UberBLACK is actually what the transportation network company originated as. Drivers for this service must have commercial licensing and registration, as well as their own luxury vehicles. Those vehicles must be MY 2013 or newer and have a TCP permit and city-specific airport permit (where required). It’s not unheard of for luxury ground transportation companies to sign up to drive for the service to fill dead time.
So let’s compare, shall we?
When I finished getting dressed, I walked out to my front room to do one last luggage check to make sure I had everything I needed. A light outside caught my eye, and low and behold, my ride was here about 30 minutes early. I know it’s typical for chauffeurs to be ready and waiting before the designated pick up time, but if I’m being honest, I felt rushed more than anything. It might have been a better idea for her to park and turn the headlights off.
As I walked outside with luggage in tow, I’m not going to lie: I expected her to come up to my porch and help me. Maybe I’m starting to get spoiled by writing about this industry, but I’m pretty sure she was supposed to at least make an effort to give me a hand. Instead, she waited until I made it down to the driveway. She did have the car door open for me, so I hopped inside.
As I got situated, I noticed the Cadillac insignia on the steering wheel. It didn’t look new enough to be a CT6, so I silently guessed it was an XTS. On our way to the airport, I decided to test her livery knowledge. “This is a nice sedan,” I said. “What model is it?” She chuckled and said “I don’t know.” I have to admit, I was a little flabbergasted.
When she asked me what terminal I was headed to, it suddenly struck me as odd that the app didn’t ask me this ahead of time. To my knowledge, American Airlines was Terminal 4, so that’s what I told her. We arrived, and she opened my door for me before retrieving my luggage. I tipped her and was on my way. Little did I know, my flight was waiting for me at Terminal 6. It was time for me to get some exercise in…
The LCT team’s flight landed back in Los Angeles at around 9 p.m., and I was very excited to be home. We grabbed our bags and walked out of the airport as I ordered my ride through the Uber app. About two minutes after booking my ride, I got a call. My driver had a very thick accent so it was difficult to determine what he was saying, but I believe he was asking me if I had ordered a ride and was waiting for him by the correct exit. I confirmed this information for him and hung up.
About five minutes later, I saw a Chevrolet Suburban with the designated license plate pull up next to the curb in a no parking zone. The driver hurried around to the back, practically yanked my luggage from me and said, “We have to hurry, I’m not supposed to stop here.” Ok…
Suddenly, traffic began to slow. This is not unusual for every Southern Californian’s favorite stretch of freeway. It soon became apparent there had been a four-car accident. Out of nowhere, my driver exclaimed, “I bet you it was a Chinese guy!” At this point, I was wondering if it would be better to just get out and walk.
Luckily we began to speed up and he took the correct exit. As we waited at the stoplight, he breeched the subject everyone wants to talk about at 10 o’clock at night with a complete stranger: The result of the presidential election. For the next five minutes, he went on a tirade about what a dirty liar he thought Hillary Clinton was and how Trump might actually be able to get things done.
Finally, I saw the welcoming porch light of my home. He parked the vehicle, and I opened my own door. It was pretty dark out, and I saw something white on the floor. Assuming it was my receipt from dinner at the airport in Philadelphia that had fallen out of my pocket, I grabbed it. As I said goodbye and walked up my driveway, I learned it was a used tissue. Man it was good to be home.
Better technology doesn’t always mean better service. Tech is only one piece of the bigger picture. When someone pays a decent amount to get from point A to point B, it should be all-inclusive: A knowledgeable and courteous chauffeur, immaculate vehicle, and efficient booking capabilities.
Related Topics: airports, AsterRide, Atlantic city, business travel, Cadillac, Cadillac XTS, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Suburban, corporate travel, Harrah's, LCT-NLA Show East, Lexi Tucker, Millennials, Think Fast Blog, TNCs, Uber
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