If you're accustomed to taking your car to the airport before you catch a flight, thinking about using a shuttle service instead can take you slightly outside your comfort zone. However, staying at a hotel near the airport and using the shuttle service as a mode of transportation can greatly reduce your stress on the day that you travel. As with anything new to you, it's important to be vigilant about taking the right approach in this new setting. Here are three valuable etiquette rules on which to brush up before you use the airport shuttle service.
Be On Time
When you check in to your hotel, ask someone at the front desk about the shuttle's schedule. At some hotels close to the airport, the shuttle will travel on a case-by-case basis, quickly running travelers over the airport. At others, the shuttle will leave at predetermined times. If your hotel uses the latter approach, it's proper etiquette to ensure that you're well on time for the shuttle. If the departure time is 2:30 p.m., for example, this means that the shuttle will leave at this hour -- you shouldn't be running through the hotel lobby dragging your suitcase at this time. Respect the schedule, the driver and the other passengers by ensuring that you're seated when the departure time arrives.
Know Where You're Going
At large hotels with multiple terminals, it's important to read your trip itinerary to know the terminal you need to visit to catch your flight. Confirming this information before you board the shuttle conveys respect for the driver -- he or she won't have to drive to one terminal, only for you to realize you're supposed to be elsewhere. As a passenger, you wouldn't appreciate a fellow passenger who makes this mistake, so be sure you're aware of where you need to go.
Tipping The Driver
Many hotels offer complimentary airport shuttles, but it's polite to carry some money with you to tip the shuttle driver. The convention is to tip the driver $1 to $2 once you reach your destination. Because shuttle drivers often help you with your luggage, you can also opt to give a little more if you're pleased with the driver's level of service. If you're traveling with your family, keep in mind that you should tip per person, given that your family members are occupying seats in the shuttle and traveling with luggage for the driver to handle. Thus, for a family of three, aim to tip $3 to $6 or even slightly more.