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Are we being ripped off....Prepaying for airport transfer????

Are we being ripped off....Prepaying for airport transfer????

Apr 5th, 2007, 12:12 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Are we being ripped off....Prepaying for airport transfer????

Ok, is this the norm......to have to either prepay for airport transportation or pay 50% with paypal as a deposit? We'll have 5 of us and luggage. I'm the only one who's ever been to Italy. Last time I was with family and we just grabbed a taxi. Our hotel is fairly close to the termini, so I'm TEMPTED to try the train, but the others in our group don't want to be "on guard" for pickpockets and want things to be as easy as possible. Anyway, I've never heard of having to prepay for airport transfers and don't want to get ripped off. Thanks for any advice. Melissa
missmissy is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 12:42 PM
  #2  
 
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Perhaps it sounds rude, but I really think that anyone who doesn't want to be "on guard" against pickpockets would be better off staying home. Most places in Europe (at least most of the places where tourists are) are places where pickpockets also are! LOL

Of course, there are also other good reasons for taking a shuttle -- especially with alot of luggage.

We did take the train in a couple of years ago and back as well and had no problems, but we keep all valuables under our clothes, then we don't have to be so "on guard" all the time.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:00 PM
  #3  
 
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With so many people and luggage I'd take the shuttle,it could be chaotic trying to coordinate so many people on a train.
tzarinna is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:26 PM
  #4  
 
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Can you find a service that has credit card prepayment or confirmation? The problem I see with Paypal prepayment is that if you don't get picked up, it's a lot harder to charge back against your credit card.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:30 PM
  #5  
 
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Unless it's changed since last year www.romeshuttlelimousine.com does not charge in advance. I merely emailed the information and a driver met us at FCO. (I'm only guessing that's where you're talking about since you didn't specify, but I see termini in your post). We paid the driver when we got to our apartment in Rome.
They also charge a flat 35 for a regular car -- but it may be more if you need a larger car. Click on the link, email them and find out.

And I have to agree that although at first it may sound like over reacting, anyone who doesn't want to be on guard in any big city really SHOULD stay home, or else not complain if something bad happens. Being on guard is just common sense.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #6  
 
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I don't see how that is being ripped off, although if you don't want to do it, you can just take a regular taxi. I can see why they would do this, as if you just reserve and don't show up -- well, that business could be running half empty if they did that. 50 pct deposit seems a reasonable compromise on that point.

I know some Paris firms apparently don't require prepayment, but I wouldn't blame them if they did. HOwever, I guess they have enough experience to work that out, and they probably have enough business that they can smooth it out with the number that fills a van. For a new business or one that doesn't have enough demand, I can see how that might be difficult. Or maybe they've just had a lot of experience with no shows.

Actually, I like the cities that allow people to just fill the vans at the curb, on arrival. It makes more sense to me, and probably the companies. No reservations, no prepayment, no problem with no-shows. That's the way it is in Prague. I think some cities have unions or some kind of regulations that force the reservation thing, though. They do that in the city where I live in the US (Wash DC), it's some deal with the taxi companies, you aren't allowed to have a van service without it being by appointment in advance.
Christina is online now  
Apr 5th, 2007, 01:39 PM
  #7  
 
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Rome Shuttle Limosine is excellent. 35 euros airport to your hotel. While they do take your card number in advance, you aren't charged until you get picked up, unless you cancel and don't inform them 24 hrs in advance.
daveesl is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 07:02 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for the advice. THe paypal prepay depost sounded IFFY to me, too. I'll look into some of the other options mentionned. Of course I've advised the others to take normal precautions as you do in any big city. In particular ONE person in our group has never traveled and this is his ONCE in a lifetime trip and I am just trying to have their first experience right off the plane, jet-lagged, etc be as smooth as possible. The others in our group HAVE traveled, just not to Italy. Translations so often get misunderstood....I never intended that the others in our group weren't going to be "on guard." But, let's face it, when you're jetlagged, dealing with luggage, etc. you're not exactly at your most alert, etc. They just want it to be an easy transition when we arrive. It's not like they expect to avoid "tourist" areas or feel that they have to stay at home. haha Keep in mind not everyone is as well traveled as most of the Fodorites. In this case, I'm just trying to keep everyone in the group happy and off to a smooth start. That's all. Thanks Melissa
missmissy is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 11:43 PM
  #9  
 
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I'm with neoPatrick--RomeShuttleLimosine was NOT pre-pay and the driver was ready and waiting for us by the terminal exit last month. The driver was excellent, especially by Italian Driving Standards and it was nice to have someone waiting at the end of a tiring flight with a comfortable, clean Mercedes sedan instead of having to wrangle or wait for a tiny cab or herd everyone to the other end of the airport to catch a train.

Can't beat the rate, either: 35 euro for three adults. Going back the fee was 40 euro because we needed a 4:30am pickup. For that trip they sent a van that could easily have carried your group of five. Charlotte was very easy to deal and we set up both trips weeks before we left via email. They do require 72 hours advance notice.
cupid1 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2007, 11:48 PM
  #10  
 
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Oops, I should add that RomeShuttleLimo never even took a credit card to reserve...we simply paid the driver cash when we reached our destination.

They do provide you with a number to call if you don't seem to be able to find your driver.
cupid1 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #11  
 
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Have you checked with your hotel? We usually have our hotel arrange the transportation from the airport. In all cases, we just paid the driver when we were dropped off.
BarbaraJ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 06:11 AM
  #12  
 
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No offense, but why would someone PAY their hotel to arrange a car service when you can do it yourself for a whole lot less?
I mean you can book your own from RomeShuttleLimousine for 35 euro, or you could have your hotel call and reserve them and probably pay 50 or more. Am I missing an advantage of doing that? Like maybe the hotel will get you a discount and you'll only pay 25 euros? I've never heard of that, it always seems to be a lot more to go through the hotel.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 06:21 AM
  #13  
 
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I would suggest checking with the hotel also. (This might answer your question also Neo). Some hotels have an arrangement with some shuttle companies. For example, I stayed at the Hotel Julia, they arranged the shuttle for me and it cost 12E. When I landed, I went to the appropriate shuttle desk and they got me on the next shuttle run. I paid for this at the hotel as part of my bill. For me this was about the same price as the Leonardo Express and then subway to nearest stop and less expensive than arranging the shuttle on my own. With 5 people, it may be less expensive to arrange your own taxi, as Neopatrick suggests.

The disadvantages - I had to wait about 20 minutes for the shuttle and there were 2 other stops before mine.
cls2paris is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #14  
 
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We organized transport last year through Context Rome. Think we did pay in advance (credit card), but can't remember for sure. I have no qualms about recommending them for anything, even if they do require payment in advance. We had a problem with part of our group coming in on a separate flight (luggage issues, flight delay) and the driver who picked us up and the entity handled it extremely well and saw that everyone ended up in the same place. Seven of us total.

We had a great time on our Vatican tour organized through them, too!
cantstayhome is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #15  
 
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We used Icon for a Vatican tour limited to our party of three and were thrilled with our scholar. It was prepaid, but at my request, as I wanted it to be a gift for the others and if I got out cash at the end (which is how they prefer you do it, wanting you to be completely satisfied first) the others would never have allowed me to pay for them.

Context tour groups were much larger than we wanted, but I'm happy to hear of yet another person who enjoyed their services. Might be useful one day.

I don't think it's fair to jump on new travellers in Melissa's group being concerned about pickpockets at their point of arrival. Of course one should exercise normal caution and avoid making yourself a target, but this is especially difficult in a strange new place when disoriented and weary from a long transatlantic flight and distracted by baggage, other people in the group, and a hundred other things you don't normally have to worry about. It seems to me they are sensibly trying to avoid making themselves a target at a point when they will be especially vulnerable. Now, the same concern going back to the airport after time to become acclimated and comfortable in the environment would be another story...
cupid1 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 08:14 AM
  #16  
 
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We used Rome Cabs last year and were very pleased. No pre-payment, I was given the driver's cell phone number before we ever departed for Rome, and he even gave us a mini-tour on the way to our rented apartment. He had a van so there would be plenty of space for five.

http://www.utenti.lycos.it/romecabs/

Statia is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 09:51 AM
  #17  
 
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NeoPatrick - We don't pay the hotel (B&B in our case) any extra to arrange the car service. They have a service they use and offer to arrange pickup for patrons. We always knew the cost ahead of time (35 euros). It works the same as if you arrange it yourself - it was just one less thing we needed to take care of.
BarbaraJ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:06 PM
  #18  
 
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That's fine -- but also quite unusual!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"I don't think it's fair to jump on new travellers in Melissa's group being concerned about pickpockets at their point of arrival."

I didn't see anyone jumping on anyone about being "concerned" about pickpockets. In fact if anyone is jumping it's because those people are saying they don't want to be concerned! Being concerned is not quite the same as saying "others in our group don't want to be "on guard" for pickpockets." Even in the airport or getting in or out of a taxi one must always be "on guard". Trying to pretend the situation doesn't exist or thinking you can let down your guard all together is a far different thing than simply avoiding more "dangerous" situations.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 12:31 PM
  #19  
 
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I think I am the one who started the "jumping on" business. I should have been more kind in the way I phrased my concerns. As several writers have agreed, traveling without having concern for pickpocketing which can happen anywhere and anytime can easily lead to some very bad moments.

I was pickpocketed on my very first trip 11 years ago in spite of being quite careful (I thought) -- but those guys are VERY clever! I can still remember the awful feeling I had in the pit of my stomach when I realized I no longer had my wallet.

Fortunately my losses were small, because I didn't have very much cash in my wallet. But it took time to call credit card companies and get traveler's checks re-issued. I only ended up losing a small amount of cash and the wallet itself, AND all the time it took to repair the damage.

So I really just wanted to spare these other travelers all that trouble.

I do apologize for hurting people's feelings.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 08:38 PM
  #20  
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Cupid1, thank you for understanding the point I was trying to make. Very sweet of you! I've been to Europe several times and I'm always very aware of my surroundings. As the unofficial "tour director" of our group of five, I just want to make sure we get off to a good start. Trust me, I've warned the ONE nontraveler and his 13 year old daughter ( who has traveled, but come on she's 13) about being on guard, all the little things you have to watch out for, etc. They've followed my advice and purchased money belts. So, they have all been advised. I'm just trying to get things off to a smooth start. So, thanks for understanding, Cupid, and no harm from anyone else making their points. Given the limited communication online it's easy to interpret things a certain way. I guess I should have just been bold and said, "Ok, I know this one guy in our group, he's never traveled and if he gets ripped off right off the plane we'll all have to listen to his bitching for two weeks." heheheh Then, I'd still likely get replies that this person should stay home. haha But, I guess my point about that is that we've all had our first big trip at some point in our lives and you weren't instantly the saavy traveler that you are today. You've got to live and learn. I'm hoping this experience will be a great one for our friend and that he'll then be excited to venture off and do more exploring. I'm off for the weekend, but early next week I'll be looking into some of the options some of you have been so helpful to send! Many thanks! Melissa
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