What Are The Different Types of Airport Transfer Services and Things I Need to Consider?

Airport transfer services are perfect for those who like to have every aspect of their trip planned and organised in advance. That way, when you arrive at your destination airport, you can quickly and conveniently hop into a luxurious shuttle bus and enjoy a comfortable transfer to your final destination – without the hassle of trying to hail a taxi or figure out the local public transport system. 

If airport transfers are something you’re unfamiliar with but would like to explore them further, this is the article for you; we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What are the different types of airport transfers? 

There are several different ways you can transfer from your destination airport to your vacation accommodation, such as:

  • Shutter bus service: a shuttle bus service is arguably one of the most convenient means of airport transfer – and they’re generally the most affordable too. 
  • Private car: if you’d prefer not to share a bus with anyone, there are private car transfer services available at most airports. 
  • Limousine: if you are celebrating a special occasion, there’s always the option to travel in style with your very own personal limousine. 
  • Public transport: for those who would prefer to save some money and wing it, you should be able to find access to public bus routes when you arrive (though we’d always recommend researching in advance). 
  • Taxi / Uber: it’s also possible to find taxis at most airports – or try your luck by ordering an Uber (or relevant driver service in your destination country). 
  • Self-drive: some people prefer hiring a car so that they can get around from A to B independently. 

What to consider before making your final decision?

When choosing an airport transfer service that appeals to you, it’s always worth doing your due diligence beforehand. Here are some important things to consider:

  • Cost: don’t be afraid to shop around, but you should also be mindful not to rush into the cheapest possible service you can find. It’s about finding the right balance of quality, reputation, and convenience. 
  • Safety: ensure that the company has an excellent safety record. Ideally, they’ll have been around long enough to demonstrate that they always take great care of their customers in transit. 
  • Quality: look into the quality of vehicle/s used by the airport transfer service. New, well-kept vehicles with professional drivers is a must, for your peace of mind. 
  • Proximity: double check to make sure that the company operates in a location that is convenient for you. Ideally, they should have a kiosk at the airport – to make life easier. 
  • Service level: what level of service do they provide? How friendly and attentive are they if and when you inquire? 
  • Reputation/reliability: before you book an airport transfer service, take a moment to look up some of their reviews. Social proof is an effective way of gauging a prospective company’s reliability, dedication to customer satisfaction, and getting an overall feel as to how previous customers felt about their service. 
  • Support: what kind of support does the airport transfer company provide? Do they offer wheelchair access? Child seats? Do they take special requests? 
  • Licensing & Insurance: licensing and insurance is arguably the most important aspect to consider when booking an airport transfer service. If you get the feeling that it’s at all shady, or if they refuse to show their credentials, move on. 

How do you find a reputable and reliable airport transfer company? 

There are several ways you can go about this. You could begin by asking friends and family who may have been to your chosen vacation destination before and see if they can make any recommendations. For example: those who have transferred from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas before might recommend Port Douglas Shuttle Bus. Alternatively, you can look to Google and search for the top 5 airport transfer services in the area, etc. Again, social proof is a great way to get a sense of who is worth your time and money and who isn’t. 

Ultimately, you should go with your gut. Yes, find a company that has great reviews and is well-priced, but you also need to trust your instincts as well. 

Helpful questions to consider asking before booking 

If you have some airport transfer service providers in mind and can’t decide; or you’ve never used an airport transfer service before and aren’t entirely sure how it works, you can some of the following questions: 

  • What type of vehicles do they provide?
  • Are there any additional services available?
  • Is there a minimum number of passengers or can I travel solo? 
  • Are they any additional fees not mentioned on the website?
  • Can I pay cash or is it card only? 
  • How far in advance should I book?
  • What should I do if my flight is delayed?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Do you have a return policy? 
  • How long will it take to arrive at my destination? 
  • Will you drop me off at my accommodation?
  • Are there charges for extra stops? 
  • What happens if I miss my flight?

Don’t forget to check a company’s FAQ section on their website if they have one. You should be able to find plenty of information there. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to reach out to an airport transfer service and make your requests. 


And that about sums it up! Bear in mind that no two airport transfer services are created equal, so be certain to take your time and do plenty of research before booking. 

Once you have settled on a reputable and reliable airport transfer service, be certain to book with as much information about your travels as possible. If you are filling out a booking form, try not to leave anything blank – the more information your airport transfer company has the better positioned they will be to provide you with an unparalleled service. 

In any case, we hope that this article has been helpful and wish you all the best on your adventures. Bon voyage!