Guests satisfied by short shuttle wait times, well-trained drivers

This is part two in a series on transportation in hotels. Click here for part one: Five tips to drive the most out of hotel shuttles.

Because so many of the guests at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, Ill., arrive via shuttle, a streamlined scheduling system is required to ensure satisfaction. Todd Bryns, director of rooms at the hotel, says that the property settled on a 15-minute wait time for guests looking for the next shuttle. Bryns admitted this is an ambitious time limit in an area with a standard wait time of 30 minutes, but he also said pushing this number has been the key to the hotel's success.

"A 15-minute wait can often feel like an hour," Bryns said. "In a lot of cases the wait for a hotel shuttle is 30 to 45 minutes, sometimes an hour during peak times. The threshold for tolerance in guests who need to get to the airport is very small, around 15 minutes, so we needed to get there."

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In order to bring the wait times down, Bryns' hotel operates their shuttles 24 hours per day, with an average of four to five shuttles on the road at any given time. "We rotate the shuttles so that one bus isn't running 24 hours per day," Bryns said. 

The Hilton Miami Airport schedules its shuttles according to demand and business levels, raising and lowering the number of shuttles on duty to accommodate the hotel's busiest hours. "If we are aware that there will be a higher number of arrivals or departures, we will be sure to have more shuttles available at the time to handle the demand," said Raul Aguileara, GM of the hotel.

In order to streamline this process, Aguileara said members of the hotel staff are also trained in the operation of the shuttles so they can step in during times of need. Specifically, the hotel's bell and valet staff are cross-trained to assist with shuttle operations when unexpected demand outpaces the supply of available drivers.

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