The Secrets of SuperShuttle

I just got back from my first trip home to California in one and a half years. Well, actually, I’ve been back for a week, but times sure goes by fast when you’re inwardly keening away for home like a sick puppy. Anyway, my trip home was nice and uneventful except for the [drum roll] obnoxiousness of SuperShuttle.

Since my misadventure w/ SS, I’ve heard lot of complaints from my friends about their service. The only thing I can think of that explains their continued popularity is the 1-800-Blue-Van number. Ah, the easily memorized 1-800 number. Was there ever a more evil marketing scheme?

Anyway, to keep a long entry short, if SuperShuttle forgets to pick you up, save a receipt from the taxi or car service you have to take to the airport. It’s company policy to refund you for the extra money you have to pay, on top of the SuperShuttle fee. Their customer service representatives totally didn’t tell me this until after the fact, however, when I wrote to complain about the 20-minute, multi-agent, double-hangup pinball ride they put me through just to get my service fee refunded – and you need the receipt to get your compensation.

There’s really no need to take SuperShuttle or a yellow cab at all, however, especially if you live in the boroughs. I live in Astoria, and I used Ecua, a private car service, as my contigency plan. A ride to JFK from Astoria only cost about $30, and an odor-free car with a friendly driver showed up five minutes after I called them. Their number is (718) 204-8412. Not as easily memorized and dialed, alas, but worth the extra brainpower.

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