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VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

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Rotorua New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Rotorua
posts: 1,035
reviews: 29
VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

We were sold a ticket by the shuttle Information Clerk at Melbourne International Airport for a transfer from the airport to a CBD hotel in October, 2010. Cost $70AUD return for 2pax. We felt the service provided was not of an acceptable standard. We were concerned for our safety on several occasions, as were other pax, especially when red lights obviously did not mean STOP to our driver. Our driver was aware of this from pax gasps and commented that he had been driving 30 years.

There were 8 adults, 1 Child and 1 small baby with just enough room for the luggage in this small van.

The passenger sitting next to the driver became increasingly agitated as he had explained to the I site staff member when booking, he had a deadline to meet. She apparently assured him he would be delivered to his hotel well within this time.

A shuttle arrived about fifteen minutes after we had booked.

After spending at least ten to fifteen minutes doing book work when we were all in the van waiting, our driver muttered something about explaining to boss he had not got all money (apparently from previous customers), but we eventually left the airport. Our driver obviously could not understand where he was supposed to be delivering pax as he stopped at the wrong hotels twice, turned left into Collins Street a few metres from our hotel but did not offer to stop and let us out. By this stage the passengers were wondering if and when they would be delivered. They were all commenting, one guest saying he was appalled. The front seat passenger was saying he was a scientist and had a talk to give at the hospital. This in turn appeared to be upsetting our driver but to his credit, he remained polite at all times. It took almost two hours to be delivered to our hotel. Our driver also stopped and offered a ride to the airport to a man with luggage standing on the pavement despite the fact he still had pax in his van to deliver to hotels. The man did not require a transfer, thank goodness, or we would have been even longer getting to our hotel. This is the worst shuttle experience we have ever endured and, despite the fact our return transfer was a much more satisfactory experience, we doubt whether we will use this service when we return to Melbourne. Unfortunately after this experience, we find the VHA Airport Shuttle Service Melbourne difficult to recommend to other travellers.

We have since learnt the Sky Bus is the cheaper way to get from the Airport to Southern Cross Station. From there most hotels have courtesy shuttles.

It should not take over two hours to get from the airport to a CBD hotel as it did with VHA Airport Shuttle, especially when it was caused by lack of driver knowledge rather than traffic holdups.

44 replies to this topic
Glenlyon, Australia
Destination Expert
for Melbourne
posts: 4,110
reviews: 34
1. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

Sorry to hear of your terrible journey. Why I would encourage anyone to go to Consumer Affairs I am afraid its a long process. Thank you for letting us know of your adventure - must admit haven't heard of the company - does it have another 'trading name' that we might be more familiar with?

.
posts: 827
2. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

http://www.vhaairportshuttle.com.au/

TripAdvisor - don't leave home without checking it first.

Rotorua New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Rotorua
posts: 1,035
reviews: 29
3. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

VHA was the company we used! Limousines, luxury cars? Escape the crush? Not likely...we were crushed in a small van, definitely no luxury. This was the company sold to us by the shuttle bus booking office seen as you come off a Qantas domestic flight.

Melbourne
posts: 1
4. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

We booked a Shuttle to the Airport and the bus was late 30 mins late. When we called to check, the operator that answered was extremely rude and gruff. We managed to call the driver finally and he told us he couldn't pick us up becuse he couldn't wait 5 mins for us to load our luggage onto his van and he that he had to go pick someone else up!! In the end after calling the operator again to get another bus to pick us up a driver finally came but he waited on the main st and in the public bus bay instead of driving to the front of the apartment. As we were already late for our flight, we wheeled our luggage all the way to his bus and when we asked why he didn't come to the front he said he couldn't turn into that street because of an accident. When questioned again why he didn't take the alternative route to get into the street, he got very 'thug like' and had the audacity to tell us that 'not everything was about us'. Wow...the kind of 'impeccable service' I look forward indeed! He would rather wait in the public bus bay obstructing the buses than drive his bus down the the street to pick us up. I will never use this shuttle bus again when there are alternatives like Jetbus, Starbus and Skybus with better service and similar prices not unless you like thugs to drive you to the airport.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 1
reviews: 15
5. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

I booked a return journey between the airport and my CBD hotel over the internet, price was $25 return. Communication was good, I paid by PayPal and within minutes my tickets were emailed to me. On arrival at Melbourne airport I reported to the shuttle information desk near the baggage carousel, the receptionist knew my name as I arrived and ushered me to a comfortable lounge waiting area. I waited for a few minutes before a young lady lead me to a waiting shuttle bus for my jouney to my hotel. The driver was friendly, only a few passengers on board so there was plenty of spce to sit comfortably. Only complaint was the bus interior was old and dirty, seats were thread bare, window curtains were dirty and smelly, not a great first impression for visitors to Melbourne. But the bus got us to our destination reliably.

Return from the hotel to the airport was fine.VHA sent a confirmation SMS the day before to reassure that everything was confirmed and remind me the time and place of the pickup. The driver was on time and came into the hotel lobby to meet me, he loaded my luggage, collected a few more guests and off to the airport. Shuttle bus was much cleaner and more presentable on the return journey and driver very well presented.

I am sorry to read the negative experiences that people have had on this thread. I must admit it made me a little worried as I read this after I booked my journey with VHA, however my experience was very good and I would gladly use them again. I like the fact they are direct to the hotel rather than changing buses with delays in between.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 811
reviews: 53
6. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

A few years ago my partner and I were kicked off a shuttle bus in Sydney by a driver who told us he didn't want freaks on his bus (we were fairly hard core gothic in those days).

We'd bought prepaid tickets and showed it to him when he asked and he told us to get the F### off his bus, he didn't want freaks on it. We hadn't said a word, or done anything wrong, beyond not looking the way he thought we ought to.

I think some of these guys need a lesson in customer service.

In hindsight I should have reported him to more than the manager on duty.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
7. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

Dear Val Gee and all travellers. My name is Clive Gibson and I am the manager of VHA Airport Shuttle. I have replied directly to your complaint in mid Jan. I apologised personally for the behaviour of the driver concerned and will do so again here. He denied the behaviour as alleged, but I was able to confirm the complaint via another passenger. So again I and my other drivers and staff apologise for his behaviour.

This complaint has been posted on our office notice board FOR ALL TO SEE. Our other drivers are dismayed that they have been judged by the behaviour of one driver! We always re-enforce a safe driving message through regular texts to drivers saying to drive smoothly and safely at all times We are only a small company and we do try hard to provide a good shuttle service under difficult circumstances at the airport and other traffic situations Yours Sincerely Clive Gibson

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
8. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

Dear Val Gee and all travellers,

Our VHA Airport Shuttle is NOT a limousine company and all our vehicles are posted on our website for viewing. 3 of these vehicles are older Toyota Hi-Ace Commuter mini buses and they are smaller and will feel cramped if every seat is occupied. We use them when our newer black Limo Vans and buses are busy or not available. They will be gradually retired over the next 6 months or so. We do however, sometimes use a chauffered car when needed but it is not a regular occurrence. I again apologise and would like to offer a complimentary transfer, not in the little toyota!

Yours Sincerely Clive Gibson

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
9. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

Dear 2000travel_ler2000 and all travellers,

As the manager of VHA Airport Shuttle I honestly do not know if this was our driver, on this complaint. I need more specific dates and times and hotel room numbers etc to check. I am happy to investigate further if you would like me to. It doesn't sound like us as we normally notify passengers via text or a phone call if we know a driver is going to be late! Please advise me on cliveg.vha@gmail.com as to your desired course of action.

Yours Sincerely, Clive Gibson

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
10. Re: VHA Airport Shuttle, Melbourne.

Dear JetConquistador and all travellers,

Thank you for your post re. your VHA Airport Shuttle transfer.

Everything in your post is accurate and the first bus has had the curtains removed, the seats repaired and the front and inside of the bus partially refurbished. This vehicle came to us from Sydney to be repaired and we are 80% through the process.

The return journey is what we try to acheive at all times and once again, thanks for your post! Yours Sincerely, Clive Gibson

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