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.