Beginning Your Shift
Before your shift, no matter the time of day, we suggest doing a quick run through on the client’s pickup address with Waze and Google Maps. Use Waze to check for traffic and delays. Note any issues. Waze will often offer alternative routes. If the alternative routes are drastically better (15-20 minutes faster) let the client know at the point of pickup and offer them an opportunity to decline.
Use Google Maps to view a satellite image of the pickup location. This is often VERY helpful, especially if you've never been to an area before. This can help you discover things about a pick up area that may have caused an issue in locating the exact pick up spot.
- Perform pre-trip research on route. (See above)
- Remember to leave additional time if weather is severe (icy, rainy etc.)
- First stop at the office. Count out how many clients you will have for the day and pick up your waters for that amount (in the fridge inside the fireplace room) Also pick up any car seats if necessary (note will be on your trip sheet).
- Head to the Spirits Wine & Liquor lot at 56 Newman Springs Road, Red Bank NJ 07701.
- Locate your assigned vehicle by license plate (will appear on your trip sheet).
- Note any damage to the interior/exterior of the vehicle. If you notice something that doesn't seem right, send a text to (732) 389-3883. You may also send a picture to that number if necessary. Also note:
- Fuel Gauge level
- Interior cleanliness
- Fuel Card (check to make sure it's in the visor)
- Registration and Insurance card valid (in glove box)
- Open your DriverAnywhere app sign in and go “on duty”.
- Set your GPS to the clients address and then their drop off. (You do this all at once so you do not have to enter it in with the client in the car.)
- Set the vehicle temperature to 68-70 degrees.
- Select your vehicle and change your status to “on the way” to your first pickup.
Pick Up (At Residence)
- Arrive to your pickup fifteen minutes prior to the pickup time.
- If safe and surroundings are clear, BACK IN to the clients driveway. This is important as it is uncomfortable to pull nose in and then back out with the client in the vehicle.
- Set your status in DriverAnywhere to “on location” – this alerts the client via an SMS text.
- When you get the sense that your client is coming out, change your DriverAnywhere status to “Customer in Car”.
- Pop the trunk, exit the vehicle and approach the passenger side rear door. Face the client.
- As the client comes within ear shot, smile and say “Good :time of day:, Mr./Mrs. :client last name:!”
- Open the door and let the client know that you will place their luggage in the trunk for them, so they can leave it where they are.
- Once the client is in the vehicle, make sure they are clear of the door, and gently close the door for them.
- Take any luggage the client has and place it in the trunk.
- Once in the vehicle, ask the client if the temperature is comfortable. Offer them a cold water from your cooler.
- Confirm the following information from your trip sheet with the client:
- If Airport, Airline they are flying out on
- Begin to drive safely to the client’s destination.
What if the client doesn't come out?
- Wait ten minutes first. If the client still has not come out and doesn't appear to be making progress, first contact dispatch.
- We will contact your passenger for you and advise them that you are on location.
- If we are unable to make contact with the passenger and there is no sign of life, we will advise you on how to proceed, but always stay on site until you have approval to do anything else from dispatch.
- If you're picking up a client curbside, you will need to stage yourself in a location a few minutes away from the terminals. Here are some of the areas you can hang out:
- Wawa - NOTE: if you park at the Wawa in Elizabeth, you will need to make a purchase or you will be ticketed by Elizabeth Police if they catch you loitering. Buy a $1.00 bottle of water and expense it to the company.
- AirTrain Parking Area - This is located right off the first exit ramp on the way into EWR coming from down south. It is basically in the rental car parking lot area but it's right before the lot when you pull in, where the AirTrain lets on. Cops have been back here more frequently then normal, so please exercise caution if you are going to be staying here.
- DO NOT USE THE CELL PHONE LOT - You can get ticketed for parking here. It clearly states on the sign out front, NO LIMOS.
- Pay close attention to your FlightAware app. When the app shows the client has landed, immediately call the client. Do not stop calling the client until the phone rings through - wait approximately 5 seconds between each attempt. When you have the client on the phone, let them know your name and that you are from BlackRock Limo. Tell them you are on site and that they should call you when they are ready to come outside and you will pull up to the closest door to them. At this point, wait approximately 5 minutes, and then leave the spot you're in and head towards the terminals. It is OK to loop around a few times before the client calls you.
- If your client has requested to be met inside the terminal, your pickup procedure will vary depending on the Terminal as follows:
- Terminal A - Park in the short term parking area (outside). Walk across the walkway to the terminal and take the elevator upstairs. Once upstairs, locate the escalator and look for the monitors with the arriving and departing flight info. Using your FlightAware app, check to see what gate the client will be arriving in to. Also check what baggage claim they will need to use when you've met up with them. Locate the gate and stand at the base of that gates escalator (you will see gate signs overhead). Make sure you've brought your sign (will be in all vehicles with a marker). Write clients last name on it and hold it facing the escalator.
- Terminal B - This terminal is typically used for international pickups. Park in the short term parking area (outside). Walk across the walkway to the terminal and take the escalator upstairs. If the client is arriving internationally, you will walk to the far left of the terminal. You will see other Chauffeurs from companies that aren't as good as ours standing around with signs. That's where you will wait for your client.
- If a client is arriving on Virgin or Alaska, you will most likely wait for them downstairs near the baggage claim area. There are escalators there that you will wait in front of.
- Terminal C - This is where you will do the majority of your pickups. Go in to short term parking and drive up to Level 4 - mark the row you are in on a piece of paper or in your cell phone. Park as close as possible to the terminal and walk across to the walkway. Enter the double sliding doors and head down the escalators to the bottom floor. From here, walk past the Dunkin Donuts and you will see the Meet & Greet area. That will be gates 70-99. Walking down further you will find the middle gate (101 - 115) and the farthest end you will find gates 120-139. Remember to check your FlightAware app for gate changes, etc! Locate the clients baggage claim for their arriving flight before hand. Once you've met the client, proceed back towards the parking lot entrance. Do NOT use the escalator, always use the elevator to go upstairs. Take the elevator back to the fourth floor. Bring the client to the area between the glass sliding doors and advise them that you will bring the vehicle to them. Lightly jog to the vehicle and bring the car over to the client. Pop the trunk first, roll the window down and exit the vehicle. Open the door for the client first, then once they are in, place the luggage in the trunk for them. Close the trunk and get in the vehicle.
Pickup at EWR Airport
- Do not engage the client in conversation unless the client speaks first. This is very important. Clients are often tired, busy or just don't feel like having a conversation. If a client says something like, "So how are you doing today?" feel free to engage them in light conversation, avoiding topics like:
- Maintain a safe speed and following distance - under no circumstances are you to tailgate.
- When traveling on the NJ Turnpike, you will have the option to take either the Cars lane or the Trucks/Buses lane. Unless there is significant traffic in the cars lane, always use that side. We've determined that clients feel more comfortable in the cars lane.
- Driver defensively - always attempt to anticipate the moves of the vehicles around you.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
- Maintain good posture. Adjusting your seat during prep time is key. Never slouch or hunch to one side.
- Keep your eyes on the road and...
- NEVER TEXT. This is obvious and it is grounds for IMMEDIATE termination. Clients have absolutely never hesitated in letting us know about this because it makes them feel incredibly unsafe.
- Never use your phone for a personal call - if you have to make a call to dispatch or if dispatch is calling you, you are to ask the client if they mind you taking the call quickly as it may be an emergency from the office. We will be supplying you all with bluetooth headsets to be used on the job, so there will be no excuse.
- At the client’s destination, follow the procedures based on the drop off point.
- For Airports, you will need to pull as close to the curb as possible. Ask the client if they’d like for you to attempt to get right to the curb. Most of the time, clients will let you know that where you are is OK and they will request to be let out at that point. Make sure to check all around you for other vehicles before they get out.
- Stop the vehicle and place in park.
- Say the following to the client “Please make sure to check one last time for any belongings on the seat or floor”.
- If the client has luggage in the trunk, pop the trunk and unlock the doors.
- Ask the client(s) to exit out the passenger side of the vehicle only, for safety reasons.
- Head to the rear of the vehicle and unload the client’s luggage, pulling the handles up on any suitcases and rolling them over and onto the curb. In some cases you may be further away from the curb.
- At this point, the client may offer you a cash tip. Our policy is that the tip is included in all fares for their convenience. Explain that to the client if they offer you a cash tip. If the client insists, at that point it is acceptable to take the cash.
- Wish the client happy travels, close the trunk and return to the back seat of the vehicle.
- Take a quick glance at the rear of the car to make sure the client did not leave any belongings.
- Take any large garbage (empty waters, wrappers, etc) and place it in a small garbage bag (located in the glove box or center console). Place that on the floor of the front passenger seat.
- Return to the driver seat, change your status to customer dropped, and set your GPS for the next pickup (if applicable) or back to the office.
- Look for the best spot to fuel up before heading back in. We suggest the Quickchek off exit 120 in Matawan if you're coming back from the Airport towards Red Bank. If your drop off was in Red Bank, you should have filled up prior to picking up your last client.
- At the end of your shift, you will return first to the office at Broad Street and drop off your cooler. Place the ice pack back in the freezer.
- If you have any car seats to return, now is the time to do that as well.
- Any garbage accumulated in the vehicle should be placed in the small garbage bags and disposed of in the garbage container at the rear of the office. If for whatever reason the garbage container is NOT in the rear of the building, bring the garbage into the office and leave next to the fireplace in the reception area.
- You will now go “off duty” on the Driver Anywhere app, which frees up the vehicle in the system for the next chauffeur.
- If any issue has become noticeable in the vehicle you were driving, say for example squealing brakes or a check engine light, send a text to (732) 389-3883 so Donovan can take action and list the issue.
- From there, bring the vehicle back to the lot on Newman Springs Road, park along the fence and make sure you have all your belongings out of the vehicle before leaving.