Grabbing a cab a bit easier at Charlottetown airport

Dave Stewart
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Members of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, such as Trudy Gordon, perform a number of important duties at the Charlottetown airport, such as helping passengers find taxis. In an effort to improve service for passengers arriving on flights late at night, the airport authority has launched a pilot project for the month of February in which they have hired an extra commissionaire whose sole job will be to help people find transportation.

Commissionaire dedicated to getting taxis for passengers

Hailing a cab is a bit easier these days for passengers catching a late-night ride into the city after arriving at the Charlottetown airport.

The Charlottetown Airport Authority has hired one extra commissionaire for this month to help people get a taxi between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., sometimes later when weather impacts arrivals.

Doug Newson, CEO of the airport authority, said the extra commissionaire's sole responsibility will be hailing cabs for passengers.

"The idea for February is to have a dedicated individual who will assist passengers and correspond directly with our taxi provider to ensure the service is where we think it needs to be,'' Newson said.

It's cost the airport approximately $3,000 to carry out the assessment. They'll also be tracking numbers and wait times.

"We want to make sure if we do any changes or do anything different going forward, and we're going to be getting into the busy spring and summer season here fairly soon so we wanted to do it at a time of year that will allow us to do that.''

The airport's contract for commissionaires is with the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.

Newson said it's in that late-night area where the airport wants to improve service.

"We're going to work with our taxi provider when we gather all the data and the metrics and see what we can do going forward.''

He noted that passengers can grow frustrated when there's nobody there to help them.

"At least if the passengers know someone is working on getting a car there or helping them out or to have someone to talk to, that alleviates a bit of the stress of basically standing there and waiting.''

The airport authority will review how things went at the end of the month by sitting down with the commissionaires and taxi provider.

"(It's) probably not something we can afford to keep on a permanent basis, but maybe there's a balance there that we can look at. At the end of the day, customer service is our number one priority. It's more important for us to have a good service so people know they can get that transportation when they arrive in Charlottetown.''

Organizations: Charlottetown Airport Authority, Canadian Corps

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Edward Gregory
    February 22, 2016 - 09:09

    As one of the people who is frustrated regularly waiting for a cab late at night at the Charlottetown airport, the issue is not 'hailing' a cab, the issue is that there are NO cabs working at that time of night. One of the drivers told me there are only a few cars running overnight in all of Charlottetown for the company that is contracted to the Charlottetown airport. They also cram multiple passengers into a cab and then charge each of them the full fair. The solution is not to hire a Commissionaire to 'hail' a cab, it is to increase capacity. I do, is call another cab company while I'm still on the plane after landing and it will be waiting for me when I get my luggage. When Uber arrives (and it will), the playing (games!) field will be levelled.

  • Dug
    February 22, 2016 - 08:23

    Why not just put a dedicated Taxi phone on the wall with a big arrow pointing to it ???.......cost of stick on red arrow 50 bucks plus man to stick it on 25 bucks job done....

  • Hailing a cab ?????
    February 22, 2016 - 08:06

    Hailing a cab is the act of standing outside on a sidewalk or street and raising your arm straight up in the air to catch the attention of the driver of a moving cab on the street. At most airports an arriving passenger seeking a ride simply walks outside to a bank of waiting cabs and you get into the next available one. I have arrived in Charlottetown many times late at night and the problem is that there are NO cabs unless you have called one yourself before you left Toronto, Montreal or Halifax. I can't imagine why the contract between the airport authority and the chosen taxi company wouldn't cover in detail the service levels for passengers arriving late at night. Using an EXTRA commissionaire to essentially do a survey seems crazy. Get Mr Newson and the head of the taxi company to stand in the baggage claim area and outside of arrivals when late night flights are arriving and it will be very apparent what needs to be done.; have more cabs waiting there for tired passengers. The current situation is ridiculous and embarrassing . If customer service is the #1 priority for the airport authority, Mr Newson and other management folks need to spend a few late nights in arrivals to see how dismal it is when out of town folks arrive late at night and can't find a ride.

  • laurent Beaulieu
    February 21, 2016 - 21:32

    The airport management speaks of the Taxi Airport Provider, it would appear that the relationship is broken down if the Airport needs to hire someone just to call cabs for passengers. Imagine the black eye this gives Tourism in PEI. Makes everything look puny. Time to think of another business model to replace non existent cabs. It really is too bad we don't have UBER in Charlottetown.

  • There is no Uber here
    February 21, 2016 - 17:53

    david, obviously you are not very well informed. There are no Uber taxis in Charlottetown.

    • david
      February 22, 2016 - 02:38

      Not yet but goes to show they are needed in PEI. They can't get here fast enough.

  • david
    February 21, 2016 - 17:17

    Why would anyone hail a cab when there is UBER.