That’s why they call it the “Stupor Shuttle”

I mentioned in my previous post that last Sunday my husband and I had the worst airport shuttle experience of our lives. Well, that was probably an exaggeration. Considering how many bad experiences we’ve had with Super Shuttle, it’s a close call which one could be called the absolute worst.

We’ve had too-fast drivers, too-slow drivers, drivers who’ve nearly veered off the freeway while staring at their cell phones and drivers who’ve driven us needlessly across the city. We’ve had a myriad of unfriendly drivers from your garden variety terse and uncommunicative to the outright rude and snappish as well as drivers who’ve changed the fares on us at will. That last issue we finally got a handle on by making prepaid reservations. (which incidentally, should be $27 to SFO for two people with an additional 18% tip) Before that, drivers would quote us before-tip prices anywhere from $27 to $36 for the two of us – seemingly whatever they felt like charging that day.

After having experienced such a rogue’s gallery of drivers, you’d think we’d be ready for anything but the driver we had Sunday when we got back from Albuquerque at 2:30 in the morning was in a class by himself.

We approached the Super Shuttle stand with two other would-be Super Shuttle passengers who had been already been turned away, having been told that drivers wouldn’t take single passengers. We figured the four of us would have better luck but when we spoke to the attendant, an angry, grungy-looking Russian man, he merely grunted at us while gripping his side, Napoleon-style.

An equally surly driver approached and the two of them exchanged what amounted to a series of nonsensical, growly utterances after which the driver walked away. We stood there looking at one another until the driver shouted at us from down by his van, “Well, you gon’ stand there all night or what?” We piled into the van as the driver continued to mutter surly comments under his breath, and I wondered what we’d done to be relegated to this particular circle of Hell. The guy got in the van and sat there writing notes for some time until a young woman appeared. With a “last straw” gesture of impatience, the driver got out of the van to let her in and finally we were under way.

I closed my eyes and attempted to drift off to sleep but opened my eyes again when the van’s motion seemed to indicate we were going in circles. We were. For God knows what reason, the driver decided to drive around the airport two or three times and ended up once again at the Super Shuttle pick up point. There, he proceeded to totally confuse a Chinese man who had a prepaid reservation to the East Bay by rudely telling him he’d take him but only after taking the rest of us first. The man laughed at him (probably the only reaction he could think to have for such unwarranted assholery) and declined the ride, whereupon the poor girl in front got stuck listening to the driver bitch about him.

FINALLY we were under way, but only after sitting for another ten minutes as the driver filled out forms and had US fill out forms and asked everyone their names and fired up his GPS. It seems Super Shuttle hired the guy not only to drive, but to act as an administrative assistant because even once he was on the freeway, he continued to ignore the road, swerving all over as he stared fixedly at his cell phone. The other passengers were looking mighty nervous about this state of affairs but I just closed my eyes because at that point, I would have welcomed death.

We got back to our apartment at 3:30 am and I watched in amazement as my husband handed the guy another dollar on top of the prepaid tip I was wishing I could take back from him. I suppose he might have been tipping the guy for getting us back alive but I chalk it up to sheer delirium. There’s got to be a better alternative to Super Shuttle–like riding an emu or being dragged to the airport by your tongue.

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