Universal Orlando begins airport shuttle, no one is sure why

Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:34 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The Universal SuperStar Shuttle Service begins operation Tuesday, which will cost $35 per person for a round trip from the airport. Tourism experts said they couldn't understand Universal's motivation for starting the service, since companies including Mears, Quick Transportation and SuperShuttle have already taken visitors from the airport to Universal and other attractions at a similar price.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:41 AM

I get the appeal of Disney's service; it's free and your bags magically appear in your room,

This is... odd. If you're staying on-site you have no choice but to use this service and pay for it, and you have to hang out in a store waiting for a clerk to assist you, and you have to schlep your bags around? i guess it would be one thing if Uni wasn't charging for the service.

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:44 AM

Disney's service is "free" in the sense that the cost is absorbed into the other fees you're paying to stay at Disney. It also helps Disney keep guests in the Disney bubble so they're spending money at Disney Disney Disney.

I don't get the tone of the article. It sounds like Universal currently gives up visitor dollars to other companies to get them to and from the airport - and now they're trying to enter the shuttle market to take those dollars back. Sounds like a reasonable business move to me. Maybe I'm missing something?

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:51 AM

It doesn't make any sense to be in the business of moving people around. There isn't anything gained here. I realize that it's still contracted out, but Disney does that and makes it free and handles your bags. This service does not in any way improve over what you can already get, so why bother?

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:03 AM

^That right there. Of course, Magic Express is not actually free, but can be presented as an improvement over other bus services.

What Universal is doing here is absolutely nothing different from any other bus service, charging for the service, and requiring resort guests to use the service. If they were leaving off that requirement and offering the service as a convenient, easy additional service that could be added when booking accommodations, that would make some sense.

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:38 AM

Less than a week from "consideration" to "implementation."

Their planning certainly isn't in the same time-frames as say, Disney...

+1Loading
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:41 AM

Maybe Universal is getting a cut of the $35 in exchange for making Super Shuttle the exclusive provider.

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:50 AM

rollergator said:

Less than a week from "consideration" to "implementation."

Their planning certainly isn't in the same time-frames as say, Disney...

So you think the day it was reported that they were considering it was the first moment any planning was done?

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:39 PM

LOL....no.

I think they managed to keep it under their (sorting) hat for quite a while.

Then still managed to come up with a big ball of fail. Should have gotten self-driving brooms to take guests from OIA to IoA. Rearranging letters is a specialty of the magical community.

+1Loading
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:40 PM

matt. said:

Disney's service is "free" in the sense that the cost is absorbed into the other fees you're paying to stay at Disney. It also helps Disney keep guests in the Disney bubble so they're spending money at Disney Disney Disney.

It has been my experience that Universal ticket pricing and accommodations are about the same price as Disney. The on top of that, Universal charges extra for their Express Pass where Disney doesn't, making Universal actually more expensive. Sure Disney has built their service into their total price, but it seems Universal has more upcharges from their base ticket/accommodations that Disney doesn't, with similar base pricing.

Out of all park chains that I have been to, you get the least for your $ at Universal.

Last edited by super7*, Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:41 PM
+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 1:44 PM

That kind of depends, because Express is included with all but the cheapest of the hotels. Universal's ticket discounting and packaging is also way more aggressive. I don't know if I would characterize them as cheaper, just different allocation of where the dollars go.

+2Loading
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 2:23 PM

Jeff said:

There isn't anything gained here.

I still don't understand why there isn't money to be gained here.

Family XYZ spends $140 for transport to and from the airport on their trip. All of that money goes to a company that is not Universal.

Next year, Family XYZ spends $140 on transport to and from the airport, but some of that / all of that / whatever now goes to Universal.

Is the assumption that people will simply avoid Universal's shuttle service, or now avoid Universal all together? It's still not clicking for me.

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 3:04 PM

But it doesn't all go to Universal, it goes to the company that they're contracting with. Do you think they would just agree to do the same business they're already doing and give some of it to Universal?

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 3:41 PM

They might if they are guaranteed all of the business.

+2Loading
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 3:46 PM

Magical Express is actually Mears, right?

Which I hilariously thought might've stood for MouseEARS but turns out I was wrong...

+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 4:52 PM

What Jason said. If Mears dominates the market, SuperShuttle is a smaller player

SuperShuttle is trading (using wee tiny numbers to accommodate my mathematical "skills") 200 guests a day at $35 ($7,000) for 1,000 guests a day at (let's say Universal splits it down the middle) $17.50 ($17,500).

Whatever the actual numbers involved are, I expect SuperShuttle is more than making it up on volume.

+1Loading
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 9:07 PM

Many companies in the travel industry will gladly contract out at a lower price in exchange for guaranteed business. Think of it like investing in low risk, low yield stocks. The return is steady. Maybe not as rewarding as high risk, but just like in the stock market, it's good to be diversified. If Universal is guaranteeing them a profit on the use of a small percentage of their resources, then they would be a fool not to take the business.

As a consumer, price being equal, I would opt for the Universal operated shuttle. (OK, I'd get a rental car, as I've said repeatedly in past threads, but for the sake of discussion...) In my mind, whether actually true or not, I would think that the Universal branded product would offer a greater chance of satisfaction. Supershuttle can take you to the park. Supershuttle is a fine product (my company contracts to them and I ride them 2 or 3 times a week sometimes.) But let's face it, if Supershuttle screws up with one vacationing family, they don't lose much. They may eventually get you where you need to be, pissed off and swearing never to use them again, but at the end of the day it's no skin off their nose. Universal, OTOH, has much to lose. They have their own name attached to the service, and only a very savvy consumer is going to know that it's actually contracted out to another company.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Wednesday, September 2, 2015 1:23 PM
+0
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:07 PM

Jeff said:

But it doesn't all go to Universal, it goes to the company that they're contracting with. Do you think they would just agree to do the same business they're already doing and give some of it to Universal?

Yea, because SuperShuttle is getting the entire market now. They'd happily give Universal $10 or $15 a head to take all of Mears business away.

It's actually pretty brilliant by Universal. There is absolutely no financial or operational investment by them and they're getting $X per head that they never used to get. Say half of Universal's visitors are flying in, that's 4 million people. Even at just $10/person... you're looking at $40M straight to the bottom line. There isn't an easier or quicker way to make money than that.

+0
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 8:26 AM

I wonder if Universal is charging this to all guest's .Even if they don't use it

If they pay Super Shuttle for that or just the ones who use it?

If that is the case that is 100% profit for something added to all onsite bills

All guests who drive currently get charged 18.00 dollars a day for parking if you call them on it

they will take it off bill.

I wonder if this will be the same

Automatic unless caught by you.

+0
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 9:07 AM

When we stayed at Royal Pacific self park was free and valet carried a charge.
Or, was it "free"?

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...