Austrian Airlines starts its own branded airport taxi service

In an effort to manage more parts of the passenger journey and capture much needed ancillary revenues in the process, airlines are increasingly cross-selling services such as hotel reservations, car rental bookings and travel insurance to passengers. Austrian Airlines is taking this approach a step further and recently has launched its own branded taxi service in Vienna.

Austrian red|cab
Available for Austrian passengers only, the Austrian red|cab service, which currently consists of eight vehicles sporting the Austrian name and logo, transfers Austrian passengers between Vienna (and surroundings) and Vienna Airport. Inside the taxis passenger find a free daily newspaper, Austrian’s in-flight magazines Skylines and Succeed and a bottle of mineral water. The red|cab taxis can only be booked online up to 24 hours before departure and payment is by credit card. The service starts at 29 euros each way for a private car for up to three people, while those opting for a minibus for up to eight people pay 40 euros each way.

Austrian promotes the red|cab service on its website, in the booking confirmation e-mail, as well as in its in-flight magazines and entertainment program. The taxis are operated by AirportServices Wien, and the red|cab service is part of a portfolio of ancillary products by Austrian, called red|services, which are mostly business class services made available to passengers in Economy for a fee.

BalticTAXI
Austrian Airlines is not the first airline to launch its own taxi service. In April 2010, Latvian carrier airBaltic started BalticTAXI in an effort to improve the quality of the taxi business in the capital city of Riga. Taxi drivers in the city often charge visitors from abroad too much for rides and airBaltic believed this was damaging the image of Riga and Latvia. BalticTAXI’s fleet of 130 Toyota Avensis cars are staffed by professional uniformed drivers and for example offer a fixed price (LAT9, EUR12) for the journey between the airport and any location in Riga.

Passengers can purchase pre-paid taxi vouchers onboard airBaltic with members of the airline’s loyalty program receiving a 10 percent discount. To promote the taxi service, ads  for BalticTAXI can be found in airBaltic’s in-flight magazine (which is also distributed in the taxi) and a cabin crew announcement is made after landing in Riga. Unlike the Austrian service, anyone can flag down a BalticTAXI in the streets for a ride to any destination, although a large percentage of BalticTAXI rides are to and from the airport. In June 2010, airBaltic also launched a public bike sharing system in Latvia, called BalticBike.

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