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I am booking an hotel in booking.com. I usually try to use local transportations to transfer from the airport. I have never used hotel transfer services. However, this time I have booked an hotel that mentions having transfer and I am considering using it. What does this mean? Is this a free service, or does it just mean that the hotel offers this service, possibly for a fee. Is there a default?

  • When this is mentioned in booking it's always free.
  • most times it's free but sometimes it's paid and you should check
  • most times it's paid but sometimes free, check first
  • the "default" might depend from the practice in the country where the booking is
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    It's only free if it says free. Usually (my experience), they are more expensive than booking the Taxi yourself through booking.com
    – Aganju
    Jun 5 at 21:56

2 Answers 2

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I would say it depends.

Hotels near airports (often have “airport” in their name) often have a free shuttle service. I would expect those to be free even if it doesn’t say so explicitly.

A shuttle will run either on a fixed schedule, or on demand, or a combination (fixed schedule at certain hours, on demand the rest of the day or if there are more people than the fixed schedule could cater for).

For hotels that are not near airports this will become a lot more variable. “Transfer” rather than “shuttle” makes it more likely that there’s a charge for the service. In some places the hotel won’t charge you for it, but the driver expects a (pretty large) tip.

It may make a difference where you see the info. Listed as part of the services of the hotel makes it uncertain. Listed as part of the “included services” in the description of a specific rate makes it more likely it is free.

Of course, local usage, competition, and the level of the hotel can all make a difference. If in doubt, ask.

Also, in some cases you may need to notify the hotel in advance so they can make sure the service is available when you need it.

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There is no default. What a hotel does will vary depending upon the individual hotel.

Ask the hotel if they charge, and how much. I stayed in one recently where the hotel provided the first airport-to-hotel transfer, but not subsequent ones. Other hotels provide all transfers to- and from- without charge. Others charge for both directions. Others don't provide transfers at all, or can arrange transfers with local taxis or other providers.

You might also ask about the hours the service is provided, as it might not be available at all days and hours.

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