SuperShuttle is a smoldering dumpster fire.
I returned home from vacation this morning. I had reserved a lift with SuperShuttle to save a few bucks on airport parking. Never again.
As we landed I flipped on my phone. I had an e-mail from SuperShuttle explaining how to check in on the mobile. Sweet. I followed the instructions and proceeded to the baggage claim. I was to select “Downtown” or “Not Downtown” and submit once I had my bag. Here’s where it went sideways.
- I was instructed to go out door 505 on the east side and head over to the shuttles on island 5. I did. Found SS there, gave the guy my reservation number, he says cool, and I hop in.
- Once in we got into the “where are you going?” process. Turns out I was in the wrong van. And it was the only van there. WTF? Guy checks and I’m supposed to be on the west side. I am not amused. He says it’s been doing this all year. All year?
- We are now well and truly annoyed, as we grab our bags and begin schlepping all the way to other side of the motherfucking terminal. Go straight across, he says.
- As I head west I get a text saying my van is leaving in five minutes.
- On the way there’s another SS van, and I think holy crap, maybe this is the guy and he’s dropping off and then heading over. I stop him. Nope. But as soon as I say they sent me to the wrong spot he says “did it send you to the wrong side?” Because this is a known problem.
- I reach island 5 on the west side and there is no SS van. I call dispatch. We have a problem, I say, and explain the situation. Dispatcher says hold on, let me connect you to the person you need to speak with.
- The person who answered had no idea who SuperShuttle was or why I was calling.
- Called dispatch back. A tad more annoyed. I said this was a wrong number and the dispatcher says no it wasn’t, she knows who we are. I was loading both barrels to reply but she quickly puts me on hold to check.
- When she comes back she says the driver is waiting for me. Where, I say – not a blue van in sight. Island 2 outside door 508, she says.
- I’m heading that way, and that turns out to be another incorrect set of instructions. The van is actually waiting for me – on island 5 outside door 512.
- The driver is nice and apologetic – she’s the single thing that SuperShuttle got right today – and while I’m steamed as hell at least I’m finally on the way home.
- Remember the “Downtown” or “Not Downtown” thing above. I live in the West Highlands – Not Downtown. From the instructions it as pretty clear that I should pick the Not option. Great.
- In a van with three other guys, and since I’m Not Downtown, but theoretically on the near side of Not Downtown, I’m thinking maybe I’ll get dropped off first. Nuh-uh.
- The other three guys are Downtown. In hotels in the fucking heart of Downtown. I’m not getting less annoyed.
- It gets better. Today is the day of the annual Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon. Through Downtown. Where they barricade the hell out of the streets and you can’t get fucking anywhere. So we drive in circles for awhile, trying to find some way of getting to the hotels where my fellow passengers were staying.
I finally made it home. Took an hour and half or so from the time I landed, but home, mercifully.
Then this arrives via e-mail.
As soon as I hit the publish button I think I’m just going to send them the link. And this part I think you can guess:
Some of this debacle you could maybe chalk up to it just being one of those days were you the charitable sort. It happens, even to great companies, right? But no. All that went wrong, all those bullet points, all the running around confused and mad, the whole fire drill emanates from one single point of failure: the technology. If the check-in app works I immediately go to the right place on the right side of the terminal where the right van is waiting. If the dispatch system works I miss the mess downtown because I’m in a van that doesn’t go downtown.
The first is a significant issue THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF AND HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO ADDRESS. Dammit, FIX. YOUR. FUCKING. APP. The second is, I’m guessing, a related issue. (Unless they’re manually routing drivers using the responses from the app; possible, but … at this stage, who knows?)
Next time I’ll just pay to park. Or catch a ride with a friend. Or call a cab. Or Lyft. Or I’ll bike out. Or hitchhike…