A partnership between Amadeus, Blacklane and the Association of Car Rental Industry System Standards (ACRISS) has developed a set of worldwide industry standards for professional chauffeur services.

The companies say the need for standardisation across the industry arises from the confusion caused by the different rates, services and packages offered by various suppliers. It points out the example that a Toyota Prius is a standard class vehicle for some transfer companies but is classed a business vehicle by others.

The partnership is introducing the Vehicle with Driver Service Industry (VDSI) standards, which define the following:

  • Service categories – defining standard, business and first class, as well as the representative vehicle type for each class
  • Vehicle standards such as passenger and luggage capacity
  • Specifying details that involve services and options such as ‘meet and greet’, ‘curb-side pick-up’ and ‘flight monitoring duration’ among others.

Amadeus, Blacklane and ACRISS also hope to establish norms regarding booking times, changing or cancelling a reservation, driver attire and language, and waiting times for airport and non-airport pick-ups. The initiatives are also designed to improve and simplify the transfers booking process.

Melanie Methven, secretariat of ACRISS, said: “The chauffeur industry was long overdue to create VDSI standards. Thanks to them we can simplify bookings for travellers and professional driver companies. Amadeus and Blacklane have worked closely with ACRISS on the development of these standards and we are excited to see them become a reality.”

Peter Altmann, head of Amadeus cars & transfers, commented: “Transfers are one of the biggest growth opportunities in travel. To reach their potential, the industry needs to speak the same language and have confidence in the service offered. We look forward to all professional driver services adopting VDSI standards as quickly as possible.”

Frank Steuer, co-founder and CTO of Blacklane, an ACRISS member, added: “Travellers expect transparent and comparable offers across all travel services. These new standards are essential to expand online availability and the ease of booking professional driver services. We are proud to be part of this initiative and we will continue working with travel industry players to make bookings fast and simple.”

amadeus.com; blacklane.com; acriss.org

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