There is no need to be an economist to know that it is not the best car fleet or perfect website to be the best transfer company in Prague. It is people — have been and will be — allways. We beleive having fully trained, licenced and insured drivers is a matter of fact, but to have higly motivated people, drivers who are happy doing their job should be matter of fact as well. I rather employ driver, who can smile and has personal attitude to his clients than a perfect driver with excellent english and with this and that, but is rude to people or acting haughtily.
One of our main goals is to get the best people into our crew. People, who can drive well, look well, but mainly: they are "client oriented" and can give the passengers something more. It can be just little smile or just short question "how was your flight" or "may I do anything extra for you".
Should I tip the driver?
It is up to you. It made me happy everytime I got few pounds more, but I never ask for that. Sometimes I ask my clients which way they want to go, sometimes we do short tour if the Prague traffic is good and I never asked people for any money extra. I know drivers from the branch and sometimes you can hear guys saying "I hate clients from Italy, because they give no tips." I never selected people in this way and I am very glad I can work for good company, which never sort people in this way. And maybe these guys would be surprised that I often get tips even from Italians, simply because all ATP company try to do good servise without compromises. (eg. we never take different groups into one vehicle to get extra money, we go on time …).
One day, I was taking people "up to the hill" (that means from a hotel in the center of Prague to the Prague airport, which is located north-west from Prague center and lies about 100m — water level — higher). A "collegue" from another transfer company was driving behind me and parked his minivan next to me in front of Terminal 2 Prague airport. Loudly crying at me "hello my friend" I just said "hi" and was helping my clients get off the car and pulling their luggage from the trunk. Then we shooke hands and said good-bye, have a nice flight and this my friend said (again loudly) "And no tip for the driver?". It was not help for me — I just said "sorry" to my clients and I felt asshamed — that is exactly what poison reputation of ALL Prague drivers, not only his (or mine).
Everytime, when I travel and use taxi anywhere in the world I use to give drivers tips, because I know how hard the job is. I only had "problem" in London — it seemed no one (not only taxi drivers) did want tip. I took a cab from Luton airport just to Luton train station — it was about 5 minutes drive and the taxi driver asked me 9,2GBP. I gave him 10GBP note saying — thank you for nice job, keep the change. He said no, no, I cannot and it took next 2 minutes to "convince" him. I had to say I do the same job back home in Prague and I understand how hard the job sometimes is. Then he smiled and took the small tip from me.
Patrik — Mercedes Vito minivan driver of ATP Airport Transfer Prague