Is a Shuttle Operation Right for You?

By Jeff Agur | VanAllen

There are six critical questions to ask yourself when considering a shuttle operation for your organization:

  1. Do you have a need to move many people among specific destinations?  

  2. Is the airline service between those destinations poor and/or expensive?

  3. Are there airport options that can serve your travelers even better than those used by the airlines?

  4. Is enhanced security of personnel and information an important goal?

  5. Does your organizational culture place high value in taking care of its own employees, its customers, and its vendors?

  6. Do you want greater control over your air travel service and costs?

If you answered “Yes” to two or more of these questions, you should seriously investigate a shuttle for your organization.

Save cost and time. From the questions above, you can see there are many variables; the two most notable are cost and time.  When considering the entire door-to-door experience, the direct costs you can reduce with a shuttle include airfare, hotels, ground transportation, and meals.  From a time savings standpoint, the time difference between airline travel and corporate shuttle is about 2 hours per leg.  And that’s assuming the same airport pairs.  The shuttle may be able to use airports closer to your intended destinations.  Additionally, the time savings value can be calculated using various methods; the most common being estimated compensation levels of the passengers.

 Increase productivity. A shuttle is a unique productivity tool.  Your travelers can be more productive en route because there is no concern about eavesdropping or cramped worked space.  Meetings can be held, presentations can be rehearsed or given, and open discussions can occur with vendors or customers.  Beyond productivity, hiring and retaining the best

workforce possible is key to your organization’s success.  A shuttle can contribute to work life balance and lower stress among your employees.


The design of any shuttle solution is another variable itself.  It can take many forms; from commercial airliner, a 6-seat turboprop, and everything in between.  And while a dedicated shuttle can be an option, existing corporate aircraft may have available capacity to support a limited shuttle operation. 


Due to all these variables, there is no magical formula to determine if a shuttle is economically viable.  But given your unique set of circumstances and desired outcomes, it can be evaluated.  To start the process, consider the following questions:


  • Who will have access to the shuttle?  All employees or above a specific level?

  • Is historic travel data available for these travelers?

  • Will the shuttle run on a schedule or will it be “on-demand” when a minimum number of travelers can coordinate their travel? 

  • Will shuttle reservations require approval or justification?

  • Who will accept and coordinate the shuttle reservations?

  • Will you apply an internal chargeback?

  • What could cause your shuttle demand or destinations to change? 

  • Does your organization have the experience and resources to manage a shuttle?

  • Can a shuttle potentially be used for other applications when not in use? 


Once you've considered these questions, we can examine your tangible and intangible variables to provide shuttle options.  For more information, contact VanAllen today.

© 2020 The VanAllen Group, Inc.

All Rights Reserved