If you’ve recently travelled to Prague, there are chances you’ve heard of one of its latest startups created: Airporter. Whether you’re travelling from, to or inside Prague, this company could definitely improve your stay!
We’ve interviewed Airporter’s co-founder, Marek Smejkal, and asked him a few questions about his company.
Hi Marek, could you introduce yourself?
Hi there, so my name is Marek Smejkal, I’m 39, living in Prague with my wife and two children. I‘ve been working in tourism and hospitality for the last 12 years running my own travel agency, working as a private tours planner and a tour guide in Prague.
- I recently became an Airbnb host, but have travelled with Airbnb for a long time.
What about Airporter, how did you get the idea to focus on short term rentals?
After becoming an Airbnb host, I was wondering what we could do next, which service we could offer to travelers instead of only hosting them.
- I used to offer my guests in Prague a transportation from the airport to make their arrival easier and I quickly found out that the guests really appreciate this kind of service and that was something that made their experience with me as a host even better. It was also very convenient for me, as I knew exactly when to expect them. When I was not in Prague or I was busy at work, I used to leave my keys to the driver picking up my guests.
- This is how, on August 2016, we came with the idea of creating Airporter with my partner, who happens to be also my wife! We aim to make hosts’ and guests’ lives easier.
Isn’t it like a simple taxi service? What services do you offer?
We are nothing like a taxi service! We offer a tailored transportation service, designed and thought for vacation rentals users. We can either pick up at airports, stations or rentals and take the travelers to wherever they need, even to other European cities such as Vienna, Budapest, Berlin… We adapt to their needs!
- But that’s not all, hosts can also call on our services: we offer a key delivery and check in service. We can manage everything on our side, assuring the best Airbnb reviews. Our rates are fixed, there are no surprises for the travelers. The price is indicated when booking the transportation. We have one flat rate from the airport to anywhere in Prague.
- We can also store luggage before the check in or after the check out, when the rental isn’t available. It gives tourists more time to enjoy the city as they don’t need to drag heavy bags on Prague cobblestones. It is also a pleasant way for the hosts to gently refuse early check in or late checkout requests.
- We also provide the most important tourist information in English, so that guests can enjoy the city at its best.
Why should travelers and hosts use your service instead of another one?
We are hosts ourselves and we understand the nature of short rental business and hospitality, so both tourists and vacation rental owners can rely on us.
- We are available 24/7 with fair and fixed rates, which means we won’t charge more during weekends or at nights, unlike other services such as Uber. Our cars are spacious and comfy, with free wifi. Our English speaking drivers can also make city tours and day trips, depending on what the travelers need. We are reachable via our website, email, phone, Whatsapp or Viber.
- We monitor actual arrival time and always stay in touch with hosts: we send a message when a driver is waiting for the guests and when they have entered the car. This way, there are no surprises for anyone!
- Collaboration with Airporter has many benefits for the travellers but also to vacation rental owners, so we work directly with them. I am proud to say that we have established a collaboration with many individual Airbnb hosts as well as short term rental management companies, and we work as their recommended transportation company. Happy hosts recommend our services to their clients and this works as the best reference for us.
Is it only available in Prague, or also other cities?
We can pick up or take people wherever they need to, even outside the Czech Republic!
What are your plans for the future?
- Our first goal is to grow in Prague, hire more drivers and extend our car fleet. We’d also like to focus on promoting our key delivery and luggage storage service, and widen our day trips offers.
Airporter takes vacation rental transportation to a new level, making the short term rental industry always more professional and personalized.