On any given day, we have guests arriving to one of our stunning homes. Sometimes for our company there are more then 10 arrivals in one day meaning more then 50 people need to be collected, directed and checked in to their vacation rental. What that means is that our entire staff is aware of all of our guests travel plans; Flight info, rental car info, cell numbers, special requests etc.
Last week we were expecting an arrival. Guests were on American Airlines flight 943 supposed to arrive at 1:19 pm. About 20 minutes before the flight took off I checked the flight status – DELAYED. We do this so that if we have to juggle our schedule to prioritize what homes get cleaning first we know. But we also do this so we can help our guests in the event of a delay.
I called and checked in with the guests sitting at the airport. It was not looking good. The initial delay was 2 hours. We all know that airlines are optimistic with the initial delay. Long story short, the flight ended up being over 9 hours delayed.
Now, even the bubbliest of people can complain about their day of travel and in fact, almost every first conversation with our guests is about the time of day they had to wake up or whatever in a long list of possible inconveniences might have occurred in their travel day. Our greeter’s job is to immediately erase that experience, which is pretty easy when people walk into their stunning vacation rental with big blue views of the Caribbean.
On this day though, the guests had a pretty legitimate horror story. The extensive delay could have really been awful for them, forcing them to stay in a dingy hotel or worse, in the airport given that the flight was now going to arrive after the last ferry and hotel rooms are rarely available at that hour.
Knowing this, once the flight actually took off, we sprung into action. The flight was now due to arrive at about 10:30 pm. 10:30 is pretty late in the Virgin Islands, but we orchestrated a VIP arrival for these guests all while they were in the air wondering what would happen to them that night. We called a local taxi driver and set up a private taxi to take them to the dock. The last ferry was at 10pm so we knew they would miss that so we called our water taxi contact and arranged for the boat to be idling on the dock with cold drinks on board. We went to the car rental agency, which closes at 6pm. They let us take the car for our guests and we arranged for our greeter to meet them at the dock on St John with their rental car ready. To top it off, we swung by the grocery store in advance (they close at 10 as well), got some basics for the morning, some beer and some snacks and put it into the fridge.
A little after midnight, we walked our guests into their vacation rental, the moonlight reflected off the sea, we popped open a beer for them while we moved in the luggage and said good night.
At first, this did not seem like that big of a deal to me. We have helped guests with delays for close to two decades. But, when I woke the next morning to a simple thank you from the guests, I reflected on the enormity of the process that occurred on a remote island in the middle of the night with a lot of pride. My entire staff did this without any hesitation and I couldn’t be more proud that someone in this chain of events on our end didn’t complain or even grumble.
The next day as I did a final walkthrough on a home prior to another check in, I noticed that our well oiled machine was giving this same attention to detail that we had given our arrival the night before to the cleaning and maintenance of that home.
Any vacation rental company can find you a reasonably nice place to stay. However, that's where the service stops. We believe it's not enough to just drop off a key when you arrive. We want your stay to be memorable and we believe in going the extra mile to make sure that happens.
Want to Book a St John Vacation with the comfort of knowing you will be taken care of? Contact us today to start planning