What happens if my flight is delayed?
- If you notify us before your originally scheduled pickup time, and as long as we can verify the delay either through the airline’s public flight status data or proof of communication from the airline with you, there will be no fee to move you to the next available shuttle after your arrival.
- As soon as you know that you’re not going to make it to the shuttle at your scheduled pickup time, you should contact us by email to notify us of the delay, referencing the confirmation number for the reservation.
- The easiest way to do this is to reply to either your confirmation email or the reminder email; these already have your confirmation number embedded in the subject line.
- In your email, include the flight number for the affected flight so that we can verify the delay with the airline. If your flight number changes, we will need to know the new flight number so that we know when you will be expected to land.
- To help us select the right shuttle time for your updated arrival, please let us know if you’ll need to wait for baggage claim or go through customs/immigration.
- If you experience any further delays, keep us posted via email.
What if I am not at the pick-up location on time?
- Once we are done checking in all of the passengers who have arrived, we will attempt to contact the remaining passengers using the phone number provided on their reservation.
- We are able call international phone numbers from any country in the world, so please make sure that you have an active phone plan that works in the US, even if your number comes from another country.
- If we are unable to reach you, we will leave a voicemail indicating what time we are leaving. Please ensure that your voice mailbox is set up and is able to accept messages.
When are schedules with the additional routes for peak travel times posted? When should I purchase shuttle tickets?
- Additional shuttle times for our heaviest travel seasons are typically made available online approximately two months beforehand.
- Peak seasons include: the beginning and end of the fall & spring semesters, October Break, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and Spring Break.
- The ideal time to book your shuttle should be somewhere between 2 weeks to 2 months before you plan to travel. This allows us enough time to gauge demand with precision and make arrangements so that we send vehicles with enough capacity based on our forecast.
- You should still book your airline travel at whatever point you can get the best available deal, but you should wait until we make additional times available before you book your shuttle.
- Our experience has been that when people book their shuttle tickets with too much lead time, they often end up having to change their plans later, or forget that they have already made the reservation, incurring unnecessary change fees.
- As long as the vehicle is not sold out, tickets can be purchased online up to 1 hour before the scheduled departure, but routes fill up quickly during peak travel seasons, and the only way to guarantee your seat for that exact time and to get the lowest available price (including student discounts), is to book it in advance.
- Waiting until the last minute is highly discouraged unless the rest of your travel plans are likely to change at the last minute (i.e., if you are flying standby). If you miss the online booking window, the ticket will cost more at the bus, and you risk not getting a seat due to a sellout situation.
- As long as we have at least one person scheduled for any given trip, we will be operating that shuttle. We do reserve the right to cancel shuttles in advance if there are no reservations for that time slot, but we do not cancel shuttles if there are existing reservations already.
How long do I need to allow for luggage or customs?
- For most flights, you should allow a minimum of 30 minutes to collect your items at baggage claim.
- For international flights, you should allow a minimum of 1 hour for customs. If you are arriving on an international flight during a peak travel season, you should allow even more time than this, as the customs line often gets very congested.
- If your passport is from, or you are traveling from, a country that has any active State Department travel warnings in place, you should allow extra time for potential delays at customs.
- Regardless of your luggage or customs situation, you should also allow time to walk from the gate to the shuttle pickup, as well as any pit stops for food/drink or restroom breaks.
- In general, you should plan conservatively to avoid situations where minor delays cause you to miss your shuttle.
What is the travel time from ORD to West Lafayette? It seems like a lot longer trip that direction.
- On a good day, it takes about 2-1/2 hours to travel between West Lafayette and Chicago O’Hare International Airport. However, Chicago traffic can be wildly unpredictable, and we budget about 3 hours for the trip to account for this.
- There is a time zone change involved in this trip: West Lafayette is in Eastern Time, and Chicago is in Central Time (1 hour behind). This means that we “gain” an hour on the way to Chicago, but “lose” that hour on the way back to Purdue.
- Because we list our departure and arrival times in the appropriate local time zone for each pickup or drop-off location, the trip appears to take only 2 hours going to the airport, and 4 hours coming back.
How much buffer for time should I plan for from the shuttle’s arrival at the airport to the scheduled flight departure?
- We defer to the TSA guidelines for how much time you should allow to check in for a flight, but also recognize that everyone’s situation may be different. The TSA says:
- “You are encouraged to contact your airline as times may vary depending on the airport and date of travel. In general, please allow time for parking/shuttle transportation, airline check-in, obtaining a boarding pass and going through the security screening process, which includes screening of your carry-on bag. You may check how busy the airport is likely to be on your specific day and time of travel based on historical data by downloading the MyTSA app.
- Regardless of your situation, you should plan as conservatively as is reasonably possible to minimize the chance that unexpected delays disrupt your travel. Although we make every effort to avoid delays and have an exceptional track record of on-time performance, there are a number of things beyond our control that can cause us to arrive later than expected.
- In general: for domestic flights, you should plan a minimum of 2 hours between your arrival at the airport and your flight departure time. For international flights, this gap should be a minimum of 3 hours.
- At times, you will have to exercise some judgment based on your own comfort level with traveling, whether you have checked bags, whether you are able to pass through security with an accelerated clearance program such as TSA-PreCheck, and any other travel data available to you. The decision is ultimately up to you, but if you decide to travel with less of a cushion than is recommended, then please recognize that you are taking a calculated risk.
Do students need their ID for a student ticket? What if I don’t have one yet?
- Current and incoming students from any college or university anywhere in the world are eligible for the student discount, by booking a student ticket. If you do not yet have a student ID issued to you, your passport and I-20 or your admissions letter will suffice as proof of student status.
- Basically, just be prepared to show anything that verifies your status as a student when you check in with the driver.
How much luggage can they bring?
- Each ticket comes with an allowance for two (2) carry-on bags and one (1) checked bag. The size and weight restrictions for these items should closely resemble what you are used to with most airlines.
- Airlines vary widely in how many items they will allow you to bring free of charge. Some international airlines allow you to bring as many as 3 checked bags included in the cost of your ticket, while others will charge you for every single bag. Either way, you are paying for the luggage space — whether or not it’s included in the fare. With our vehicles, the luggage policy is a product of the geometric limits of the space. We simply cannot allow everyone to bring multiple checked bags and still guarantee that there will be room for everyone. Once we reach the vehicle’s limits for cargo space, we have to either cut off reservations, or switch to a larger vehicle. For this reason, we must have a good idea of how much overall luggage space is needed ahead of time, and the best way to do that is to require advance notice and to charge a nominal fee for the space.
- If you will need to reserve additional luggage space for any extra or oversized items, please add the appropriate extra luggage to your cart when booking the ticket or contact us in advance by email.
- If we are not given advance notice of your extra luggage needs, the fees for your luggage will be higher at check-in. Save money by planning ahead!
- For more detailed information, you can refer to the luggage policy found in the terms & conditions on the checkout screen when you make your reservation.
Why don’t you go to Midway? Is there an option for getting to/from that airport?
- Passenger demand is insufficient to provide sustainable, dedicated routes to/from MDW, but we are very mindful of those who wish to fly on Southwest Airlines or otherwise take advantage of favorable airfare out of MDW.
- We offer a “flag stop” at the Illinois School Bus Co. in Crestwood, IL to help those traveling through Midway or other nearby locations in Chicago. We are the only shuttle company at Purdue to offer this stop.
- By offering this location as an option, you can now save up to 2 hours on your overall travel time by using the Crestwood stop for your layover instead of traveling all the way to ORD first and then riding a bus or train to MDW.
- To get to/from MDW airport:
- Book your ride with us here and choose Crestwood as your stop in Chicago.
- Reserve a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to pick you up at the following address to take you the rest of the way to the airport: Illinois School Bus Co., 13939 S Cicero Ave, Crestwood, IL, 60445
- Seating and restrooms are available inside the Illinois School Bus Co. Office. There may be times that the Office is closed on the weekends, but Reindeer Shuttle will still offer the flag stop as an option 7 days a week.
Please note: As a “flag stop” along our existing route to ORD, this stop is only serviced for reservations made at least 24 hours in advance. (This means there is no option to purchase a walk-up ticket at this location.) You will still need to arrange your own travel between Crestwood and MDW Airport.
How do I book a ticket with you and does it need to be printed?
- To guarantee your seat in advance and pay the lowest available price, click “Book Now” and follow the prompts to check availability and make your reservation. All sales are final and tickets are nonrefundable, so you should only make your reservation once your travel plans are firm.
- You do not need to print your ticket or confirmation email. When boarding the shuttle, have your photo ID and confirmation number ready for the driver. Keep your confirmation email handy just in case you need to refresh yourself on any final details before boarding.
- If you booked a student ticket, you will need to show your student ID to verify your eligibility for the discount. Purdue Alumni Association members may also book a PAA ticket and show their membership card to verify their eligibility.
How do I receive a copy of my confirmation email and reminder emails?
- When you provide details for each guest on your reservation, the first name, last name, phone number, and email should all belong to the person traveling.
- If you want to receive emails regarding your reservation at multiple addresses, simply include all of the email addresses needed on the email line, separated by a comma. For example: “firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com”.