Heading Out of Town for Thanksgiving? Here’s How to Make Your Travels Hassle-Free

The days around the Thanksgiving holiday have earned a reputation as the busiest travel days of the year, but is this status really justified?

And if so, what can you do to streamline the travel process?

Here, we unpack some of the common myths about Thanksgiving travel that may be making you wary and give you the low-down on how to better manage your airport travel around the holiday.


The ‘busiest travel day’ misconception


Received wisdom has it that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (this year November 22) is the busiest travel day of the year at US airports. While it’s certainly busy around the holiday – data shows that last year more than 28.5 million people took to the skies – the bulk of this is spread over a number of days.

The busiest day actually tends to fall on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, with almost 3 million traveling by air in 2017. However, The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that the busiest day for air travel throughout the whole of last year was actually in the height of summer, falling on July 14.


The reality of flight delays


Another common myth is that flights will inevitably be delayed due to passenger congestion, putting many travelers off booking flights. Actually, The Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that in 2017, 89% of Thanksgiving flights arrived on time compared to 80% for the rest of the year.

You are in fact much more likely to be delayed during December and January, when adverse winter weather conditions often affect flights. Statistics show that in 2017, January 7 had by far the most delays, with only 45.36% of flights arriving on time. In 2016, December 21 fared even worse with only 39.88% of flights making on-time arrivals that day.


Shouldn’t the week before be quieter?


While most people will be traveling to spend time with family and friends during the week of Thanksgiving, the week preceding it is actually one of the busiest for business travel.

Analysis of business travel trends by Concur found that Wednesday and Thursday of the week prior to Thanksgiving are the busiest. The data showed that in 2016, these dates accounted for 58% more corporate travelers than on average weekdays. There was also a significant jump in the number of business travelers who take infrequent trips flying at this time of year, up by almost 20% in October and November.

If you can, delay your business trip until early December or January when business travel volume will be greatly reduced. 


How can I avoid the hassle?


While it is useful to debunk some of these misconceptions, traveling around Thanksgiving will inevitably involve larger crowds of passengers, longer wait times, and increased airfare costs. But don’t let that put you off traveling altogether.

If you are planning to fly this year, here’s how to ease your way through the airport experience:


Be aware of disruptions in advance


Most airlines now offer a mobile app for flight tracking and making updates to bookings. You’ll get the latest flight status information and find out in advance if there is any disruption.

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled due to circumstances such as adverse weather conditions, you can also rebook using most apps. This will save you time standing in long lines at the booking desk or spending valuable time on the phone waiting to speak to a customer services agent.


Wise-up on security regulations


One of the major factors that can disrupt your journey and slow you down through the airport is not being clued-up on security regulations. Even if you are a regular flier, you may find that there have been updates to the rules since you last traveled, so be prepared and check in advance.

For example, as of 2017 all electronics larger than a standard smartphone need to be removed from your carry-on luggage. Make sure you have them in an accessible location so you can remove them quickly and easily. If you are traveling with a smart bag you will also need to make sure the lithium-ion batteries are removable. If they aren’t, you may not be allowed to bring it on board as these are now considered a potential fire hazard.


Give yourself more time


Allowing plenty of time at the airport is always sound advice, however you need to overestimate for Thanksgiving travel. Aim to arrive around 60 minutes before you usually would. This will give you more time through the check-in and security processes so you can avoid missing your flight.

If you don’t make your flight it could be particularly difficult to get yourself an alternative option. Seats are in much higher demand at this time of year, so don’t take the chance.

Remember that there will be lots of people who are not regular fliers jetting off on their travels, too. This can mean delays through security, boarding, and at check-in. Just be prepared to deal with a slower process than you may be used to, or avoid the hassle entirely with EmpireCLS’ premium Airport Greeters Program.


Use a specialized Airport Greeters service


Whatever precautions you take, travel over Thanksgiving is likely to be busier than usual. But your time is precious, and you don’t want to begin your journey with unnecessary hassle before you’ve even got off the ground.

Avoid the stress with EmpireCLS’ VIP Airport Greeters Program.

We take care of all the details of your airport travel, so you can relax.

Our service is like having your own personal travel assistant. We can help you navigate the airport with ease, breeze through security, and get to your gate in total comfort.

With our exclusive Airport Greeters service you’ll enjoy:

The service is available in over 450 destinations worldwide so wherever your Thanksgiving travels take you, you can relax knowing the airport process will be stress-free.

Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it battling through crowds and waiting in line at the airport.

Learn more about our VIP Airport Greeters Program

Why Women Should Think Twice About Using Ridesharing Services

“You don’t hitchhike anymore, correct? But, a lot of people digitally hitchhike. So, they’re using an app, but they have no idea who’s behind the wheel. They have no idea about the safety aspect of the transportation,” said EmpireCLS CEO David Seelinger.

Women are often informed of things they should do to stay safe. They include things like not walking home late at night or having someone accompany them when walking through a parking lot. This also includes getting into the car of a complete stranger. Unfortunately, women still do – through the use of ridesharing services.

Here are a few reasons why women should think twice before opening up a ridesharing app to book transportation.

You Could Be Left Stranded

More and more, people are falling victim to a tactic in which ridesharing drivers are choosing to collect cancellation fees, instead of doing cheap trips. Travel influencer, Brian Kelly, also known as The Points Guy, experienced this first hand. By purposefully not doing cheap trips, they are forcing passengers to cancel. Drivers then keep 75% to 80% of the cancellation fee that passengers have to pay. The percentage is dependent upon when they started driving for that particular ridesharing company.

One reason drivers would do this is if a passenger is going a short distance, but the driver has to travel a long way to pick the passenger up. Another instance would be if a passenger is traveling to a neighborhood where the driver believes he or she is unlikely to receive another pickup. This situation is particularly common at airports. Drivers who have been waiting in line for a long time might want to take a cancellation fee for a cheap ride, rather than lose their places in line and miss the opportunity to do a longer, more profitable trip.

Beyond being extremely unprofessional, this shady act risks women being stranded and possibly vulnerable, especially if they are booking a ride late at night.

At EmpireCLS, all of our chauffeurs are valued employees of our company who receive some of the most competitive salaries in the industry. They also get bonuses based on performance, which incentivizes them to always provide the utmost in personal service. And, as a professional chauffeured transportation provider, there will never be a time in which our customers won’t be served. We take great pride in giving people first-class experiences every time they travel with us, with the utmost in trust and reliability.


You Could End Up with a Fake Driver

You can actually end up entering the wrong car with someone who has other intentions. In fact, anyone can easily purchase stickers and magnets with the logos of ridesharing companies online. If you’re in a rush or just can’t wait to get home, you might unintentionally step into a car that you didn’t order. Unfortunately, this scenario does happen, and women have been victimized.

Such was recently the case with Elizabeth Suarez, a young woman who booked an Uber to take her home after a night out in Las Vegas. She got into a car that had matched the description she was given, but it was not the Uber that she had booked. Elizabeth didn’t realize the driver she was with wasn’t her ride until she received a call from her actual driver. She was able to escape after jumping out of the car while it was still moving. Though she suffered a few injuries, Elizabeth was able to get away from what could’ve been a much more dangerous situation.


You’re Essentially Getting in a Stranger’s Car

You never really know what you might be getting yourself into when you use a ridesharing service. Many would expect that everything should be just fine. But, with an alarming frequency of negative incidents, you can never really be sure about what you could be getting yourself into.

Unfortunately, fake ridesharing drivers aren’t the only thing women have to worry about. Drivers who actually work for these ridesharing companies aren’t completely safe either. During the summer of 2017, 92 allegations of sexual assault were reported against Uber and Lyft drivers. In April of this year, CNN published a statistic that 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the past four years. At least 31 drivers have been convicted for crimes ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape. Additionally, dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending.

As an industry standard, many professional chauffeured transportation companies maintain strict screening processes when it comes to employing chauffeurs. At EmpireCLS, the safety and security of our passengers is our highest priority. Because of this, only the most trustworthy applicants get the opportunity to call themselves EmpireCLS chauffeurs. We regularly perform extensive federal, state and Department of Motor Vehicles background checks. Our zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy is steadfast. And, we conduct psychometrics exams to assess each chauffeur’s mental capabilities and behavioral style. On top of this, all of our vehicles come with onboard DriveCam and Silent Passenger vehicle tracking, allowing us to proactively maintain the safety of our passengers.


Unregulated Vehicles

Ridesharing companies do uphold a set of vehicle restrictions that apply to everyone who applies to become a driver. These requirements can vary greatly depending on the specific service type divers are planning to drive under. They are also just a starting point, and the approval of a driver’s vehicle is solely at the discretion of that particular ridesharing company, who has the final decision. This can sometimes vary on a state-to-state basis.

Additionally, although encouraged, there is no requirement for drivers to maintain adequate safety and performance standards. This means that passengers could risk riding in vehicles that may not necessarily be completely safe.

How can women be safe and secure if the vehicle they’re traveling in isn’t properly maintained? This should not be something that they have to worry about when booking transportation services.

Reputable chauffeur transportation companies conduct regular maintenance for their vehicles to keep them running in peak performance. At EmpireCLS, each vehicle in our late-model, luxury fleet is meticulously maintained. And, because we pull vehicles from service after 24 months, we have one of the youngest fleets in the industry.

Women only know how reliable ridesharing drivers are from the information that ridesharing companies share about them on their apps. Although there have been improvements for rider safety, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

To truly have peace of mind, women should consider more secure forms of transportation. When it comes to safety, there’s no better way to travel than with a professional, reputable chauffeured transportation company.

At EmpireCLS, we go above and beyond to keep women safe. In addition to conducting extensive chauffeur screenings, we perform daily vehicle preparation and preventative maintenance. Our chauffeurs are also trained in defensive and evasive driving.

On top of this, our specialized SecureCar service offers added security when travels call for an extra layer of protection. It’s ideal for women vacationing in unfamiliar locales or heading to highly political regions for business.

Click here to learn more about our passenger safety standards.

For more information on our SecureCar services, please click here.

How to avoid the dangers of driving during Halloween

It’s almost that time of year when the ghouls come out to play and spine-chilling specters fill your neighborhood. Yes, Halloween is here and it’s time to dust off your creepiest costumes and get ready for a night of freakishly frightening frivolity!

Although Halloween should be about having fun, you also need to be aware of the safety risks around driving during the festivities, especially where kids are involved. Here are some of the dangers to watch out for – and how you can avoid them.


Plan ahead

The roads will be busy with cars and pedestrians on Halloween. If you are heading out to a party or other event, make sure you know exactly where you are going and plan in enough time to get yourself there. You don’t want to be dealing with last-minute panic that causes you to rush. You’ll only be putting yourself and others in danger if you are speeding along the road to reach your destination in time. Likewise, if you are unsure of where you are going you could become distracted by messing with your GPS while you’re on the move, or looking out for turns and street signs when you need to pay attention to what’s happening on the road and sidewalks. Having a clear idea of your route and planning enough time to get yourself there will help keep you and other road users safe.


Don’t take the risk

If you are attending a Halloween party, don’t assume you can have a couple of drinks and drive back with no issues – 52% of motor vehicle deaths on Halloween involve alcohol. You never know how alcohol will affect you from one day to another. It can depend on your level of tiredness, how much you’ve eaten, whether you’re taking any medications, and many more contributing factors. Also, if you’re at a party where the host is serving Halloween-themed punch or cocktails, you won’t always know how much alcohol you’re consuming. Chances are the measures may be more generous than your standard serving at a bar! So even if you think you’ve only had one, it may be more like three or four. Just don’t take the risk of driving. Walk, catch a lift with a friend who is not drinking, or use a car service to make sure you get home safe.


Be aware of more pedestrians

Keep in mind that there will be far more people out and about on the streets. Whether they’re trick or treating or walking home from a party, be extra vigilant. Kids will likely be excited and less aware of potential road hazards, and adults may have had a few alcoholic beverages that cause fewer concerns for their own safety! Also, be aware of the potential perils of people wearing dark costumes. While they may feel perfectly visible, their full-on black witches hat and gown combination may make them almost impossible to see on a dimly-lit side street. Drive slowly and be extra cautious especially in residential neighborhoods where street lighting is limited to give yourself time to react.


Alert kids to the potential dangers

Shockingly, statistics show that children are twice as likely to be killed in traffic accidents on Halloween, so make sure they are alert to traffic safety. If your kids are going to a Halloween party or trick or treating with friends, make sure you know how they are getting there and back before the event itself. If they will be walking at any stage, talk to them about the potential risks. You should also make sure they have a flashlight and some form of reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to drivers.


Be mindful of costume ‘distractions’!

If you’re the designated driver for Halloween, chances are you will be dealing with a car full of hair-raising costumes that can be a potential distraction. Large, bulky costumes may reduce visibility levels so be cautious and give yourself extra time at intersections or when merging onto roadways. Be aware of any costumes that make sound or emit light as this can also divert your attention from driving! If you have a large group or particularly elaborate costumes then hiring a car service may be a better idea. That way, you won’t have to worry about getting distracted or fitting everyone in your own vehicle.


Be cautious of other drivers

Just because you haven’t had a drink doesn’t mean that others will have done the same. You can control your own driving choices, but the sad fact is that there will be others who haven’t exercised the same caution. Just be aware of any vehicle that looks like it may be being driven by someone over the legal limit. If the driver is constantly swerving or driving erratically then avoid them as best you can and report it to the authorities. Likewise, if you are aware of someone that has been drinking and is planning to drive home, don’t let them do it. It is not just themselves they may harm. Make sure they make alternative arrangements to get back safely without putting other road users in harm’s way.


Avoid the dangers with a dedicated car service

To completely avoid the hassle, simply book a car service with EmpireCLS. Our dedicated, professional chauffeurs will make sure you get to and from your Halloween festivities safely.

We have a large fleet of vehicles that will suit any group size and requirements. Got the kids in tow? Our Cadillac Escalade SUV has plenty of room for the whole family to enjoy the ride. Out on the town with a group of friends? Then the Mercedes Benz Sprinter van will fit all your party in luxurious comfort – costumes and all! All of our vehicles are meticulously inspected and maintained on a daily basis, so you can be sure you’ll experience the highest quality transportation service.

Our chauffeurs are also specially trained in safe and defensive driving techniques. They’ll stay fully focused on the roads and know exactly what dangers to look out for, so you don’t have to worry. With their extensive local knowledge, they’ll also be able to avoid any areas that are especially busy or hazardous. That way, you can sit back and enjoy the journey without stressing about extra pedestrians, timing, or route planning.

Book with us to make sure it’s a howling-good Halloween for everyone!

Traveling for the Holidays? Here’s How to Stay Stress-Free

As the holidays draw near, many are now making plans to travel and spend some quality time with family and friends. Of course, as with any other major holiday, there are some pitfalls to air travel and airport transportation during this time.

Here are our top tips to get the best travel experience possible and to make sure you have a stress-free, safe, and enjoyable holiday!

Dodge the Crowds

The holiday season is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In fact, over 107.3 million Americans traveled by plane during the 2017 holiday season, and 6.4 million traveled by air. However, there are some things you can do to help ease the hassle and avoid the worst of the crowds. First, think carefully about the dates you are booking your travel. In addition to you potentially saving a significant amount of money by scheduling your flights on quieter travel days, it will also eliminate some of the associated stress with fewer people in the airport. If possible, try to travel as early as you can before the holidays and leave as late as you can after the New Year. If you really must travel close to the holidays, try and book an early flight that will whisk you away before large crowds and backlogs of passengers begin to accumulate at the airport.

Arrive Early

It is always a good idea to arrive early for your flight, but you should be particularly keen to do so if you are traveling over the holidays. However much time you think you need at the airport, leave more! This particularly applies if you’re travelling with kids or a large group that can slow down the check-in and security process. You should also expect that major airports, like Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, John F. Kennedy International and Los Angeles International will be extremely busy during the holidays. If you have traveled through these airports in the past, you may think you have the timing down to a fine art, but the holidays will bring longer lines through check-in and security and busier than usual amenities in the terminal building. By making sure you arrive nice and early, you’ll avoid the stress and last-minute panic of rushing for – or even missing – your flight. You can also consider reserving airport transportation from a professional chauffeured transportation service provider. At EmpireCLS, our airport transportation service ensures that you arrive to the airport with plenty of time to relax before your departure. And with decades of experience under our belt, we know how to ensure that your travels are seamless, regardless of whether or not you travel during the busy holiday season.

Take Advantage of Airline Rewards

Another sure-fire way to have a more relaxing and comfortable airport experience is by using the advantages that airline rewards programs will offer you. Once you get to a certain points threshold, you’ll be eligible for perks, such as seat upgrades, speedy check-ins, lounge access, and priority boarding. All of these little extras can really help to ease the hassle of flying over the extremely busy holiday season, and you’ll start earning points straight away! Even if you don’t qualify for any level of priority status just yet, it’s still worth checking if you can be upgraded on your flight. Oftentimes, airlines will have better seats still available and will bump you up on the basis that you are a loyal customer with a number of reward points to your name already. It’s always worth checking!

Get Up to Speed on Travel Requirements

It is important to know the rules before you fly, and with ever-changing TSA requirements, you really do want to be on top of all the latest regulations to be sure you avoid the stress of being unnecessarily delayed and potentially even missing your flight altogether. As the holiday season is such a busy travel time, it is imperative you have all your ducks in a row and don’t bring any items that are likely to be investigated or confiscated, no matter if they might seem innocuous to you. Make sure you have all your necessary travel documentation and confirmations so you avoid any last-minute issues, and be sure that you understand ID requirements depending on where you are traveling. If you are traveling outside of the U.S., make sure your passport has at least 6 months left before expiry, otherwise you might have problems – depending on the country you are visiting. Additionally, make sure you stay up-to-date with the latest Real ID regulations regarding the use of driver’s licences for domestic flights.

Pack Carefully

When it comes to the holiday travels, it is a good idea to try and limit your luggage to carry-on. This may be difficult, particularly if you’ll need heavy winter clothing, but you’ll definitely receive some benefits if you can. You’ll often save money by not having to add a bag to your booking. Plus, you’ll be able to check-in online and head straight to security when you arrive at the airport, avoiding any busy bag-drop drama. You’ll also be able to walk straight off the plane and continue your journey as soon as you get through arrivals, saving you valuable time. However, make sure you pack sensibly to ensure that you clear security with minimal hassle. For example, liquids should be kept to 100ml or less and packed in a clear plastic bag. Also, make sure you know the requirements for removing any food, electronics, or medications when you go through – that way, you’ll save even more time.

Use a Specialized Airport Greeting Service

To definitely be sure that you can enjoy a completely stress-free airport travel experience during the holidays, consider booking EmpireCLS’ V.I.P Airport Greeters service. Through this specialized concierge program, we help you speed through the entire airport process with ease and comfort, so you can concentrate on looking forward to your joyous holidays, rather than battling with parking, crowds, and long lines through security. The program, which can be booked alongside our chauffeured airport transportation service, provides expedited transport and other benefits at over 450 airports worldwide. So wherever you’re headed this holiday season, you can enjoy peace of mind and hassle-free air travel. With Greeters that make you feel like you have your own personal travel assistants, the EmpireCLS Airport Greeters service includes:



Click here to learn more about how EmpireCLS’ V.I.P Airport Greeters service can help you have a stress-free, more enjoyable travel experience this holiday season!

7 Ways Chauffeured Transportation Makes Special Events Unforgettable

Whatever the special event – whether it’s a wedding, sporting event, or a special celebration for a birthday or anniversary – chauffeured transportation will elevate and enhance your whole experience. From ensuring everything runs seamlessly to helping you make sure guests travel safely, here are seven reasons why you should be hiring luxury chauffeured transportation for your next special occasion.


It Gives You Peace of Mind By Keeping Things Running Smoothly


Whatever the event, timing is key. When it comes to any special occasion, the last thing you need is to be running late, delaying proceedings or missing out altogether. With professional chauffeured transportation, you won’t need to worry about a thing. An experienced chauffeur service, like the one offered by EmpireCLS, can keep you moving and make sure everything runs like clockwork. Our expert chauffeurs will arrive early and plan for plenty of time to get you where you need to be. No matter the interruption that may be encountered, whether it be traffic or construction, the deep local knowledge of our chauffeurs and the route-planning expertise of our in-house staff will make sure that you arrive in good time and without stress.


You Don’t Need to Worry About Having Designated Drivers


When you hire chauffeured transportation for special events, you can forget about nominating someone from your group to deal with the hassle of getting you to your destination at the end of the night. Having professional chauffeurs take care of the driving for you means you can have fun late into the night and not have to concern yourself with driving home when you’re overtired or impaired. You can simply relax and enjoy your event! You will also avoid having to make the difficult decision over who does the driving – that way, you can make sure your special event is all about having a good time, rather than getting into an awkward conversation with your friends.


Transportation Becomes Part of The Event


With chauffeured transportation, the special event starts from when you set foot inside your luxury vehicle. Whether it’s a state-of-the-art, executive sedan to whisk you away on a romantic date night or a fully kitted-out mini coach fit for all your friends, you can sit back and start celebrating right there and then – so getting to your destination becomes part of the fun! EmpireCLS has a great range of immaculately-presented vehicles to suit any need or group size, and our hospitality-trained chauffeurs make sure you receive 5-star treatment from the very moment we arrive at your door.


You Can Keep Your Group Together


Because chauffeured transportation service providers typically offer a wide range of vehicles, you won’t have to worry about your group being split up into too many separate vehicles when you are traveling to your special event. Whatever the size, special event chauffeured transportation can make sure your group travels together, so that no one gets lost or experiences interruptions on their way to the venue. Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone hyped up!


You’ll Get Help with Planning Your Special Event


Specialist chauffeured transportation providers, like EmpireCLS, have a team of experienced travel planners and dispatchers on hand who will make sure all your special event transportation arrangements are properly taken care of. If you’re not sure what vehicles you might need, when you need them to arrive or depart, or how long it will take to get to your destination, there is no need to worry when you hire a chauffeured transportation service. Simply specify your requirements and any details you do have up front, and our planning staff will use their knowledge and expertise to determine all the details and advise you on your options. This will take away all the anxiety of having to plan the details yourself, leaving you free to relax knowing that you are in safe hands.


You Don’t Have to Worry About Traffic or Parking


There is nothing worse than finding yourself held up in heavy traffic or unable to find a spot to park when you are heading to a special event. When you finally get where you need to be, at this point, you’re often so stressed out that it can be difficult to relax and enjoy the festivities. With chauffeured transportation, you don’t have to worry about this happening. You can leave it to knowledgeable chauffeurs to navigate everything the busy roads might throw at you, and you’ll be dropped off right outside the door, meaning no walking in the hot, cold, wet, or windy weather to your special event. You’ll arrive feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to get the party started!


It’s Flexible and Adaptable When Plans Change


Plans inevitably change, but it can be seriously stressful if last-minute alterations start to affect your ability to get you and your group where you need to be on time. Experienced chauffeured transportation services will offer flexibility that allows you to alter details and still get where you need to go smoothly and stress-free. At EmpireCLS, we’re well-known for our exceptional ability to adapt to any of our clients’ needs and will always have a solid contingency plan in place to ensure that all bases are covered, no matter what. Rather than leaving you or your group stranded, or causing your special event to be delayed, missed, or canceled altogether, reliable chauffeured transportation will ensure that you’ll always get to your destination feeling totally calm and relaxed – so rather than panicking about any change of plans, you can rest assured that alternative arrangements can be made, with the help and dedication of experienced planners on hand.


Special events should be all about celebration, relaxation, and enjoyment with friends and family – not the stress of transportation arrangements. Experienced chauffeured transportation providers will take all the planning and hassle of special event transportation off your hands and leave you free to focus on having fun. EmpireCLS offers a range of different options to suit transportation for any special event you might have on the horizon – whether large or small, way into the future, or only a few weeks away. Our special team of transportation planners will help make your entire experience run like clockwork.


Click here to find out what makes our chauffeured transportation the right choice for your special event.


Not sure what kind of transportation service you might need? We can help you figure out all the details. Get in touch with our team!

What You May Not Know About Chauffeured Transportation

When it comes to luxury chauffeured transportation, stretch limousines are what typically come to mind for a lot of people. However, although these classic vehicles are utilized by many chauffeured transportation service providers, it does not define what this industry is all about.


Today, the limousine serves as just one example of the many vehicles and services offered by luxury ground transportation companies all over the world. Many people only consider working with luxury transportation service providers when they need to book a limo service, without realizing that these companies actually have so much more to offer. To help provide a better understanding of what chauffeured transportation is really like now, we’ve listed a few things about this industry that you might not know about.


Offering You a Wide Selection of Luxury Vehicles


In addition to limousines, you’ll find that many chauffeured transportation service providers offer a selection of vehicles that range from sedans to full-size coach buses. This gives you the ability to hire chauffeured services for pretty much any need or occasion, from nights out on the town and weddings to meetings and corporate events. You’ll be sure to find the right vehicle to fit any purpose or size of the group.


The EmpireCLS fleet, for example, consists of late-model luxury vehicles, which include the Cadillac XTS, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes S-Class and Mercedes Sprinter van, as well as mini coaches and motor coaches. Our experienced customer service team is adept at recommending the perfect vehicle for your needs, budget and party size. Additionally, our vehicles are consistently serviced and inspected by our in-house, Automotive Service Excellence-certified maintenance centers to ensure the utmost in safety and reliability.


Helping You Get The Most Out of Air Travel


Hiring a chauffeur for airport transportation now gives you a service that goes way beyond having a smartly dressed gentlemen holding a piece of cardboard with your name on it. These days, many chauffeured transportation service providers employ state-of-the-art technology that allows them to track flights in real time, so that you are never kept waiting at the airport, regardless if your flight arrives earlier or later than expected.


At EmpireCLS, our unique Airport Greetings service takes chauffeured airport transportation to a whole new level, with more comprehensive services and personal assistance throughout your entire air travel experience. Through this special program, we’ll give you expedited transit, and other benefits, that eliminate the unnecessary hassle of travel through over 450 airports and destinations around the world. Our services consist of:


Providing Organizations With Comprehensive Corporate Transportation Solutions


Whether you are running a dynamic startup or a large, multi-city operation, partnering with a chauffeured transportation service provider for executive and corporate transportation is extremely beneficial.


Ensuring the seamless execution of meetings and events is one-way organizations can utilize chauffeured transportation. An experienced service provider will make sure that executives and attendees arrive to their meeting or event destinations safely, on time and in style. At EmpireCLS, our meeting and event transportation solutions minimize cost and maximize peace of mind. From detailed logistics to passenger manifests and updates, event walkthroughs and on-site management, our expert meetings and events team take the stress off our client’s shoulders, giving them time to focus on more important things.


Corporate shuttles are another option for companies to use chauffeured transportation services. Shuttles offer a great way for employees to get to and from work stress-free, and chauffeured transportation companies have the fleet, staff and expertise to manage these complex programs. In addition to easing the hassle of employees being stuck in traffic, corporate shuttle programs also provide bottom-line benefits for organizations. They include cost savings in which companies are not having to build more parking garages or parking lots when they receive an influx of new personnel, improved employee wellness that can reduce long-term medical costs and an enhanced corporate reputation for having a positive impact on the environment by encouraging employees to make use of shared transportation.


Delivering Transportation and Security


With today’s world being full of unrest and uncertainty, it’s important for travelers to take extra precautions when heading to unknown locales. When you use a chauffeured transportation service on your travels, rather than a taxi or ride-sharing service, you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands. Professional chauffeurs undergo background checks, drug and alcohol testing and ongoing training to ensure the safety of their passengers.


At EmpireCLS, the safety and security of our clients is our top priority. In fact, our SecureCar division adds an extra layer of safety for travelers, with a suite of high-level security options. Before your trip, we confirm your itinerary and relevant contact information, as well as the backgrounds of your transportation team. The program leverages:


These are just a few things about chauffeured transportation that make it a truly diverse industry. And as it grows, more types of services may develop in the future.

Curious to experience first-class chauffeured transportation for yourself? Click here for details about our services, make a reservation or contact us for more information.

EmpireCLS’ Joey Phelps Discusses New Traveler, Affiliate Mobile Experiences with The Company Dime

At EmpireCLS, we utilize the most advanced technologies to make chauffeured transportation faster, safer, easier and more reliable. With a belief that true innovation can transform the way we serve clients and give service providers the ability to better compete in the fierce ground transportation landscape, we’ve been hard at work building new mobile experiences for travelers and enhanced dispatch software for operators throughout the United States.


Recently, our EVP of Global Operations, Joey Phelps, sat down with The Company Dime, a publication that provides quality journalism on travel industry business news, to discuss EmpireCLS’ new mobile technologies and the significant impact it will make on the industry.


A Modern, Mobile Option for Travelers


EmpireCLS’ upgraded traveler app will replace our current app and will offer a modern, mobile option for booking our higher-end chauffeured transportation services. As stated by The Company Dime:


‘It won’t offer pickup in seven minutes but the app would allow users to, for example, book a ride for “when they land in Dallas”, Phelps said.’


In addition to booking capabilities, the new app will provide vehicle tracking that will feature an icon that represents the reserved car on a map and chauffeur background information, giving travelers peace of mind in knowing exactly who will be driving them. Travelers will also have the ability to text chauffeurs directly through the app.


Helping Operators Compete


With the ability vastly improve scheduling efficiency, the newly built dispatch software aims to help chauffeured transportation operators better compete in the challenging ground transportation arena. The software is available for use by both affiliate and vetted non-affiliate operators. Quoting Phelps, The Company Dime wrote:


‘“If you’re a one- or two-car operator, you can download an app, be vetted and then you can turn on the app with the possibility of passengers for you every day,” … “The expansion possibilities are as endless as there are operators in the industry.”’


In addition, the software incorporates important information, like the industry specialties of chauffeurs.


To learn more about our new traveler and operator mobile experiences, click the link below to read The Company’s Dime full article.


EmpireCLS Revamps Dispatch System To Build Rideshare-Like App

5 Trending Topics at GBTA2018

Another Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) convention has wrapped up, and the EmpireCLS team was so thrilled to be a part of it! Once again, we were kept busy meeting new and existing clients and connecting with industry influencers.

This year, the event showcased over 400 exhibiting companies (including EmpireCLS!), an agenda featuring more than 100 education and professional development sessions and over 7,000 attendees representing more than 50 countries. From panel sessions and presentations to workshops and roundtable discussions, GBTA 2018 featured a plethora of information and insights geared towards driving the industry forward and into the future. We found that there were major focuses on technology, wellness and physical and digital security, and we’ve compiled a list of some of the hottest topics that were talked about at the event.


The Importance of Wellness

Business travel can be seen as beneficial for some people, but for most, it’s tiring and stressful. If you’ve ever been sick during a business trip or been so jetlagged that you couldn’t think clearly, then you likely understand how the health impacts of business travel can affect your ability to perform well when it matters most. In fact, frequent business travel has been linked to poorer behavioral and mental health, higher blood pressure, lower high-density lipoprotein, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep and alcohol dependence. Various sessions at GBTA discussed information like this, highlighted the correlation between wellness and business success and did a fantastic job of educating attendees on effective strategies and tactics to help reduce the negative health impacts of business travel.


GDPR and Data Security

The nature of the business travel industry somewhat necessitates the gathering of peoples’ data through the process of registration, marketing, travel programs, and even information on dining or accommodation preferences. The implications of any attack on the significant quantity of data held by business travel organizers could be catastrophic. In an effort to enhance digital security, the European Union (EU) established the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to serve as a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the EU. Whilst these new rules have been put in place by the EU, any company operating outside of its jurisdiction must still comply with these new regulations in the very likely event that US-based companies are ever doing business within the EU, or if EU citizens are traveling within the US. With multiple educational sessions dedicated to GDPR and data security, this was a major topic of discussion at GBTA.


Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies are changing the way we travel. The rise of innovations like Artificial Intelligence, Biometrics and Blockchain, as well as Augmented and Virtual Reality, are gaining momentum and causing significant transformations across the industry. At GBTA, attendees had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these, and other, technologies that can offer new opportunities for organizations that choose to utilize them.

At EmpireCLS, for example, we’re building new mobile experiences for travelers and affiliates. For travelers, our app delivers a modern, mobile option for booking our luxury executive transportation services. When it comes to operators, EmpireCLS’ mobile platform aims to help them compete. In a recent interview with The Company Dime, our EVP Joey Phelps stated, “If you’re a one- or two-car operator, you can download an app, be vetted and then you can turn on the app with the possibility of passengers for you every day… The expansion possibilities are as endless as there are operators in the industry.”


Risk Management

In 2018, risk management, safety and Duty of Care still remains a major issue in business travel. There are a number of potential threats that come as part of traveling to exotic and unfamiliar destinations. Whilst potential risks, such as natural disasters and data breaches, should certainly not be overlooked, the main hot-button topic in GBTA discussions over possible threat levels and impact upon business travelers’ safety and welfare are concerns around the possibility of threats of domestic and international terrorist attacks. During this year’s conference, we saw a number of educational sessions that provided safety and security resource materials and advice on how organizations can prepare travelers for code red situations, as well as discussions around the state of safety when it comes to business travel. In fact, our Chairman/CEO David Seelinger sat down with GBTA Industry Voices to discuss this topic, amongst others that are currently trending in the business travel and chauffeured transportation realm.



For business travelers seeking an extra layer of protection, EmpireCLS can be your security partner when experiences command a heightened need for protection. In addition to giving business travelers luxury transportation with the same hospitality service you’d expect from the world’s best five-star hotels, we offer a suite of high-level security options through our SecureCar division.

Before your trip, the EmpireCLS team confirms your itinerary and relevant contact information, as well as the backgrounds of your transportation team. The program leverages:

We hope that everyone who attended GBTA 2018 got the chance to connect with fellow professionals within the industry and get caught up on the latest global business travel trends. Here at EmpireCLS, we can’t wait to see what next year’s event brings!

5 Tips for Ensuring Successful Corporate Events

Whether it’s a learning seminar, conference, team building outing or incentive program, corporate events create an opportunity for companies to grow. It can boost company culture, unite employees around organizational goals and create stronger team morale. Putting one together, however, is no easy task.


From coordinating suppliers and tracking budgets to managing agendas and handling attendees, there are so many elements that go into holding a corporate event. And when done right, the results of a corporate event can make a significant impact on how an organization progresses into the future. So, to help companies get the most out of these important occasions, we put together a list of five things that can be done to ensure that a corporate event is successful.


Allow Plenty of Time for Planning

Because there are so many things to handle for a corporate event, it’s important to have a good amount of time to plan it. Things like securing a venue or booking a speaker should be done as far in advance as possible. In fact, some venues book as far as a year in advance and some highly sought-after speakers are typically booked six months in advance. Additionally, if you’re planning on holding your event in another city, state or country, the rule of thumb for reserving room blocks is typically 3-8 months ahead of your event. To make the planning process more efficient, organizations can consider forming an event planning team.


Make a List of All the Equipment You’ll Need

Before nailing down a venue, make a note of every piece of equipment that you’ll need for your event. Unless it’s strictly a networking gathering or executive get-together, corporate events typically require some kind of audio and visual component. If you’re planning on having speakers, you may want them to present their material on a stage with a podium. Be sure you have a clear understanding of what you need for your event so that you can reserve a venue that meets all of your requirements.


Schedule Your Event Wisely

If you’re holding a larger event, like a conference, check to see if other events will be slated to take place in the area around the same time as your proposed event date. Having another event happening during your event will make the area busier than normal, which may risk things like your attendees being late due to traffic. In addition, you may also risk finding suitable accommodation for your attendees. Schedule your event either a little earlier or later than any other event set to happen in the area to avoid cumbersome mishaps like these.


Make Networking a Priority

The most successful corporate events make networking and mingling a major priority. Try to create spaces where guests can chat without having to yell over blaring music or sit at a crowded bar. Consider setting up intimate areas with intimate seating or standing arrangements to give your attendees the ability to comfortably talk. If the weather permits, you can even design a small, café-style outdoor area with a few high-top tables and chairs that can double as a place to get fresh air and continue a conversation.


Let Professionals Manage Your Transportation

When it comes to an event, organizing transportation can be the most daunting and frustrating task that you’ll undertake. Creating your itinerary, figuring out what vehicles will suit the number of passengers you have to accommodate and ensuring your drivers arrive at each destination on-time the day of your event are all things that you would need to manage. You can make this whole process completely stress-free by hiring an experienced chauffeured transportation service provider that focuses on special events, executive transportation, corporate events, coach bus rental, charter bus rental, charter bus NYC or motorcoach rental.


At EmpireCLS, we’re seasoned specialists at helping companies create seamless and reliable transportation programs for a variety of events, from board meetings to large conferences. Our expertly crafted charter bus rental, coach bus rental and motorcoach rental solutions minimize cost and maximize peace of mind. From detailed logistics to passenger manifests and updates, event walkthroughs and on-site management, our seasoned meetings and events team takes the stress off companies’ shoulders, giving them time to focus on more important things.


By working with EmpireCLS for corporate events, organizations will have:


Plus, if you’re welcoming out-of-town guests or holding your event in another city, state or country, EmpireCLS’ Airport Greeting service offers a completely stress-free travel experience. Through this special program, we offer expedited transit, and other benefits, that eliminate the unnecessary hassle of travel through over 450 airports and destinations around the world.


In addition to chauffeur service to and from the airport, with EmpireCLS’ Airport Greetings, your guests will experience:


Curious to learn more about our corporate transportation, events transportation, charter bus rental, charter bus NYC, coach bus rental, motorcoach rental and executive transportation services? Click here for more details or get in touch with one of our specialists.


Whatever type of corporate event you’re holding, EmpireCLS can be there with you every step of the way to ensure that your entire program runs seamlessly and successfully.

5 National Parks You Need to Add to Your Bucket List

Protected and preserved for their majestic landscapes and rich ecosystems, national parks present one of the quickest and best ways to realize how amazing and awe-inspiring our planet truly is. They also represent some of the most spectacular destinations in the world, which is why they attract so many travelers. In fact, in 2017, there were more than 330 million visitors to the National Park System’s 417 areas, which covers every state in the U.S., the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


Beyond the U.S., there are so many other national parks around the world that are sure to take your breath away. From the plains of Africa and the reefs of Ecuador to the powdered peaks of Snowdonia and the Arctic Seas of the Svalbard islands, here’s our list of the top five national parks that you need to add to your bucket list.


Kruger National Park, South Africa



As South Africa’s first ever national park, Kruger National Park is arguably the top safari destination in the world. The park is home to hundreds of animals, including the world-famous Big Five: the Lion, the African Elephant, the Leopard, the Rhinoceros and the Cape Buffalo. Kruger National Park also has more species of large mammals than any other game reserve in Africa. Visitors can choose from a variety of accommodation options, including opulent suites, intimate lodges, classic family retreats and luxurious private hotels. The best way to experience the park is through a guided tour with a reputable tour company that cares about environmental issues and employs knowledgeable guides.


Galapagos National Park, Ecuador



Visitors to Galapagos National Park will be able to see the wildlife that sparked Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, including rare endemic species like giant tortoises, iguanas, penguins and sea lions. It has been described as one of the most unique, scientifically important and biologically outstanding areas on Earth. The eco-luxe Pikaia Lodge, the only hotel on the island, offers a private boat yacht for personal scuba diving excursions around the coral reefs. Many travelers describe their time in the islands as a life-changing experience.


Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A



From the Grand Canyon to Yosemite, America is home to some of the most incredible national parks on Earth, and the top spot has to go to Yellowstone National Park. Having opened in 1872, it’s the world’s first ever national park. Yellowstone is also home to the world’s largest active geyser field, Old Faithful, as well the world’s biggest herd of free-roaming bison. Explore mountains, lakes and forests. Watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold. You can stay in one of the nine lodges in the park, or go camping in one of the park’s 12 campgrounds and truly immerse yourself in nature. Whatever you choose, be sure to plan at least a week’s stay, so that you can have the opportunity to thoroughly experience this massive area. Yellowstone encapsulates the essence of the American West and is a place that every traveler should visit, at least, once.


Snowdonia National Park, Wales



With rugged landscape, craggy mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and foggy valleys, Snowdonia National Park is the stuff of myths, legends and medieval folklore – a place that looks and feels like a real-life embodiment of a J.R.R Tolkien novel. In fact, legend has it that King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, can be found at the bottom of one of the park’s lakes. In addition to its lore, Snowdonia National Park is known for its hiking trails, waterfalls, lakes, world-class mountain biking and vintage steam railway that climbs to the top of Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. With historic castles and charming villages, visits to Snowdonia are truly enchanting.


National Parks of Svalbard, Norway



With the summer midnight sun and polar bear nights in the winter, the National Parks of the Svalbard Islands is a nature photographer’s dream. Located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between the North Pole and mainland Norway, the Svalbard Islands are a haven for polar bears, walruses and harbor seals. The National Parks of Svalbard are home to seven Norwegian national parks: Forlandet, Indre Wijdefjorden, Nordenskiöld Land, Nordre Isfjorden, Nordvest-Spitsbergen, Sassen-Bünsow Land, and Sør-Spitsbergen. You’ll find experience untouched arctic wilderness and unique wildlife in an environment that is both rugged and fragile. Plus, because Svalbard is a certified Sustainable Destination, you can feel good about traveling there knowing that your trip is supporting the area’s works to systematically reduce the negative impact of tourism.


These places are just a few of the breathtaking national parks that you can find all over the world. Travelers are truly spoilt for choice!

Wherever you decide to travel to, EmpireCLS’ chauffeur service can help take you there safely, comfortably and in style. Our chauffeur service gives you the same hospitality experience that you expect from five-star hotels, and the diversity of our fleet means that we can serve an array of travelers, from solo globetrotters and couples to families and large groups.

Whether you’re heading to the airport to catch a flight for a family vacation at Yellowstone or going to a pier to catch a cruise to Norway for a visit to the Svalbard Islands, EmpireCLS’ chauffeur service can get you to wherever you need to go with plenty of time to spare before your departure. We want to make sure that you have the chance to chill out and relax before you leave on your adventure.

You can also take the opportunity to experience completely stress-free travels by reserving our Airport Greetings service. Through this special program, we’ll give you expedited transit, and other benefits, that eliminate the unnecessary hassle of travel through over 450 airports and destinations around the world. It’s like having your own personal travel assistant!


In addition to chauffeur service to the airport, with EmpireCLS’ Airport Greetings, you’ll experience:


Curious to learn more about our Airport Greetings and chauffeur service? Click here or contact us for more information.

Whatever national park you visit, EmpireCLS can help make your trip so much more memorable.