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What would you do?

asolo

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Had something fire me up today and was wondering what you guys might do. The company I fly for likes for me to tanker fuel and to only buy fuel somewhere else unless I have to. I frequently have short hops and spend all day at one place. So today I fly 25-30 min and have to stay all day. When I try to get a crew car, the local FBO (Lets call it "NEW FBO") won't let me borrow it unless I get the min 50 gal fuel purchase. I call my chief pilot and he tells me to buy the fuel. I buy the fuel and girl behind the counter says, "Oops, all out of crew cars. One will be back in about 10min." I wait and then return to counter only to find out someone else signing out car. "Sorry," says the girl AND the Manager! To make a long story short, I finally get the car and get some grub.
I don't have any prob buying fuel and don't blame the NEW FBO for not wanting to give me the car. But, what am I to do? Nothing except pizza delivers, and it is about 30-45 min walk to get something else(HOT here). The last thing I am angry about is my FBO gives cars to the NEW FBO pilots and they don't buy fuel. What gives?
I guess I should start bringing my lunch huh? Any other sugggestions?
 

AlabamaMan!!

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Whats the FBO? That's good info to know about a place (where not to spend all day...or give them your fuel business)

If you dont want to mention the name, what airport and where on the field is it?
 

asolo

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You might be able to find them at APA, GMU, LEX, AMA, and BDL among others:) Again, not talking bad about them, but I guess I would rather them charge a ramp fee or a min fuel charge. I'm not opposed to a ramp fee, of say $20-50 or so b/c I know they are a business and need to make money. However, a ramp fee like $120 at Signature @MEM is crazy.
I do believe that the manager at this particular FBO location has a lot to do with it though.
 

BoilerUP

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TAC Air LEX has always treated me very well...always given a crew car (usually a Malibu) when I've asked for one, never charged me a ramp fee, and a couple times I never bought fuel.

But I was in a Seneca each time....
 

Flying Illini

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Assuming fuel at $3.50/gal and you had to buy 50 gallons, that crew car just cost you (your company) $175!! If you go there frequently, I would have your CP call and speak with the manager to see if they will just charge you a ramp fee. $175 for crew car usage is rediculous!!

Last week I was at MCI. We don't go there much and it had been nearly a year since mine or the captains last visit (we tankered fuel and forgot that they don't have any fees). We walk in and go up to the counter. They ask us if we will need fuel, I reply no, we'll just pay our fees now and get it out of the way, and if you have any crew cars left (it was lunch time) we would like to take one of those to grab something to eat. She then got an attitude and replied that they don't have any fees and all we can do is give you a ride. I replied that we would love a ride and apologized for not taking fuel. She just gave us a dissatisfied "Hmmmph" and turned and walked away from us!
 

Dep676

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Get the keys to the car before you order the fuel. Make them at least show you the keys before you order. If that doesn't work try and let your boss get rental car for the day. That would be cheaper than buying fuel anyway. Then maybe once they see you doing that they will change their tune.
 

C-5 MEM

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I have to agree with BoilerUP. We left LEX last week where we did not get fuel on the first day. They treated us like gold. On the second stop we bought fuel and they still treated you like gold.
 

cosmotheassman

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I've never had to buy fuel to get a crew car. If they did that to me, I would request a lav service...(every time I came in)
 

Mr. Irrelevant

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I've never had to buy fuel to get a crew car. If they did that to me, I would request a lav service...(every time I came in)
Sounds appropriate coming from the assman.......Good idea too.

Mr. I.
 

Flywrite

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Getting the lav dumped every time is not going to mean a thing to the people setting this policy and will just make life harder for the line guys who have a tough enough job at times to start with. Next thing you know when you DO need fuel you'll be last in line for it.

A well worded, professional, couteous, but obviously dissatisfied letter to the corporate HQ might be a good path.
 

Storm Chaser

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We try to tanker as much fuel as we can too. When it is a short hop and we cannot take on some courtesy fuel and need to use the crew car, we usually tell them ahead of time that we cannot justify taking on fuel, but if they would let us take the car we will fill it up or bring you back something to eat....usually that gets a crew car and everyone is happy.
 

banned username 2

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Flying Illini said:
Assuming fuel at $3.50/gal and you had to buy 50 gallons, that crew car just cost you (your company) $175!! If you go there frequently, I would have your CP call and speak with the manager to see if they will just charge you a ramp fee. $175 for crew car usage is rediculous!!
Don't forget, you are getting 50 gallons of fuel for that $175... Depending on the price of fuel at your home base, the crew car is probably costing you far less than $50...
 

Big Dog

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Good call to fuel up the crew car. I religiously do this where ever I get a car. I never have trouble getting one where ever I go, hell, I usually get offered the car without even asking. I've been told personally by several FBOs they really appreciate this. Saves them a little $ and a lot of time. I figure it's the least I can do for a free ride even if it's just to lunch. Keep in mind, they also have to insure and maintain the car. (Well, at least some do!) :)
 
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Flying Illini

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Falcon Capt said:
Don't forget, you are getting 50 gallons of fuel for that $175... Depending on the price of fuel at your home base, the crew car is probably costing you far less than $50...
I didn't forget that fact. But for them to REQUIRE 50 gallons before releasing the car, well then that crew car just cost $175 (or whatever it is). And in the first post he said that they DIDN'T need fuel so the only reason they just spent $175 was to gain access to the crew car. That's just a little excessive in my mind.

But at the same time, it's a business, their business, and if you don't like how they do business then you don't have to go there or if you do, just call a cab...both ways can't cost more than $20-30 bucks. You could even ask the girl behind the counter to call the cab for you...;)
 

GravityHater

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Instead of filling the car up (that can be 50 bucks these days!) I prefer to hand the person I am dealing with $20 bucks and say, this is for you I thank you so much. I think that is appreciated much more by the staff than, 'the car is full'.
The staff often has a lot of discretion on what happens, management is not always hanging over their shoulder.
PS KAUS one fbo is $250.00 handling fee with no purchase for a bizjet!!
 

HawkerF/O

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asolo said:
However, a ramp fee like $120 at Signature @MEM is crazy.
Why on earth are you going to Signature when you have a choice of another FBO? Especially in MEM where Wilson Air Center is located. Wilson is one of the best FBOs in the country! Explain yourself young Lass, fore unto you shalt the thrashings commence and thou'lt be cast down below to the Sodomites (and they'll get unto you as well)...................

Note: I don't care who you are, that was funny.
 

prpjt

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I've found that offering to buy lunch for the crew that is signing out the car will often result in them offering a ride.

A rent car or cab ride is cheaper than the min fuel purchase if you fly for an operation that also owns on FBO.

Tell the offending manager that you would like to discuss the FBO's min fuel purchase/crew car policy over lunch.

Good luck next time.
 

HawkerF/O

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Now were cookin'! Exactly, slip the CSR a 20. Speaking of Memphis, when I worked out of MKC, we would go to MEM about 2-4Xs a month, and I would slip a $20 to the CSR. It's funny how that works; always got out of there with no ramp fee, discount of fuel if we needed any, front door departures, etc. After I turned in my expense report for the 1st time, I got called into the owner's office (small company and she hated the CP so he always got skipped, but that's another story), and asked why I had $60 in tips for the 3 times we were in MEM the previous month when none of the other pilots felt it was necessary to tip when they had gone there (I was on vacation for one of the trips). I asked her to pull out the MS bills for that month (MS bills every 2 weeks) and compare the costs of going there when I am on board and when I am not. She put 2 and 2 together quickly and asked what it was I was doing with the $20 to get out of all the fees. I told her when I hit the counter, I always give the CSR a fresh 20. She just smiled and said she appreciates me looking out for her $. I told her I was saving her money so it could be passed along when it came time for a raise; somewhat of a trickle down effect I like to think of it as. She told me to get out of her office. Can't win them all, but Gravity Hater is right, start being polite with green backs. CSR are probably the lowest paid employees at an FBO, but they can do the most for you. Take that and use it to your advantage and see how much you'll save.
GravityHater said:
Instead of filling the car up (that can be 50 bucks these days!) I prefer to hand the person I am dealing with $20 bucks and say, this is for you I thank you so much. I think that is appreciated much more by the staff than, 'the car is full'.
The staff often has a lot of discretion on what happens, management is not always hanging over their shoulder.
PS KAUS one fbo is $250.00 handling fee with no purchase for a bizjet!!
 
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