In Safe Hands Coconut Court guests using the hotel’s airport shuttle bus can rest assured they are in safe hands with former soldier Michael Springer at the wheel. The man tasked with greeting hotel visitors at Grantley Adams International Airport spent eight years in the Barbados Defence Force driving lorries and large buses before he joined Coconut Court staff two years ago.
Loading Up. Michael Springer
But the step into civvy street is not without its stresses. Juggling the needs of jet-lagged passengers who have cleared customs with those whose flights have been delayed, requires planning and clear decision making. “Usually the flights come in five or 10 minutes apart," said Michael, 35, "so it's no problem. The guests should only wait a maximum of 45 minutes as it’s a shared shuttle. If flights are delayed, I have to put something in place for another driver to meet that customer so the guests already waiting can get to the hotel. It all needs to be planned in advance.” The airport pick-up service is free for guests who book their stay with the hotel direct and is most popular with those who have visited Coconut Court before. An "Appy" Man And the best part of the job for Michael is meeting clients from all over the world and the challenge of communicating with non-English speakers. “I’ve got a translation app on my phone – although I show them the text rather than try to pronounce the words!” Michael said. He also runs the hotel’s free Bridgetown shuttle service which takes guests into the city at 9am from Monday to Saturday. “That’s quite popular,” added Michael. “We don’t do a pick-up, but I make sure everyone knows the different options for getting back to the hotel.”
Michael checks the transfer lists while barman Antonio says goodbye to some guests.
The father-of-two, whose wife is expecting their third child, spends his spare time tinkering with a motorcycle and keeping three of his own vehicles roadworthy. He’s also a keen archer and owns a compound bow, a bow which uses a system of cables and pulleys to bend the limbs. “Guests save a lot of money using our airport transfer and can often get there quicker. I love meeting people and getting their holiday off to a good start. It can be stressful but it’s worth it.”