Meet the Driver – Sandis

Sandis has been with Airport Lynx since October 2018 and really enjoys his job. Sandis is from Latvia and has been living and working in the UK since 2008. He has lived in Scotland and England, choosing to settle in the Cambridgeshire area a couple of years ago.

Sandis started his career as a driver for a local taxi company and then chose to make the move to Airport Lynx to be a chauffeur after hearing good things about the company. After completing a couple of jobs with Airport Lynx he commented on how happy he was and how nice it was to call through to helpful members of staff if he encountered any issues on the road or if he was simply after some guidance.

Sandis is very excited to be welcoming his first child soon – a son and we cannot wait to be introduced to the new addition to the Airport Lynx family.

When speaking with our drivers I am always intrigued to know what their favourite time of the week is to drive – Sandis prefers the weekends as generally the roads are quieter which lends itself to a more straightforward journey than rush hours in the week! His favourite drive to date was taking our customers to Dover where he then had time to sit overlooking the white cliffs and enjoy a peaceful hour eating his lunch.

In his spare time Sandis’ main interest is cars! Specifically race cars, one of which he has been building for the past six years.  His most recent holiday was a trip to Majorca where he was delighted to take the opportunity to hire a Ford Mustang GT Cabrio for two days.

We look forward to Sandis working with Airport Lynx for years to come!

Thank you and don’t forget to turn the lights off…

Of all the posts I’ve written for Airport Lynx, on so many different topics, this is the one which I am least enjoying writing and editing. This is my last blog post and newsletter – after five fabulous years, I’m moving on to new adventures.

I first met Steve Russell when I taught a workshop on how to do your own PR and marketing. It was a small group and I noticed that he took lots of notes so I assumed he’d be someone who would go and put things into action after the workshop. Instead, he came to me at the end of the session and asked if I’d be interested in doing PR for his chauffeur company – Airport Lynx. Being a genuine fan of all things motoring related (my Dad started out as a mechanic and I spent many Saturday mornings at the garage with him), I said yes. That was more than five years ago and since then, I’ve been writing posts, social media, newsletters, awards applications and pitches for new accounts with an ever growing knowledge of operations, tyres and the duty of care businesses have in looking after their staff as they travel.

Steve and Jayne Russell have been wonderful people to work for and with. My never ending stream of ideas have always been well received, even if they’ve not always been practical to implement. I’ve launched campaigns around valentines, spring, easter, summer, back to school and even at Christmas when no one else was doing active marketing. I’m proud of all that work – but the thing that stands out for me professionally, is our most recent win of Gold as Large Chauffeur Company of the year at the QSI Pro Driver awards. I wrote the application on the basis of our being a business which is not afraid to kick tired business cliches to the kerb, of our being a team who always push forwards together and work to a common purpose.

I spent the night of the awards at John Lewis in Cambridge, hosting customers as part of our ongoing activity within the city. I got home at 10.30pm and hadn’t heard from Steve. I was worried. Had we not even managed to get a bronze award that year? I was so sad – I felt we deserved a mention. At 11.25pm a text message arrived. It just had an image – of the gold award. I couldn’t believe it. I zoomed in to make sure Steve wasn’t winding me up. He wasn’t. We’d really done it – we’d won gold in the category of Large Chauffeur Company of the Year. It was an incredible moment. We’d done the undoable. Which reflects on the whole experience with Airport Lynx really, for me.

I don’t see this as being the end of my knowing the Airport Lynx, Myhill’s and Lynx Autocare teams – our family are customers of all three businesses and that will continue. I’ll be booking with Airport Lynx as I travel in my new role and regardless of anything else, I’ll always be ready to help people work out how best to get from A to B safely and in style.

It would be great to keep in touch with you all, so please connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thank you for being great people to know and work for – I’ve loved getting to know you all and look forward to keeping in touch with you, seeing you in and around Cambridge and hearing of the growth of your businesses and the adventures you’re having.

The A to Z of Airport Lynx – Q – QSi awards from Pro Driver magazine

Within our industry, there is one publisher whose awards we sit up and take notice of – the QSi awards, from Pro Driver magazine. The printed magazine comes out monthly and is supported by email updates and digital content. We always pounce on the magazine when it arrives – we want to know what’s working, what’s not and of the strides other businesses are making in their work. The awards take place annually and are presented at a glitzy dinner near Heathrow, with a many pages of the next edition being given over to reviewing the runners and riders in each category.

Each year, we sit and ruminate as to whether we should enter the awards. The entry needs to be in by the end of September and it’s usually mid September, when we’re starting to get back into our stride after a busy summer of supporting international schools, that we remember the looming deadline!

Regardless of our whether we win or not, it’s good for us to enter the awards because they help us take stock and look at all that we’ve achieved and accumulated over the previous year. Being organised types, we also produce our awards applications in a way that enables us to adapt the content to become part of our pitching for new business accounts. We’ve been entering the awards for a few years now and have won bronze, silver and gold awards a number of times. Whatever we’ve won, it’s always brought delight and pride to the team and also, for our customers – they like to know that they’re backing a winning horse!

The competition is always strong – this year we managed to secure the top spot in the largest category of Large Chauffeur Operator of the year (with our debut entry) where we questioned tired business cliches and demonstrated how our excellence in service, quality and innovation puts us ahead of the pack.

For me personally, I love that we enter the awards – they reflect the pride we take in our work and the way that we pull together as a team, even though we all work in different places, at different times of the day and on different projects. The teamwork and shared values shine through at the smallest of moments – usually in the service of helping others, which is what Airport Lynx is all about.

 

 

2018 – also known as the year where we said “Well, we weren’t expecting that”…

I always take time in January, to review the year that went before. I take this post, print it and share it with the team, so they can be reminded of all the great things we’ve achieved together this year. It’s easy to miss the bigger aspects of progress when you’re working day to day challenges.

At the start of the year we had lots of fun with our Valentine’s giveaway – I got to meet one of our customers and her lovely children, who posed beautifully with the flowers and chocolates I dropped to her.

Steve and Jayne didn’t give us Valentine’s cards in 2018 – they went one better and gave the Lynx Autocare team entirely new premises over at Waterbeach: they needed space urgently and spent a couple of months developing it to meet our standards before moving there in June.

Myhill’s Mini-Coaches was also treated to a brand new addition to the fleet in June – a22 seater Mercedes Sprinter executive minicoach! It was a surreal moment when we all went and sat in the coach and talked about where we’d like to be driven in it…

We then moved into what will be henceforth known as The Hot Summer of 2018 – we did many runs for iced lollies and ratcheted up the air conditioning to keep us cool whilst we served the many international schools that need us day and night over the summer. The summer ended with a magnificent weekend at Movies on the Meadows in Granchester – the weather continued to be kind and the visitors thought it was great.

We spent September planning for the acquisition of Alpha Executive Cars, which took place on the 1st October. Although it was a relatively small business, it was an undertaking for everyone within the team. It reminded me of the countdown between 1999 and 2000 – we weren’t entirely sure how it would all come together – and then it did, beautifully!!

October ended on a high with the Film Festival, which we’re proud to be an ongoing supporter of and then November seemed to go in flash with our usual partnership with John Lewis & Partners and the awards night, where we won gold at the QSi ProDriver awards.

The highlight of the year has to be winning gold at the QSi ProDriver awards. The award application was a curation of all the ways in which Airport Lynx does not accept tired business clichés as being the status quo. It wasn’t a tyre kicking exercise either – it was a great opportunity to reflect as a team on who we are, what we do and why we’re doing our work. It really meant so much to us all – winning gold on our first time of entering in that category is unheard of. We had Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ on repeat at our Christmas party…

With so much being achieved in 2018, it’s reinforced our belief that we don’t need to have a big grand plan for chauffeuring domination in 2019. Instead, we’re going to focus on the customers we already have, and how we can continue to do an excellent job of serving them as they travel from A to B. In particular, we’ll be looking at what you need to make travelling work for you – we feel that we have more to offer in making life easier and more comfortable whilst you are away from home.

As ever, we are so grateful to you all for your support – thank you for booking with us, for recommending us and our work to other people and for being wonderful people to serve. Your professionalism, sense of humour and positive attitudes make it easy for our drivers and booking team to want to go the extra mile for you all.

Wishing you a warm and dry start to 2019,
Steve, Jayne and the Airport Lynx, Myhill’s and Lynx Autocare teams.