Excellence Coaches Terms & Conditions

Excellence Coaches is a family run business offering transport between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas on airport shuttles, and within Port Douglas on local shuttles.

We’ve transported 1000s of passengers since starting business and everything goes pretty smoothly, but like all businesses we need to have our T&Cs.

Shuttle services delivered by Excellence Coaches aim to transfer passengers on time and according to the airport shuttle booking confirmation, or local shuttle ticket. All staff and drivers are working towards that goal.

All passengers are advised to have travel insurance to cover financial losses, or costs, or unexpected delays in transit as detailed below, or as may be reasonably expected to be included within and covered by available travel insurance policies associated with travel.

All Australian Consumer Law (Queensland) rights and guarantees apply.

COVID SAFE Travel information Policy 2020

Created: 2 June 2020 (updated May 2023).

There are no longer any Queensland Public Health Directions in effect. Travellers are therefore encouraged to continue the same precautions they felt comfortable with when flying into Cairns. 

We do recommend our private transfer service at this time for any passengers wanting enhanced social distancing.

Changes less than 24 hours before travel cost $20

 Please note that any changes less than 24 hours before travel cost $20 to process. When we receive your booking we allocate vehicles and drivers according to the information on your booking form. This change payment can be paid by credit card over the phone when making the change. If you email us your change we will call you back to confirm the change and process the change payment. Flight changes made by Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin impact our schedule and require additional staff to manage our daily shuttle manifest and reallocate vehicles and drivers. We also ask that passengers please limit discretionary changes less than 24 hours before travel due to staff and driver shortages affected by the pandemic. Thank you for your understanding and assistance to help us run our business during these challenging times.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO TRAVELLERS: As with any travel now there is a responsibility on passengers to not travel when unwell, or if becoming unwell during travel to adapt their plans or consider how they may minimise contact with other passengers or travellers while they feel unwell.

Thank you for helping us transfer your family and friends between Cairns Airport, Cairns City and around Port Douglas.

A: Definitions:

– ‘Captain Cook Highway’ means the highway from the roundabout intersection with Port Douglas Road, running south into National Highway 1 and the intersection with Airport Avenue in Cairns.

– ‘Our Business’ means Excellence Coaches

– ‘Travel Insurance’ means an insurance policy to protect you from financial losses, unexpected costs, damage to goods, or the impacts of delays and similar financial hardships possibly encountered during intrastate and interstate travel.

– ‘Child’ means a person 0-15 years of age inclusive.

– ‘Standard hours’ means 06:00 to 19:00.

-‘Flights scheduled to arrive between 6am and 6pm’ means flights that are eligible for standard hours service until 19:00

-‘After hours service’ means flights scheduled to arrive after 18:00 which must be booked as private transfer plus $50 night fee

B: Being contactable on your phone is an important part of travel. Passengers can help transfers flow smoothly by being contactable.

  1.  Please ensure your mobile phone is on as soon as you are allowed in Cairns or within the terminal and proceed direct to the baggage claim or arrivals hall areas. Please try and make contact with our driver and let them know you have arrived and are getting your bags. If the driver is not visible, collect your bags and wait at baggage claim carousel 4 as that is where our driver will arrive OR contact the phone number on your bookings confirmation after you have your bags.
  2. Important transfer details are on the booking confirmation sent to you once you’ve paid, including phone number of your shuttle and your EXC reference number. Please keep this available to you for any enquiry.
  3. Before departure from Port Douglas please ensure you make contact Excellence Coaches 18-24 hours before you leave to confirm your pick up time. Usually our business will email OR text you to confirm the pickup time, but sometimes the text doesn’t go through to international phones, or the confirmation email may go to spam. If you phone us about your booking please phone 07 3012 7400 and be sure to have your booking reference number handy (EG. EXC0015). This is on your confirmation receipt sent to you when booking confirmed, and can help us quickly check your departure details.
  4. Once your shuttle has been booked there is no need to reconfirm your arrival into Cairns. All bookings are automatically scheduled for pick up once your confirmation has been emailed to you.

C: Payment in full to secure booking.

  1. Payment needs to be made in full to secure your booking. Confirmation documents are usually not issued if payment has not been received. Bookings where passengers pay by cash to driver can be arranged but must be organised in advance directly with our office.
  2. Online booking under 24 hours before travel not always possible. If using our shuttle book and pay form to book for your transfer less than 24 hours before travel your booking may not be processed. You will be advised ASAP if your booking is either successful or unsuccessful. Your credit card will not be charged if your booking is not processed.
  3. Liability limited to refund of transfer cost or redelivery of service.

D: Liability limited to refund of transfer cost or redelivery of service.

  1. The maximum liability and remedy for any dispute regarding our shuttle transfer service is the cost of the transfer provided. No liability is accepted by Excellence Coaches for any other loss or consequential loss such as airfares, accommodation, missed wages or any other loss whatsoever resulting from any delays caused by other passengers, direct or indirect involvement in accidents, landslips or inundations which close the Captain Cook Highway, or any unforeseen circumstance which prevents the shuttle from gaining access to the airport or gaining access before a flight check in has closed or any other accidents which affects the delivery of the shuttle service. 
  2. No liability beyond refund or redelivery of service is accepted by Excellence Coaches for any loss, or any claim made, whatsoever against any affiliate shuttle service providing contracted services to Excellence Coaches.

E: Cancellation fees including COVID-19 cancellations. Timely communication can help you get a refund or receive 100% credit valid for 12 months. The choice is yours.

  1. To secure any refund less cancellation fee, passengers must request cancellation at least 24 hours prior to travel time in writing by email.
  2. Cancellations of any confirmed and paid bookings more than 24 hours before travel have the option of 100% credit valid for 12 months or refund less cancel fees. Cancel fees are $18 fee per adult return booking ($9 one way) and $9 fee per child return booking ($4.50 one way) to cover booking establishment fees for all seat in shared shuttle bookings. Private transfer / limousine cancellations are $30 for one way, or $50 for a return booking. Bookings mean seating capacity, drivers and vehicles have been dedicated to your party, and so withdrawing a booking has cost implications for all service providers. We thank you for your understanding.
  3. 100% credits that are later cancelled are subject to the same cancellation fees indicated on this page and are charged at the rate applicable at the time of your booking.
  4. As we do not retain your credit card details after processing payment we make refunds by direct deposit to online banking details you provide to us. Please allow 5 business days for us to process your refund and a further 1-2 days for this to show in your account. We will email you a refund receipt when refund is processed. To receive your refund you must send us your BSB and account details. Please check these carefully as we can only process according to the details you provide. Thank you for your assistance.
  5. For seat in shared bus cancellations less than 24 hours before transit there will be no refund payable. Private transfer and limousine transfers are subject to separate cancel terms as indicated on their booking forms. For discounted return bookings, cancellation of your outward or return leg only will mean your booking is charged as a one way price, and the cancellation fee for the return remains under the same conditions as above. Why no refund under 24 hours? When passengers have booked a shuttle the shuttle company contracts or rosters a driver and shuttle bus to your transfer. Cancellations less than 24 hours mean a financial loss for the business. You may be the only passengers on the shuttle and without your custom the shuttle becomes a loss making journey. This cost can not be covered by the shuttle, for example, when a passenger elects to cancel at the very last minute by deciding to hire a car or for some other reason. As per cancellation item 2 above cancellation over 24 hours is OK for a minimal fee per passenger. The discounted rates we offer (vs taxi or walk up shuttle transfers) are only possible by the allocation and management of booked services. Thank you for your understanding.
  6. Passengers at the airport who do not make themselves known to the driver by the time their flight has cleared or who are not at a designated point of meeting at the time arranged, and are not contactable on their nominated mobile will be regarded as a no show and no refund will be made if the bus has already departed. For passengers who are non contactable and later make contact we will try (but are under no obligation) to get you a later bus if possible, but this will likely involve extra costs.

F: Delays or frustrations to delivery of service can happen. Events beyond everyone's control may cause a delay, but the goal is to minimise any delay for passengers.

The most likely potential situation is that the Captain Cook Highway gets closed (sometimes for several hours) if there is a traffic accident on the road. This can impact departures from Port Douglas to Cairns, and does happen from time to time. This is one of the reasons our business will always encourage passengers to have travel insurance for delays and frustrations beyond the normal course of business. Additionally we also try to work to a target of leaving Port Douglas 3 hours before scheduled flight departure to maximise our options in case of sudden road closure, and leave earlier for international flights. We also recommend passengers have the potential to leave earlier if needed, and be contactable on your mobile phone or email the day of your transfer if possible. For example if there is a road closure, shuttles can access Cairns via the inland highway via Mareeba which takes an extra hour (2 hours travel instead of 1 hour travel).
  1. There are multiple events that could cause delays such as late or early flight arrivals. Our business always tries to monitor flights before you arrive in Cairns and before your departure from Port Douglas to help identify changes to any schedule. This includes shuttle drivers monitoring flights at Cairns airport where flights are indicated in real time as landed, on the block and then arrived. Drivers liaise with our office and each other about flight arrivals and changes in traffic conditions.
  2. Shuttle services may be affected by any pick up or drop off changes implemented by Cairns Airport, and these are beyond our control.
  3. If, through circumstances not foreseeable and beyond our control, shuttles are delayed or unable to transfer you we cannot be responsible for any financial or material losses which may be incurred by passengers. This is an important reason why we recommend travel insurance for any passengers who may be affected by unforeseeable circumstances or events beyond our control which affect delivery of our service. Examples (but not limited to) events beyond our control: accidents where the shuttle company vehicle has been directly or indirectly involved; delays caused by road closures, accidents, landslips or inundations on the Captain Cook Highway between Port Douglas and Cairns, or in and around Cairns affecting access to the airport; severe weather events or tropical cyclone; delays in traffic conditions preventing the shuttle company from getting to the airport or getting to the airport on time; and any other events of the nature described here.
  4. If there are circumstances beyond the control of the shuttle service allocated to transfer you that result in the shuttle service being unable to transfer you we will seek to arrange alternative road transport for you at no additional cost. Alternative road transport does not mean helicopter, boat or any non road based transport.
  5. For any delay caused by circumstances within the control of the shuttle the maximum liability and remedy for any dispute regarding this transfer service is the cost of the transfer provided.
  6. It is standard practice for shuttle companies to monitor incoming flights as planes can arrive early or late. The standard policy target is not to have passengers arriving on flights scheduled to arrive more than 20 minutes apart, on the same bus. Planes that arrive a few minutes late may mean a slightly longer wait for those passengers who have arrived on an earlier flight. We ask those passengers for patience on these occasions – as it could be your flight that is running a late or arriving early and nobody wants to be left stranded. If a severe plane delay is occurring, passengers on that flight will usually be transferred to the next available bus or we will make alternative arrangements for their transfer to minimise the waiting time at the airport. There may be an additional cost incurred.
  7. After hours arrivals from significantly delayed standard hours arrivals: Bookings for standard hours transfers that arrive in after hours periods (between 19:00 and 06:00) are subject to after hours rates and delivered as private transfer + $50 after hours driver surcharge. For example, a paid and confirmed shuttle booking to meet a flight arriving in the afternoon at 2pm cannot be automatically transferred to an after hours shuttle for arrivals after 7pm. Passengers are asked to please provide us with notice of the late arrival so that we can work with you on a remedy. We can transfer the value of your earlier booking towards your after hours arrival, and advise the difference in fare. After hours bookings are flat rate one way private transfer Cairns Airport to Port Douglas at $235 for 1-2 pax, $245 for 3-5 pax, and $360 for 6-13 pax which includes after hours drivers surcharge. 
  8. If we have no availability for your after hours arrival due to driver shortage or WH&S issues of available drivers who have already worked a full day and we cannot meet you for your standard hours arrival that ends up after hours arrival, and you elect not to pay after hours rates, we will refund the standard hours value to your credit card if paid using PayPal checkout within 90 days since the refund is requested as per refund rules of the PayPal system. If we have no access to refund back to your credit card we will make the 100% refund to BSB and account details we will request from you. We can alternatively offer you 100% credit note valid for 24 months.
  9. If you have a private transfer booking which is significantly delayed into after hours time and we have no driver availability when your flight arrives, as an alternative to the refund or credit mentioned in cl F(8) above we will pay 100% of a taxi or Uber cost to Port Douglas. We will make this offer to you before you arrive. Simply keep the receipt and email to us with your BSB and bank account details for payment.
  10. Thank you for your understanding. Airline delays can cause significant impacts for associated airport services (eg 11pm arrivals from flights scheduled in the middle of the day) outside our control and also outside our ability to deliver transfers due to WH&S issues including driver fatigue and safety issues. The remedies in this clause F are intended to address these challenges to the benefit of our passengers.

G: Safety. Please obey Australian traffic regulations and driver safety advice.

100% of passengers including all children must wear a seat belt in the shuttle van. Failure of any passenger to wear a seat belt will mean the shuttle will not move.
  1. All Excellence Coaches shuttles are equipped with safety belts. Child seats are available and can be installed if booked at the time of your booking. Vehicles must comply with Queensland Transport authority’s rules and are regularly checked by that authority for compliance.
  2. All shuttle bus drivers are experienced drivers who must have Queensland Transport issued Drivers Authority (DA) to transfer fare paying passengers. This DA issued by Queensland Transport ensures a driver has passed a medical exam, eye examination and criminal records check. Drivers must also hold an upgraded Queensland driver’s license for either LR (Light Rigid) or MR (Medium Rigid) vehicle (depending on the vehicle they are driving).

H: Pick up and drop off points - sometimes the bus cannot access a street with no turning or a gate with no key code.

  1. Due to the design of some streets we may not be able to enter some areas of Murphy Street, some gated real estate and some caravan parks where there is no turning option for our shuttle. These drop off and pickups are then available only at the closest street corner, front gate or nearest practical access point.
  2. Shuttle buses are prevented from entering unsealed roads due to insurance and damage liability issues.
  3. Our shuttles drop your party at one location only. Due to the shared nature of a shuttle and timetables, we are unable to keep passengers waiting while other passengers collect keys. If you need to collect keys from an accommodation agency, we suggest best approach is to drop your party at the accommodation and send one person via local shuttle or walk if close by. Alternatively, we can drop your party at agency to collect keys and make your own way to accommodation. Options may be discussed with your driver, but any decision by the driver to apply our one drop off per party policy will be supported by our business, and enquiries referred to this T&Cs policy which is linked from our booking form and accepted by passengers before booking.

I: Passenger obligations on public passenger vehicles in Queensland.

Passengers are not permitted to drink alcohol or eat food or consume any non water beverage on public passenger vehicles in Queensland. The following common courtesies are for the comfort and enjoyment of your travelling party and all passengers on our shuttles, limousines or private transfers. Queensland Government fines and cleaning charges can result if these courtesies are not followed.

  1. Bottled water is permitted to be consumed on our shuttles, however all other food and beverages are not permitted to be consumed on our shuttle service. This Queensland food and beverage restriction on public passenger vehicles is in the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2018 (Qld) s 232(2). Thank you for your help to keep our shuttles clean and tidy.
  2. A cleaning charge of $175 INC GST applies to any non-water spillages or mess in the shuttle that in the assessment of the driver needs to be professionally cleaned. This cleaning charge applies to spillages of carbonated beverages like Coke, Pepsi, Fanta and the like. Spillages of sunscreen, perfume or of non-carbonated beverages like orange juice or apple juice, and foods like yoghurt, sandwiches, kebabs, pies and any type of food spillage will also attract the cleaning charge. Any bodily fluids including vomit, urine, faeces will automatically attract the cleaning charge independent of the driver’s assessment. If cleaning is required we will provide an invoice for payment due within 7 days. Your assistance is appreciated.
  3. Please take any rubbish with you.
  4. Animals are not permitted on our shuttle service, unless they are an approved guide, hearing, or assistance animal.
  5. Smoking is not permitted on our shuttle service. This includes electronic cigarettes.
  6. Passengers are required to use earphones when listening to music or watching videos on a personal device, and keep the volume at a reasonable level.
  7. For the comfort of all travelling passengers musical instruments are not permitted to be played on our shuttle service.

J. Waiting times for pick ups for any seat in shuttle service is 5 minutes from your allocated time. For any private transfer service the vehicle will wait a maximum 10 minutes after your allocated time.

  1. Your vehicle may be running ahead of schedule. Please be ready for collection 10 minutes before your allocated time. This can assist our schedule and have your transfer underway on time.
  2. Your pick up time is usually emailed to you 1-2 days before your departure, and your affirmative reply to this pick up confirmation secures your scheduled pick up time.
  3. As our services need to maintain schedules Excellence Coaches will wait for maximum five (5) minutes for all seat in shared shuttle services, and a maximum of ten (10) minutes for all private transfer services, at your accommodation reception after your scheduled and confirmed pick-up time. If Excellence Coaches cannot locate you 5 minutes after your allocated time (for seat in shared shuttle) or 10 minutes after your allocated time (for private transfers and limousines), your vehicle must leave to maintain scheduled pick ups for other passengers, and for arrival transfers booked from Cairns Airport.
  4. No refund is applicable in these circumstances.
  5. We track our drivers using GPS and phone records to verify and provide evidence of our pick-up schedule and attendance. Thank you for your assistance to be ready.

K: These terms and conditions form the entire agreement between Excellence Coaches and passengers.

  1. When we provide a transfer service these terms and conditions (T&Cs) are applicable to any bookings made or subsequently made verbally after an initial online booking. A link to these T&Cs is linked from our shuttle book and pay form. It is the responsibility of any travelling passenger to be aware of these terms and conditions related to our service.

    These terms and conditions form the entire agreement between Excellence Coaches and any travelling passenger. No additional terms, conditions or warranties may be implied into this agreement unless required by statute in the State of Queensland, or as required under Australian Consumer Law (Queensland) rights and guarantees which apply here.

Page edited 4 May 2023