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Limo Drivers Mum on Happenings in Car

By JOSELYN KING

Staff Writer

WHEELING — There’s a code of conduct among limousine drivers: “What happens in the car, stays in the car.”

And Renee Dorsey, owner/driver at Airport Limousine in Wheeling, said limousine drivers often are the first to see and hear of pending happenings in the area that the public at large might not know for weeks.

Sometimes major business deals are discussed in the passenger seat behind them.

Airport Limousine has many corporate clientele who fly regularly in to the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport. Some of the executives may be in the retail business, while others are in the coal, oil or gas industries.

“You have to be discreet — that’s the whole point. They’re here and working in the back seat…” Dorsey said. “You’re kind of invisible — a good chauffeur is invisible and ready to do whatever they need….

“I picked up one executive recently, had his water ready, texted and let him know I was there. He jumps in the car and immediately starts making calls. It’s the hardest thing in the world to keep your mouth shut. It’s none of your business, but it’s interesting.”

Airport Limousine, located in South Wheeling, has nine vehicles available for hire.

Four of them are considered traditional black luxury rides, while the other five are SUV, van or “share ride” vehicles.

Their drivers shuttle passengers throughout the Ohio Valley region, extending to the Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg, W.Va., areas. They also take customers to and from airports in Pittsburgh, Columbus, Akron and Cleveland.

Another important service provided by Airport Limousine is medical transport to and from exams and doctor appointments.

“These might be for an individual who doesn’t want to drive, or often they are independent medical exams for law firms and insurance companies,” Dorsey said.

“They love this, because we bill at a flat, hourly rate by GPS and they know the client will get to the appointment.”

Airport Limousine drivers also provide courier and delivery services. On occasion, they’ve even been asked to pick up and transport animals, according to Dorsey.

Last October, she received a call from a father in Gahanna, Ohio, asking if Airport Limousine could provide service for his family and their friends from their home to a Cleveland Indians World Series game in Cleveland. Along the way, they also planned to stop for dinner and take in an Ohio State football game.

Dorsey said she took the trip herself, leaving Wheeling before noon and not getting home until the early morning hours the next day.

Dorsey first learned to drive a 40-passenger bus and received her commercial driver’s license while a student at Kent State University. Kent State operates a university-owned bus service with students as employees.

Years later, by coincidence, she would meet and marry her husband Kevin Dorsey — owner of Airport Limousine.

Many of the service’s drivers are retirees who may have been executives or worked in industry and have knowledge useful to the clients.

“Sometimes I agonize over what driver to send,” Dorsey said. “In some cases with repeat clients, I try to send the same person. It’s more comfortable for both the passenger and the client.”

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