A Czech taxi company is promising a safer ride to the airport

Prague’s family-friendly taxi service not only shuttles kids to school but gets families to or from the airport with minimal fuss.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.08.2022 18:48:00 (updated on 15.08.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

This article was written in cooperation with Panda Ride. Read more about our partner content policies here.

As summer travel chaos shows no sign of slowing down, travelers are seeking reliability in the face of numerous unknowns: Will my luggage arrive? Will my flight be delayed? And will my ground transport leave if it is?

For families of small children, these questions are particularly critical. Add to that the logistics of ensuring travel with a car seat and other baby gear and many of us begin to consider skipping summer travel altogether.

Anyone intimidated by the thought of setting out on a summer adventure with kids in tow will be excited to learn about Panda Ride, a family-friendly Prague-based taxi service that’s devoted to transporting families wherever they need to go including to the airport safely, comfortably, and on time.

What started out in 2018 as a transport service for delivering children to school, activities, birthday parties, and classes, has now grown to a fleet of 15 cars. In addition, Panda Ride is now accepting bookings for one-time rides to the airport in addition to their original services.

The new service couldn’t have come at a better time, says Panda Ride CEO Tomáš Janout.

“I think one really good example of what people are facing these days is that we had a client who was supposed to arrive at 1 am but their flight didn’t arrive until 5 am and the luggage claim was broken so they didn’t end up getting out until 7 am – we still had the driver waiting and didn’t charge extra.”

This customer-centered approach is just one of the differences between taking a Panda Ride to the airport vs. an ordinary taxi. The other major difference? Car seats. Panda Ride vehicles offer seats for each developmental stage from infants to older children. The company recently partnered with the Scandinavian car seat company BeSafe which is known for its uncompromising attitude to kids' safety during transportation. 

Rear facing15 months13 kg/29 lbsN/A
Forward facing4 years18 kg/40 lbsN/A
Booster 12 years36 kg/79 lbs150 cm
Booser cushion12 years36 kg/79 lbs150 cm

While child restraints are required in the Czech Republic for children up to 12 years of age (or 36 kg/150 cm), they aren’t required in taxis – which means your driver may not always have the correct seat for your child’s age or no seat at all.

“It’s unheard of for most Czech taxis to have car seats that fit infants,” says Janout whose drivers are all trained to safely and efficiently buckle children in. “Most taxis don't have seats because families with kids will be just a small part of their business. For us, it's our main business and our large vehicles can accommodate many different kinds of seats.”

Janout reports that the general public is more informed about car seats than 3 to 5 years ago. But Panda Ride takes the pressure off parents by ensuring that car seats are always properly installed and children are safely harnessed in a car seat designed for their exact height and weight.

Panda Ride cooperates with BeSafe car seats
Panda Ride cooperates with BeSafe car seats. Photo via BeSafe.

Whether they are transporting kids to a swimming class or taking an entire family to the airport, Janout says that building relationships with their clients while helping them solve problems and alleviate the stress of traveling with kids is all part of the Panda Ride experience.

“The service that we provide guarantees you that a car isn’t there just to get you from point A to point B but to get you there on time and with as little anxiety as possible,” he says.

“Our drivers are nice, English-speaking, there are toys in the car and a good car seat. We are accustomed to working with kids so you won’t encounter a driver who’s annoyed with everything.”

Aside from single-ride transport, Panda Ride continues to offer its service to companies, sports clubs, and schools–transporting kids to activities, swimming classes, and medical appointments. The company is used by international schools as well as embassies.

As it approaches five years on the market, Panda Ride has continued to invest money into software and safety features while ensuring that all of its drivers are employed to help maintain a level of quality and consistency among staff.

Cars are monitored 24/7 with speed and location tracking centrally directed and dispatched by Janout. “There is no subcontractor or middle man, we do everything ourselves.”

One thing hasn’t changed as the demand for his company’s services grows: Janout’s mantra of “expect everything and rely on nothing.” He says the company is prepared to help with the stickiest of travel situations.

“We are flexible. We would never leave because a flight is delayed. I feel responsible for people as one of the few options for safely transferring anywhere with little kids.”

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