I've transfered out of Hermit the last two trips, and loved it. Though not as big a deal in October, jockeying with commercial and private trips for the camps between Grapevine and Cremation is a drag. Being able to go with the flow through this area was much better. The half trippers got to run more rapids. The Boaters didn't have to plan the exchange specifics. The hikers simply made their own breakfast. By camping at Hermit the hikers could leave whenever they wanted, with guaranteed shade on the trail until 9 am where one could be above the Red Wall
We had a 60 year old smoker with a foot issue and he made it out in 6 hours. The rest of the camp woke up late and went exploring.
For the folks hiking out we brought down iced water bottles. If the hikers-in wanted to get a permit for the day or two before the exchange they could hike in a day early and meet the whole group, explore Monument Creek, or Boucher. Be sure to ask the park for the gate code to Hermit if the hikers out will have a car at the park brought in by the hikers in. This will ensure your transport will be right at the top of the trail for you when you arrive so you won't have to depend on the bus system.
If you must hike out, and your itinerary works with the group, do yourself a favor and do another trail besides the crowded BA.