After the excitement of booking a holiday comes the bit nobody enjoys – the pre-holiday chores.
From figuring out who’s going to look after the house/kids/dog/cat, to charging your electronic devices, packing, getting currency sorted and reading the latest rules on hand luggage, there’s a million and one things to do before you fly.
Deciding how to get to the airport is one of those boring but necessary decisions, and I’m always looking for an easy solution. So I tested out a meet & greet service at Heathrow on my latest trip…
The older I get and the more I travel, the higher the likelihood that I will pay for convenience – I’ll happily pay more to make my life and journey smoother and stress-free.
One thing I’ll always pay more for is a flight that doesn’t leave at the crack of dawn.
For my recent trip to Egypt there were plenty of cheap flights leaving at 5 am or transiting through Istanbul. Nope, not for me. I got a nice Egyptair flight direct from Heathrow and it was well worth the extra cost.
But sometimes you can’t control timings and have to put up with an early departure.
When I was scheduled to fly to Marseille at 7.20 am to begin my Headwater Holidays cycling trip to Provence, meaning waking up around 4.15 am, I knew I’d do anything for an extra half hour in bed.
So I was pretty happy when I was contacted by airport parking company Looking 4 Parking who asked if I’d like to review one of their meet & greet parking services.
Looking For Parking Review – Ace Meet & Greet Service
The idea of being able to drive straight to T3 and hand my keys over, not worry about getting shuttle buses, took a huge weight off my mind, and it was one less thing to worry about as I planned for the trip.
I nominated a time to drop off the car, and optimistically picked 6 am because I couldn’t bear the idea of doing anything at a time in the morning that started with a 5.
I phoned the number I was given to say I was about 10-15 minutes away (which is what you’re asked to do) at 5.20 am – I was running early! This wasn’t a problem at all and I was told to make my way to the Short Stay car park at Heathrow, and drive up to Level 3.
Here the the so-called ‘off airport’ parking bays are found – because I guess Heathrow does its own valet parking too – and men in high vis vests with clipboards were on hand to take my keys and give me a receipt for my car.
Within minutes I was in the elevator and on my way into the terminal, and I realised that I actually had plenty of time for a coffee, and a spot of shopping, which I didn’t expect to be the case at this hour.
On my return a week later, I called the same number after collecting my suitcase, I popped into M & S which is standard practice for me, and when I got to the 3rd floor of the car park my car was waiting. I kind of hoped they’d mix my car up with a Porsche or something but they hadn’t.
My car looked exactly as it had when I’d given it to them (a bit dirty and messy to be honest) and I couldn’t see any additional miles on it, so I guess nobody wanted to go joy riding in my old Honda Civic.
I was asked to sign something to say I had my car back, was given a paid ticket for the barrier to exit the car park – though somehow when I got to the barrier, it just opened for me – and I drove off home to put the kettle on. There’s not much more to it than that.
Car parking is a bit like car hire, it seems to be an absolute minefield and full of horror stories, so when I find something that works I stick to it. I used Avis for my car hire on my last trip because I didn’t want to risk doing anything else, and next time I go to Heathrow, I’m pretty sure I’ll use this Ace Meet & Greet service again now I know how painless airport parking can actually be.
As I stated at the start of this post I was asked to try out this service by Looking 4 Parking – but I have been 100% honest and truthful about the experience: I wouldn’t pretend it was good if it wasn’t!
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