It’s a freezing minus five degrees when you land at the airport. The last thing you want to want to do is spend the next 10 minutes de-icing the windscreen of your car. Wouldn’t you rather jump into a toasty warm car with clear windows and the heater on full blast? I know which I would choose.
Having experienced both scenarios several times, I now only book meet and greet – and it is sometimes only a few pounds more expensive than on- or off-airport parking.
During a recent search for airport parking at Gatwick*, LG Parking meet and greet was only £1.99 more expensive than parking at the Long Stay North Terminal, though prices will vary throughout the year – see below:
Airport Parking Shop : LG Parking Meet & Greet £54.99; Long Stay North Terminal £53, South Terminal £38; Off Airport – £33.75
Holiday Extras: Maple Manor Parking Meet & Greet £57.99; Purple Parking Park & Ride £38.99.
It’s not just about saving money, of course. There are other factors to take into account.
Is the company reliable?
It’s no fun and extremely frustrating waiting for a driver who is late picking up your car. I once waited 25 minutes at Gatwick North Terminal while my driver was stuck in a traffic jam at the South Terminal, with the minutes to my flight departure ticking away. Needless to say, I didn’t use that company again. Before booking, check the company reviews online to see what previous customers are saying. In my experience, the one company that has always scored highly here is I Love Meet & Greet – check out my review now.
Do they answer their calls quickly?
You are 10 minutes from the airport and call as requested, only to find that the phone just keeps ringing. Travelling is stressful enough and the best companies always answer quickly.
Is the pickup and delivery prompt?
Good company drivers are either there before you, or arrive while you are parking the car. Hanging around wondering if you are going to miss your flight is stressful. Similarly, on the return journey, you don’t want to be waiting for the car after a long flight. The driver should always be there ready to greet you, as promised.
Can you trust the company?
My car has always been returned in pristine condition with no scratches, noticeable reduction in petrol, or additional miles on the clock.
Pros of meet and greet
No hanging around for shuttle buses or having to lift heavy bags on and off the vehicle
No long transfers to the terminal
Door to door service
Cheaper than taking a taxi
Convenient if you have lots of bags or equipment to carry
And the Cons
More expensive than parking at the airport, though often by only a few pounds
May be left hanging around if the driver is late, so choose your company wisely
*My search was conducted on the Airport Parking Shop and Holiday Extras websites for a week’s parking at Gatwick from 9 (12.00) -16 March (12.00) 2016.