February 22, 2024

Chauffeur drive: Blacklane, Sussex-London Heathrow

THE BACKGROUND

Award-winning Blacklane offers a global network of professional chauffeurs with options of one-way, City to City and by-the-hour services. In London it has the largest share of EV vehicles. Blacklane offsets all other rides. A tiered loyalty scheme is in place for frequent travellers, plus a VIP scheme. Bookings include one-hour wait time for airport bookings and 15 minutes for other journeys.

THE BOOKING

Downloading the app and booking was easy. I simply just popped in my pick-up and drop-off details. I entered the preferred time and the app reassuringly estimated how long my journey would take. I had a choice of vehicles and selected an Electric car (Jaguar I-PACE or Tesla), although I could have had a slightly cheaper S-Class Mercedes (non EV) or a larger Mercedes V Class or similar. I entered my flight number and filled in details to create an account, adding my credit card for payment. The app prompted me to then book the return, which I also did, and received email confirmations for both journeys.

PRE-JOURNEY

I received an email the day before, with tips for my next ride, and 90 minutes before my pick up simultaneous text and emails arrived confirming the name of my driver (Athanasios Tsiardakis), along with his car type and registration. Another text/email let me know he had arrived at my house, which was 15 minutes prior to my scheduled pick-up.

THE JOURNEY

Athanasios jumped out of the car the moment I left the house, greeting me with a warm smile and offered to carry my bags. He was smartly dressed and the car equally immaculate, with comfortable black leather interior, a phone charger and cup holders, lowered to give two individual seats in the back. He showed me the SAT NAV, which had our ETA. After a bit of polite chat I opened my computer to work. I’m a nervous car passenger but felt very safe. Athanasios drove within speed limits at all times and kept an appropriate distance from the vehicle in front.

THE VERDICT

A slick experience which took the pain out of my early start, with just the right amount of pre-trip alerts to reassure me. I arrived for my flight feeling fully relaxed.

THE DETAILS

Prices depend on the journey and are all-inclusive of taxes, tips and any tolls. blacklane.com

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