As I have mentioned before, our local airport only flies to a handful of places of which we have either been to or have no interest in visiting. Therefore, whenever we fly we always have to travel to an airport at least two hours away, sometimes in the early hours of the morning or late at night. Because of this we don’t like to ask friends or family to drop us off/pick us up and often trains do not run at the necessary times. This means we always have to drive to the airport and park our car for the duration of our trip. This isn’t a problem for Mr ESLT and I, we both have a car and we both enjoy driving so we usually take it in turns to brave England’s motorway network.
The airport we are flying from and the duration of the flight usually dictates the parking package we opt for. When we fly short haul with hand luggage only we don’t mind where we park and it is usually dictated by price – the cheaper the better. This is because we have not got big heavy bags to lug to and from the terminal especially following a long, tiring flight.
However, whenever we fly long haul we more often than not choose a Meet & Greet package. On the odd occasion we haven’t we have always regretted it. The year before last we stepped off the plane at Heathrow from Melbourne having been travelling for over 30 hours and dressed like we had just stepped of the beach to be welcomed home by almost freezing temperatures and driving rain (ace!). We then had to stand and wait for a bus which was supposed (!) to swing past the terminal every 15 minutes and drop you off at your car in an offsite car park, needless to say it was not a very enjoyable experience and reaffirmed the need to use a Meet and Greet service.
So the week before last when we were heading to Dubai from Heathrow it seemed the sensible option to utilise the Purple Parking Meet & Greet service which is available at the airport. For two weeks we had zoomed between Yorkshire – London – Bournemouth – Cardiff and back to London. To say we were ready for our holiday was an understatement and the thought of lugging our bags on a bus from the car park to the terminal sent shivers down my spine. When we booked we simply gave the usual details including outgoing and incoming flight numbers.
We received very detailed information and directions via e-mail regarding how we would find the Purple Parking Meet and Greet area within the short stay car park at Terminal 3, where we were flying from. Between the Sat Nav and the signs on the airport grounds we easily found where we needed to be. It couldn’t have been easier, we simply parked in one of the designated bays right next to the lift area, handed the keys to the Handover Captain (I am not even joking – that’s his name! How COOL???). The Handover Captain has his own desk in the corridor area near the lift and is always manned. Our Handover Captain was very polite and checked through our return flight details with us to ensure that our car was waiting for us upon our return. We were even asked if we wanted our car valeting ready for when we returned (additional cost).
And that was it. No more worries about the car – the keys and the stress were gone. We had a great time in Dubai and on the flight home the dread regarding standing in the cold and possible rain waiting for the shuttle bus did not hit me. In fact it was lovely that we didn’t have to do anything, nothing, zip, nada. We simply grabbed our bags off the carousel and headed back to the exact spot we had left the car and there it was….waiting for us. No phone calls needed, no hanging around, we could simply jump in it and drive away. Perfect as we had been up all day, taken a 7 and 1/2 hour flight and then been subjected to the rigmarole of airport procedures but now we could just load her up and hit the road.
We highly recommend the Purple Parking Meet & Greet service (and Purple Parking in general, which can be found at all UK airports) it took the hassle out of parking and based on previous experience, it saved us between 40 and 60 minutes of waiting for buses/been on the bus. Which if you are anything like me is a bonus because when a holiday is over, it’s over and the sooner I get home the sooner I can start planning the next one 🙂
*We were ‘Meeted and Greeted’ by Purple Parking on a complimentary basis in exchange for honest review.