Flying with a family is exciting, but it can also be stressful. In the past we’ve taken public transport, or a taxi to the airport. But driving there and back in your own car makes things a lot easier. No last-minute scramble for the airport train, or fighting for a place in a taxi queue after a late-night flight. So when Ilovemeetandgreet offered to let us try out their Gatwick Airport meet and greet airport parking service when we flew to Austria, we jumped at the chance.
Ilovemeetandgreet have run a meet and greet airport parking service at Gatwick for thirty years. They also operate from Stansted, Heathrow, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The idea is simple: at Gatwick, you drive into the specially marked bay outside the airport. A driver meets you. You hand over the car keys, and she takes your car to the parking area. On your return, after you’ve collected your luggage, you call Ilovemeetandgreet and one of their drivers brings your car back to the same marked bay, so you can drive home.
Ilovemeetandgreet’s meet and greet airport parking service was much more straightforward than taking public transport. It was nice to be in our own car, without the hassle of dragging around luggage and kids. I was surprised at the price. For meet and greet at the beginning of April 2018, with five days’ parking, we would pay around £70. Considering that we’ve spent up to £40-£50 taking a taxi (one way) to the airport in the past, I felt this was pretty good value.
When we booked, Ilovemeetandgreet took a note of our car registration details, its make and model, and the times of both flights. They sent through detailed instructions, as well as a permit to print out and place on our dashboard. We had to call them ten minutes before we arrived at Gatwick, and an operator guided us through the directions to the meet and greet bay.
It was relatively easy to find the meet and greet area on the way to the airport. On our return, though, we did become a little disorientated (although that could have been down to post-holiday befuddlement). Our driver had recently visited our destination in Austria, so we had a friendly chat about that. My only niggle was that we had to wait in the meet and greet bay for ten minutes before he arrived. We’d been given the impression he’d be ready and waiting when we pulled up. He was apologetic, though, and explained that this was a very busy morning (it was the first Saturday of the Easter school holidays).
On the Wednesday morning of our return flight, we only had to wait five minutes for our car to be delivered back to us. It was a big relief to just be able to climb in, after a sad journey back to reality. Ilovemeetandgreet also offer a car valeting service, which was tempting. Driving back in a shiny, clean car would be a good way to make the trip home a little less painful.
Ilovemeetandgreet gave us a meet and greet airport parking service for the purpose of this post. All views are my own. I would recommend this kind of service to anyone travelling with young kids.