Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Meteor Airport Meet and Greet Review

Last week our family jetted off for a week in the sun.  Having done the "road trip" thing over the summer, we were now feeling brave enough to attempt air travel with a 6 month old and a three and a half year old.

We, like many many other parents, stress about getting the children to the airport while still managing to carry all of our luggage, and we worry about how to get them to the hotel on the other side of our journey.  Next week I'm going to blog some tips for how to transfer easily to your hotel when you travel abroad but today I wanted to share my experiences of the Meteor Meet and Greet airport parking service which, I can tell you now, was totally perfect for families driving to the airport with children.

Meteor asked us to review their service and I initially had doubts - Meet and Greet is not something we had every tried before but then we had never travelled by plane with two children before, either.  Parking on-site at an airport is incredibly expensive but parking off-site can be hard work with children in tow; having to wait for a bus, pack your pushchair and all your luggage onto the bus and then lug it all off again at the airport terminal, usually in an inconvenient place that requires a long trek into the checkin area and then, when you get back from holiday you have to wait in the cold for a bus to arrive.  Sigh.  So, a Meet and Greet service suddenly now seems that more appealing now that we have children AND suitcases to worry about.

Meteor offer several different types of airport parking but the Meet and Greet service is perfect for families like us.  They offer meet and Greet at Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester airports.  We provided Meteor with our car registration, make and colour and the times of our outbound and incoming flights.  They sent us a telephone number to call when we were just 10 minutes away from Gatwick airport and they directed us to a spot in the passenger drop-off area right next to the terminal building.  A friendly gentleman in a Meteor jacket was there to meet us.  He checked the car (to make sure they knew if there were any pre-existing areas of damage) and issued me a receipt.  We handed over the keys, loaded our suitcases straight onto a trolley and were at the checkin desk within 3 minutes of arriving.

On the way home, we called the number on our receipt once we had picked up our luggage and passed through customs. it was evening when we arrived home and the cold was a shock to the system so we were all glad to not have to wait around in the dark for a bus; instead, the same Meteor representative was waiting for us with the car running and warm and the boot open ready for us to put our suitcases in.  The staff on the phone were friendly and polite and didn't moan when I had to ring them back because I had forgotten the instructions for how to get to the meeting point!

I can't get over how easy the whole process was.  We were home in record time.  And the thing that most surprised me was the price - the simple meet and greet service cost no more than some of the off-site car parks I have used in the past.  You have the option to add use of an airport lounge to your ticket, or a full car-valet while you are away (this would have been very useful to us because our daughter threw up on the journey to the airport!!!)

We are most definitely converted to Meet and Greet now.  At least until our children are old enough to carry their own luggage, we will definitely be using Meteor Meet and Greet when we travel by plane as a family.  Easy, efficient and stress-free.
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