On a recent trip to Valencia, Spain, I booked Blacklane transfers to and from my home to Philadelphia International Airport, and to and from my hotels in Valencia to Valencia Airport. Founded in 2011, the Berlin-based company developed when Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer saw a need for a single global professional chauffeur service. Daily, thousands of passengers connect to a network of licensed and insured professional chauffeurs.
In addition to chauffeur services, I also booked Blacklane PASS, which stands for Premium Airport Services & Solutions. For $100, travelers can skip airport lines and, for $50, book lounges. Personal escorts help travelers navigate gates, lounges and transportation. Other services include arrival services, with planeside or post-Customs greeting, luggage assistance and more; departure services, with a vehicle greeting, assistance with security lines and an escort to the gate; connection services to expedite the process between flights; and lounges, with food, beverages, showers, WiFi and other amenities.
Booking all the different services — four total chauffeur rides and PASS arrival and departure services at PHL — was easy, and communication throughout the process via email and text is extremely reliable.
As a frequent traveler, some of the advantages of the PASS service are moot with my Global Entry and TSA PreCheck options, but my companion was not a member of those programs, so the service did help expedite airport processes for him. The PASS service was truly valuable, in our experience, in two ways. Upon departure, there was no PreCheck lane and security had a bit of a line. With the PASS service, we bypassed the line completely and were through security quickly. Plus, our concierge led us to a great wine bar favored by her clients for a place to eat and have a drink while we waited for our flight. On the return, our bags were lost and it was incredibly useful to have our PASS concierge communicate with our driver while we handled our lost luggage issues. It was real plus not to have to worry about that while stressed about our situation.
Without question I will book Blacklane chauffeur services again. In addition to the ease of booking and reliability of communication, the cars are high quality, there is a complimentary wait time of 60 minutes at airports, rates are all-inclusive and cancellation is free up until one hour before one-way transfers. Chauffeurs are fully licensed and insured, and you can book Business Class (which we did), Business Van or First Class.
Each time, the drivers were early; if the worry about getting to the airport wasn’t already somewhat alleviated by knowing the ride was taken care of, seeing our drivers arrive early was an extra bonus. And this applied to the drivers in Philadelphia and Valencia. In Valencia, we met our driver outside Customs; he had a sign with our name on it. At Philadelphia on the return, our PASS concierge escorted us to our waiting vehicle.
While each of the four experiences was painless, our driver from PHL to home really stood out. Not only did she have to wait a little longer because of our delayed baggage, she was upbeat, friendly and positive, despite navigating Philadelphia rush hour in a rainstorm. It was a pleasure to sink into the backseat of her Audi and not have to worry about the drive home after 10-plus hours of travel and the other stresses.
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Guadalajara’s vibrant atmosphere and delicious foodie scene made it one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. With incredible options around every corner, it’s difficult to nail down the best of the best, but we think these restaurants come pretty close.
We can see it now and remember when it happened to us: Watching as the black car icon loops around and around, seemingly endlessly, and our wait time on the rideshare app continually changes. Long wait times and confused drivers are just a few bothersome issues that can nag at rideshare users. Need a solution? Ditch rideshares altogether in favor of renting a car on your next trip.
Once business concludes, a world of wonder awaits in many of Italy’s incredible cities.