Tuesday 6 June 2017

Review: Looking4Parking Stansted Official Meet & Greet

We've just returned from a week away in Spain at the Playa Montroig Camping Resort. We were lucky enough to stay there as guests of Eurocamp and this meant we needed to sort out all our own transport and transfers. In the past my husband and I have always travelled as part of a package holiday, so this was a first for us. Also last year on our first family holiday abroad we travelled from Gatwick as it is is the closest airport to where we live and there is a train straight straight from our local town where we could leave our car.

This year the best priced and timed flights I found were from Stansted and I wasn't really sure what to expect as the last time I flew from there was around a decade ago and that was only to Ireland. It sure has changed and for the better!

After a heart-attack moment where I got an email from Jet2 to say they had cancelled our flights but would happily swap us to another date (which in the end resulted in us travelling on a better day and saving around £1000 in air fares) I started to search for airport parking at Stansted.

I came across Looking4Parking.com and they were giving me some really good prices, so I got in touch with their PR to see if they would like me to review their service and luckily for me they said yes as I needed to save every penny I could going away in the expensive school half-term.

Searching and Making your Booking
The search page was very easy to use and I love the fact that you can be really flexible in the amount of days you want and the drop off and collect times. We weren't flying until the Sunday morning but rather than worry about sorting the car before an early flight with the kids we dropped the car off Saturday evening and then used the hotel shuttle bus to get to and fro.

Once you have put your requirements into the search system you'll be given a whole host of parking options to choose from and of course the price varies with the service you receive. The official Stansted airport car parks tend to be more expensive than those operated by private companies and for me I think I'd always go with an approved one but from what I could see they all seem to have pretty good reviews.  I'd say do your research and see what it says on sites like a Trust Pilot and Trip Advisor and usefully the Reevoo scores are even shown on the Looking4Parking page with all the results.

I found the price was definitely better when booked with more notice, so I'd say get your booking in as soon as you know that you have a confirmed flight. We were offered the Stansted Airport Meet and Greet service to try out and I have to be honest I was a little nervous about this as it is not something I'd tried before.

The cost for parking for 8 nights was £61 and this was booking it six weeks in advance via Looking4Parking.com. Once my booking was made I received an email confirmation from Looking4Parking and this contained everything I needed to know and was nice and clear on what I needed to do when I got to the airport. 

The cheapest option that came up was the airport long stay car park at £49.99 and I think for the sake of £11 I'd definitely go for the Meet & Greet in the future as it is 2 mins walk from the check in desk. You literally could not get any closer.

I checked about a week before flying and the price had risen to £83 although there was a £72 option with no transfers/changes allowed.

Dropping the car off
Following the instructions on my confirmation email I drove towards the airport terminal and quickly saw the signs for Meet & Greet parking. I pulled into one of the lanes and automatically the buzzer started to sound as if I had called for assistance. Within a minute or so a lady greeted us and asked how she could help. I said I had a reservation and she took my surname and told me to proceed through when the barrier opened and one of the staff would direct me.

We drove through and could easily see Vusani on the other side. He was super welcoming as he greeted us, telling us to park in lane 2 close to the car in the front and then to head into the reception and drop our keys off and gain instructions about our car collection. As I thanked him and we finished our conversation he wished us Hakuna Matata, which means no worries! Once parked we headed over to Vusani to say hello and thanks for such a great welcome.

We then went into the reception area and were acknowledged straight away by Lamisi. He asked for our surname and located our papers which were ready on the side. He then checked all the details were correct and took our keys.

He gave us a card for picking up the car and it had a mobile number on it. He explained that if we were more than 1/2 hour either way of the specified collection time for us to please send a text. This way if we return early they can get the car out ready so we don't have to wait at all or if we are returning late so they know to store it. I asked what happened if our flight was delayed and we were really late, did we have to pay extra and he smiled and said of course not, which was great to hear.

We then thanked him for his service and said he'd been really friendly and helpful and I think we made his day as it was first day at work. I predict he'll go far!

In all we took about 15 minutes to drop the car, the keys and gain pick up instructions. It would be quicker if we didn't stop to chat and if we were repeat customers as we would have known what to do. Even my kids were bowled over with how easy and seamless it was.

Collecting Your Car
Once we had settled on the plane ready to depart from Spain our Captain advised us there was a backlog of planes waiting to take off and we would be at least half an hour late. I took this opportunity to text the number I had been given to advise them my plane would now probably land at about 3pm rather than 2.15pm. I didn't get a reply but it felt good knowing I was keeping our parking provider up to date.

Once we were back in Stansted and through baggage reclaim and customs it was close to 4pm when we arrived at the Meet & Greet office and as before the staff were all friendly and efficient. I was asked if I had a good holiday and given my keys back in exchange for the parking card receipt. I was told which zone and lane my car was in and off I went. I was in and out of the office in around 2 minutes and it only took another minute or so to walk over to the car. We were able to put our bags in and head straight off and it was so simple.

In Conclusion
Looking4Parking provided us with a great price for our parking requirement at Stansted and I'll certainly be using them again in the future. Their booking system was very easy and the actual parking facility fabulous.

We needn't have been nervous at all about using a Meet and Greet service and leaving our keys with them as we found the service superb. It was quick and efficient and there were so many staff about that I didn't see anything that made me nervous security wise.

Thanks so much Looking4Parking, I'll happily book with you again. 

Disclosure: I was provided with free parking for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest. 

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