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Living on the outskirts of London I am incredibly fortunate to be in close proximity to some of the UK’s biggest airports, meaning in comparison to some, I do not have to travel too far for long-haul flights. Generally, I will try to obtain a lift from a family member but on my last flight to Japan, I instead decided to Heathrow’s Meet and Greet Parking Service.
*The service was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review and as always, all opinions are my own.
Is Heathrow Meet and Greet Parking Worth it?
What exactly is Heathrow Meet and Greet Parking?
It’s a simple concept, after arriving at the airport you forget the hassle of finding your own space and an employee meets you at the airport and does it for you. When you come back, they’re there to greet you with the keys.
There are multiple providers for this at every airport, ours was booked through APH Airport Parking & Hotels with the service provided by MBW. With MBW, the drop-off point is located within the appropriate terminals short stay car park.
Our experience with Meet and Greet Parking at Heathrow
The booking process
The booking process was extremely smooth. What I liked most about APH was how user-friendly their website is, simply put in your selected airport and dates of travel and all available options will be displayed allowing you to easily see a price comparison of the different services.
I also appreciated the display of independent ratings as well as transfer times. Generally speaking, the Meet and Greet service is around £30-£40 higher than standard airport parking.
After booking the Heathrow Meet and Greet and providing them with your flight details and expected times of arrival, you will receive a booking confirmation with everything you need to know including where to drop your car off too.
As previously mentioned, our drop off point was on one of the higher levels of the terminal’s short stay car park, roughly a 5-minute walk from the terminal entrance.
I will admit, I did initially assume ‘meet and greet service’ would be quite literally dropping your car off outside the airport terminal, however, I do realise now how impractical this would actually be. Therefore, if you were planning on using this service for a short break or long weekend, I would not advise it as you will most likely end up parking in the same car park. However, for a long trip, you would potentially cut-out the need for transfer buses.
On arrival to the Heathrow Airport drop-off location, everything ran smoothly, the MBW location was well signposted and the staff were pleasant. The member of staff confirmed our pick up time and location, as well as confirmed my car would be safely parked off-site until our return. The company do also off a valet service but I opted not to go for this added extra.
This whole process took around 10-15 minutes, meaning the complete time from parking to reaching the departure terminal took a total of 20 minutes, which is pretty great in my opinion.
On arrival back to Heathrow Airport (2 weeks later), you are asked to call the company as you arrive back to baggage claim, to confirm you are running on time and therefore your car will be waiting for you.
Unfortunately, this was the part where I had a few minor issues with MBW. During the phone call, MBW asked if I had moved my flight, as they had my arrival time for the evening, not the afternoon, despite the times being confirmed on drop-off. After explaining this was not the case, the said they would get my car over to the collection point as soon as possible.
After passport control, we headed straight to the MBW collection point (the same location as drop-off) and made the member of staff aware of our arrival. Unfortunately, again this was not the best experience as I was straight away told my car was not there as I had not made them aware of my arrival time, again I explained this was not the case and it was a mistake on their end. In total, I had to wait 30 minutes for my car from arriving at the pick-up point.
In the grand scheme of things, 30 minutes is not too long, however, when you are jet-lagged and have just come off a 12-hour flight, it is not ideal, especially when the service was booked for the convenience of avoiding this.
I personally also found the attitude of the member of staff quite accusing and therefore off-putting, especially when I was handed my car key back which had the correct arrival time on the attached tag. I found this to be a shame as the service I had on departure was great in comparison to this. This is also a reflection of MBW and not APH Hotel and Parking.
Overall, is Heathrow Meet and Greet Parking worth it?
I honestly feel this is case by case dependent.
If you are just planning a short weekend break then no, I do not believe you will benefit paying the additional money, as it is most likely you will be in the same car park anyway.
For a longer trip, I think this depends on your location from the airport. Looking back now, for roughly the same price of the service, for where I live I could have got a return journey taxi. This would have provided a quicker overall service as well as prevented waiting and driving after a long haul flight.
However, if you have to travel from further afield to Heathrow, then this service could definitely work well in terms of convenience and cost. Despite my negative review of our pick-up service, after looking at other MBW reviews, this was hopefully a rare occurrence and hopefully not something which is encountered frequently.
If you are needing to park at Heathrow, I recommend using the APH Parking website to see all of your options and decide which is the best parking option for you.
APH also offers entrance to airport lounges as well as discounted stays in airport hotels.