When it comes to travel – I am frugal – to put it mildly. I hate paying out of pocket for anything with my money. For example, on my recent trip to Barcelona before another EPIC transatlantic crossing, I paid for my Delta One Suite tickets with SkyMiles plus a few bucks in taxes. I paid for my hotel (well all but about $30) before the cruise with Expedia points that I got free for booking my cruises via their site (after starting at BeFrugal to get 12% cash back). Oh, and I paid for the cruise itself with points via my Barclays Arrival+ card and creative spending to make it almost free! The point is – why pay when others can pay for you to enjoy a mega trip.
For transport from airport to hotel or hotel to cruise ship it is a little harder to let points pay for everything. Sure, I can use Uber but their pre-booking just stinks and is not reliable. I have in the past used and been very pleased with the very reliable GoundLink but they are not cheap. So this year I turned to a new one (for me) that is, Welcome Pickups.
Their pricing was MUCH cheaper than any of the other pre-book choices I looked at. Now there is a difference between this service and say UBER or GroundLink to be sure. This service is basically prepaying and booking a taxi. Not that this is a bad thing – just that is very different from say a “black car” service. Just know this in advance. So how did it work for us.
First off their portal works well and you can review and edit your trip (via a request to customer service chat) if you need to. I did and the response was quick and easy. I did get updates a few days before my arrival in Barcelona that my driver had been assigned and would great me at the airport. I put in, when booking, that I had 3 large bags plus 2 carry-ons. I was assigned a taxi van both from the airport to my hotel and a few days later from the hotel to the cruise port.
Unfortunately my driver was switched the day of travel and rather than a van I got a smaller car (but no discount was offered). But this did not turn out to be an issue because KLM left our bags in Amsterdam (KLM did deliver them at about 9PM that same evening)! I did have to pay cash for the driver to wait for us for the additional time while we filled out the paperwork about our then lost luggage. The pickup at my hotel to the ship worked perfect and on-time.
Both times the taxis were neat and clean and we were even provided with a bottle of water each trip. Not necessary but a very nice touch. Both drivers spoke English well. Also text updates as well as e-mail updates about both trips were sent – love this.
Overall I would not hesitate to use Welcome Pickups again if I am in a city they service. Cheap and reliable is my kind of pre-booked transfer service. Have you used Welcome Pickups in the past? Are you OK with taxi service or do your prefer black car service when you travel? – René
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