10 Things You Need To Know When Booking A Transfer To Or From Heathrow
This article is intended to provide you with some basic information that you need to know when booking a transfer to or from Heathrow Airport. The article will answer you the most common questions about Heathrow Airport Transfers and we hope that it will prove to be an useful guide to anyone that is looking to book a cab.
Before I start this article I would like to mention that the article is referring to minicab services and that the information offered here may not apply for black cab services.
1. Booking a private is easy
In fact, this is a pretty easy task to accomplish. Usually, there are two different ways to book a transfer to or from Heathrow Airport: by phone, by e-mail or online, directly on the website. In general, it shouldn’t take more than three or four minutes to make a reservation. Make sure that, in case you will need to be picked-up from Heathrow, you know your flight number and landing time, as the company will ask for them in order to be able to monitor your flight for delays or early arrivals.
Fares are not always low, but, there are a few companies that offer a 10% discount if you create an account with them. It’s usually worth the trouble!
2. Make sure you always check your confirmation e-mail
In general, in case you book your transfer to or from Heathrow by phone, the operator
should double check the information with you. Even in this case you should check the confirmation e-mail that you will receive, to make sure that the data is correct.
Moreover, we advise you to check this information even more detailed in case you have made the booking online, as the booking systems aren’t always perfect and errors sometimes appear during the process. It’s a good practice to re-check your details than to book a cab that will never arrive because of a misunderstanding.
3. Driver meeting points
The vehicle drivers will usually wait you inside Heathrow Airport, at Costa Coffee or Information Desk. It will be pretty easy to recognize him as he will hold a board with your name on it.
4. Watch out for journey duration
When doing the booking by phone the operator should usually be aware of London’s
rush hours and he should recommend you which is the best pick-up time in order to arrive to Heathrow Airport or to the destination on-time.
Traffic in London may be pretty heavy in some times of the day so, in case you do the booking alone, you should be aware to take it into consideration. There are some websites you can visit in order to check traffic, such as Google Maps or Tom-Tom.
Google Maps will show you the average journey duration and also the amount of time you would spend in current traffic. You can see this information by going to the Google Maps page and entering your pick-up and destination information there. When the results will be displayed, on the left side, you will see your motorway, number of miles and average journey duration shown in a blue highlighted box. On the right side of the box there is a little message saying: “In current traffic”. This should give you some ideas regarding the duration of your trip. If you don’t find this relevant then I have prepared a list with London’s rush hours:
– From 6:30 to 9:30 the duration of your transfer will be 50% longer than the average journey time displayed on Google
– From 9:30 to 16:00 the duration of your transfer will be 25% longer than the average journey time displayed on Google
– From 16:00 to 20:00 the duration of your transfer will be 50% longer than the average journey time displayed on Google
– From 20:00 to 6:30 a.m. the next day the traffic will be normal and the duration time will usually be as displayed on Google
The other tool you can use is Tom-Tom which offers detailed live traffic information.
Some companies did equip their vehicle with GPS’s that have life traffic integrated so, in case you have forgotten to take traffic into consideration when you booked your transfer to or from Heathrow there may be a chance that the driver will have monitored it until your pick-up and he will take the best route in order to avoid crowded routes.
5. In case your flight gets delayed or arrives earlier
You shouldn’t really worry because most transfer companies track flights for free and
they will know to send the cab at the right time. Normally, there shouldn’t be a problem and you should find your transfer driver waiting you inside Heathrow when you pass the arrival gate but, some companies may not track flights so choose carefully. 🙂
6. In case your flight gets diverted to another airport
Again, the transfer company you have booked your transfer to or from Heathrow with should be aware of this change in case they monitor flight traffic but, it would be best to contact them and let them know about the situation.
7. In case you don’t need your transfer service anymore
It would be best to call the transfer company and ask them to cancel your booking for more than one reasons. In case you have paid the journey by credit card you risk to receive no refund, while, even if you decided to pay by cash and you will have nothing to lose, it would be of common sense to not make the driver go to the airport and pay the parking for nothing.
In case you have paid by credit card you should be aware to call a few hours prior to the booking in order to make sure that the entire sum will be refunded. The number or hours varies depending on the transfer company and they are usually displayed on the Terms&Conditions page.
8. Payment methods
You can pay for your transfer both cash to the driver or by credit card. Some may also offer you the possibility to use merchant services such as Paypal or Google Checkout. Payments of a higher amount are usually done through bank transfer.
Not all cabs are equipped with POS so in case you prefer paying by credit card, you may be needed to do this online or on the phone. It’s better to do it in advance to make sure that the payment went through and avoid awkward moments.
9. Choosing your car type
Depending on the number of passengers, luggage and your requirements, there are quite a few types of transfers you can choose to take your transfer to or from Heathrow Airport. The services offered are usually categorized on the car size, and you will be able to pick one of the following:
– Saloon Car- up to 4 passengers, 2 suitcases and 2 hand luggage
– Estate Car – up to 4 passengers, 4 suitcases and 4 hand luggage
– MPV Car – up to 5 passengers, 5 suitcases and 3 hand luggage
– 8 seater – up to 8 passengers, 8 suitcases and 8 hand luggage
For a more elegant transfer to and from Heathrow Airport you can also choose an Executive or VIP service. Prices will be higher or lower depending on the type of transfer you choose.
10. Choosing the best transfer company for your Heathrow transfer
There is really no exact pattern you can follow when you choose the transfer company that will transport you to or from Heathrow as this really depends on your needs and budget. If you like to ride in comfort and style then you can choose a more expensive company that offers strictly VIP transfer or, on the other hand, if you’re not really willing to pay a lot of money you could just go for one of the cheaper options on the market. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be subject to a poor quality journey, as some of these companies do their best in offering their customers the best existing services.
Take us for example! 🙂
Anyway, you should know that you’ve booked with the right transfer company if:
– The operators were friendly and double-checked the booking with you
– Your cab was on time
– The driver avoided crowded motorways
– The car was clean
– The driver was elegantly dressed and helpful
– The price was cheap
– You arrived to your destination on time
– The journey felt safe and comfortable
– You’re satisfied at the end of it!
Well, it seems like I’ve reached the end of this article. I hope that I’ve managed to answer all your questions related to transfer and transfers to and from Heathrow Airport. In case you have any other, just write us a comment and we will be more than happy to help you!