Etihad's London Heathrow airport chauffeur service

By John Walton, January 21 2013

Virgin Australia partner Etihad is extending its airport chauffeur service to economy passengers arriving at London's Heathrow Airport.

It's the same signature service enjoyed by the airline's first and business class travellers. You'll be met by your driver in the arrivals hall, helped with your luggage, then whisked away in a BMW or Mercedes to be dropped off kerb-side at your destination.

Rates are reasonable and locked in (no worrying about the meter in unpredictable traffic or having to wait for a London cab that takes cards), although not the absolute cheapest we've seen among the UK capital's car services.

Usefully for passengers heading for the financial districts to London's east, fares are even more reasonable the further you trvel. We tested the system with some example fares from Heathrow (currency conversion: £100 is A$150):

  • West End (Hilton Park Lane): £65
  • City (St Mary Axe): £72
  • Docklands (Canary Wharf): £79

London's transport department suggests a metered black cab all the way would probably start at between £45 to £90, depending of course on traffic. We've known journeys that should have cost around £25 tick their way up to £70 thanks to congestion.

As a comparison in the "better than taking the Tube" stakes, the Heathrow Express train only takes you to London's Paddington Station and costs £25 in standard class. Taking a cab onwards from Paddington, you'd probably be looking at another £15 to the West End, £30 to the City and £50 to Docklands.

Read more: Check out AusBT's expert business traveller guide to Heathrow Airport!

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John Walton
John Walton

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

KG

KG

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2011

Total posts 736

This is a great value add service and very reasonably priced (fixed / locked in pricing is a winner, we all know how dreadful London traffic can be)! Especially useful when arriving after a long flight, takes away a lot of hassle if you have a driver waiting for you at arrivals.

navnov

navnov

23 Jan 2013

Total posts 1

While this is certainly a welcome addition to reach Heathrow, there are some things I'd like to mention on cost comparisons.

1. The fare for Heathrow you mentioned GBP 25 is when you buy it on the Train. The online/ticket office far is GBP 20. It also offers Group discount for return travel if you are travelling with kids or even 2 adults travelling together

2. If you book a cab on websites such as Kabbee.com or other comparable Taxi consolidators it costs anywhere between 25 to 35 quid (fixed price) for a standard car with upto 4 passengers and 2-3 large suitcases to reach Heathrow from the city (around 45 quid from Heathrow to city). I have used Kabbee on numerous occasions and have experienced no issues.

johninoz

johninoz

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2011

Total posts 28

Who'd want to fly Etihad Economy Class in the first place.  I just did Cairo - Abu Dhabi - Kuala Lumpur in December.  I will never fly on one of their planes again.  Crammed up like battery hens, both flights were horrendous.

I flew from Melbourne to Cairo by Singapore Airlines in Economy and the contrast was very evident.  For the time being anyway, SIA treat their customers with a lot more respect and provide a modicum of comfort.  Etihad couldn't give a damn.


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