Seven years after Qantas launched a free chauffeur drive service for business and first class flyers on key international routes, the ride is about to end.
The airline has confirmed that "from 15 April 2020, Chauffeur Drive services will no longer be available for booking for Qantas customers. This also applies to Qantas codeshare customers travelling on an Emirates operated service to and from Dubai."
Existing chauffeur bookings for travel through to April 30, 2021 will be honoured, as long as they've been requested by April 15, 2020.
January this year saw Qantas remove access to the American Airlines Arrivals Lounge at Heathrow, a pit-stop where first class and business class passengers could grab a post-flight shower, a fresh cup of coffee and an à la carte breakfast after touching down on QF1 and QF9.
At the time, a Qantas spokesperson told Executive Traveller that the arrivals lounge was little-used by inbound passengers – with only 1-2 guests each day – because most of them made a beeline for their awaiting chauffeur and headed straight to their hotel.
Qantas introduced its chauffeur service in April 2013 to match the same offering from Emirates, as part of the newly-minted Qantas/Emirates alliance.
The free ride was originally offered to premium cabin customers bound for London, Dubai and the USA, but over subsequent years was scaled back to include only the London route, covering a radius of 50 miles (80km) from London Heathrow Airport.
Relatively few international airlines offer a complimentary chauffeur service. While Emirates set the benchmark, competitor Etihad Airways scrapped its own service in July 2017.