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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About 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.