If you’re a regular reader of The Travel Hack you’ll know that I’m a big fan of airport meet and greet. It’s one of the little luxuries I’ll always pay extra for as it gets your holiday off to a hassle free start.
I always drive to the airport but I don’t like using the budget car parks located a couple of miles from the airport. I know they’re cheaper but I hate the worry of not being able to find them (I got lost once and almost missed a flight!) and then having to wait for 20 minutes in the cold for a bus to come and take me to the terminal. You have to leave home half an hour earlier too which isn’t ideal when you’ve got an early start to begin with.
You have the same drama on the way home too as you try and find the right bus back to the car park and wait in the rain with all your luggage. If you’ve had a long flight home, this is the last thing you want. You just want your car to be there waiting for you, ready to whizz you out of the airport and straight home. You want the heaters to be already blasting and the seat warmers to be pre-heated. If it’s cold then you want it to be de-iced and demisted and you just want to jump straight in and get going.
I usually use the ‘meet and greet’ airport service that isn’t actually meet and greet at all, it’s just a car park really close to the terminal. It’s handy but when you’re paying extra you really want to dump your car next to the terminal doors and have it waiting there for you when you return.
And this is exactly what happens with Purple Parking Meet and Greet.
My Parking Meet and Greet Review
I used Purple Parking Meet and Greet during my recent ski trip to Tignes. I was travelling from Manchester Airport with Sam, George (our one year old son), Sam’s snowboard, George’s pushchair and a hell of a lot of luggage. And did you know you have to pay for trolleys at Manchester Airport now!? We would have actually paid any amount for a trolley but we didn’t have any change so were left struggling and trying to balance cases on top of cases.
This would have been a nightmare if we were using a budget car park with a bus service to the terminal.
How Purple Parking Meet and Greet works
After booking I was sent a confirmation email with a phone number to call when I was on my way. I was told to call them when I was 20 minutes away from the airport. Despite it being 5.30am, the phone was answered by a lovely and very friendly guy who gave us directions on where to park when we arrived at the airport – parking is directly outside the terminal doors in the pickup and drop off area.
As we pulled into the drop off area there was a guy waiting for us. He spotted the car and came straight over. As we unloaded our luggage he had a look around the car to check for bumps and scratches (there are a few!) I signed a form, gave him they keys and he was off.
Two minutes later and we were in the check-in queue for our flight remarking on how easy that was.
On the return journey I was told to call Purple Parking once we’d collected our luggage and to make our way to the same area we dropped the car off. We did have to wait around 5-10 minutes for the car at this point. After a long flight this did feel like a very long 5 minutes but Purple Parking couldn’t really come much quicker because you can’t hang around in these parking spots. The blow of having to wait was softened by the fact our car had been washed. Well, not properly washed but it had a good rinse and it’s the cleanest it’s been in a long time!
A lovely guy helped us with our luggage and encouraged me to check the car for any bumps or scratches. The car was fine and we were on our way in minutes – once again remarking on how easy it was.
Pros of Purple Parking Meet and Greet
The main pro is how simple and hassle free it is. There are no buses, no walking, no dragging heavy luggage across car parks. I found the Purple Parking guys to be friendly and reliable and I was more than happy to hand over my car keys.
The only real con is the fact that you have to call them when you’re 20 minutes away. This isn’t a problem if you have a passenger but if you’re on your own you’ll need to pull over if you don’t have a hands-free system in your car. I don’t know if I’m really old-fashioned in not having one of these?
Purple Parking Meet and Greet costs £49.99 at Manchester Airport for one week. I think that’s a great price, especially considering the multi-story isn’t much cheaper.
Would I recommend Purple Parking Meet and Greet?
The price is great, the company are reliable and it’s especially handy if you’re travelling with children as you have so much extra stuff but no extra hands to help you carry it!
Disclaimer: My experience with Purple Parking was complimentary in return for an honest review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and I was very impressed by Purple Parking – I will be using them again.