Everything you need to know about Blacklane global chauffeur service

May 12, 2022

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There are times — after a red-eye or long-haul flight comes to mind — when you just might not want to line up for a taxi or order yet another ride-hailing service where you have to scramble to find the meet-up point.

Maybe you just want a reliable luxury ride, with a chauffeur waiting not curbside but actually inside the airport with your name on a sign, ready to escort you out. Someone who’s actually been tracking your flight’s arrival time and is sure to be there the minute you emerge with your luggage, ready to hand you a cold bottle of water and get you on your way — whether that be to your home or around your destination city.

Whether you’ve landed in Shanghai or San Francisco, that’s where Blacklane might just make your day (and drive). The world’s leading global chauffeur service feels something like a mix between a ride-hailing app and a personal chauffeur. It’s available in more than 70 countries and over 300 cities around the world.

Read on to decide if this popular chauffeur service is right for you.

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Three types of service

Blacklane offers three different types of services — each suiting different traveler needs. Here’s a brief breakdown.

Intercity rides

The company’s intercity rides get you between cities in some proximity — say between New York City and Atlantic City, New Jersey; Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; or London and Cambridge, England — and are designed to make long-distance travel comfortable and discreet.

The idea is that you’ll save time in transit by skipping hours potentially lost in airport security lines or transiting through train stations or other mass transit hubs around the world. Instead, says Blacklane, you can use that travel time to be more productive — working away in comfort in a luxury car’s cozy surroundings, catching up on phone calls or ordering groceries off Amazon Prime … you get the idea.

Chauffeur hailing

Blacklane’s chauffeur-hailing service basically acts like an upscale version of Uber or Lyft. You can order a ride with a traditional chauffeur within minutes in many cities around the globe using the Blacklane app on your phone, then hop between spots in the same city in more reliable luxury and style than any ride-hailing service can guarantee.

Chauffeur driver assists passenger
(Photo courtesy of Blacklane)

Airport transfers

The third (and, hands down, most popular) service Blacklane offers is airport transfers. They’re exactly what they sound like and can be scheduled as late as half an hour before you need to be picked up. The driver picks you up at the airport and transfers you to wherever you need to go. However, your chauffeur takes on more responsibility than a ride-hailing driver in this case, tracking your flights for delays and optimizing pickup times to be there right when you step into the airport’s public area.

You don’t have to toggle through your phone when you land since you’ve already booked your pickup in advance. You can also adjust your pickup schedule during your travels should anything come up.

More details

Blacklane claims its drivers are hand-picked by the company and there to offer local tips and advice for what to do during your stay, too. (Not that you can’t get that from your Uber or taxi driver, of course, if you’re curious enough to converse). It’s a nice that the company advertises this, though, and it serves as an open invitation to ask questions such as “Where’s the best Hainanese chicken rice in Bangkok?” if you wish.

Blacklane doesn’t own its vehicles, but rather aggregates them from local partners. The fleet comprises late-model luxury types such as a Mercedes E Class, Cadillac XTS or a similar car in the Business Class category and vehicles like Chevrolet Suburbans and Cadillac Escalades in the Business Van/SUV category. The company also offers Sprinter Class vans that hold up to 12 people if you’re traveling with a group (these can be rented for both airport transfers and hourly chauffeured rentals). While there’s no way to guarantee the exact type of car you’ll be riding in, it’s sure to be nice.

Benefits of booking with Blacklane

Blacklane offers a handy and swanky-feeling service that’s often less expensive than what a city hotel would charge you for its pickup service (be sure to do your own due diligence on that, though). Having a Blacklane pickup arranged ahead of time also can be an easier option to navigate if you’re arriving in a foreign country and are wary about figuring out local transportation options on your own.

One big advantage to mention — and where Blacklane attempts to set an industry standard — is that all rides with the company’s vehicles are 100% carbon neutral, an initiative that’s part of the company’s global carbon offset program and an industry first. It’s a small gesture in the grand scheme of carbon offsets, but it feels good to offset your carbon imprint in some small way, especially after you’ve just stepped off another long-haul flight.

Blacklane leans into its reliability perk, too, promising to give customers a predictable quality of service that’s standard across the board. The company adheres to rigorous health cleaning standards that are meted out in equal measure everywhere it operates. Blacklane also claims its chauffeurs are “bound by discretion,” for what that’s worth, so you can presumably blab on openly about that important deal or other potentially eavesdrop-worthy topics while you’re being driven around, like the true traveling business powerhouse that you are.

Blacklane’s rates for chauffeur hailing are competitive and distance-based, with no hidden fees. In New York City, you can hail a Blacklane chauffeur for as little as $18, according to the company. When it comes to services what you’ll get will feel like a mix between traditional car service and Uber, but with a more upscale vehicle guaranteed.

For airport transfers, Blacklane’s all-inclusive pricing is a nice, transparent perk, with all tips and tolls wrapped into the price before you confirm your booking. You’ll know exactly what you’re going to pay, with no surprise fees or requests to add a tip after you’ve exited the vehicle.

Airport transfers are the service’s most popular offering, and include one hour of complimentary wait time from your driver after your flight’s arrival time at the airport. And since your driver will be tracking your flight based on the information you provided in advance, your one hour of included wait time doesn’t start until you actually land.

Intercity rides with Blacklane in the United States include free Wi-Fi. You can book a business van or SUV ride if you want to ensure more workspace as you roll along from point A to point B.

Blacklane booking process

Whether you’re looking to book an airport transfer in advance or order chauffeur-hailing on the go during a city stay, the first step to getting on board with Blacklane is to download the Blacklane application in the App store or in Google Play. If you don’t want to use the mobile booking service, you can also visit the official Blacklane website.

First, select whether you want to book a ride for a one-way trip or by the hour (in the window on the right-hand side of the page). Then, input your desired location and the timing details for your trip, after which your service class options (Business Class vehicle, Business Van/SUV or Sprinter Class) and the pricing details will appear.

After you select your service class, you’re brought to a new page where you can input information like your flight details (for airport transfers), what you want written on your pickup sign (for airport transfers) and other details.

Business-class vehicles accommodate a maximum of three passengers traveling with two bags, while Business van/SUV Class vehicles can transport five passengers and a maximum of five bags. Sprinter vans can transport up to 12 passengers.

When it comes to payment, cash is not an option. Blacklane accepts Visa, Maestro, Mastercard and American Express credit cards. If you’re booking using the app, you can also pay via Paypal (it’s not currently an option for payment on the website, but apparently will be soon).

Invoices for business accounts can be sent to you from Blacklane on a monthly basis, if desired — perhaps an easier option than keeping track of individual rides.

Blacklane discounts

Look out for periodic discounts that Blacklane offers to new customers who book the chauffeur-hailing service — as much as 25% off their first ride. It’s also always worth Googling “Blacklane discounts” and “Blacklane coupon codes” to see if any are currently being offered.

Bottom line

It’s good to have options when it comes to travel these days. Blacklane is particularly worth considering if you’re looking for a seamless airport transfer in a luxury vehicle with all of the fees, tips and tolls wrapped into the total price before you push “purchase.”

Featured photo courtesy of Blacklane.

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