On a recent trip to Valencia, Spain, I booked Blacklane transfers to and from my home to Philadelphia International Airport, and to and from my hotels in Valencia to Valencia Airport. Founded in 2011, the Berlin-based company developed when Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer saw a need for a single global professional chauffeur service. Daily, thousands of passengers connect to a network of licensed and insured professional chauffeurs.
In addition to chauffeur services, I also booked Blacklane PASS, which stands for Premium Airport Services & Solutions. For $100, travelers can skip airport lines and, for $50, book lounges. Personal escorts help travelers navigate gates, lounges and transportation. Other services include arrival services, with planeside or post-Customs greeting, luggage assistance and more; departure services, with a vehicle greeting, assistance with security lines and an escort to the gate; connection services to expedite the process between flights; and lounges, with food, beverages, showers, WiFi and other amenities.
Booking all the different services — four total chauffeur rides and PASS arrival and departure services at PHL — was easy, and communication throughout the process via email and text is extremely reliable.
As a frequent traveler, some of the advantages of the PASS service are moot with my Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, but my companion was not a member of those programs, so the service did help expedite airport processes for him. The PASS service was truly valuable, in our experience, in two ways. Upon departure, there was no PreCheck lane and security had a bit of a line. With the PASS service, we bypassed the line completely and were through security quickly. Plus, our concierge led us to a great wine bar favored by her clients for a place to eat and have a drink while we waited for our flight. On the return, our bags were lost and it was incredibly useful to have our PASS concierge communicate with our driver while we handled our lost luggage issues. It was real plus not to have to worry about that while stressed about our situation.
Without question I will book Blacklane chauffeur services again. In addition to the ease of booking and reliability of communication, the cars are high quality, there is a complimentary wait time of 60 minutes at airports, rates are all-inclusive and cancellation is free up until one hour before one-way transfers. Chauffeurs are fully licensed and insured, and you can book Business Class (which we did), Business Van or First Class.
Each time, the drivers were early; if the worry about getting to the airport wasn’t already somewhat alleviated by knowing the ride was taken care of, seeing our drivers arrive early was an extra bonus. And this applied to the drivers in Philadelphia and Valencia. In Valencia, we met our driver outside Customs; he had a sign with our name on it. At Philadelphia on the return, our PASS concierge escorted us to our waiting vehicle.
While each of the four experiences was painless, our driver from PHL to home really stood out. Not only did she have to wait a little longer because of our delayed baggage, she was upbeat, friendly and positive, despite navigating Philadelphia rush hour in a rainstorm. It was a pleasure to sink into the backseat of her Audi and not have to worry about the drive home after 10-plus hours of travel and the other stresses.
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Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.