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Unfortunately, not many airlines offer airport chauffeurs with their Business or even First Class products, so you are left to your own devices to get to and from the airport. For my last Heathrow trips, I’ve become a real fan of Wheely and thought I’d share my experience and tips today!
Summary – 10/10
Pros: Book reliably in advance, fixed prices for Heathrow & Gatwick, meet and greet airport service included, flight tracking, consistent high-end cars and service, arrives early and free waiting time, no need to chat if you don’t want to!
Cons: Not many except that it is pricey. The only other slight con was an unexpected price increase on New Years Eve, but they put it right without me even having to complain!
What: Wheely is an app (IOS and Android) that provides a pre-booked and on-demand luxury chauffer service to rival Uber’s Exec and Lux service. It includes trips across the city as well as to/from airports, all in Mercedes E-Class (Business), S-Class (First) or V-Class (XL).
When: I’ve personally used Wheely to/from Heathrow in August 2019, October 2019 and January 2020.
Cost: Depends on the distance and locations of the trip. Trips are pay per mile & minutes within a city, but are fixed price for certain airports (Heathrow & Gatwick to/from central London). See below for a table of example prices. You can get 20% off your first trip with my referral code: 6CZM2
|Route (to/from one way)||Business (E-Class)||First (S-Class)|
|Within London||£6 + £0.50/min + £1.60/mile with a minimum of £12||£8 + £0.75/min + £2.40/mjile with a minimum of £16|
|London Euston – Old Street||£15-£18||£22-27|
|Hammersmith – Heathrow Airport||£50||£75|
|Old Steet – Heathrow Airport||£60||£90|
|London Bridge – Gatwick Airport||£85||£125|
|Croydon – Gatwick Airport||£50 – £61||£75 – 91|
|Soho – London City Airport||£41 – £51||£61 – £75|
Availability: Wheely operates in London, Paris and in major cities in Russia (it is a Russian company)
You book a Wheely using its app. You can pre-book for a set date and time, or request a car ASAP (an estimated wait is provided once you enter your pick-up location).
Upon entering a destination you will be given a price estimate or a fixed price. You can select Business (a Mercedes E-Class) or First (a Mercedes S-Class) and compare prices.
On-demand, cars can take a little longer than Uber, but I was particularly impressed that at Heathrow it only took 10 minutes for a driver to arrive. The driver even called and asked if I wanted to meet him in the car park or if he should come out and fetch me from the arrivals hall.
A really useful feature for flight arrivals that definitely beats Uber is that Wheely will track your flight details. If you enter your flight number in the comments box, they will amend your booked time depending on whether your flight is running early or late.
Another thing I like about Wheely is the lack of surges, so you aren’t messing around with the app trying to get the price down (like I do with Uber). The prices themselves are also competitive with Uber Exec and Lux, particularly at Airports. The exception for this was one of the most busy days of the year (e.g. New Years Eve) where there was a blanket 90% increase on prices applied on the day. This deducted one mark, because a 90% increase is pretty extortionate and in my opinion taking advantage.
But, the way Wheely handled the price increase against my advance booking truly impressed me. I pre-booked my New Years Eve Wheely to Heathrow 4 months in advance. I was worried there was going to be a shortage of drivers at 4am or a last-minute price increase on the night, but their customer service assured me they would meet my pick-up time. Low and behold, I received an email on the day that because of exceptional demand, Wheely was going to nearly double its prices for the evening! But, for anyone who had pre-booked their Wheely in advance, £70 free credit would be applied. This actually resulted in my Wheely being cheaper than it would have been! I thought this was excellent service and is a real example of treating the customer fairly.
What particularly impresses me about Wheely is how dependable it is on meeting its pre-booked pickup times. Every time I have pre-booked, the driver has arrived at least 10 minutes early. But there is no pressure to meet them. In fact, they won’t even message to say they have arrived until your booked time (although the app will show you they are outside).
Further, they give you some leeway against your booked time. At airports, the driver will wait for 30 minutes free of charge against your booked time, in case immigration or baggage takes longer than you anticipated.
My favourite thing about Wheely at airports is the meet and greet service! I hate trying to find Ubers at airports as I can never work out which parking lot I’m supposed to be in. Wheely will come to the arrivals hall holding a sign with your name on, all included in the service!
The greeting itself is also consistent. Every Wheely driver I’ve had has been impeccably presented, has immediately come and taken my luggage from me as soon as they see me and has made sure the door is open for me to hop into. This really adds a touch of luxury to the whole experience.
Car & Journey
Wheely cars definitely feel pretty swish. You know the make and model you will be getting and can even put on your profile that only black cars should be allocated to you!
The difference between the Business (E-Class) car and First (S-Class) car is noticeable but not essential. The S-Class feels more sleek, with a higher-end interior and mood lighting. But I’d say the circa 50% price increase for First is only really worth it for a special occasion.
Other than the car itself, everything else is the same. Water and charging points are provided in the car and the driver will ask your temperature and music preferences!
Another thing I prefer to Uber is that the driver will take your lead on whether you want to chat or not. There is nothing worse than getting off a 12-hour flight exhausted, only to be picked up by the world’s biggest small-taker!
Finally, I appreciate that Wheely ask where you want to be dropped off. At Heathrow T5, the drivers make sure to park up right outside the door nearest the Concorde Room. It is little touches like this that enhance the experience and start your trip off in style!
I’m aware this post feels a bit like a promo piece, but I’m really not being sponsored for this! Other than 20% off for me as well if you use my referral code (6CZM2) I won’t earn anything from this post. I just really, really like Wheely! So much so that it’s hard to travel to and from the airport any other way now!