This article is part of a series documenting our flight and lounge experiences as we travelled to and from Europe in First and Business Class (on points) through April and May 2016.
- Emirates Chauffeur Drive
- Emirates First and Business Class Lounge - Melbourne
- Emirates A380 top deck layout with pictures
- Emirates First Class with a toddler (Melbourne to Dubai)
- Emirates Business Class Lounge - Dubai
- Emirates Business Class with a toddler (Dubai to Rome)
- Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge - Paris
- Cathay Pacific Business Class with a toddler (Paris to Hong Kong / Hong Kong to Melbourne)
- Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge - Hong Kong
- Emirates vs Cathay Pacific Business Class... with a toddler
One of the perks of flying with Emirates in either First of Business is their Chauffeur Drive service. You get driven from home to the airport when you leave, and the airport to your accommodation when you arrive (and vice-versa if your return flight is with them also).
As my father noted when I was talking to him about it, “it’s an expensive cab ride, but a handy one.”
For our most recent holiday, we’ve had the amazing opportunity to fly with Emirates in both First and Business Classes on our trip from Melbourne to Rome. There’ll be a heap of articles about the trip over the next month or so.
Chauffeur Drive in Melbourne
We were picked up right on time and travelled to the airport in style. Luckily for us, we opted to leave very early. Traffic was horrendous and it was hammering rain. The journey lasted an hour and a half when it normally takes around 20 minutes.
Chauffeur Drive in Rome
To get off your flight and be one of those people that has a driver waiting is pretty nice. Your name on a piece of plastic being held by a man in a hat. It’s completely pretentious, but a nice feeling all the same.
This is the best part of Chauffeur Drive. Being taken to the airport in your hometown is handy, but not a game changer. We would have happily caught a cab, and even though the cost would have been exorbitant due to the time taken, it still would have been easy.
Being picked up in a foreign city, especially one where you don’t speak the language is a massive help.
The drive took about 45 minutes from Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to our rented apartment near Campo de’ Fiori.
We were pretty frazzled after 30 hours in transit and accidentally left a mobile phone in the van. Completely by chance, the contracting chauffeur company (World Wide Group) had called me just as we were leaving Rome Airport to make sure we’d found our driver. All it took was a quick call back, and our driver Salvatore delivered the phone back to us.
Brilliant service- and definitely one I would endorse, so if you’re even in need of a driver service in Rome, I highly recommend World Wide Group.
Things to note about the Chauffeur Drive service
We booked our drivers through the Qantas website, as we had booked the flights through them. Because we had two tickets (one for me, one for my wife), it gave us the option of booking two cars. The seemed a bit over the top, so I just booked one, but then did some digging.
It’s quite unclear on the Emirates Chauffeur Drive website or any subsequent Terms and Conditions as to how many people the driver service can be used for. Some sources explicitly state that only one passenger per car is permitted, while others gave the impression that you could invite your whole suburb along for the ride. There was absolutely no mention of how to travel with a baby.
So- I called Qantas, who directed me to call Emirates.
Here’s the deal:
The driver service in your departure city should call a day or so before you depart to sort out any details, such as passenger numbers, bags and babies.
I would suggest calling earlier than this if you think your requirements might be a little out of the ordinary. I called four days beforehand and still had a few callbacks from the Melbourne service confirming details.
In our case, being two adults, plenty of bags and a baby too, they opted to send a Mercedes Viano mini-van, which I was quite happy about.
The main reason for calling ahead is to sort out your car on the other end. If I’d not called, we would have had an E-Class Mercedes sedan with no baby seat waiting for us. After I explained to Emirates that I would also require a baby seat and that there were, in fact, two adults with luggage, they too decided to send a black Mercedes Viano.
We’ve booked transfers before, especially when landing in a foreign country. Today’s experience in Rome has definitely convinced me that I will always do this from now on, particularly in countries where I don’t speak the language.
Read more about Chauffer Drive at the Emirates website.