Your choice of ground transportation has a tremendous impact on your travel experience. When you choose a private car service, convenience and comfort are among the top reasons for this preference. Depending on the circumstances, it can even be perceived as a more effective choice for your time and money to have a professional driver. And, sometimes, you just want to rely on a chauffeured black car for your airport transfers or to get around the city when you’re traveling.
GroundLink was founded in 2003 (experience matters) and has built a strong international reputation with its drivers and passengers. They have a fleet of 45,000 vehicles throughout the U.S. and in 100 countries, multiple booking options (I’m a fan of using online and apps) and solutions that are designed to meet the needs of corporate travel, meetings and events.
So, I tested them out as part of a recent visit to Europe using the online booking tool.
Creating a GroundLink Account
I created my account online at GroundLink’s website, but you can also sign up through the GroundLink mobile app. It’s actually quite easy to setup an account with just a few pieces of information, and your own self-created password. If you’re interested in creating a corporate account, that’s a separate option.
Booking a GroundLink Car Service
That’s equally easy. You enter the airport code and a drop-off location, select the number of passengers and bags, choose the date and time of your arrival (or when you want to be picked up if you’re not at the airport), and then search.
Within a few seconds you receive seven choices (listed here in price order from my results of lowest to highest cost options):
- Economy car
- Luxury sedan
- Mercedes Benz
- VIP sedan
- Stretch limo
The default for business travelers shows up at the top: a luxury sedan that can hold up to three bags and three passengers. And that was my choice.
Before you select your vehicle, you need to confirm if you are riding with a child and you can share instructions for the driver, such as where he or she may find you on the street, etc. However, if you’re arriving at the airport, the next screen will capture those details.
The system is designed so you can enter your airline and flight number or select it by searching from the departure airport. I knew my information, but to test it out I decided to use the “search for flight” feature instead.
The system automatically defaulted to an inside pick up. What was really helpful is that you get an option to direct when you’d like the driver to pick you up.
The default is to choose “recommended” time because it says when your flight arrives. And then the next message explains that you’ll have 30 minutes for domestic flights and 60 minutes for international flights before any additional time charges are incurred. Plus the flight arrival time will automatically adjust the pickup time based on your flight’s actual arrival.
I knew that I would have to go through immigration, so I manually adjusted the time to have the driver arrive 45 minutes after gate arrival – accounting for any unexpected delays at the gate, immigration or baggage (the system also offers an option to share comments to the driver in the note if needed).
The last step is payment methods (you must enter your credit card information). If you have a promotion code, this is also the time to enter it. And there is a check box that you can de-select if you do not want to receive future promotions. But, what the heck, go ahead and keep that because they may come in handy!
Submit and you will receive an email confirmation with your ride details and payment confirmation.
GroundLink Airport Pickup at London Hethrow
Well, the first thing that happened on the day of travel was that I forgot my passport for the first time ever. So I had the unfortunate experience of needing to rebook my flight from Chicago to London with the airline. And I can tell you that it was much easier to make changes with GroundLink – a quick phone call to their 24/7 customer service center.
And there were delays at the airport just as I expected: The jet bridge to our plane malfunctioned. So, while the airline arrival time “appeared” to be relatively on time. However, we actually lost about 25 minutes until the airline passenger stairs were used instead and we had the other typical international arrival delays.
After collecting my baggage, I was able to find my driver waiting for me among the sea of chauffeurs and the signs they all hold with our names. He was dressed professionally, took my baggage, offered a welcoming conversation, guided me to the garage and his black sedan and leather seats offered the comfortable vantage as we drove through one of my favorite cities to my hotel.
One worthy point to make: The extra arrival time that I estimated worked to my advantage (i.e., I didn’t incur any additional time charges for the delays).
GroundLink Airport Pickup at Charles de Gaulle in Paris
For my visit to Paris, I wanted to save a little bit of money, so I selected the economy car as a point of comparison. Just as experienced in London, the driver was on time and welcoming. But I was surprised that my vehicle type was upgraded with an SUV (bonus).
Personally, I prefer to work through a limo service that has a large global network, if possible. Without already having an established relationship with a driver or car service in a given city, I’m a fan of streamlining the number of resources that I rely on.
With GroundLink you get to choose the type of vehicle that meets your needs and budget. They have an easy to use booking process, including online, app and phone options.
You can also use the GroundLink app to track your car and driver from the time they are dispatched until you are dropped off at your destination.
I’m always looking for a service that makes my travel life easier. GroundLink will meet and exceed your expectations. They also offer occasional promotions and discounts to existing customers for future use, saving you money.
Have you used GroundLink? Share your experience and comments here!