Travel Website of the Week: Blacklane

BlacklaneA few weeks ago I needed a ride from the Palazzo Manfredi in the heart of Rome (across the street from the Colosseum) to Fiumicino airport. In the past, I’ve taken the train to the airport (the most economical way) but this time I had my dad with me, so I needed something easy, smooth and special for him. I was planning on using UBER but I received an email from Blacklane’s marketing department offering me the chance to check out their service. I’d never heard of them, but after doing some research I decided that they looked like a great alternative to Uber since they’re available everywhere in the world—plus not everyone travels with a smartphone with fast enough data to order an Uber.

So I gave them a whirl, and it was quick and easy. I made the reservation a couple days in advance online (I could’ve called). All I had to do was type in the hotel name for the pickup (the site recognized it) and the three-letter airport code for the airport. So much easier then having to type out the physical address. On the next page, I was asked what kind of automobile I wanted, choosing from: Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Lincoln Town Car, or equivalent. They call this Business Class and it costs 59 Euros ($80). The other two choices were 1) larger cars—a Mercedes Viano, VW Multivan, Cadillac Escalade or equivalent—that fit five people and five large suitcases for 76 Euros ($103) and 2) their First Class option which gets you a Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, VW Phaeton or equivalent for 91 Euros ($123).

Naturally, I chose the Business Class option, which was perfect and the driver sent me a text with his phone number about an hour before pickup. I replied back and asked if he could come 15 minutes early in case of traffic and sure enough he showed up. And the 30-minute, 30-kilometer (18 mile) drive was easy like a Sunday morning thanks to Blacklane (even though it was a Wednesday morning).

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