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Ray's, Just Airports, or other tranfers from LHR

Ray's, Just Airports, or other tranfers from LHR

Old Aug 9th, 2004, 11:33 AM
  #1  
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Ray's, Just Airports, or other tranfers from LHR

Hi there,
I need to make a decision on which car transfer to take from LHR for our group of 4 adults, 1 baby. It should be just a question of price... but the cheapest (Just Airports) also seems to have the only really "bad" reviews on here, in spite of all the people who also love their service.

I've read two things about Just Airports and I'm wondering if anyone can corroborate or tell me differently:
1) Car Seats... we're not travelling with ours so it's critical that our driver brings one. Just Airports offers this as an option when booking, but I thought I'd read somewhere that some of the drivers either didn't know how to install it or just didn't bring it.

2) Just Airports is essentially a booking service for a whole bunch of independent drivers... so there's no consistency in the kind of car or driver you'll get. I've seen some complaints that the drivers had language issues or were not comletely familiar with London, or that they arrived in a shabby beat up flimsy car. This might seem like a petty issue but after a long flight with a toddler, I want to step into a comfortable, safe car, with a driver who knows where he's going, and might even chat a bit with us about the weather or point out different neighborhoods to us.

That said, this is why Ray's is also appealing because apparently he is chatty and nice, but his price is higher. And higher yet is a third option, a fellow recommended by the owner of the flat we're renting. He's a known and trusted resource and if his price weren't literally like 20GBPs more I'd consider it.

Of course, MK2 always recommends Aircars 2000, but has ANYONE else ever used them? (Sorry MK2 but I'm not the sort that travels with matching luxury luggage so I want to be sure that Aircars is really the right service for us.)

Thanks in advance for your help on this.

~kat
skatterfly is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 11:37 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I tried Aircars 2000 and they told me they had no available cars on my dates. I booked through www.londontown.com and got the lowest rates I've seen.
Grasshopper is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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Oh, go ahead and take Ray. Heck, I'd go back to London just for the express pleasure of seeing Ray again.
Shanna is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Aircars2000 are always punctual, the drivers offer personal service, they carry all of your luggage and whisk you through the airport, and out of it very quickly. They're always suited and booted too!

The cars are either Merceded Saloons, or Chrysler Grand Voyagers, and always top spec models. For 40GBP cash each way they are a bargain. I cannot recommend them enough!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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skatterfly, Can you point specifically to the bad reviews for Just Airports?

Lots of people here, including myself, have the warm and fuzzies for Ray Skinner and his service. But you don't always get Ray as a driver. I've never been afraid or ridden in a filthy car but on more than one occasion the cars were not late models nor were they spotlessly clean. And until a couple of years ago, Ray's was the low cost alternative. Drivers have always been friendly and chatty.

obxgirl is online now  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 01:43 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,067

Just to give you another option to work with:

We have used Swiss Cottage Cars with satisfactory results. We didn't have the car seat situation, but their driver was helpful, was still there after a flight delay. Arrived in a nice Mercedes sedan, chatted and pointed out sights along the way. We worked with them by phone, but they now have a website of their own.

www.swisscottagecars.com
Clifton is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:01 PM
  #7  
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Shanna... that's so funny you've said that. Most of the posts on Fodors about his service refer to him by name... he must really be a great guy (and an interesting character).

Is he always the driver? He does have a website which makes me wonder if his business has now grown and perhaps he employs other drivers (or outsources drivers the way Just Airports does).

Thanks for the help... I've got to get my husband on board with one of these choices or else we're going to have trouble booking ANY of them for our September arrival.

Thanks again,
Kat
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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I think I agree with Shanna here!! I'd go to London just to chat with Ray too Seriously, we have had Ray pick us up and drop us off at Heathrow many times (we always get Ray too, but we have kind of become friends over the years) and thoroughly enjoy his company. If I were you I would call him (use his cell number) and ask directly about the baby seat thing. Not having any kids it is not anything I would know about, but Ray does drive people all the time so I am thinking he would have one.

It is possible, if Ray is booked, he will have someone else pick you up, but you can ask him that as well.
Lori is offline  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:23 PM
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Hi Skatterfly - yes, Ray does use other drivers. We lucked out with him. He loves London - born there, I understand - so he's the kind of person you want. Not meaning to disparage other drivers, but so many other drivers aren't English. They are just trying to make an honest living, but they can't fill you in on all the interesting tidbits Ray does. When I communicated with him by e-mail, I tried to make a personal connection - he lived in Florida where I am. When he picked us up at the huge hotel by Heathrow, filled with lots of Americans, he walked right over to us like he knew us already. One of those occasions that just felt right - he is so open and friendly. I know price is important, but when you get back from a vacation, $10-$15 here or there won't make a difference - but feeling a connection can make a vacation special. Anyone know if Ray is single?
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Hi Skatterfly - yes, Ray does use other drivers. We lucked out with him. He loves London - born there, I understand - so he's the kind of person you want. Not meaning to disparage other drivers, but so many aren't English. They are just trying to make an honest living, but they can't fill you in on all the interesting tidbits Ray does. When I communicated with him by e-mail, I tried to make a personal connection - he lived in Florida where I am. When he picked us up at the huge hotel by Heathrow, filled with lots of Americans, he walked right over to us like he knew us already. One of those occasions that just felt right - he is so open and friendly. I know price is important, but when you get back from a vacation, $10-$15 here or there won't make a difference - but feeling a connection can make a vacation special. Anyone know if Ray is single?
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:32 PM
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Shanna-Ray is single Seriously, I agree, a few dollars more for someone you feel comfortable with is a good investment. Ray likes to talk and is retired from British Airways so he has lots of good stories if you want to get him going on about airlines (or politics for that matter !!) I've recommended him many times and no one was disappointed, in fact like Shanna they were quite taken with him. As I said we have gotten to be friends over the years, so for us it is a little different, but I suspect he treats all his customers very nicely.
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:38 PM
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I've only ever had the best of experiences with Ray Skinner's service, be it with Ray or another one of his drivers. Regardless of their country of origin, drivers have been informed and friendly.
obxgirl is online now  
Old Aug 9th, 2004, 03:49 PM
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Aircars2000 offer a similar service, I'd love for another poster to experience them so they too can endorse them!
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Old Aug 9th, 2004, 06:37 PM
  #14  
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MK2, I'd consider using them, but it doesn't look like they have a car that can accommodate 4 adults and a baby. Their fleet on their website looks very nice... and if it were just me and my husband and the baby, it would be fine. But I've got 2 additional adults. Last time I checked mercedes didn't make a minivan, do they?

~kat
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 04:02 AM
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They do have Chrysler Grand Voyagers which I believe take more than four adults, I'd book one of those.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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I've just received a quote of £60 from Aircars 2000 for transfer from London to Heathrow. Since that is over twice the amount other services have quoted, I will unfortunately not be using them.
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:06 AM
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I'm sorry to hear you won't be using them. They always do 40GBP cash for me!
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Old Aug 10th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Well m_kingdom, if you'd make up the difference in £ I might be persuaded to try them out...
taggie is offline  
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