If you’ve ever driven to an airport, you’ve more than likely heard the phrase “meet & greet airport parking”. Maybe you’ve used a valet airport parking service yourself at some point, or possibly you haven’t even looked up how the process works before and want to find out more.
Either way the information here will be of use: there are many different providers of meet and greet airport parking now operating at Gatwick airport, and not all of them are the same.
Put simply, meet & greet services take the stress out of parking at the airport
How does the process work?
With Gatwick meet and greet airport parking, a driver will meet you by the terminal in order to collect your car so you can simply walk straight to check in.
This means you don’t have to spend time hunting out a cramped space in one of the multi story short stay car parks, or getting a bus transfer from one of the long stay options to the terminal with your bags (and possibly children).
There are differences to be found between different companies so it’s worth shopping around. For instance, with most services the company will keep your keys safe for you while you’re away, but you can find packages that have the option of having your keys returned so you can keep them with you while on your trip.
In general, this is how meet and greet airport parking works:
- You meet your driver right by the terminal
- They take your car for you and park it in a secure car park
- You go straight to your flight
- When you return your driver will be waiting with your car so you can jump right in and get home quickly
Some services will ask for a time of arrival far in advance and then track your flight’s landing time to make sure your driver is there, whereas others will ask you to give them a call when you’re near the airport and when you’ve landed.
Either way, your driver will be there waiting and will gladly deal with all of the hassle of parking and retrieving your car for you.
Why shouldn’t I just park my own car?
Parking a car is obviously something any driver is capable of doing, so you may rightly be wondering what the point of paying extra for someone else to do it is.
The answer is that meet & greet airport parking is so much more convenient.
Gatwick’s car parks are incredibly busy: 36% of passengers who use the airport drive, and in 2017 45.6 million people travelled through Gatwick.
This is the reason why everyone is familiar with having to drive all the way up to the ninth floor of a multi story car park just to find a space that’ll just about allow you to open your door far enough to get out.
Allowing someone else to deal with Gatwick’s increasingly outdated car parks allows you to get to your plane more easily (and to get home faster when you return). And it’s also often much cheaper than you might think: you can find Gatwick airport off-site parking options from as little as £5.75 a day.
Are there any extra services available?
Yes there are, depending on the service you choose. If you’re willing to pay a little more then you’ll be able to find meet & greet airport parking providers who will clean or service your car while you’re away. This is a really great way of having a boring chore dealt with for you while you put your feet up on a beach hundreds of miles away.
If you use our comparisons you’ll be able to find a company that will service your car for you for a great price.
Is there a difference between meet & greet and valet parking?
You’ll find both of these terms floating around when looking at different parking options at Gatwick, and they generally tend to be used to describe the exact same thing. The term ‘valet’ is usually used by companies to make their meet and greet airport parking service sound more exclusive.
In reality every meet & greet airport parking service is by definition a valet service.
On the official Gatwick airport site the difference between the two is that meet and greet airport parking services meet you on the forecourt, whereas for valet airport parking services you drop your car off at a special car park 3 minutes from the terminal. But broadly speaking the terms are used interchangeably by the different companies.
For instance one of the biggest providers, I Love Meet and Greet, meets you on the forecourt but uses both ‘meet & greet’ and ‘valet’ to describe the deals they offer.
How do I know my car will be safe?
If you use any reputable valet service company at Gatwick you can be sure your car will be safe while you’re away.
If you want to put your mind at ease completely, then check a company’s website to see if their car park has been awarded a Park Mark. This means that the police have assessed the car park for security measures.
Whether you’re using Gatwick airport on-site parking or an off-site meet & greet airport parking service, if you find the company on this website then your car will be completely secure for the duration of your trip.
How can I find the best deal?
That’s an easy one: through our comparisons. Take a minute to fill out our form on your right and we’ll show you all the best value options available to find you exactly what you’re looking for at a great price.
We hope you have a fantastic trip!