Gareth Huw Davies

Travel Blog

Sorting out the weakest link in holiday travel.

Idyllic SW Turkey. But how was the trip from the airport?

Our preferred way to travel on from the airport to our hotel is by chauffeur-driven Bentley.   Well, isn’t it yours?  BMWs, unless they are top of the range, are so last year, don’t you think?

Seriously though, the best you can hope for if you’re looking for ultra-reliable transfer is a nice new rail link that hurtles straight to the city centre. Vancouver and Barcelona – they’re both good.  And let’s face it, so is the Heathrow Express,  once you have sorted out the bank loan.

Too often, particularly if your hotel is in some idyllic but rather remote spot, you have to rely on a taxi, negotiated just after you clear customs, when your mind may not be in the  sharpest condition for securing the cheapest deal. And hiring a car to drive to a place that might be hidden away down un-signposted roads is not such a wise plan either.

If the only other option is being taken on by one of those dreaded holiday company  coaches, we’ve all had experience of  endless waits until the plane from  East Midlands or Doncaster lands so that  their passengers can join us. Some  of my family members had an experience just like that last weekend, missing more and more of the rugby Grand  Slam decider, and making it to the hotel for only the last 26 minutes  of the game.

So wouldn’t it be easier if you could tie up all those  awkward, onward travel arrangements with a simple call the same time as you sort out your tickets?

One company providing this service is Holiday Transfers, a new UK travel outfit which claims to be about to  “transform the way UK holiday makers travel to their destinations.“   And there’s plenty of scope for that.

Holiday Transfers offers airport and rail transfers from thousands of destinations worldwide  at  “the best available prices.”   They will get you to your hotel  by taxi or shuttle,  or if you happen to be a bonus-spending banker,  helicopter or even private jet.  I will just settle for the Bentley, thanks.

I have seen companies like EasyJet  provide quite a good service  between,  say,  Dalaman Airport in Turkey and Marmaris,  where you pre-book  a minibus before you leave. Holiday Transfers  seem to be offering this, with perhaps a little more personalised service, although they will be, presumably, using largely the same operators on the ground in the country you’re flying to.

They say they will be  adding value to the service with a 24-hour emergency helpline, meaning that if customers are delayed or stuck in an unknown situation, there will be a  “friendly voice” to help get them safely moving again.   Passengers aboard a stranded  minibus I was on last summer could have made good use of that backup number as we waited  at 2 AM  to be rescued when the driver unaccountably decided he wasn’t going to the airport after all.

Transfers back home  from the UK airport is another service the company offers.  Some holiday companies offer this as a matter of course,  but with an increasing number of people booking their trips online, this isn’t an option.  It once took us  almost as long to get from  Heathrow to our home  35 miles away,  by public transport, as it did  to cross the Atlantic. Wouldn’t it be nice  to walk through arrivals and spot one of that army of chauffeurs actually holding up your name for once?

Time will tell how the service works out.  There should certainly be a good demand  for  the company who can fix an important part of your holiday travel, and do it consistently and reliably.