You have your plane tickets, your luggage and you’re ready for takeoff. The only issue is, who will get you once you arrive at your destination?
That’s where companies like Blacklane come into play. The professional driver service company covers the first and last miles of your journey, which are usually rides to and from the airport.
The company serves more than 50 countries, 250 cities and 500 airports around the world, and has commercially-licensed and insured drivers. Blacklane CRO Dr. Sascha Meskendahl talked with RewardExpert about the company’s travel footprint.
An idea bred from firsthand experience
CEO Jens Wohltorf and CTO Frank Steuer founded Blacklane in 2011.
Wohltorf traveled a lot as a consultant, finding flights and hotels pretty easily. The same could not be said for ground transportation, which was painful on a large scale. A new driver had to be discovered on every trip in every city.
“That meant that chauffeured rides had wildly different quality standards around the world,” Meskendahl said. “No two booking processes were the same. Some required email, some required a phone call, and some even required a fax. The payment and invoicing was also a burden with different currencies and receipt formats.”
Friends Wohltorf and Steuer saw a business opportunity that would fix the problems of fragmented local chauffeur services. They set out to unify drivers and passengers with quality standards.
Booking is fast and easy
The company guarantees rides at fair, fixed and all-inclusive rates based on the shortest distance. You could book a ride in 30 seconds online or via the app, with consumers seeing the full price in advance. This includes no additional tolls, taxes, fees or gratuities — all at about half the price of legacy limousine services.
“Our customer-friendly policies include booking or canceling a ride with as little as one hour’s notice,” Meskendahl said. “Drivers also wait up to an hour, for free, at all airport and train station pickups.
“On the ground, you’ll have a driver waiting for you with a sign. The driver will speak English across all of our cities.”
A 24/7 support team is available by phone, email and social media.
Program partnering and budget advice
Blacklane is partnering with several loyalty programs — such as Miles & More and Asia Miles — so members can earn miles with every ride. The company offers promotions for existing and new customers, where they can earn up to 2,000 bonus miles.
It’s all about checking costs in advance. Meskendahl said all types of travel suppliers add fees, which may not show up in the final price. The same philosophy exists within ground transportation, with hidden surcharges for tolls, taxes, fuel and airport pickup costs.
“This is a terrible customer experience and why Blacklane provides the full, all-inclusive rate based on the shortest distance,” he said. “No surprises, you pay what you see from the first moment when you book.”
Improving the travel ecosystem
Blacklane wants to be everywhere within the travel ecosystem. Last year they expanded to 64 new cities in the Asia-Pacific region. Customers offer suggestions on future city options.
Digital and physical products will also be improved. Apps will be a focus while the company plunges forward on continuing a great user experience.
Visit blacklane or the app on iPhone or Android.