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Isn't it less hassle to hire an escort to bring you right to the front of airport security and immigration lines? Growing numbers of airport concierge companies promise this service to fliers as they depart or arrive. Companies such as these provide their services worldwide and are independent of airports and airlines (they have permission from the airports where their services are sold).

In the last several years, as airports have become increasingly crowded, airline and airport analyst George Hobica indicates that these services have become more popular. It's ideal for travelers who don't want to wait in line, need assistance navigating an airport, or have a tight connection where time is of the essence. المسار السريع VIP TopAlpha A concierge is very useful if you like to get on the plane just as it's closing, especially if you like to get on just as the doors close. In addition, the service makes you feel like a VIP.

Those who have an international departure and are flying in economy class may particularly benefit from an airport escort, Mr. Hobica said, because theyre required to arrive at the airport three hours in advance and have to contend with longer security lines, compared with business and first class fliers who usually have separate security lines. He said you can save a lot of time by hiring an airport escort.

One well-established company that provides airport escorts is Royal Airport Concierge. Since 2006, it has operated in more than 550 airports worldwide, using its own greeters and local companies for its escorts. According to Ron Gorfinkel, the type of service provided depends on the regulations of the airport and country. For a departure from Italy, for example, a greeter is permitted to escort departing passengers onto the plane and help them stow their carry-on luggage while fliers arriving into Londons Heathrow Airport have the option to be met at their gate and taken to customs and immigration in a golf cart, where they are fast tracked through the lanes. It costs between $300 and $450 for up to four passengers depending on the company.

I was intrigued by the idea of having an escort at an airport, so I decided to test one from Blacklane, a Berlin-based company that launched its airport concierge service, Blacklane PASS, in August of last year.

The Basics:

As a car service company, Blacklane started in 2011 and now offers escorting services at more than 500 airports around the world through Blacklane PASS. Airport concierge services or escorts hired from the airport themselves provide these services. Blacklane, like Royal Airport Concierge, offers services according to country and airport regulations. Generally, according to CEO Jens Wohltorf, the company escorts travelers through security, customs, immigration, and handles refunded VAT. Furthermore, they meet arriving passengers at the airport and assist them with passport control, transportation, and curbside pickup as well as customs and immigration.

The Cost:

There is a fee of $200 for the first guest and a fee of $100 for subsequent guests. Children two and under are free. Mr. Wohltorf said that giving a gratuity is not required and is completely optional.
My Experience:

Earlier this year, I booked Blacklane PASS for a trip from Paris Orly Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport for my parents, my children, and myself. I reserved the service online a week before our trip (first-time customers must reserve online but subsequent bookings can be made online or via phone) and received a text message from our escort, Reda (only permitted to use his first name), the night before our journey introducing himself and asking if I could text him when we were five minutes away from the airport so that he could greet us. After giving us a drop-off point, when we pulled up at the terminal, he welcomed us with a big smile. Reda loaded our four carry-ons and four check-in bags onto a luggage cart and led us to the front of the line for our airline, La Compagnie. It wasn't a long line, but the moment Reda flashed his pass to an airline employee who allowed us to bypass other passengers was a bit of a thrill for me.

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