April 5, 2015

Athens Welcome Pickups

Before traveling to Athens, we looked around for an easy, affordable and convenient way to get from the Athens airport to our hotel in the city center. We found a new type of ride sharing company called Welcome Pickups (http://www.welcomepickups.com/) and decided to give them a try. The difference from other ride sharing or taxi booking companies like Uber is that they have some additional services catered specifically to tourists.

    Screenshot of the email summary, with details blurred out

Before booking, we did some research and found some positive feedback from past users. We also picked up a discount code (iloveathens) which gave a 5 discount. The company charges a flat rate of 35 for a one-way pickup. This is the same price one would more or less pay by taking a taxi from the airport. The added benefits of using Welcome Pickups are:

  • The service is prepaid. I paid for the booking in advanced so no need to worry about having cash.
  • The driver is identified in advanced. Upon booking, I received a confirmation email. After a few days, they sent me an email with the name and picture of the driver who would pick us up from the airport. This is great for safety purposes.
  • Customized welcome message. This is a cute service and you can play around with it to surprise a travel companion with a special welcome message.
  • Welcome pack. They hand over a reusable environment friendly eco-bag with a map of Athens upon riding in the taxi cab. The bag is cute and useful when doing shopping in Athens and the map had a discount coupon for the hop-on, hop-off bus.
  • Option to purchase a local SIM card. For 10, you get a local SIM card along with free 1GB of data and free minutes to call local numbers. I thought this was very useful as we no longer had to go around looking for a local SIM card.
  • The driver was very friendly and the cab was clean and in great condition.
  • After getting dropped off at our hotel, we got an email from the company with some tips on what to do in Athens.
  • We got an email reminder for our return trip to the airport a day before the pickup. Useful especially if one is a bit absent minded about dates while on vacation.
  • We were asked for immediate feedback right after completion of the service. I'm pretty sure that they would have done something quickly had we not been happy with the service.

I am always happy to try out a new company providing some innovation to an existing industry. I'm glad I was able to try this out and maybe it's something that can even be done in Manila. The company currently only provides its services in Athens and Istanbul. 

Overall, we were very happy with the service that Welcome Pickups provided and we are happy to use them again if we visit Athens in the future. 

Link here to the Welcome Pickups website