Europcar has opened its first airside rental desk at Gatwick airport. The new service, located in the domestic departures lounge of the airport's North Terminal, is designed to speed up the collection process when a customer arrives at their destination.
The desk is aimed primarily at pre-qualified customers (ie: those who have already made a booking prior to arriving at the airport). The service will help to save time by enabling customers to complete their rental paperwork before boarding the plane, allowing them to proceed straight to the car depot on arrival.
Those wishing to make a last minute booking will also now be able to do so at the airside desk. Note though that the opening hours of the service will vary according to passenger volumes – Europcar states that as customers will be pre-qualified, it will know when to expect them and will man the desk accordingly. So last minute customers might be better off using the main Europcar desk in the terminal building to avoid disappointment.
Customers will also be able to join Europcar's Privilege Ready Service at the airside desk. Of course those signing up to the Privilege Ready Master Rental Agreement Option will be able to bypass the airside option altogether, as benefits include being able to collect the rental car without signing any paperwork.
The pilot service is a joint initiative between the car rental company and BAA, and follows the introduction of an airside desk in the arrivals hall at Coventry airport. If successful Europcar plans to extend the scheme to other UK and European airports.
For more information visit europcar.co.uk.
Report by Mark Caswell & Matthew Thomas