Can a specialised airport concierge service really improve a long journey? Carolyn Pearson decides to test the services of DiamondAir International while en route to Sri Lanka – and finds time for tea and some duty-free shopping while she’s at it. Sounds good to us…
Whenever I come across a travel hack that is going to cut down my travel time, increase my enjoyment and has an element of luxury, it immediately grabs my attention. DiamondAir did just that, and when the opportunity to sample their Airport Concierge service came around, I jumped at the chance. My trip took me from Manchester UK to Colombo Sri Lanka, via Abu Dhabi.
In essence, Diamond Air is a service which speeds up and improves the bits in between the flights and you can tailor that service to meet your budget and the level of luxury to which you have become accustomed!
So how did it work in practice?
The service actually started prior to my arrival at Manchester airport. Three hours before I was due to arrive I was contacted by DiamondAir Agent Mark, who confirmed the arrival time of my train and exactly where he would be standing, together with his description. Exactly as described, Mark was waiting for me as my train pulled in. Mark immediately relieved me of my bags and whisked me to the terminal. I was put in the fast-track check-in queue, whereby a priority sticker was placed on my boarding pass and I was then taken through the fast-track security. Within 20 minutes of disembarking from my train, I was in the shops stocking up on my duty-free goodies. The service was seamless, and the communication simply outstanding.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as my plane touched down in Abu Dhabi, but literally as I turned the corner into the busy transit terminal, there was a young lady standing there with a familiar nameplate to collect me. Blessing (and trust me, she was indeed a blessing!) whistled me through the airport at lightning speed. This was no mean feat; Abu Dhabi Airport was literally packed with transit passengers in a practically solid mass of bodies, queuing impatiently to get through the security checks and onwards to their connecting flights. As we ‘legally’ queue jumped ahead of plane-loads of other passengers, it was clear that DiamondAir is a welcome fixture in Abu Dhabi. We were met with a warm welcome through the X-Ray check and quickly waved on.
Blessing offered to escort me directly to my departure gate but with over two hours to go, I opted to wander around a little and grab something to eat, so I asked her to leave me there. However, later on as the flight was about to start boarding she came to find me, and made sure that I was safely on my way.
Arrival into Colombo was the same drill – and yet even better. This time I was met by Nishan, who again whisked me through the airport, the difference being that this time I was then settled into a lovely air-conditioned lounge where a delicious light afternoon tea had been prepared for me. I sat and logged onto the WiFi to catch up on a few emails whilst Nishan collected my bags from the luggage belt. Once safely reunited with my bags, Nishan escorted me into the arrivals hall where I picked up some local currency, before escorting me to the car of my pre-arranged driver.
The whole experience made travelling, particularly through a transfer hub, much more enjoyable. My biggest gripe about air travel is the standing around and queuing but with DiamondAir there is none of that. Their service saves precious time – and aching feet!
If you are somebody who likes to have a last minute fiddle and luggage rearrangement, then be warned! The service is so slick that I totally forgot to grab essential items and lock my luggage, so make sure you are organised before you put yourself in the capable hands of the DiamondAir team.
The particular service that I experienced was the Airport Concierge Service. DiamondAir also provides Platform Concierge, a service that operates across Europe’s busy railway stations, and for something very special there is also an Airport By Invitation service, offering the highest level of discretion and private suites at airports around the world.
Want more? We interviewed DiamondAir’s CEO Christina Lawford. Find out where it all began (and the celebrities who love it!) – read it here.
We’ve partnered up with DiamondAir to offer you an exclusive discount, so that you too can experience their fabulous (and female-friendly!) services on your next trip. Use code DA10MV to receive 10% off the Meet and Assist core service for both airport concierge and platform concierge (excl. additional services and VAT).