Blacklane provides high-quality chauffeur and airport concierge services in more than 500 airports, 300 cities and 60 countries around the world. In November, Blacklane was recognised in LUXlife Magazine’s 2018 Luxury Lifestyle Awards as the Most Outstanding Luxury Chauffeur Service. Following this win, we spoke with Blacklane’s CEO and Co-founder, Dr. Jens Wohltorf, to find out more about this extraordinary business.
Founded in 2011, Blacklane was created from the ground up to disrupt the luxury transport industry by offering a seamless, top-tier service with a modern guest-centric business model. Catering to discerning business travellers, Blacklane has made its name and forged a remarkable reputation on the back of a dedication to exceeding the highest of expectations.
As Jens is keen to emphasise as we begin the interview, Blacklane is all about ensuring a customer-focused approach to its work: “Our services are truly global. Ultimately, we give peace of mind during the most stressful parts of a travellers’ journey wherever they go – between their front door and the airplane gate. We target the modern business traveller, travelling with their companies or on their own. Also, we do complimentary airport transfers for Emirates and Hainan Airlines across seventeen cities and have 24/7 multi-lingual customer service to assist guests wherever they travel.”
To help achieve this goal, Blacklane only partners with local expert chauffeur companies, and not private individuals. This is essential to guarantee a premium service every time a customer books. “We limit our partners to those that deliver the highest-quality experiences. The onboarding process always includes a personal interview. We require all chauffeurs to have a minimum of one year driving in the local market as well. All our chauffeur partners must speak a good level of English in all 300+ cities plus the local language. Equally, vehicles must be premium, late-model cars, SUVs, and vans from companies such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Cadillac.”
“Blacklane defines the service experience and service quality for all our guests. For example, we show all-inclusive rates, comprising all base fares, taxes, tolls and tips, and we instantly confirm bookings. We provide full duty of care and track flights in real time. We offer one hour of free chauffeur waiting time at airports and 15 minutes at all other locations. Our guaranteed chauffeur meet and greet includes luggage assistance. Behind the scenes, our customer care team is always available over the phone, social media and email.”
With such an expansive global presence, Blacklane’s excellence depends entirely on the pedigree of its staff and chauffeur partners. With this in mind, Jens took a moment to discuss the role of the company’s staff in securing its continued success in the industry: “Our crew of 350 employees and tens of thousands of chauffeur and concierge partners delivers a highly specialised and refined service. The chauffeur industry has always had a guest-focused mentality, so we look for people willing to go the extra mile and put guests’ needs first. One small example: we don’t hire customer service agents, but “customer happiness officers.”
“We also have a great relationship with our chauffeur partners. Blacklane created a new way to book chauffeured rides worldwide. We give chauffeurs full control of their schedules and allow them to take only the rides they want at the rates they prefer. Moreover, Blacklane requires no minimum or maximum number of rides for any chauffeur or monthly licence fees. We treasure that collaborative relationship to help best serve travellers around the world and grow our businesses together.”
Finally, as we come to the end of the interview, the topic of conversation moves to the future of Blacklane, namely, its plans for further expansion. “Our constant ambition remains our founding focus – to take the stress out of travel. So, with that in mind, we have five main priorities over the next year. The first is geographic expansion. We will add dozens of cities with a concentration in the Middle East and Africa. Second is technology upgrades – we are always improving our apps and websites to, in turn, improve the guest and chauffeur experiences. Third is customer growth across all segments. This means more corporate accounts, more agency business, more individual modern travellers and more airline partnerships for complimentary chauffeur services. Fourth is expanding our emissions-free Green Class. This is currently available in 26 cities in 13 countries. As more chauffeur-quality emissions-free vehicles arrive on the market, we will add them to our fleet.”
“Last but not least, the fifth is about integrating and expanding our Blacklane PASS airport concierge service. We will add more services, integrate more technology and, as a result, provide more innovation and peace of mind inside of airports.”
Contact: Dr. Jens Wohltorf