Worried about not getting your PCR on time, nightmare about queues at the airport this summer? Private concierge services come to the aid of anxious summer visitors with tailor-made services (and more affordable than usual). We tested.
Forms to fill out, PCR tests or proof of vaccination to present, on-site health conditions to consider… Departing on vacation, by nature distressing, has been even more so since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Concierge companies, these hybrids between the travel agent and the luxury personal assistant who support their customers in their travels by offering tailor-made services, have taken up the subject by creating offers dedicated to travelers in this new era, which sometimes makes travel rhyme with shipwreck.
To their “classic” services – airport transfers, tailor-made itineraries, priority access – are therefore added facilities for performing a PCR test or day-to-day information on the health situation in the country of destination. . The top-of-the-range concierge agency MyConcierge, dedicated to individuals and companies, has thus developed a “Safe Departure” offer.
For €350, travelers benefit from a PCR test at home or at their hotel, a transfer by private Tesla vehicle to the airport and VIP support to the door of their plane. All for a maximum of four people departing from Paris airports. While MyConcierge services are usually reserved for their members – mainly business travellers, ready to pay between €1,200 and €4,800 per year -, all travellers, subscribers or not, will be able to benefit from this offer up to to July 31. So, is the private concierge really a guarantee of serenity in these stormy times?
SEE ALSO – Covid-19: what lifestyle to adopt during the summer holidays?
The accompaniment actually begins well before departure. As soon as the offer is taken out, a MyConcierge operator contacts us to inquire about our destination, departure airport and flight time. Depending on the job, an appointment is made for a PCR test (still mandatory for travel to most countries) in the comfort of your home or hotel. On D-Day, a lab worker comes to our door. In five minutes, the sample is done. We will receive the (negative) result first thing the next morning. No more queues in front of the lab and no more knots in the brain to know if his PCR test will have been done 48 hours before his arrival, and not one more or less…
Always by email, we agree on a departure time for the airport. The proposed time seems a little late – we will understand later that it is because the My Concierge agents have “fast passes” which considerably reduce waiting times at check-in and boarding. No matter, our interlocutor agrees – even at the last moment – to bring forward the departure time. Tailor-made, we tell you.
The journey to the airport
On D-Day, a quarter of an hour early, an elegant sedan stops in front of our home. This is a Tesla Model S (all cars made available by MyConcierge are electric). A driver in livery opens the door for us. Ilies works for MyDriver, a service provider for various concierge services. The service is therefore to match – discreet, efficient. Inside, the essentials of the traveler of the Covid era – hydroalcoholic gel, wipes – but also water, sweets… Something to take care of during the journey, anyway quickly and without any problems.
Accompaniment to the aircraft door
As soon as we arrived at the airport, a second man, still in a suit, opened the door of our car. Alex will take care of escorting us to the plane. He takes our luggage and takes us to the check-in counter. A formality carried out in a flash, our companion having access to the business line (even when we are traveling in economy). It’s all going so fast that we have two hours to kill before takeoff. Two hours that we would have spent in the business lounge of our company, Air France. Even if it means going big for a day… Alas, the MyConcierge offer does not include access to the VIP lounge. In their defense, most concierge service customers traveling in business class have, de facto, of this access.
For lack of a living room, we fall back on the terrace of a famous café. Alex slips away on tiptoe, “to leave us alone” while we wait. Finally, boarding. There, ultimate luxury, we enter the plane first, under the noses of the passengers waiting in front of the counter. Exhilarating… or embarrassing, it depends! Our assistant leaves us at the door of the aircraft. Just enough time to understand that no one has checked our PCR test and our plane takes off, heading for Italy. We are on a little cloud…
SEE ALSO – As summer vacation approaches, rush for PCR lab tests
- The comfort of the PCR test at home,
- The great kindness of all the staff,
- The price, rather attractive: 350 € in total for 4 people maximum, i.e. less than 100 € per person. Reasonable for a “great luxury” experience for a day, when you consider that transport to the airport from Paris costs on average around fifty euros.
- No access to the Air France lounge included in the package.
Safe Departure offer from MyConcierge , €350 for a maximum of four people departing from Paris airports. Available for non-members until July 31, until September 19 for others. Yearly subscription, from €1,200 for a dedicated concierge from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 5 days a week.