Last summer United started rolling out Mercedes tarmac transfers… something Delta started doing with Porsche in November 2011.
United has a broader Miles for Mercedes tie-in as well.
Of course this all follows on Lufthansa’s innovation, not just at their First Class Terminal in Frankfurt (since first class passengers wait in a different terminal from everyone else, there must be some way to get to the plane!) but also for passengers whose plane departs from a non-gate position and are waiting in one of the first class lounges in Frankfurt with the capability and also from the first class lounge in Munich under similar circumstance.
Even though it’s no longer really a competitive advantage, Delta is promoting their offering with this new video — which is a neat watch.
It’s a little bit misleading because it suggests the service is offered to Delta’s Diamond elite members writ large, when revenue actually comes into play and not just status.
The tarmac transfers aren’t a service you can reserve or pay for, so not something most customers will experience… even elite customers.
Your best bet for a tarmac transfer is a Lufthansa first class award from or through Frankfurt (where you make the journey to the First Class Terminal to be guaranteed the transfer, not just when departing from a remote stand)/.
The cheapest way to get a tarmac transfer? Make a domestic-to-international connection in Bangkok, arriving on Bangkok Airways. In my experience they even take care of coach passengers that way, and even coach passengers connecting to international on another airline and on a separate ticket.
(HT: The Forward Cabin)
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