A Day in the Life of Delta’s Porsche Tarmac Transfer Program

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.

Now American, through its partnership with Cadillac, offers tarmac transfers as well.

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)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Not sure the revenue requirement is that stringent. I’m a DM on virtually all MRs with maybe $5k spend each of the past two years and got a Porsche transfer at JFK. I’m sure that they would transport a passenger with $40k spend before me on the same flight, but not as if they’re not bothering to help out low-revenue DMs.

  2. funny.. In 3rd works countries they drive you out to the plane or let you walk out across the tarmac to the plane (faster) – because they didn’t have ramps… Here, driving out to the plane is a luxury? lol

  3. Those stairs are pretty high, you get out of breath climbing it with your carry-on. And if you’re elderly…

    I prefer ramps lol

  4. Delta still has the competitive advantage as they have the most amounts of cars — by far and also caters to plenty of non- super spenders.

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