All of the “big three” US airlines have a fleet of cars at hubs, that they use to drive select high value customers between gates in the case of short connections. In all cases, airlines partner with a specific vehicle manufacturer, since it’s a great marketing opportunity for car manufacturers. United Airlines has historically partnered with Mercedes-Benz, but is now switching up its fleet.
United & Jaguar introduce all-electric gate-to-gate transfers
United Airlines will begin using the 2023 Jaguar I-PACE HSE for its gate-to-gate transfers. This is the first gate-to-gate airport transfer service in the United States powered by all-electric vehicles, and this car is the first all-electric performance SUV from Jaguar.
The new cars are already available in Chicago, and should be expanded to other United hubs (including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles Newark, San Francisco, and Washington) by the end of the year.
These SUVs are expected to make an estimated 60 trips per day, and transfer more than 1,000 United customers daily.
Here’s how Luc Bondar, United’s VP of Loyalty and President of MileagePlus, describes this partnership:
“The new United-Jaguar ground transfer program offers travelers a moment of luxury and ease, while also raising sustainability standards for the airline industry. United is working to lead with innovation and purpose that motivates the industry to do better for our customers and communities. Partnering with Jaguar to deploy an all-electric fleet is not only a smart business move, as we know customers consider sustainability when booking travel, it is the right thing to do.”
What United passengers get tarmac transfers?
United Airlines’ ground transfer service is a surprise and delight benefit for select Premier MileagePlus members. It’s generally offered to those with tight connections at a hub, and it’s most common for the company’s invitation-only Global Services members to get this. Other elite members may at times receive this as well, but don’t count on it.
If selected for this service, a passenger will be greeted by a premium services agent at the jet bridge, who will show the customer to the vehicle, and accompany them to their connecting flight. There’s not generally any notice in advance that you’ll get this.
United Airlines is changing up the cars used for tarmac transfers. Rather than using Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the airline will start using all-electric Jaguar vehicles. I know this is a feature that many Global Services members appreciate when there’s a short connection, and it’s cool to see United go all-electric.
What do you make of United transitioning to Jaguar for tarmac transfers?