For almost a year now, Delta has been unofficially offering a Porsche shuttle service to Diamond and Platinum SkyMiles members who would normally have to run to make a tight connection in Atlanta or risk missing their connection. While members cannot request the service, Delta representatives scan elite connecting passenger itineraries in Atlanta and look for those members who would likely otherwise miss their flights. Details on the service are rarely provided as Delta prefers customers to be happily surprised when they see a representative standing with their name at the end of the tarmac, rather than upsetting elite customers who are not greeted with the service. Delta estimates that it provides the service to about a dozen or so passengers each hour. More exciting, the service is said to likely be making its way to other Delta hubs if a contract with Porsche is renewed in November. The Middle Seat did get three Delta employees to speak about the service including the Delta vice president in charge of the Atlanta hub, the supervisor of the shuttle service, and one of the Porsche drivers. Some interesting tidbits below, though click here for the full article.
- On average, the car service saves about 25 to 35 people from missing connections each day.
- Porsche, which supplies the vehicles as a promotion, suggested the service to Delta. It is based loosely on what the car maker does with Lufthansa in Germany. Two to three cars work a morning shift and three or four patrol the Atlanta airport in the afternoon and evening. The car maker supplied six Cayenne S SUVs and two $76,000, four-door Panamera sports sedans. “It’s a great opportunity to expose our product to the kind of clientele that has the means to purchase a Porsche,” said Porsche spokesman Nick Twork.
- The shuttle driver prints out an extra boarding pass for the passenger’s connecting flight so he can scan them into Delta’s computer system once the passenger is on board. He also makes a hand-printed sign with the passenger’s name and then drives to the gate of the inbound flight, parking at the bottom of the jet-bridge stairs. Sometimes he alerts gate agents at the connecting flight of the special delivery, though he can’t ask them to hold flights. He goes up to the jet-bridge and stands at the open door of the plane, greeting customers and calling out the name of his intended catch.