Expanding our partnership with Mercedes-Benz USA—to the airport

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by UA Insider, Jul 17, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA Insider
    • Original Member

    UA Insider Official Representative

    Hi everyone,

    Next time you fly through a few of our hubs, you might notice a vehicle on the tarmac that doesn’t quite fit in with the rest...

    Starting yesterday, we’ve expanded our partnership with Mercedes-Benz USA to pilot a tarmac transportation option for select Global Services members and United Global First customers connecting to domestic or international flights. Our first hub for the pilot will be Houston, and we’ll have two cars, one S-Class sedan and one GL-Class SUV, to start at IAH.

    How this works is fairly straightforward—a uniformed Global Services agent will meet the customer with a sign upon disembarkation from the aircraft and escort him/her to the waiting vehicle. The Mercedes will then zoom (safely of course; the airport tarmac is no autobahn) to the connecting gate, where the customer will be invited to board via the jetbridge stairs. While this service can’t be requested or reserved in advance, we’ll aim to prioritize those GS and Global First customers who are on very tight connections.

    Looking ahead, we’ll monitor the results of the pilot as we look to expand, and over the next few days we’re soft-launching the service at a second hub. In fact, the cars for this additional hub will be delivered to their parking spaces today. They should be visible from the terminal, in case anyone wants to take a guess as to where that is :).

    Aaron Goldberg
    Sr. Manager – Customer Experience Planning
    United Airlines
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

  3. From NYC
    • Original Member

    From NYC Gold Member

    By “connecting to domestic or international flights“ you, presumably, don’t mean connecting to a domestic flight from an incoming international flight, given immigration and customs clearance needs, or is there some provision for once a passenger clears these and has a tight connection?
    viguera likes this.
  4. viguera
    • Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    I seriously doubt it... immigration doesn't care about your connection :)

    And obviously they're trying to steal one of the nicer pages from the Lufthansa book, but it would be interesting to see how this works here in the US, where there's no separate FCT and with only two vehicles -- without reserving the service, and with all the GS / Global First people on any given flight.
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
    • Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Future improvements will include a slightly downgraded service for 1K members.

    ssullivan, rggale, unavaca and 7 others like this.
  6. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    I guess Delta is leading the way. Transfers in german cars, adding qualifying spend, partnering with a hotel program... more enhancements and "enhancements" doubtless on the way.
  7. Misplaced Texan
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    Well, so long as UA matches the customer-friendly things that DL does and not the customer unfriendly ones, I'm perfectly fine with it.

    The Marriott deal benefited me. This doesn't all that much since I'm not GS and don't fly internationally more than once or twice a year (those two facts are closely related).

    But I like that UA is looking at extra benefits for its high-revenue customers. Maybe those of us who slog it out domestically week in and week out will see some trickle-down improvements in the clubs or in domestic first.
    viguera likes this.
  8. Black Cloud
    • Original Member

    Black Cloud Gold Member

    Spoiler alert: ORD.
  9. legalalien
    • Original Member

    legalalien Gold Member

    Don't forget about hot steel-cut oatmeal and donut holes for breakfast. :)
  10. Misplaced Texan
    • Original Member

    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

    Truth. Maybe we'll get soup soon.

    Sent from a place using a fruit thing.
  11. sfo1
    • Original Member

    sfo1 Silver Member

    You can't have one without the other;)
  12. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Zoom? Isn't that BMW, from their famous zoom zoom ad a few years ago?
  13. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    DL has the Porsche pick ups and a partnership with SPG. Now UA does the same with Mercedes and Marriott.
  14. Steve GadFly
    • Original Member

    Steve GadFly Gold Member

    I thought the whole "zoom-zoom" ad campaign was Mazda?
    OnTehWings, KenInEscazu and rggale like this.
  15. HeathrowGuy
    • Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    Really? I would have honestly guessed Dulles, where the distances involved actually make the car transfer worthwhile.
    meFIRST likes this.
  16. HeathrowGuy
    • Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    Praises be to the drSL for implementing the Mercedes transfers. His generous benevolence in catering to United's customers is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
    viguera likes this.
  17. tom911
    • Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

    I rather enjoyed my Mercedes delivery to the gate last year at FRA (arrived on the A380 SFO-FRA in F, couple hour break at the First Class Terminal, then in business class FRA-HKG where I slept the entire flight). Maybe UA will expand the fleet like LH if they get decent feedback. From the LH First Class Terminal at FRA:

    OnTehWings likes this.
  18. MSPeconomist
    • Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    That sounds right. The point is that it wasn't Mercedes but a competing car brand.
  19. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

    I'm so excited about this I could just.... yawn. I guess we won't wonder what those MBs are doing on the tarmac (if we ever see one), but what a small percentage of Milepoint readers this will serve. Seems like something that could have been sent in a fancy envelope via FedEx rather than announced here to the masses who will never see the inside of one of those rides. Not for connections, anyway.

    This is almost as thrilling as the million mile offer by W&M.
  20. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    And the problem with this is?

    LH/LX do the same.

    So does EK. But with a Range Rover, pick up from your home + hotel. Available for IO pax only.
    OnTehWings and viguera like this.
  21. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    It would be great if this service could be available, on a paid basis, ala AA Five Star Service ( for those of us who are not GS but spend a lot of time on UA)

    In some cases, I could justify the expense, especially when traveling with someone elderly or as heathrow guy mentioned, Dulles, where the stupid train that lets off no where but to a long walk to the mile long C and D concourse.
  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

    I did not claim there was a problem. It is just what it is.

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