On tight connections American Airlines sometimes meets their ConciergeKey members on the jetway of their arriving flight and driven across the tarmac to their onward gate in hub cities. They’ve done this since 2014 in a partnership with Cadillac.
However recently other General Motors vehicles have been spotted with American Airlines logos on the ramps of hub cities picking up passengers. It turns out that the Cadillac partnership is over.
Credit: James Androuais
According to an American Airlines spokesperson, the airline is “working with Avis now and will have a number of 2021 vehicles such as Suburban, Tahoe, Expedition and Yukon for ground transfer.”
Tarmac transfers are never guaranteed, even for an airline’s best customers and even during tight connections. They are more of a ‘surprise and delight’ and are cool no matter the vehicle type. Hulk Hogan got a tarmac transfer at Chicago O’Hare from the cops which got the cops in a bit of hot water.
I’m not even sure how much of a luxury brand Cadillac is anymore, though it’s a bit higher end than the Chevys American Airlines is using. Still, I don’t think any flyer is going to complain when a driver shows up with a passenger’s name on the jet bridge and guides them downstairs to a waiting vehicle.
Tarmac transfer programs are common both in the U.S. and abroad. Delta tells me that their Porsche tarmac transfer program isn’t just in effect at its Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Salt Lake City hubs but also at New York LaGuardia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as well. United, though, for its part hasn’t yet restarted its program – and appears it won’t be working with Mercedes anymore. A spokesperson tells me they are “are currently exploring new ways to deliver this experience at our hubs.”