In bid to win L.A. customers, Delta offers special on-tarmac Porsche rides

Delta will now drive some of its best customers to their gates at LAX. On Thursday, the airline held a swanky event in Beverly Hills to celebrate its commitment to Los Angeles.

Delta will now drive some of its best customers to their gates at LAX. On Thursday, the airline held a swanky event in Beverly Hills to celebrate its commitment to Los Angeles.

In yet another sign it wants to capture more West Coast business, Delta Air Lines is bringing its fleet of chauffeur-driven Porsche to the tarmac of Los Angeles International Airport.

In a service similar to what Delta has at its Atlanta hub, the airline will now drive some high-level frequent fliers directly to the gate. That means no waiting around in the boarding area for your zone to be called. It’s an especially useful service for passengers making tight connections at LAX.

The key here is that Delta will be surprising its best customers. That’s a better strategy, airline officials believe, than promising gate-to-gate car service and then, for whatever reason, not delivering.

This appears to be part of a broader push by Delta to gain share in Los Angeles – one of the nation’s most lucrative air travel markets. On Thursday night, the airline hosted a swanky party in Beverly Hills to promote its stature here. Delta especially underscored its improvements to its Business Elite service between Los Angeles and New York, which includes high-quality bedding and flat seats. Delta wants to show Angelenos — especially those who control corporate travel accounts – that it wants be a major player in Los Angeles.

In the last five years, American and United have generally dueled to attract high-yield passengers from LAX, but it’s clear that Delta is interesting in taking them on. Delta or its joint venture partners fly from Los Angeles to almost every major city in the world, with only one glaring exception – Chicago. And Delta recently announced it will provide hourly shuttle service, 14 times a day, between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Still don’t think Delta is serious about L.A.? Maybe the picture below will change your mind. Delta brought John Stamos to its Beverly Hills party. So that must mean something.

John Stamos!

Delta brought out the heavy hitters for Thursday’s Beverly Hills event.

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