United Airlines to drive some passengers to gates in Mercedes cars

United Airlines will soon drive some of its best customers to the gate using Mercedes cars like this one.

United Airlines will soon drive some of its best customers to the gate using Mercedes cars like this one.

Want to be driven to your next flight in a chauffeured Mercedes? You may now have your chance.

United Airlines plans to shuttle some of its top fliers around the tarmac using Mercedes Benz cars. It just soft-launched the program at its Houston hub, where it will initially have two cars Р one S-Class sedan and one GL-Class SUV.

With only two cars, it’ll be hit or miss on who gets the service. But fliers eligible to get the special ride will be United’s elite Global Services members, as well as passengers traveling on international first class flights.

Lucky customers will be picked up at one gate and shuttled on the airport tarmac to their connecting flight. The customer will then board via the jet bridge stairs. No need to go into the terminal. Priority will go to passengers on tight connections.

United officials say they’ll soon launch the project a second hub. My guess is that second hub is not LAX – Newark, perhaps – but who knows? Maybe Angelenos will get lucky.

United is actually a little late to this party. Lufthansa has had the service at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs for years, and its Mercedes/Porsche fleet is far larger than two cars. I recently experienced the Mercedes service in Frankfurt and let me tell you, it was pretty cool. The luxury is nice, but it’s the increased efficiency that is even better. There’s no waiting for anything.

Delta has also rolled out a similar program at its Atlanta hub using Porsches, a convenience detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

What do you think of this service? Do you hope to use it?

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