Delta is being uncharacteristically coy about a flashy new program underway at ATL since early November. Several TICKET readers report being pleasantly surprised by new chauffeur service (via Porsche no less) from the jetway to their cars upon arrival at ATL.
Here’s what we are hearing:
From reader Eason Jordan:
As I disembarked from my LGA-ATL Delta flight last night, I was surprised to see in the jetway two young men holding up signs with the names of six passengers – my name included. When I asked the fellow holding the sign with my name on it what he wanted, he escorted me down the jetway stairs to the tarmac and ushered me into the front passenger seat of a new Porsche Cayenne SUV. He told me Delta recently embarked on a trial program in partnership with Porsche to show their love for top-tier Delta frequent fliers. Two fellow frequent fliers hopped in the back seat, after which we were whisked not to the main terminal but directly to our cars in separate parking lots at opposite sides of the airport. What a ride!
I quizzed the gregarious driver about the program. He said the unpublicized program was the brainchild of Delta’s CEO. Why Porsche’s involvement? Porsche is moving its North American headquarters to a new site adjacent to the airport, and Porsche wants to impress Delta’s most elite passengers – potential Porsche customers. The ATL Delta-Porsche program fields eight always-working passenger-shuttling Porsche vehicles – six SUVs and two sedans. Two vehicles work each select inbound flight. Sometimes the Porsche team shuttles late arriving connecting elites to a far-flung terminal connecting flight, while other times the Porsche team shuttles incoming elites directly from the arriving tarmac to their cars in airport parking lots. My driver said the program caters to medallion fliers – mostly Diamond, but others, too. I’m a three million miler with Delta, and at times I’m among Delta’s most vocal critics. I pleased to say this surprise reward program is a big-time winner, leaving me grateful and dreaming of owning a Porsche SUV.
Here’s another from Reader JK:
Have you heard about the DL/Porche customer appreciation program that started Nov. 1 (I’m sure you have…you know everything!). We landed this morning at ATL, B24. As the door opened, my name and another passengers were announced to proceed to the plane door where we were met by a member of DL’s Elite Service Representatives. He briefly explained that as Diamonds, we were to follow him down the jetway stairs where a Porsche Panamera was waiting. He told us that DL and Porsche were partnering to provide a special customer service for Delta’s best customers. We loaded into the car and he drove us from the tarmac to our cars in the Daily Parking lots! What a thrill!!!! Way to go Delta! Way to go Porsche!
**Porsche because, as you know, it will be building its NA HQ on the site of the old Ford plant adjacent to I-75 and end of runway.
Interestingly, Delta’s being very tight lipped about this. We asked for more details, but Delta would do nothing more than just confirm that the program is indeed in effect. Delta’s only made one public comment about the program over on the FlyerTalk boards:
I see that you’ve noticed a few of the spanking new vehicles trolling around ATL. It’s true that we have a team dedicated to transporting our highest value customers around the Atlanta hub and they’ve got a fleet of several vehicles with which to do so. As part of our partnership with Porsche (which includes shipping cars from Germany to Atlanta), they’ve provided us with a few fancy new rides to add to our VIP fleet. A couple of things to clarify:
1. Delta didn’t pay for these cars.
2. You won’t see any of our executives in these cars – they’re for HVCs [“High Value Customers”] only.
3. The Porsches are quite literally a new toy we get to play with so we’re testing out how to best use them. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, they’ll be used as a “surprise and delight” for some of our best customers.
Have you been picked up in a Porsche yet? Why do you think Delta’s being so coy about this? Perhaps they don’t want to be seen catering to the recently maligned 1%? Maybe they don’t want Medallions to start to expect the service, and complain if they don’t get a ride? Please leave your comments below! And if you get picked up in a Porsche, take a picture and send it to us… we’ll post it right here!
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