United Airlines is transitioning to an all-electric fleet for its gate-to-gate transfer program, saying goodbye to Mercedes-Benz and hello to the 2023 Jaguar I-PACE.
United Airlines And Jaguar Partner To Offer Tarmac Transfers At Key Hubs
If you are a frequent United flyer and find yourself with a very tight connection, do not rush to your next flight without ensuring an agent is not standing in the jetbridge holding a placard with your name on it.
United explains that rather than being a published service, its ground transfer service is a “surprise benefit for select Premier MileagePlus members with tight connections at the air carrier’s U.S. hub airports.”
A member learns of the surprise upon landing at the airport, where they’re greeted by a specialized Premier Services agent who shows the customer to the vehicle on the tarmac and accompanies them to their connecting flight.
Historically, this benefit was concentrated on high-spending Global Services passengers, which is United’s invite-only top elite tier.
Prior to the pandemic, United used a fleet of Mercedes-Benz aircraft for years for this service but is now switching to the 2023 Jaguar I-PACE HSE. That vehicle is now available in Chicago (ORD) and will be coming to other hubs later this year, including:
- Denver (DEN)
- Houston (IAH)
- Newark (EWR)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- San Francisco (SFO)
Luc Bondar, who is the President of MileagePlus and Vice President of Loyalty at United, explained:
“The new United-Jaguar ground transfer program offers travelers a moment of luxury and ease, while also raising sustainability standards for the airline industry. United is working to lead with innovation and purpose that motivates the industry to do better for our customers and communities. Partnering with Jaguar to deploy an all-electric fleet is not only a smart business move, as we know customers consider sustainability when booking travel, it is the right thing to do.”
A press release from United details the specs and pricing on the Jaguar I-PACE. I have to wonder whether United paid Jaguar or Jaguar paid United to use its vehicles. In any case, Mercedes-Benz is out, Jaguar is in.
United Airlines will offer gate-to-gate transfers for select high-value passengers on a “surprise and delight” basis using new Jaguar electric vehicles. The new fleet will first appear in Chicago and later spread to United’s other U.S. hubs.