I had to see it to believe it. I landed at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson last week and as we approached the gate a Porsche SUV was at the adjacent aircraft. A Delta agent quickly escorted a man in a business suit down the jet bridge stairway into the Porsche. It happened so quickly the only thing I could confirm was that the man wasn’t Richard Anderson (Delta CEO). I figured this was the only reasonable explanation for a luxury car whisking away someone flying commercial.
Several travel blogs have reported on a secretive “Porsche Transport Program,” but I chalked it up to rumors. Delta has remained hush about the pilot program, but it seems Porsche cars are shuttling Diamond Medallion members around with tight connections in ATL. Be on the lookout for a Delta agent waiting planeside with a sign bearing your name to escort you down to an awaiting Porsche.
Porsche is scheduled to open their new North American headquarters and test-track complex in late 2013. It's coincidentally located next to Hartsfield-Jackson, headquarters of hometown favorite, Delta Air Lines.
I thought it was worth a shot to tweet @DeltaAssist to see if I could get in on the action on my flight home from Honolulu. I figured my 37-minute connection would be a shoe-in. Here was their response.
The Porsche wasn’t waiting for me and I never heard back from Delta, but ATL was on a ground delay and my flight was delayed two hours. I will try again on my next flight through ATL. I cannot confirm nor deny I’m intentionally booking tight connections to get the Porsche experience.
This is a brilliant marketing move for both companies. I’m sure people will complain Delta is catering to a small segment of their customers, but as a Diamond member, I fully endorse programs that differentiate me from the masses.
The only thing I've tweeted to Delta in several months without a response.