Southwest Introduces Gate to Gate Ground Transportation for A-List Flyers
DALLAS, TX — Southwest Airlines announced a new feature for its top-tier flyers. Starting soon, A-List travelers on the budget airline will receive chauffeured car service in luggage transportation vehicles or de-icing machines when they are driven from gate to gate at most airports.
Another airline is introducing chauffeured car service. Southwest Airlines announced today it will drive some of its valued A-List status members gate-to-gate at most airports.
“Flying can be a fun, special experience,” said Katie Harrington, Southwest Airlines’ Director of Passenger Experience, Ground Transportation-Airports, United States. “But it’s also sometimes stressful. Flying Southwest from, say, New York La Guardia to Boston is generally a very long day. Consider that you travel from La Guardia to St. Louis, then to Baltimore, up to Islip, back down to BWI, and finally to Boston. That’s virtually an entire day of travel. Your body is tired. So, we’ll drive you between gates at many of those airports. Even if it’s only one gate away, we got you, boo.”
What kind of automobiles can passengers expect?
Consider that Lufthansa drives high-value guests in Volkswagen automobiles. (The German airline once used Mercedes.) American Airlines uses General Motors vehicles for their VIP escorts. Delta and Porsche have been a thing for almost a decade.
“Move over, Georgia: we’re doing it Texas-style,” Ms. Harrington said with a laugh, alluding to Delta’s headquarters in Atlanta and Southwest’s in Dallas.
“We won’t want our passengers waiting for a ride. I’ve heard some Delta passengers have to stand there for three or four minutes waiting for some gaudy Porsche. So, our VIPs will be escorted to whatever vehicle is available,” she said. “It might be a luggage transportation unit. Perhaps a lavatory drainage service truck. Maybe a de-icing vehicle. Heck, our employees love pitching in, so we might ask them to use their personal cars. No other airline offers that.”
Ms. Harrington added that “luggage transportation units” would probably be the best option because “so many people can fit in them.”
Eligible passengers will see various Southwest reps waiting in jetways and holding boarding pass card stock with “Wanna Get a Ride?” scribbled on it.
When pressed about the legality and safety of the new service, Ms. Harrington declined to answer and referred those questions to Southwest’s legal department.
Southwest tested the program at several airports late last year. The Takeoff Nap located several passengers who were selected for rides.
“Scared the hell out of me,” said Gene Sampson of Austin, Texas. “I rode in the back of a luggage train or whatever those things are. I bounced around like a damn kid in one of those bouncy castle house things. I think the guy drove faster than the damn planes fly.”
“It was weird,” said Audrey F. from Denver. “This mysterious guy with dirty hands picked me up in, like, his ’98 Mazda pickup. He smiled at me a lot. Then he said he knew a great place by a runway where we could watch the sunset. This was at 9:30 in the morning.”
“Some lady insisted that she drive me to my next flight,” Jessica Haynes of Reno, Nevada told The Takeoff Nap. “I was connecting in Burbank. It’s a small airport. My next flight was literally the next gate over. So I nervously sat in that thing that pushes the plane from the gate. She drove me, like, 150 feet.“
The new service would roll out immediately upon the unlikely approvals from federal and local governments.