The holidays are a busy time at airports with lots of travelers flying home to visit friends and family. This means that flights are very full, and there is a strong possibility of an oversold plane. Recently, I was flying from Austin (AUS) to Cleveland (CLE) with a stopover in Atlanta (ATL) on Delta Air Lines for a leisure trip to visit friends.
When I arrived at the boarding gate, they made an announcement looking for 5 volunteers to take a later flight. The bidding started, and no one was going forward to accept and finally when they came up to $600, I volunteered (one thing to note, if you volunteer early and the offer continues to rise because they need more seats, all volunteers receive the highest compensation offered). Several others accepted as well and boarding commenced so the flight could depart on time.
We were rebooked on a flight a few hours later, however my new flights left me with a shorter connection time in Atlanta. Delta currently doesn’t have a SkyClub in Austin (AUS), however they are planning to open a new one in 2019.
After waiting around in the terminal for several hours, boarding started for the rebooked Austin (AUS) to Atlanta (ATL) leg. As we approached departure time, I noticed they were not closing the cabin door. An announcement was made that the aircraft had a mechanical issue and was being worked on. This eroded my already short connection time and I began worrying about making my next flight.
I decided to call the Delta Diamond Medallion line to see if they could offer any assistance. They informed me that I would have would protect me on the later flight to Cleveland in case the mechanical delay made me miss my connection.
Shortly after, the pilot made an announcement that the mechanical issue was fixed, and they were finishing up paperwork. About 25 minutes after schedule departure time, we pushed back from the gate. During taxi, the pilot explained over the intercom that we could make up lost time in the air.
As we began our approach into Atlanta (ATL), I considered how much time it would take for taxiing to the gate and deplaning as well as the distance between my arrival and departure gates. I decided it might be possible with a sprint to make the connection. However, as we pulled up to the gate, I looked out the window and noticed a Delta Porsche Panamera on the ramp.
Per Delta, Delta and Porsche have partnered to transport some of Delta’s best customers from gate-to-gate in Porsche Cayennes and Panameras when connecting at Delta’s hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York- LaGuardia, Salt Lake City and Seattle. The service cannot be requested or reserved but is provided to Delta customers based on connection times between flights and SkyMiles Medallion status.
As I walked off the plane, there was a Delta agent holding a sign with my name. After a brief introduction, we walked down the jetway stairs, where I grabbed a photo of the car. He explained that the connecting flight was aware of my transfer and off we went to the my connecting flight terminal.
As we pulled up to the departure aircraft, the driver explained the simple boarding process. I exited the vehicle and walked up the jetway and onto the plane, while he headed into the terminal to scan my boarding pass. It was an amazing surprise having the special treatment and a relief to make the short connection.
Have you received a Delta Porsche transfer before? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!