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Flying business or first class is often more than just having a better seat or lounge access. It’s an all-around upgraded travel journey — from check-in to baggage claim. With some airlines, the premium cabin experience begins before you even arrive at the airport.
Several airlines offer premium cabin passengers complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport. While many airlines have either eliminated or scaled back this perk in recent years, there are still ones that offer it.
Here’s a rundown of all the airlines that offer free car service for passengers, who’s eligible and how you can book it.
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While Air China typically isn’t known for its ground experience, it does offer complimentary chauffeur transfer within China for select premium passengers.
The transfers are available for long-haul business and first class passengers with booking classes F, A, J, C, D, Z, and R. This does not include flights booked with points. The transfers are available in the following cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Xi’an.
If you’re eligible, you can submit a form to book the service up until 48 hours before your flight.
Related: A review of Air China’s 747-8 in first class from Beijing to New York
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but the airline that introduced first-class suites and onboard showers offers complimentary rides to and from airports for some premium passengers.
Dubai-based Emirates suspended its chauffeur service in May and originally wasn’t planning on resuming it until April 2021, but has since reversed course and once again offers it at nearly all cities it serves. It’s typically available to both business and first class passengers, but in Hong Kong it’s available to first class passengers only. In Dubai, first class passengers are whisked to the airport in a Mercedes-Benz S 450, meanwhile business class passengers are driven in a BMW 5 Series.
The service is only available for flights marketed and operated by Emirates (not codeshare flights). You must be carrying a paid premium cabin ticket in order to be eligible. Unfortunately, the service is no longer available on award tickets. It’s also not available on flights upgraded from economy class or the airline’s stripped-down ‘special’ business class fares.
If you’re eligible, you can book the service online through the “Manage Your Booking” page up until 12 hours before your flight.
Related: Everything you need to know about Emirates Skywards
Unless you’re traveling in the Residence, you’ll only be able to book Etihad’s complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airline’s hub, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). The service is available for First and Business Classic and Business Flex fares, on flights marketed and operated by Etihad. While no partner awards are eligible, you can book Flex awards through Etihad Guest — albeit at a hefty premium over saver-level Guest awards.
Guests of The Residence can book the service in New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Paris, Sydney and Seoul.
If you’re eligible, you can book the service through an online form up until 12 hours before your flight.
Related: Etihad Guest miles continue to fly under the radar
Turkish Airlines offers its Exclusive Drive service free of charge for select business class passengers.
It’s available in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Beirut, Tel Aviv, Tehran, Cairo, Mumbai, Delhi, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Dhaka, Nairobi, Riyadh, Dammam, Amman, Jeddah, Bahrain. All paid business fare classes (C, D, K, J and Z) are eligible, but not award tickets or those upgraded from economy.
If you’re eligible, you can book the service online up until 24 hours before your flight.
Related: What airline fare classes tell you about your ticket
What’s not on this list
Several airlines such as Qantas and Virgin Atlantic have pulled the plug on their chauffeur services earlier this year. Although unlikely, let’s hope that more airlines bring the service back when the pandemic is behind us and travel goes back to normal.
Also, although they won’t pick you up from your home, airlines like Air France and Lufthansa deserve a mention on this list for offering first class passengers limousine transfers between the terminal and aircraft.
Getting a complimentary ride to and from the airport is a terrific perk. However, it seems like the days of complimentary chauffeur service are numbered, with less and less airlines offering it. For the airlines that do still offer it, there are often major restrictions attached.
Featured image by Lisa Weatherbee/The Points Guy.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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