More good news for high-end travelers: United Airlines has expanded to Los Angeles International Airport a service that uses chauffeured Mercedes-Benz cars to shuttle passengers between connecting flights.
But the service is limited to the airline's most elite frequent fliers: Global Services members and United Global First customers.
When such fliers have to make a tight connection between flights at the airport, the Mercedes-Benz cars will pull up next to the planes on the tarmac and whisk them to the other plane.
United has already started the service at its hubs in Chicago, Houston, Newark and San Francisco, with plans to expand it further this year.
The chauffeured cars are part of a growing trend in the industry to serve high-end fliers with lay-flat seats, haute cuisine, expensive wine and cocktails, plus onboard nannies and airport lounges with free food and drinks.
"With the expansion of the tarmac transfer service to Los Angeles, we continue to anticipate the needs of our most valuable customers when traveling through our hubs," said Jimmy Samartzis, United's vice president of customer service.
Meanwhile, a growing number of airlines have installed thinner, lighter seats in the economy section to squeeze more passengers into the back of the plane.