United Airlines and Jaguar North America have created a gate-to-gate airport transfer service that utilizes an all-electric fleet to ferry passengers at the airport. United expects around 60 trips per day to shuttle more than 1,000 United passengers per day as part of the joint program at select major airports.
The program is available to select MileagePlus Premier members, starting at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport - travelers can ride in the 2023 Jaguar I-PACE HSE between their connecting aircraft. Expansion to airports in Denver, Houston, Newark/New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles is expected before the end of the year.
The Jaguar I-PACE HSE is a five-seat SUV with up to almost 250 miles of electric range - and includes Amazon Alexa connectivity and infotainment enhancements available if time allows.
In operation, the United members with short flight connections will land and be greeted by a Premier Services agent that will show the passenger to a vehicle on the tarmac - and passengers will be accompanied directly to the connecting flight. The SUV can utilize a 100-kW DC charger that provides up to 63 miles of driving range in just 15 minutes. The vehicle is able to accelerate 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, according to Jaguar.
As noted by Luc Bondar, marketing and loyalty VP and MileagePlus President, in a statement:
"The new United-Jaguar ground transfer program offers travelers a moment of luxury and ease, while also raising sustainability standards for the airline industry. United is working to lead with innovation and purpose that motivates the industry to do better for our customers and communities. Partnering with Jaguar to deploy an all-electric fleet is not only a smart business move, as we know customers consider sustainability when booking travel, it is the right thing to do."
Airlines are exploring options to expand electric and biofuel flights, but it's a slow ongoing process that likely won't change any time soon. However, it's interesting to see United find a way to work with an automaker to bring EVs to its operation in a different manner than expected.
Anyone interested in the 2023 Jaguar I-PACE can find the SUV available for sale now, and pricing starts from $71,300.