After reaching the gate in Atlanta, Paul jumped up and quickly exited the plane. I was in 2D and took my time gathering my items as I wanted to try and get a picture of the forward cabin with fewer people. After a couple moments I heard Paul in the jetway saying “Jimmy, Jimmy – get out here you got to see this.” Paul had sleep most of the flight and I thought he was mostly lucid, but I was wondering what on earth we wanted me to see and more importantly why? I gathered my things and Paul was standing at the outdoor access door with a Delta representative. The gentlemen from Delta looked at me and said “Are you James Gottfredson?”
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The representative from Delta had a sign in his hand with my name on it. I was a little disorientated because I couldn’t figure out why the representative would be interested in speaking with me. I looked at him and said “yes” and he motioned to follow him down the outdoor access door. We followed him.
At the bottom of the stairs was a Delta Porsche, waiting for us. The representative’s name was Danny and we asked if we had checked baggage, which we did. He said that he would just be just a moment in order to have our bags pulled from the plane. I had read about the Delta Porsche ground service that Delta offered for elites, so in a way I understood what was happening. What I couldn’t understand was why we were being offered the service, as I believed it was only for tight or close to missed connections.
When Danny came back I politely told him I believed he had the wrong gentlemen. Danny said; “Your James Gottfredson correct?” I said, “Yes, but this is our termination point and we don’t have a connection here.” Very kindly Danny responded “Mr. Gottfredson, you’ve had a long day due to our delay on this flight. As a gesture of good will Delta would like to give you a personal ride to your ground transportation. We are doing this as a thank you for your repeat business and we hope this service makes our delay and your day a little better.” I was dumfounded, but managed a “wow” and “thank you very much” back. He was speaking with the other Delta staff briefly and Paul and I stood there speechless at the Delta Porsche on the tarmac.
I turned to Paul who had been listening to the conversation. He was beaming and said “Jimmy, we’re rock stars!” I had to laugh at his comment. A few minutes later Danny, Paul and I were driving across the tarmac to Paul and I’s ground transportation. Before we left I asked Danny if we could take a couple pictures of the car because my friends at work wouldn’t have believed us. He graciously allowed me to capture the few pictures of the Delta Porsche in this post.
During our drive Paul and I peppered Danny with questions about his job and the different people he picked up during the day. It mostly included elites such as ourselves with either tight connections or a special ride to ground transportation after some serious flight delay. Once in while it could also be a VIP, famous or not, that Delta wanted to specialize service for. He was professional and a good kid. Paul and I enjoyed our short time with him and he dropped us off at our prearranged ground transportation (outside of the baggage claim area).
Delta’s Atlanta Porsche service was a complete and welcome surprise after a day of our postponed flight. I don’t know Delta’s method of service assignment, but it was very nice gesture to try and improve a delayed travel experience. It’s a high level customer touch, and a special treat Paul and I won’t forget. Compliments to Delta for integrating this service into their elite program. At the end of our ride Danny gave us his business car and memento of the Porsche service.