Earlier this week, Asiana announced a shuttle service between LAX and San Diego – which I thought was a great idea. Flights between LAX and SAN are on a glorified greyhound bus with wings — a nice private car service would be a hell of an improvement. Then this morning I saw that Asiana was also offering this service in Chicago. My first thought was that Asiana was trying to compete with ANA, who is offering complimentary arrival limo service at Narita on the afternoon departure from ORD.
But it looks like I got a little ahead of myself. This service for people who have a short distance connection after arriving in ORD. The Asiana service is between ORD and Champaign/Urbana (U of I), West Lafayette, IN (Purdue University), Madison, WI (University of Wisconsin) and Milwaukee, WI (Marquette). I was hoping this was going to end up being a car service into the City, which would have been a nice benefit (for me at least). Following my recent trip on Asiana in their Quadra Smartium Business Class, I would have loved to have been met at the gate and escorted home. Based on the locations it looks like they are gearing this to University students or other visitors. You can get all the details here.
While this service doesn’t look like something I’d ever use, I’m sure it’ll be useful for some. I really wonder how many people will actually use this service. My gut is that this is one of those “special perks on paper” that doesn’t really get used all that much.
The terms and conditions are listed below, in case you are interested. My favorite is of course #9:
1. Reservation must be made at least 5 days in advance otherwise not guaranteed.
2. You may request ride to/from your home instead of station for $15 oneway surcharge.
3. We do not supply baby/child seat, you must supply your own.
4. If you want cancel or change your reservation, you must do so 3 days in advance.
5. Reconfirm mail will be sent 3 day before you leave with drivers name and phone #
6. Even you are Asiana ticket holder , $40 will be collected by driver without reservation
7. Mileage award ticket holders can use shuttle with proper reservation.
8. Baggage policy is same as Asiana Airline’s, we charge $25 per extra baggages
9. Driver’s tip is not mandatory but he will be appreciated for your tips.
There are several vehicle types available too – everything from a 42 passenger bus all the way down to a Hyundai Eqqus (the latter requires a $15 surcharge and is available by special request only).
What do you think of this service? Is it a real value add or just an on paper bonus that won’t cost Asiana anything since no one wll use it? Would you forgo hopping on one of these shuttle options in lieu of taking a small regional aircraft if you were connecting to one of these Cities?