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These airlines offer free chauffeur service for business and first class passengers

Sept. 06, 2020
5 min read
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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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Air China

(Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

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

Emirates

(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

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.

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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

Etihad

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

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

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.

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

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 (Photo by Lisa Weatherbee/The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023