United to try delivering luggage directly to select Marriott hotels
Some United Airlines flyers arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport will soon be able to send their bags directly to their hotels.
Through United's partnership with Marriott, business-class customers flying from Newark Liberty International Airport to London will be able to have their checked bags delivered to select properties in the English capital.
The program starts Nov. 1.
Luc Bondar, United’s Vice President of Loyalty and head of the MileagePlus program, announced the new program Friday in Chicago at the airline's first media day in recent memory.
“We think it will be awesome and a real game-changer,” Bondar said.
Related: The ultimate guide to United Polaris
The program will initially only apply to passengers flying in United's Polaris premium cabin from Newark and staying at five Marriott properties in London.
Those hotels are the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London, London Marriott Hotel Canary Wharf, London Marriott Hotel County Hall, Sheraton Grand London Park Lane and St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London.
Passengers will proceed through immigration and customs as normal. Then they need to look for the bag drop desk in the arrivals area of Heathrow. It will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to noon. There is no need to pre-register for the service.
As the program expands, Bondar said United will focus on markets where passengers are arriving early in the day and don't want to drag a suitcase all around the city. The initial push will be for business travelers.
Eventually, it could be expanded to leisure markets and maybe domestic flights. However, neither of those options appeared likely in the first round or two of markets based on Bondar's tone in describing the plan on Friday.