British Airways Launches “Premium Transfer Drive”….And It Sounds Pretty Cool

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British Airways is apparently aware that there are times when, mostly due to delays, some passengers find themselves cutting it very, very close when it comes to catching their connections and the airline whats to help some of those passengers out.

What Is “Premium Transfer Drive”?

British Airways says that under the Premium Transfer Drive scheme BA staff at Heathrow will track passengers with connections and, where there’s a chance that a passenger will miss their connection, the airline will provide an “airside car transfer between one flight and the next”

The staff will also send a message to the aircraft currently carrying the passenger(s) in risk of misconnecting so that the cabin crew can let the passenger(s) know that a car will be waiting for them when they land.

Here’s what BA’s new director of brand and customer experience had to say

Missing a connection is one of the most stressful situations a customer can experience, so helping them through that journey and keeping them informed is critical. The new premium transfer service will enable us to identify customers who are at risk of missing their onward flight, and proactively arrange to collect them by car, whisking them directly to their next flight.

We’re already receiving great customer feedback from customers who have benefitted from the new service and as WiFi is introduced on our aircraft, we’ll also be able to use that to communicate directly with customers about their onward flight.

As BA has only just put out a press release announcing this service today I’m not entirely sure how long this has been running for but, if you’ve had a chance to use this service, let us all know what it was like in the comments section below.

Who’s Eligible For Premium Transfer Drive

Surprisingly, according to what BA has published, quite a few people will be covered by the Premium Transfer Drive system so I hope the airline will be able to cope!

The first thing to note is that this new scheme will only operate for people traveling on a UK Domestic flight and connecting on to another British Airways flight – presumably issues with immigration and passport control preclude BA from offering this on flights arriving in to Heathrow from elsewhere.

Domestic passengers eligible for this service are:

  • Those connecting on to a short-haul Club Europe flight
  • Those connecting on to a long-haul Club World or First Class flight
  • Gold & Silver Executive Club members

There was no mention of oneworld elites so I sent BA a tweet asking for clarification.

a screenshot of a social media post

That’s a little disappointing…but I understand BA’s position. This service is already open to more travelers than I would have expected it to be (there’s not exactly a shortage of BA Silver card holders) so adding oneworld elites to the list could put undue pressure on the service.


This sounds like a very nice little perk but there are one or two things that I think we’ll need more information on before its easy to assess just how useful this will be. Specifically:

  • As everyone holding a Silver card and above is eligible for this service will BA be able to handle the numbers when things go wrong?
  • What parameters are the airline staff working too (i.e how close to misconnecting does a passenger have to be before the car service is offered)?

On the whole, however, this sounds like a nice innovation from British Airways and as long as the airline provides enough cars and manpower to run the scheme properly it should be a nice safety net for passengers.

Featured image: British Airways


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