‘No one better connects the sky': Delta returns to CES
Editor’s note: This article, originally published on Jan. 5, was updated on Jan. 6 to include the perspectives of more Delta leaders.
In the first week of 2023, Delta announced firsts of its own, becoming the first major U.S. airline1 to offer free Wi-Fi on board in partnership with T-Mobile, debuting a vision for cross-journey personalization for Delta SkyMiles® Members with Delta Sync, and introducing The Delta Sustainable Skies Lab to focus on sustainable travel and business practices.
Delta returned to CES -- the world's largest consumer technology conference -- in 2023. CEO Ed Bastian was the keynote guest opening the CES C Space program -- the annual speaker series reserved for top business, marking and media voices – in partnership with MediaLink. Delta leaders, representing points of view on customer experience, loyalty and marketing were also on hand to join panel discussions Thursday and Friday (more below).
At CES, Delta unveiled plans to offer free Wi-Fi for SkyMiles® Members in partnership with T-Mobile and introduced Delta Sync, the foundation of personalized travel, with an ecosystem of experiences that put customer needs and preferences at the center of the journey.
“No one better connects the world than Delta, and no one better connects the sky,” Bastian said. “It’s the last frontier of connection that exists.”
Rolling out in 2023, Delta Sync is underpinned by SkyMiles membership and catalyzed through free Wi-Fi to deliver personalized and exclusive in-flight entertainment, more ways to enjoy your favorite onboard food and beverage, and exclusive partnerships with top consumer brands coming this year.
“Who you trust with your travel experiences matters,” Bastian said. “The reason we can even make the announcement, make the billion-dollar investment is because of the people of Delta Air Lines. It’s the people of Delta Air Lines that make all of this possible.”
Delta Leaders take stage
While Delta’s headlines catalyzed the buzz, Delta’s leaders offered context and perspective, joining panel discussions on everything from sustainability in travel, to tailored customers experiences, to fostering corporate culture with emotional intelligence.
The new opportunities enabled by free Wi-Fi and Delta Sync to better reach and serve customers was the focus of remarks by SVP and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Tim Mapes at CES, in two panels discussing the future of brand marketing.
Delta SVP – Customer Engagement & Loyalty and CEO — Delta Vacations Dwight James shared that reaching the right customers, at the right time, with the right message is the focus for Delta. He shared his perspectives on messages that connect across generations.
Ranjan Goswami, SVP – Customer Experience Design, discussed how Delta Sync delivers "I know you" moments that customers will appreciate, linking digital and physical experiences to connect with customers in a way that ensure each moment feels made for the individual.
In a discussion centered on emotional intelligence, where the workplace needs leaders that embrace empathy, vulnerability and compassion, EVP and Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband shared her perspective on Delta's commitment to service that is welcoming, caring and elevated.
Chief Sustainability Officer Pam Fletcher discussed how Delta Sustainable Skies Lab will feature work that’s ongoing across Delta today, inspire disruptive industry innovation, and scale known tech and actions to reach Delta’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
'Wonder Window' at ARIA
Delta SkyMiles® and Starbucks® Rewards came together at CES to give attendees more of what matters. Attendees experienced the interactive “Wonder Window” exhibit at ARIA for special giveaways.
Members of Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks Rewards can turn their next coffee occasion into their next travel adventure with a new loyalty benefits partnership that lets customers unlock even more ways to earn rewards.
At the CES popup activation, attendees had the opportunity to peer through the Wonder Window to win prizes.
CES experience starts and ends with Delta
CES attendees arriving on Delta flights at Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas were greeted by friendly Delta faces guiding them to seamless CES badge pick kiosks at a Delta gate in the terminal. There, customers also found snacks and drinks from Delta partners.
After CES, Delta’s gate D33 was transformed to send customers off with well-being products and snacks from Grown Alchemist, Kate’s Bars and more to reconnect to their routines and prepare for the journeys home.
Follow more from Delta’s CES 2023 presentation on Delta News Hub.
All this and more are just some of the perks of Membership. Learn more about how Delta is making Membership more rewarding in 2023.
1 U.S. carriers with more than 30 million DOT enplanements, July-September 2022 (source: DOT Air Travel Consumer Report, November 2022).