- On Friday, U.S. Paralympians departed from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, carried by Delta’s Team USA-only charter flight.
- In celebration of Team USA, Delta hosted a commemorative, red-carpet send-off event at LAX and curated an in-flight experience designed to recognize these talented athletes as they travel to the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, beginning March 4.
U.S. Paralympians departed for Beijing on Friday morning aboard a Delta charter flight from Los Angeles as they proudly represent the United States and strive for excellence at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Paralympians Oksana Masters (left) and Jen Lee.
The departure of the U.S. Paralympic Team mirrored that of the U.S. Olympic Team send-off on Jan. 27 from LAX and marks Delta’s latest commitment in support of the global carrier’s eight-year journey as Team USA’s official airline. Delta’s partnership with Team USA runs through the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which Delta is a founding partner.
While U.S. Paralympians typically travel based on their individual schedules and do not fly as a team to the Games, Delta is commemorating this unique opportunity by delivering a once-in-a-lifetime in-flight experience for these talented athletes. The Beijing-bound A350-900 flight is operating as a charter to meet Chinese government entry requirements.
“As these athletes travel to the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, they reach the final phase of a journey that began years – and in some cases decades – ago with countless hours of hard work and training,” said Tim Mapes, Delta S.V.P. and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “Once U.S. Paralympians touch down in Beijing, they will be closer to connecting with their dream of representing the U.S. on the world’s biggest stage, and Delta is proud to support them on their journey.”
Paralympian Dan Cnossen.
To ensure U.S. Paralympians have a best-in-class journey on their way to the Paralympic Winter Games, Delta has worked closely with the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee to understand how to best handle specialized equipment that travels with the athletes. Delta also partners continuously with its own Advisory Board on Disability, which includes U.S. Paralympian and Delta partner Mallory Weggemann, to learn firsthand how to provide excellence in accessibility for our customers.
“For many Paralympians, their gear is an extension of themselves, and getting the athletes and what they need for competition to the Games safely is our focus,” said Tammy Lamich, General Manager-LAX. “From the boarding process, to the in-flight experience, to working with our LAX operations team to carefully store their equipment, we are proud to partner with the USOPC to provide a premier experience for U.S. Paralympians.”
To honor U.S. Paralympians, Delta rolled out the red carpet as more than 110 athletes, coaches, trainers and support staff boarded their plane at a remote airport gate at the LAX send-off event.
The global carrier also created a Team USA-tailored in-flight experience for the athletes to enjoy on their journey to Beijing, including:
- Personalized meals created by Delta partner chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo – with input from Team USA nutritionists and a Team USA chef – featuring local, fresh and seasonal ingredients that are also high in protein. Options include an array of acclaimed Italian American fare like chicken cacciatore and herb-crusted salmon, as well as snacks such as individual charcuterie platters, Greek yogurt, and dried fruits.
- New amenity kits featuring sustainable, wellness-focused products.
- Custom flight attendant uniforms that include a Team USA x Delta branded mask, shirt, and apron for each member of the in-flight crew.
- Team USA athlete spotlights featured on seat-back entertainment screens showcasing exclusive interviews, playlists, and favorite Olympic and Paralympic moments from U.S. athletes.
- Handwritten messages of encouragement and cheer from Delta employees, also displayed in a mural installed at LAX and digitally throughout the airport.
About Delta’s flagship A350-900 carrying Team USA
From enhanced cabin humidity that reduces the effects of jetlag to LED ambient lighting that creates a calming atmosphere, Delta's A350-900 is packed with features to make sure Team USA arrives ready to compete.
Athletes too excited to rest can stay connected with loved ones on the ground with free messaging, or surf a catalog of box-office hits, wellness content and award-winning shows on high-definition seat-back entertainment screens. When not forging new friendships with other team members on their once-in-a-lifetime charter, athletes can chill online using high-speed Wi-Fi.
The A350-900 features 32 award-winning Delta One Suites, 48 Delta Premium Select seats, 36 Comfort+ seats and 190 seats in main cabin.
Delta is the official airline of Team USA on the road to Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and LA28. The partnership with Team USA furthers the global airline’s longstanding support for sports — and its proud history supporting Team USA at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Delta served as a past sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in its hometown of Atlanta in 1996 and Salt Lake City in 2002.
About Delta’s media campaign
Starting Jan. 31, Delta began its media campaign in support of Team USA. In addition to five television spots that are running on NBC throughout the Paralympic Games, Delta introduced its “Unsung Heroes” art showcase. This installation is an extension of its Olympic and Paralympic program celebrating many of the dedicated teams behind Team USA and recognizing the importance of the work done behind the scenes to help athletes reach their potential.