For 180 Delta passengers from Los Angeles, the 2015 South by Southwest experience began well before landing in Austin, Texas, last Friday for the annual music, film and interactive festival.
Delta again teamed up with partner United Talent Agency to organize a second annual Delta Festival Shuttle, this time aimed at digital and tech industry insiders attending the interactive and music portions of SXSW, which runs through this week.
The inaugural invite-only flight premiered in January for the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, earning praise from The Wrap, which called it “the most clever and organic brand activation this year.” The concept was developed as a way to engage members of the L.A. business community at key industry conferences and gatherings when Delta is most relevant, because they’re actually en route to these events.
Passengers who purchased the invite-only ticket on the 737-900ER flight included tech-scene execs from companies like Crowdfunder, Scopely and Disney Techstars. All were treated to a pre-flight brunch at the popular LAX restaurant Lemonade and received gifts from Columbia Sportswear and subscriptions to Spotify’s premium music streaming service. Custom amenity kits were filled with items like Malin + Goetz skincare products, and on-board Wi-Fi was free, as was content on Delta Studio. A few lucky passengers received free round-trip tickets for future flights to nonstop destinations served from LAX, including London and Shanghai, as well as paired hotel stays from Delta SkyMiles partner Starwood Hotels.
“Our festival shuttle flights are just one example of the innovative branding initiatives we’re launching in L.A. to reach out to customers in core industries that are key to our continued growth in this competitive market,” said Ranjan Goswami, V.P.-Sales-West. “These flights are a fun and memorable way to showcase our product as we maintain our efforts to become the airline of choice in Los Angeles.”
The festival shuttle was a cross-functional commercial and operations endeavor involving multiple departments including Sales, Marketing, In-Flight Service and LAX Airport Customer Service.