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Delta Shuttles Techies & Industry-ites to SXSW on Exclusive Festival Flight

The SXSW celebrations began high up in the sky, before guests even arrived at the annual fest, courtesy of Delta’s exclusive festival shuttle.

The airline and United Talent Agency teamed up for their second annual #DeltaFestivalShuttle to jet elite techies, venture capitalists and entertainment A-listers to Austin, Texas.

The inaugural invite-only flight launched this January for the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

“We are definitely tailoring each shuttle to each festival,” Delta’s vice president of west global sales, Ranjan Goswami, told Variety, explaining the exclusive shuttle is a way to showcase their expanding network at LAX. (The Los Angeles to Austin flight was established last year.) The fest flight is something the company would like to continue for different business communities’ high-priority events. “When we launched this at Sundance, it was targeted to the entertainment industry. SXSW is such a major stop in the technology sector.”

The first-class treatment started on the ground, as flight-goers were escorted past long security lines via the Delta Sky Priority lane, and then fueled up with a free brunch at Lemonade.

Once on board, the margaritas were flowing, and flyers were gifted with SXSW-tailored swag bags, which included tequila, Advil, a premium subscription to Spotify and free Wi-Fi passes. The airline also gave away first-class, round trip tickets to New York City, London, China, South America, San Francisco, Mexico and the Caribbean. Winners were announced over the flight’s P.A. system.

“Creating a buzz can happen when you have people from the same community together on a flight, while showcasing everything Delta has to offer,” said Goswami.

Those features include the new Delta Studio personal streaming service, the food, wine and draft beer program — and, in the case of SXSW, tequila.

“There’s a reason we made this a one-way flight,” Goswami joked. “Get these folks on the way to SXSW — and not after what SXSW does to them.”

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