×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Delta Starts SXSW in Style with Festival Shuttle for Industry Insiders

Delta has found a unique way to make the journey to SXSW as entertaining as the event itself, thanks to the airline’s exclusive festival shuttle from Los Angeles to Austin, which ferries industry insiders to the conference with first class service, free-flowing libations and plenty of Southern charm.

2016 marks Delta’s second trip to SXSW, and the fifth #DeltaFestivalShuttle to date, with previous sojourns providing transport to the Sundance Film Festival and Summit at Sea.

“The purpose of the flight was to make a curated experience for the folks on board that was nothing like what they’ve had at the festival,” explained Melissa Abbott, Delta’s manager of sales partnerships, west region. “We felt like getting them to the destination was part of the experience, and if we could create a memorable experience before they even got there, that made for a better trip.”

Delta partners with United Talent Agency on the flight, and this year’s guest list boasted venture capitalists, techies and entertainment luminaries including Keegan-Michael Key, who is bowing a work-in-progress preview of new film “Keanu” at SXSW on March 13.

According to Paul Lee Ruiz, Delta’s district sales manager, southwest region, the Festival Shuttle allows the airline to “engage with a certain type of customer that we’re really targeting, especially here in LA with all our recent growth – we’ve been adding flights to all of the tech centers, to media and entertainment centers, so it all dovetails really nicely with our strategy.”

And the shuttle service is apparently already a hit with Delta’s target demo, per Abbott: “People flew from San Francisco to Los Angeles just to get on this flight, which is great for us, because they had to fly Delta to do that,” she laughed.

In addition to a pre-flight brunch at the terminal’s Rock & Brews, which also served as a networking opportunity, the flight offered fest-goers complimentary Silver Medallion status for the year, free wifi, and a swag bag full of SXSW essentials like headphones, umbrellas, tequila and eco-friendly toothbrushes. The airline also gave away a number of first class, round-trip tickets to JFK, Shanghai, Australia and South America to randomly selected passengers during the flight, which certainly contributed to the ebullient energy on board.

Ruiz observed that the trip to SXSW is “just a really cool way to get to a certain segment of the traveling population; what they really crave is a unique experience.”

“It’s networking too, not only at the brunch but on the flight as well,” Abbott said. “One of our last flights, real business happened and a company was sold. It was a really fun experience.”

 

More Scene

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra to Speak at the 2019 Women in the World Summit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Priyanka Chopra has just been added to the star-studded list of speakers at the 2019 Women in the World Summit. Chopra, who will be interviewed on stage by Women in the World founder Tina Brown, will discuss her career as an activist and entrepreneur. Recently, the “Baywatch” actress joined forces with Serena Williams in investing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content