Travel

VIP “Surprise and Delight” Treatment from Delta in Seattle

Written by Mark McElroy

Did you know Delta Airlines maintains a team of “surprise and delight agents” who pull up to an aircraft, meet lucky passengers at the jetway, and whisk them away in a Porsche for a VIP adventure?

I found this out because, today, Clyde and I were some of the passengers Delta surprised and delighted!

Picked up By Porsche

After landing in Seattle, I noticed a white Porsche Cayenne pulling up to our plane’s jetway. In more than a million miles of flying, I’d never seen this.

When I saw an agent in a red coat hop out of the Porsche and ascend the stairs up to the jetway, I just assumed someone on our flight was more famous than she looked — and got ready to make the long trek from Terminal A to Terminal S. You know the drill: straining to spot all the right signs, darting to catch a train, debating whether or not you’ll have time to grab a quick bite …

So you can imagine our surprise (and delight!) when, just as we stepped through the aircraft door, we saw the smiling agent holding a glowing tablet displaying our names! She introduced herself, explained she was here to make quick work of getting us where we needed to be, and then took us down the jetway stairs to her 2019 Porsche Cayenne.

Walking or taking the train from Concourse A to the South Satellite can take a lot of time. Traveling by Porsche is much faster!

Behind the Scenes at SEATAC

Even as I was sinking comfortably into the caramel-colored leather seats, I was thinking, “Someone’s made a mistake. They’ve got the wrong guys.”

But as she drove us from terminal to terminal, our new acquaintance explained, “I’m with Delta’s elite team of surprise and delight agents. This service is Delta’s way of surprising and delighting our best customers. Both of you are diamond million-milers, so we thought we would make it easier for you to make your connection today … and give you a little behind-the-scenes tour, at the same time.” She pointed up at the aircraft looming over our heads. “From down here on the ground, they look much bigger, don’t they?”

I just nodded. I was a little speechless. 

Once we reached Terminal S, the surprise and delight agent steered us across the tarmac to a service entrance. “Down here, you can see how we handle bags. Those folks there? They’re the ones who help us locate and route bags that get misdirected.” She paused, stepping back for a motorized cart to speed past. “Now, once through this door, we can take an elevator right up into the Delta SkyClub.”

From Seat 2B to SkyClub in 7 Minutes

And when she said, “Right up into the SkyClub,” she meant it — we didn’t even have to check in at the front desk. She guided us to the buffet (vegan options!), made sure we had everything we needed, and then, after a brilliant smile and a handshake, she thanked us again for spending so much time on Delta flights … and vanished as quickly as she had appeared.

Hours later, as I’m writing this on our flight back to Atlanta, I’m still grinning. If the goal of this program is to bring surprise and delight to people … mission accomplished, Delta! Our experience added a touch of magic to our long trip back home — and makes me more eager than ever to keep flying Delta, of course.

Note: There are no paid placements on MarkGoesThere.com, and this post is no exception. Whatever we do, wherever we go, I pay my own way, just like you do. Because my opinions are never for sale, you can trust that I’ll give you honest information you can use to make your own trips better.

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Image Credit: I was too flabbergasted to get a proper photo, so the image accompanying this article is a digital recreation of the moment.

About the author

Mark McElroy

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