My Delta Special Service – a Real Treat – and My Friends’ Reactions

A couple of weeks ago, I was treated by my hometown airline and my preferred airline, Delta, to a very nice airport arrival in Atlanta.  The following week, the same wonderful welcome was offered again.  Not only was the actual special welcome so enjoyable, fun, and appreciated, the response from my friends was equally enjoyable, fun, and appreciated!

The Welcome

I landed on A31 in Atlanta Hartsfield, the end of Concourse A.  I remember thinking “ugh”, having to walk down the terminal at peak hour to get to the train, to get to the shuttle bus, to get to my car, to drive, and, finally, to get home.  No, it is not a horrible thing but sometimes I am just tired.

I get off the plane, I mean, I literally step out of the plane, and from the corner of my eye I catch my name on a sign being help up by a guy in a suit.  I never look at anything or anyone when I am deplaning.  I am on a mission to get the heck out of Dodge.  Along with my name is another name.   What is this?  Did I have too many SunChips?

I identify myself to the suited guy and before I can ask anything, the other name shows up, a guy in a suit who tells the guy greeting us that he is traveling with someone; the guy greeting us says it is OK.  I ask what is this about and the greeter tells me, I am taking you out of here.  I was not sure what that meant and asked for clarification.  He said he had a car downstairs (downstairs from the jet-way) and that he was driving us to baggage claim.  I don’t know how many seconds it took me to process what he had said.  What was this?  The other two guys seem to know what this was about and, as they all started going down the stairs, I followed.  I see a black Porsche Cayenne at the bottom of the stairs and my first thought is “I need a picture of this”.  I had a camera with me but those 2 suits traveling with me looked too darn serious and I figured I need to act serious too, especially if I am being driven away.  I kicked myself for this for about a week afterwards – I wanted a picture of this most unlikely situation for me.  Our driver dropped us all off and gave me the card:  Delta Elite Services Team.  (I hope I didn’t just reveal a secret!  Please do not remove my Million Miler status!!)

I speculated about what all this was about.  During the drive I understood that this is normally something done for government officials or celebrities so they do not have to traverse the airport but I still didn’t know how I fit into either category.  I did write-in my name once in a ballot in some election but, last I had heard, I only got one vote.

I regretted not having taken my picture and told the story to people saying that.  Well, God really wanted me to get the darned picture because the next week, landing on the A1 gate in Atlanta, once again I saw a suited guy holding a sign with two names and one of them was mine again!  This time I knew what this was about and felt much smarter.  This time it was a white Cayenne and I was drive out in style.  BUT, as I went down the stairs, I asked the greeter/driver to please take my picture though this time I only had a smartphone camera.  He took some pictures of me where I am all smiles.

Also, this time, I got to ask about how regular folks get the service.  The greeter told me that usually when there are none of the VIPs above, they pick up Delta frequent fliers with all the right calendar and lifetime status who may have tight connections, or lacking any of those, fliers who land at the far gates in a concourse.  That made tons of sense and seems to be a brilliant way for Delta to surprise and reward a very frequent flier every now and then (and I am hoping more “now” than “then”!).

The Pictures

After a week of kicking myself, I GOT THE PICTURE!  In fact, I got a few.  Here are two!

Delta frequent flyer

Now to the Funnies

Alright, since I did not ask family and friends if I could show them here as I shared comments to the statuses in Facebook on these two events, I feel obliged to protect their anonymity but I invite them to comment here if they read this!  I laughed at some of the comments!

In Conclusion (I Have to Be Serious, Don’t I?)

Thanks to Delta, from this Million Miler and charter Diamond Medallion, for that extra touch.  CRM is key to any business.  This is great evidence of good thinking.

Thanks to my friends for allowing me to enjoy this little pleasure a little more by sharing it and hearing from them!


  1. That is one awesome story. I am loyal to Delta because my great-grandfather was actually a pilot for them way back in the day. I’ve had my ups and downs with them, but nothing like this! Great stuff!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..$250 Fairfield by Marriott Gift Card GiveawayMy Profile

    • Wow, DJ, that’s pretty cool. Have you ever been to the Delta museum near the ATL airport? It’s on my radar (pardon the pun). ANd on the upds/downs, I’ve had them both but what I like is that they DO read & respond to whatever is sent to them via their website (e.g., anything you write good/bad about an employee, gets to that employee & supervisor) or via Twitter.

  2. That is incredible! Delta really knows how to treat their customers right. In all honesty, they’re one of our favorite airlines! We hope you continue to get treated like the rock star that you are!
    Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..Our Top Three Awkward Travel MemoriesMy Profile

    • Thanks! It’s been more than a couple of decades of traveling with them – many times weekly! – so it’s sure nice to have little surprise perk here, a little surprise perk there!

  3. oOo fancy! I love that Delta added those extra touches to make your experience so memorable. Flying isn’t always everyone’s favorite part of traveling but the little things makes the journey worth while. Great story!
    Kieu recently posted..Travel Costs: 1 Month in New ZealandMy Profile

    • Indeed, Kieu, the airport experience is the worst part for me (not the actual flying – unless it hits severe turbulence, of course!) so the being picked up to avoid the crowds and get out very quickly was truly awesome! Someone in their elite customer relations dept or program has zoomed in on exactly what annoys a very frequent traveler like me! “Think like the customer” is a mantra many companies fail to have!

  4. How cool!! This is seriously good service and surely that surprised you! I wouldn’t mind a bit of this love!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..My favourite 10 places around the worldMy Profile

  5. I still push back on the fact that this is a nice ploy to use when going down the K&R route. Atlanta…Maybe but I would be very suspicious if not planned and announced prior to departure…Some of the other places you have traveled…defintitely not!

  6. What a great story and thing Delta does for you and others. They’ve always my airline of choice. Might have to check out the Delta museum you mentioned at some point. :)
    Aaron recently posted..Detroit: Two countries…two skylines…one shot…My Profile

  7. Raul, this makes me smile every time I think about it. Your narrative of the event makes it even better. You definitely deserve the Sun Chips AND the rock star treatment!

  8. Too many Sun Chips… ha ha! Good for you, and even better for Delta for thanking you for your loyalty. It’s nice to hear (read) a positive airline story once in a while.
    Francesca recently posted..Five day hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes National LakeshoreMy Profile

  9. Luly Pino says:

    WoW. Delta really knows how to appreciate the loyal customers. Of course, you deserve this royal treatment.

  10. Is that Matthew Broderick being picked up or Raul? Very cool, my friend. You’ve earned every last bit with all the miles you’ve been putting on.
    Leah Travels recently posted..County Clare, a Castle, and a Room Fit for a QueenMy Profile

  11. Raul, just tell us the truth, you’re a government official, right? Just like I thought… ;-)

    But seriously, very nicely done, Delta!
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Book pick: ‘Paris: Wish you were here!’My Profile

  12. Sweet, and strangely I was just talking with/about Porsche and Sunschips… so very odd to see them both in the story. or maybe “celestiny” (if such a word exists)

    But Delta was really sweet when I had my status, no doubt. They definitely do take care of their elite. Congrats on being an “up in the air” rock star.

    stay adventurous, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Sunset Sunday – the Apollo Temple on the Island of NaxosMy Profile


  1. […] may think after my VIP Delta treatment that I am now being recognized EVERYWHERE for the VIP that I am (in my own mind).  No, no, I […]

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