Delta has come up with a unique way to get premium customers to identify themselves to the airline, and provide contact details too. In essence, the airline has made them an offer they can't refuse.
"It’s a mentoring programme – that just so happens to take place at 35,000 feet," explains the airline on the Delta Innovation Class website.
Delta Innovation Class, a play on the idea of different classes on a flight, offers one lucky customer the opportunity to sit next to an influencer or celebrity on a particular flight, for free. Delta selects the flights, the destinations and the influencer. All that customer has to do is choose which Delta Innovation Class flight he or she would like to be on, then register with their LinkedIn profile. If the customer does not yet have a LinkedIn profile, he or she is encouraged to create one, so LinkedIn benefits too.
From the description, it appears that there is only one such seat available per flight, so the likelihood of being chosen is relatively limited. But it is still a free flight and an opportunity to speak with someone who might not be easily available.
"Not only will you receive a free flight to the event, but during the
flight, you'll have access like no other. Sitting next to the mentor
you'll be able to learn, influence, and chat as much or as little as you
like about the industry you share," Delta promises.
A blog post by Delta hosts a video of one of the first Delta Innovation Classes, featuring James Patten, CEO of Patten Studio, who got the opportunity to sit next to technologist Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Pebble Technology, from Salt Lake City to Vancouver. The next Delta Innovation Class flight is on May 5.
It's likely that the offer will be very popular, at least until other brands get in on the action. This particular initiative is only for the US, but it is conceivable that it could be offered internationally or in similar form by other airlines.
*Delta Innovation Class is only open to a legal resident of one of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia and be 21 years of age or older.