The 2010 Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event: Reflecting On It After Five Years
T he 2010 Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event occurred from Thursday, October 21 through Sunday, October 24, 2010 — and the last day of the event was five years ago today.
How time flies.
Many months of planning — and many meetings at the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines — culminated in four days of what many participants dubbed Best. Field. Trip. Ever. That slogan became the unofficial de facto motto for the entire experience, which included — but certainly not limited to — the following:
- A morning spent at what was then known as the Delta Heritage Museum — now known as the Delta Flight Museum
- Approximately five hours spent with executives of Delta Air Lines in the afternoon — including Richard Anderson and Jeff Robertson, amongst others — for an informal session of questions and answers
- An entire day spent at the Technical Operations Center; the Operations Control Center; and piloting several flight simulators located in three different buildings
- Road Warrior Training — which is a highly-condensed version of the training in which flight attendants endure — that included evacuating a cabin filled with smoke down an inflatable chute; administering first aid to a passenger; protecting yourself from an aggressor; serving food and beverages aboard an airplane; using an inflatable life vest; the proper procedure for using oxygen masks; and what is known as water ditching from an aircraft into a life raft, which included how to inflate it and how to survive in it once it is inflated
- Being a gate agent for the day at the international airport in Atlanta — including announcing flights over the public address system; scanning boarding passes; and even “busting” seats and upgrading passengers
- Custom printed T-shirts, color maps and a commemorative booklet
- Bus transportation to and from certain venues
- A chance to meet some special guests
- Closing down Park Tavern, the Georgia Aquarium — with free reign to peruse all of the exhibits at the aquarium — and Prime restaurant for private dinners
…and all of the above cost each attendee a grand total of $95.00 for all four days — including all lunches and dinners — but not including the Road Warrior Training sessions, which were an extra $150.00 for either the introductory or the advanced session; and the special room rate of $79.00 per night at the Hilton Atlanta Airport, which included access to the executive lounge, complimentary parking, and free Internet access. Special embroidered shirts were also available for an extra cost.
Such a deal. It is no wonder that the event — which had 125 slots — sold out in a matter of a few hours, with a waiting list of as many as 75 people.
It took no fewer than 19 volunteers and dozens of employees from Delta Air Lines to help the event become a rousing and memorable success. I actually choked up several times when participants came up to me and imparted their heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for being a part of that event; and that they will cherish those memories for the rest of their lives. It was that good.
Bruce Margolis recounted his experience as a gate agent for the day for Delta Air Lines; and instead of being with his wife Carol on the day of their wedding anniversary, he spent some time with another woman instead! Can you guess who was that other woman?
Discussions on FlyerTalk
The following is a list of discussions on FlyerTalk which are either directly or indirectly related to that incredible event over four days which occurred five years ago today:
- Four Years Ago Today–How Time Flies
- Another ATLDO (Annual Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event)?
- The 2010 Second Annual Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event — October 21-24, 2010
- Delta Road Warrior Training/DO
- Thank You Thread for the The 2010 Second Annual Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event
- We Were Delta Air Lines Gate Agents for the Morning
- Ideas for The 2011 Third Annual Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event
- Delta Customer Event in ATL on 5/18
I intend to post more details of the activities which comprised this event in the future in a series of articles — to do so in one article would be virtually impossible.
Steven Klamon and I were the co-organizers of both Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Events in 2009 and 2010; and we often get asked as to when will the next event take place — or if there will even be another event. At the grand opening of the Delta Flight Museum on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, Richard Anderson did give me the go-ahead to organize a third event; but there are a number of issues which prevent that from happening easily — if at all…
…but we know that if there was another event — never say never, right? — it would sell out quickly once again…
Attendees of the 2010 Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event learn how to survive in a life raft during a water ditching from an airplane. Photograph ©2010 by Greg Johnston of James Gregory Photography.