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Delta Innovation Class Case Study

Delta Air Lines has partnered with professional network LinkedIn to connect “today’s high-profile influencers with the business leaders of tomorrow at 35,000 feet.”

Through the new mentoring program, Delta Innovation Class, Delta says it is offering LinkedIn users the opportunity to meet with so-called leaders from different fields on designated flights.

With the supposition that thought leaders could use their time in the air to share knowledge with up-and-coming professionals in the seat next to them, Delta says it will select “leaders in innovation” on their way to events around the world for the program.

Leaders will sit in the “mentor seat,” which will have an empty neighboring seat. Delta Innovation Class invites consumers to apply for a chance to sit in that open seat.

“We’ll fly you to the event, get you in to the event, and, most importantly, give you one-on-one access you might never otherwise get,” Delta says on the Innovation Class website.

LinkedIn users interested in “flying with a titan in their industry, sharing ideas and discussing goals and future projects,” are encouraged to submit an application on the site.

To apply, LinkedIn users select an upcoming flight and enter their LinkedIn credentials. The website says the applications will be reviewed and “a shortlist of candidates is chosen [by Delta] based on their LinkedIn profiles.”

Delta’s first Innovation Class flight occurred en route to the TED2014 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from March 17 to 21: James Patten, CEO of Patten Studio, flew with Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Pebble Technology, from Salt Lake City to Vancouver.

Delta says it will host additional Innovation Class flights throughout 2014, including a pairing featuring Executive Chef Sean Brock, an Outstanding Chef finalist for The James Beard Awards in New York on May 5.

Future events and pairings will be announced later this year, Delta says.

Delta sponsored a digital experience, Social Soul, at TED2014. The experience brought to life a user’s Twitter feed in a “larger-than-life structure where their social media profile [was] on display in a 360-degree immersive stream of monitors, mirrors and a sound system,” the brand says. Afterward, Social Soul connected the user to another TED attendee using an algorithm that linked attendees through similar interests.

“Every day Delta carries almost a half-million customers around the globe, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields of work,” said Mauricio Parise, Delta’s director of worldwide marketing communications, in a statement. “Innovation Class is our small contribution to enable collaboration by bringing together brilliant minds…”

When Delta Air Lines decided to launch their new Business Elite service ware in 2010, their brief could best be described as challenging.  Inspired by a product that had caught their eye at an exclusive retailer in the USA, the original tray design was unlike anything the airline industry had ever seen before. The shape, with its rounded vertical sides and flat horizontal axis, was unprecedented; contemporary, stylish, and most of all, daring. Delta sought to recreate fine dining at 35,000 feet. Galileo Watermark was able to develop a product that could function within the unique cabin environment, withstand rigorous handling, and prove more durable than most standard trays, all without compromising on appearance.

With its ultra-modern shape, natural looking wood grain finish and invisible, state of the art slip resistant surface, Delta, in partnership with Galileo Watermark, raised the bar in terms of innovation.  Completing the service is custom designed glassware, with elegant lines, minimalist inspired salt and pepper shakers in bright white, and natural looking linen textiles.

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