Last updated: 09:33 AM ET, Fri March 13 2015

Delta Lets Commoners Fly With Celebs to SXSW

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Rich Thomaselli | March 13, 2015

Delta Lets Commoners Fly With Celebs to SXSW

It’s the hottest airline ticket available right now.

Except it isn't available.

Delta Air Lines continues to court the movers and the shakers of the entertainment industry, offering an invite-only flight from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, Friday morning for the annual hot-hot-hot – and influential – South-by-Southwest Festival.

According to Bloomberg News, passengers are paying $247 round trip to sit next to and swap stories with and schmooze some high-profile players.

This flight is a continuation of Delta’s philosophy on building influencers in the entertainment world. Last month, the Atlanta-based carrier not only flew a similar special private jet to the Sundance Film Festival, it also threw a lavish party as part of its corporate sponsorship of the Grammy Awards.

The ultimate goal, Bloomberg noted, is to get a piece of the nearly $1 billion entertainment industry travel sector. The airline partnered with United Talent Agency in L.A. to choose the 180 celebs that will depart on the flight out of Los Angeles International.

"The whole goal is about going after a really lucrative and very, very large and very, very unique revenue set," Ranjan Goswami, a VP of sales for Delta, told Bloomberg.

For the Grammys, Delta hosted a pre-Grammy invite-only party featuring a private performance, this year coming from Charli XCX. Delta was also a sponsor of the MusiCares Foundation annual fundraiser, where the MusiCares Person of the Year was named at a gala event.

Prior to the event, Grammy-winning producer Ryan Lewis of the hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis flew from Seattle to Los Angeles with Delta's "Innovation Class" mentorship program, which offers LinkedIn members the opportunity to brainstorm and network onboard with leaders in their industry. Lewis was paired with an up-and-coming musician on the Feb. 2 flight.

For SXSW, the passengers on the private flight will receive special check-in and security lanes, a pre-flight brunch at the restaurant Lemonade at LAX, a subscription to Spotify's premium music streaming service, a gift from Columbia Sportswear and amenity kits.

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