Elated Team USA athletes took off Thursday morning aboard a Delta charter flight from Los Angeles to connect them with their dreams of representing the United States at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
This marks the latest leg of Delta’s eight-year journey as Team USA’s official airline that runs through the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games, of which Delta is a founding partner. Delta will also carry the 2022 U.S. Paralympic Team to Beijing in February ahead of the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, set to begin March 4.
Team USA athletes typically travel based on their individual schedules and do not travel as a team to the Games, Delta is taking full advantage of this unique opportunity to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Beijing-bound A350-900 flights are operating as a charter to meet Chinese government entry requirements.
“These athletes will be competing and representing the United States without family, friends or fans in the stands. So, we’re determined to make this first Team USA-only charter an unforgettable experience – one where athletes feel as special during their journey as we feel proud watching them compete,” said Tim Mapes, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.
“Each team member reflects the resilience and perseverance we’ve all had to dig deep to find over the past two years, and that have long been the hallmark of Delta people worldwide. These shared values are why we’re especially proud to celebrate Team USA athletes on their journey to the world’s biggest sporting stage. For all of us at Delta, it’s a privilege to connect these athletes with their dreams,” Mapes added.
At the Delta-hosted LAX send-off event, more than 200 athletes, coaches and trainers walked a red carpet and boarded their aircraft in a private hangar. The global carrier also created a Team USA-themed, customized in-flight experience for the athletes to enjoy en route to Beijing, including:
- Personalized meals created by Delta partner chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo – with input from Team USA nutritionists and a Team USA chef – featuring local, fresh, and seasonal ingredients that are also high in protein. Options include an array of acclaimed Italian-American fares like chicken cacciatore and herb-crusted salmon, as well as snacks such as individual charcuterie platters, Greek yogurt, and dried fruits.
- New amenity kits featuring sustainable, wellness-focused products.
- Custom flight attendant uniforms that include a Team USA x Delta branded mask, shirt, and apron for each member of the in-flight crew.
- Team USA athlete spotlights are featured on seat-back entertainment screens showcasing exclusive interviews, playlists, and favorite Olympic and Paralympic moments from U.S. athletes.
- Handwritten messages of encouragement and cheer from Delta employees are also displayed in a mural installed at LAX and digitally throughout the airport.
From enhanced cabin humidity that reduces the effects of jetlag to LED ambient lighting that creates a calming atmosphere, Delta’s A350-900 is packed with features to make sure Team USA arrives ready to compete.
Athletes too excited to rest can stay connected with loved ones on the ground with free messaging, or surf a catalog of box-office hits, wellness content and award-winning shows on high-definition seat-back entertainment screens. When not forging new friendships with other team members on their once-in-a-lifetime charter, athletes can chill online using high-speed Wi-Fi.
The A350-900 features 32 award-winning Delta One Suites, 48 Delta Premium Select seats, 36 Comfort+ seats and 190 seats in main cabin.
Delta is the official airline of Team USA on the road to Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and LA28. The partnership with Team USA furthers the global airline’s longstanding support for sports — and its proud history of supporting Team USA at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Delta served as a past sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in its hometown of Atlanta in 1996 and Salt Lake City in 2002.