delta innovation class

Book a plane seat guaranteed to be next to a famous business leader

March 24, 2014
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delta innovation class

Picking the brains of a famous business leader

Delta Airlines has teamed up with LinkedIn to create a mentoring program called “Delta Innovation Class,” wherein selected business leaders will be traveling to select events around the world, seated in what they’re calling a Mentor Seat.

The seat next to them will be open, offering people a chance to interact one-on-one without creeping anyone out.

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The coveted spot will be next to business and creative leaders in a variety of fields as they travel to conferences, and the available seat will be available through Delta’s site, but people hoping to land the seat must complete an application via LinkedIn.

Entrepreneurs and creative brains can sit next to and pick the mind of these leaders for the entire flight, and they are open to offering tips, advice, and guidance. It’s a mentor program launched at 35,000 feet, and while it is a gimmick, it is a creative use of Delta’s resources – famous business leaders use their service, and future leaders do as well, so why not be the catalyst to pair the two?



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Fly with a famous business leader

The program has already featured an Innovation Class flight with Eric Migicovsky, creator of the Pebble Smartwatch, and will soon feature star chef, Sean Brock as he heads out to the James Beard Awards in New York.

Program details

Participants hoping for the coveted seat must reside in America and it is limited to travelers over the age of 21 (perhaps so the famed leader and future leader can bond over a beer?). Participants are, of course, subject to a background check (so if Sean Brock has a restraining order on you, you most definitely won’t be chosen).

Delta does reserve the right to film the session and use your photo in promotional materials, so anyone selected will probably want to have questions for their mentor that aren’t private and don’t unveil corporate secrets.

The flight will be free to the person selected to be mentored, and will be chosen “based on their LinkedIn profile,” which is pretty vague, but we suspect that an empty profile or a spammy account will not make their “shortlist.” Additionally, the selected person will receive a $5,000 check, a ticket to the event where the mentor is flying to, and two nights in a hotel (“standard hotel accommodations” valued at around $500).

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.


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