Back in June, after three years and $229M, Delta officially unveiled the refurbished T5 at LAX. T5 features Delta’s first exclusive check-in area, officially named Delta ONE at LAX, and includes a dedicated curbside drop-off, a private check-in, expedited security and personalized customer services. Customers flying in Delta ONE enter the terminal through a dedicated curbside entrance, leading to a private check-in lounge with personalized luggage check and a refreshment bar. Customers also access a dedicated security checkpoint directly from the Delta ONE at LAX lounge.
The desk is actually the top of the DC-9 Ship 9885 horizontal stabilizer – also referred to as the back T- tail. Ship 9885 had a long airline career and a Southern California history, befitting of its new home at LAX. Built in Long Beach by McDonnell Douglas in 1975, the DC-9 was the largest of the original DC-9 series. Delta was an original operator of the DC-9 starting in 1965. While Delta’s Product Development and Brand Communications teams were brainstorming a concept for Delta ONE’s reception desk, the idea surfaced to fashion it out of material from a reclaimed aircraft. The Delta team contacted MotoArt in El Segundo, Calif., just minutes away from LAX, which recycles vintage airplane parts into futuristic furniture, including beds, coffee tables, chairs and desks. MotoArt was hired to make the desk for Delta ONE. A crew was dispatched to the Arizona desert, where the DC-9 had been resting since retirement in 2013, to dismantle the tail from the airplane and truck it directly to the studio. The tail was removed in March and the artistic folks at the studio did their thing. The reception desk sits at the entry to Delta ONE and will be used daily by the Elite Services team to assist customers who are eligible to use the check-in area.
Finally, the New York Post is reporting that Delta is considering Delta ONE JFK / LGA “paparazzi-proof” experiences for New York VIPs. According to the Post, the LAX experience leaves no opportunity for celebrity picture taking:
The LAX model involves dispatching a Porsche hybrid to meet travelers as they step off a jet, and whisking them out of the airport to a secret underground location on Century Boulevard, Delta said. Arriving passengers are picked up on the tarmac by the Porsche hybrid and driven to their own chauffeured cars, with no chance to be caught by lurking photographers. Outbound VIP Select customers can pull up to a private entrance to the Delta lounge and go through a warren of secret passageways to an express check-in. Once they clear security, they can wait at the Sky Club.
Delta says that a similar set-up is being explored in other markets including NYC but would require approval from the TSA and Port Authority.