Saturday, 15 December 2018

Will you marry me? How Delta people and customers worked together to capture sky-high proposal

Delta customer Andrew Spaeth was able to give his girlfriend, Rachel Raubolt, the perfect proposal onboard their flight from Atlanta to Chicago, with the help of Delta’s Atlanta-based Airport Experience Team, flights attendants and fellow customers.

A few weeks prior, Andrew tweeted Delta of his plan to propose to Rachel in flight. From there, Red Coat Rondah S. contacted Alice M., Administrative Assistant — In-Flight Service Field Operations, and Michael S., Regional Manager—In-Flight Service Catering Operations, who were thrilled to assist with the request.

Andrew made special cards to pass out to fellow travellers asking if they could take pictures of the proposal. During boarding, Customer Service Agent Brittney M. discreetly passed out the cards that read:

“Hi, my name is Andrew and I’ll be proposing to my girlfriend Rachel on this flight! I’ve got the ring. I’ve got the ‘speech.’ What I don’t have is a photographer, so I have a favor to ask… Please take photos and videos of the proposal, if you’re so inclined, and send them to the number below. I would appreciate it! Thank you.”

At cruising altitude, the flight attendant leader gave the signal, cellphones came out and Andrew got down on one knee. For a few seconds, those watching held their breath as they waited for Rachel to respond, “Yes!” The couple was then celebrated with a basket filled with champagne and chocolates.   

When the plane landed in Chicago, Delta employees also had balloons and flowers for the newly engaged couple.

“It was a total dream come true and we will forever be grateful,” said Rachel. “The champagne, flowers, balloons…Delta truly went above and beyond!”

Andrew also offered his gratitude to the Delta teams for all their help in planning the proposal.

“We really appreciate you making this day special for us,” said Andrew. “Everything went perfect and we could not be happier!”

“Across departments and stations, everyone worked together to make a memorable moment for the couple. Congratulations to Andrew and Rachel,” said Rondah.

This is a great tale of how something supposedly so romantic and special, indeed to many, it would have been a magical experience, deeply emotional that has been turned into a global story promoting the massive US airline Delta. The fact the story went viral on social media and thereby reaching a global audience, far further than even a couple of million spent on advertising could reach means that any expense Delta went to has been repaid thousands of times over.  Airlines helping people with special touches for birthdays, proposals and the like is great business at the moment - but only if they take the rights to publicise the hell out of the story for its own ends. 

Delta is not alone in having a special team to work on such 'experiences', British Airways also have a large team for such things, complete with members from the airlines PR and media teams so that it is ready to exploit the airlines supposedly 'good deed' for positive publicity purposes. Indeed, the passengers, they help have to sign away privacy rights, allowing the airline to take photographs or videos to use in publicity.  For airlines, it seems no good deed goes unpublished!