Team USA athletes departed Thursday from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, carried by Delta’s first-ever, Team USA-only charter flight.
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,” said Tim Mapes, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.
“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.
“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”.
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 fare 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 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, also displayed in a mural installed at LAX and digitally throughout the airport.