How Delta and Make-A-Wish Make Childrens’ Dreams Come True

Aug 24, 2017

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The Points Guy has teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help dreams come true for children who are fighting life-threatening medical conditions. Since more than 2.8 billion airline miles are needed to cover travel for every child’s wish this year alone, they need our help to make that happen.

We’re sharing the stories of how four carriers — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines — are helping Make-A-Wish to grant travel wishes. We’re asking you to donate your miles — as many as you can — to help. Please visit the Make-A-Wish website, where you can donate points and miles from American, United, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue. And for every 5,000 miles you donate, you’ll get one entry into our contest, where you can win one of five one-on-one points and miles consultations with TPG himself.

Today, we’re highlighting how Delta Air Lines works to make send-offs something to remember.

For Make-A-Wish kids, there’s more to look forward to than just the wish itself — at least some form of air travel was required for 77% of the wishes the foundation granted last year. And for the folks behind those wishes, the send-offs are half the fun, especially when they get to work with Delta. TPG himself decided to get involved with Make-A-Wish after stumbling across a Delta send-off party, seeing the excitement of a young girl and her family as they prepared to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip and hearing how Delta would make their experience as special as possible.

From literally rolling out a red carpet for wish kids and their families as they arrive and are dropped off at the airport to a special check-in processes just for them, Delta and its agents do everything to ensure it’s a memorable trip.

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For Ellie, a Make-A-Wish kid from the Cincinnati area, her wish was made even sweeter thanks to her Delta send-off party. “We felt like celebrities getting a limo ride to the airport,” Ellie said. “Delta of CVG was incredibly kind. They met us at the airport and had us all walk up the ‘red carpet.’ We all got to go to the Delta SkyClub. None of us have ever experienced anything [like] the SkyClub before. We definitely felt spoiled! They offered us a free breakfast and a nice place to relax before our first flight,” Ellie said.

Ellie and her family once they got to Hawaii.

It’s not just the wish kids and their families who get something out of it. The Delta employees involved with sending them off to their destinations are left with memories that are hard to forget, too. “It’s my way of giving back; it’s my way of giving into the community,” said Sue Sommers, a Delta ambassador in ticketing. “I wouldn’t be me if I weren’t doing Make-A-Wish.”

The send-off parties don’t stop after the wish kids’ red carpet arrivals either. The special treatment continues throughout the airport — even through the TSA and security screening process. “Whenever we have a Make-A-Wish family coming through, we have all the hands go up that want to assist with the families,” said Greg Lamb, a TSA supervisor at Cincinnati Airport (CVG). “We expedite them to the front of the line, and we also try to take care of any problems they may have beforehand so that they can get through screening and get on to their adventure.”

With the help of local airports, Delta and Make-A-Wish are able to team up to give wish kids and their families something they’ll remember for a lifetime. Whether it’s SkyClub access, pre-boarding or the chance to check out the cockpit of Delta’s aircraft, the carrier does everything it can to make these kids and their families have a great trip.

In order to make more dreams come true, Make-A-Wish needs more points and miles. Of the 15,200 wishes the organization granted last year, 77% required some form of air travel in order to make these send-off parties happen. You can do your part to help grant wishes like this by donating your American AAdvantage miles, DeltaSkyMiles, United MileagePlus miles, Southwest Rapid Rewards points or JetBlue TrueBlue points to the organization.

Once you’ve donated, send an email to with a screenshot of how many miles you’ve given to be entered to win one of five special one-on-one consultations with The Points Guy in New York City, where you’ll learn how to replenish the points and miles you’ve just donated. For every 5,000 miles you donate (regardless of from which program) you’ll get one entry into the contest, so the more you donate, the more chances you’ll have to win. You can view the official TPG sweepstakes rules here for more details. Donating can also help to keep the miles in your account from expiring, so if you have 50,000 miles that are getting close to the expiration date, donating any amount will keep them all active.

For more inspiring stories about airlines working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, check out these stories:

Make-A-Wish Helped His Daughter. Then, This Southwest Pilot Returned the Favor

How American Airlines and Make-A-Wish Helped a 10-Year-Old Girl Meet Carrie Underwood

How American Airlines Made a 7-Year-Old’s Wish Come True

Editor’s Note: The headline of this post has been changed.

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