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Delta reveals Olympics livery as it takes official Team USA sponsorship from United

Dec. 17, 2021
4 min read
Delta reveals Olympics livery as it takes official Team USA sponsorship from United
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So long to the friendly skies; now it's time to keep climbing.

After almost 40 years of flying United Airlines, the U.S. Olympics team passed the torch to Delta Air Lines for at least the next eight years, a deal reportedly worth $400 million.

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With fewer than 50 days until the 2022 Olympics begin in Beijing, Delta kicked off its new charter mission by revealing an Airbus A330-900 with a special Olympics-themed livery on Friday.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

The airline held a ceremony and livery reveal at its Atlanta Tech Ops base, which was attended by past and present Olympians and Paralympians, as well as Delta employees, CEO Ed Bastian, and crews from NBC's Today Show, which broadcast the event live.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

Hosted by past Olympians Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, the event was an early one to coincide with the Today Show broadcast, kicking off just before 8 a.m.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

The event also featured a panel discussion with Olympians Vonetta Flowers, Amber Glenn and Apollo Ohno, as well as Paralympians Dan Cnossen and Mallory Weggemann.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

Delta employees were invited, although only a limited number were able to attend due to space. Still, the crowd was full of Olympics fans.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

After a short video showing a time-lapse of the painting process, the hangar door was opened and a curtain was opened, finally revealing the livery (thanks to a logistical change in the event, some of the guests had already seen the aircraft as they arrived, but still, who doesn't love a dramatic reveal?).

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Being the first year of the partnership, Delta decided to go with something bold, rather than a subtle or understated design.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

In person, the Team USA plane — an Airbus A330neo — looked undeniably sharp. It was designed by Shane Edwards, who is Delta's product and experimental design manager. Edwards worked with the in-house creative team at Delta — known as Window Seat — rather than outsourcing to a design firm.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

"The team opted for a clean, classic design to promote the partnership between Team USA and Delta," Edwards said in a statement. "The Team USA logo is prominently featured, along with a blue gradient that represents the sky and 'rise to the top; with a grounding red element representing the resilience needed to get there."

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

Inside, the plane looks like any other A330-900 — the one exception was small towels custom-printed for the sponsorship that the airline put on each headrest instead of the usual cloth.

It features 29 business class seats — the latest Delta One suites with sliding doors — as well as 28 premium economy seats in the "Premium Select" cabin. There are 224 coach seats, including 56 extra-legroom Delta Comfort+ seats.

Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy

It may not be the actual plane to carry the Olympians — that will likely be a larger Airbus A350, a Delta spokesperson said during the event.

Instead, you can catch the plane flying on transatlantic and transpacific routes starting on Dec. 18. Delta plans to use the A330neo to replace its less-efficient Boeing 767s, the airline said.

More: A Suite Ride to China: Delta One on the Brand-New A330-900neo

The partnership between Delta and Team USA is set to cover Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milano Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028, but could always be extended. Who knows; maybe the next 40 years will belong to Delta.

Featured image by Photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees