Delta Pilots Have Trading Cards, And They’re Going Viral

Delta Pilots Have Trading Cards, And They’re Going Viral

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Apparently Delta pilots have aircraft trading cards to give out to passengers, and we just haven’t known about it all along?!? This is interesting, as flagged by @xJonNYC.

Delta encourages asking pilots for trading cards

On November 20, 2023, Delta Air Lines posted to its official TikTok account, promoting how the company’s pilots have aircraft specific trading cards. The 12-second TikTok video has text that reads “pov: you always ask the pilots for a trading card.”

The video then shows a variety of aircraft-specific trading cards. Not only does Delta seem to have one for each aircraft type, but I guess the airline has actually been printing these for a couple of decades, and has different versions of them. Someone is even trying to sell the complete set of 62 cards on eBay for $3,000 (lol).

This is a cute initiative on Delta’s part. It’s a fun idea for aviation geeks and children, and it creates a way for pilots to interact with passengers, adding a human touch that’s often missing in the travel experience.

Now, in fairness, Delta actually isn’t the only airline to have trading cards. Frontier Airlines’ aircraft are themed after animals, and passengers can ask the crew for a collectable trading card for that specific aircraft. For an airline that has a charge for printing boarding passes, I’d say that’s pretty generous.

Delta’s trading cards are going viral in a strange way

I imagine that when Delta posted on TikTok about these trading cards, the expectation was that not many people would actually request these cards, outside of true aviation geeks and maybe parents with small children.

But I guess TikTok works in strange ways. With Delta’s post on this having gone so viral, some popular TikTok users have filmed themselves asking Delta pilots for trading cards.

For example, vicblends, who has millions of followers across social media platforms, filmed himself going to the cockpit and asking Delta pilots for trading cards. He’s not the only one, as several other people have posted similar videos.

https://twitter.com/CollX_App/status/1729139966616441081

A few thoughts:

  • This is bound to lead to some disappointment, since I can’t help but wonder how consistently Delta pilots carry these; in the videos I’ve seen posted, typically one pilot doesn’t even have the cards
  • Airlines are so focused on efficient and punctual boarding, so if this at all catches on and becomes a thing on every flight, it will add some congestion during the boarding process
  • I love the idea behind this and that Delta is encouraging it, but for whatever reason, this seems to be more of a source of social media content and a flex for random adults, which is an odd direction for this to take

I’m curious to see if this is just a short-lived social trend, or if this becomes something bigger. Regardless, it’s a great idea for aviation geeks and those with children.

Bottom line

Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock or didn’t get the memo, but apparently Delta pilots have had trading cards for years, which passengers can simply ask for. Delta posted about this on TikTok recently, and it probably got more attention than the Atlanta-based airline was expecting.

What’s perhaps most interesting is the crowd with which this has caught on. It’s not your typical avgeek or kids, but rather adults who are somehow amazed that they can get a free trading card on their next flight.

I love this initiative and concept, I’m just confused about the way that interest is evolving…

What do you make of these Delta trading cards? Did you know that Delta pilots have these?

Conversations (26)
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  1. dee Guest

    United did not have any this week!! ANd Delta is a hit or miss to try to collect...

  2. Chicago Chris Guest

    Some airports have trading cards at the information desks, too. I know San Diego used to pre-pandemic although they weren't as nice as Delta's.

  3. Exit Row Seat Guest

    I remember when post cards containing photos of aircraft were placed in the pouch on the back of each seat. In the 1980’s, Delta would also include a map of the cities it serviced.
    Today, only a safety card and sickness bag!

    1. Exit Row Seat Guest

      I would like to get a B717 card. I remember flying on a Delta DC-9 with open overhead racks in 1980. Not sure if 14 series or 30 series, but small as hell.

    2. Old Guy Flies Guest

      Delta flight 1376 (ATL - MYR) is a B717. There are two different 717 cards - #40 and #52.

  4. CabinCrew Guest

    This is nice, but I was kind of hoping that they would be more like baseball cards... but instead with a picture of a handsome, sexy pilot.

  5. Rene Schwartz Guest

    Delta May have taken one out of Northwest Airline's playbook. I have a bunch of those….

    1. jedipenguin Guest

      Delta had trading cards before the Northwest merger.

  6. Weekend Surfer Guest

    My friend is a DL 767 pilot and got some for my son (who's an aspiring pilot) a few weeks ago. Never knew this was a thing they handed out. Kinda cool! Too bad I hardly fly DL.

  7. François Guest

    I was watching one of My Layover Life's recent videos, and apparently United pilots have them too.

  8. splane21 New Member

    The pilots haven’t had them on the last few Delta flights I’ve taken. Also flight attendants on Frontier told me they haven’t seen a trading card since Covid so they must’ve been discontinued (on my last 3 Frontier flights).

  9. Ryan Guest

    New hires carry them and that’s about it. Most don’t carry them and find the whole thing annoying.

  10. JB Guest

    I got one of these in 2017 from a Delta pilot!

    I was flying in First Class from Minneapolis to Orlando on a 757-300 (my first time on that specific aircraft), and the pilot came into the First Class cabin during boarding to ask me (I was 14 at the time) and my younger sister if we wanted to come into the cockpit. I of course said yes immediately. He gave us a tour...

    I got one of these in 2017 from a Delta pilot!

    I was flying in First Class from Minneapolis to Orlando on a 757-300 (my first time on that specific aircraft), and the pilot came into the First Class cabin during boarding to ask me (I was 14 at the time) and my younger sister if we wanted to come into the cockpit. I of course said yes immediately. He gave us a tour of everything, let me sit in the seat with his pilot cap on and take a pic, and then gave me a 767-300ER trading card (he didn’t have any 757 cards left), which I still have to this day!

  11. D3kingg Guest

    2/ If you did want to collect these cards for a profit down the road you’d need an unopened pack and then have each card graded by PSA or Beckett. Everything has to be mint condition.

  12. D3kingg Guest

    This is usually I hit the sell button. When the buying frenzy starts. You have to get in early to any endeavor. Including points and miles. If you buy those cards on eBay for $3000 what a nice bonus for the Delta captains. Who made these cards ? Do they have distribution and trademark rights ? Looks fun but you’ll pay for entertainment.

  13. Ryan T Guest

    Why is anyone acting like this is at all a negative thing? Delta has had these for years, and there is a small social trend with them right now, it'll phase out in a few weeks. There is literally nothing bad about them. They won't slow down boarding, and its not a weird "flex" for adults. People will find a negative to anything.

  14. Tim Dunn Diamond

    This is the modern day version of the wings that pilots (and others) used to give kids.
    and Delta, like most airlines, wants its pilots accessible to the public.
    Doubtful this was something that ALPA negotiated along w/ the announcements that Delta and many airlines want their pilots to make.
    I was on a delayed Southwest flight not that long ago and the crew was fantastic including having the captain in the...

    This is the modern day version of the wings that pilots (and others) used to give kids.
    and Delta, like most airlines, wants its pilots accessible to the public.
    Doubtful this was something that ALPA negotiated along w/ the announcements that Delta and many airlines want their pilots to make.
    I was on a delayed Southwest flight not that long ago and the crew was fantastic including having the captain in the cabin talking to passengers and explaining what needed to happen. He apparently isn't willing to take out his frustration in getting a new contract out on his and his company's passengers.
    There are and will continue to be employees that will do their best.
    Good for Delta for giving its employees reason to favorably interact w/ customers.

    1. Jill Guest

      You flew on another airline besides Delta and their sky team partners

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      the best way to know what is going on in the industry is to fly as many as possible.
      DL and WN people are both some of the best.
      DL just has a global network and better product.

  15. pstm91 Diamond

    Funny timing on this blog. My friend's roommate is a DL pilot. I was over there last week and saw a couple of these (767 cards) lying around and asked him what they were. Had no idea. I also have no idea why you'd want them, but people love "stuff."

  16. Tim Is So Done Guest

    “Someone is even trying to sell the complete set of 62 cards on eBay for $3,000 (lol).”

    And Tim Dunn rushes to logon to eBay to place bid.

  17. MB Guest

    ANA has postcards available on their long haul flights. I picked up a few for my kid as a souvenir. IIRC one featured their sea turtle planes and another had the Star Wars planes.

    1. NedsKid Diamond

      I still have a stack of Lufthansa postcards. They used to have them on the bulkheads. DC-10, 747-200, A300, 727

  18. NedsKid Diamond

    I didn’t know they were still a thing. I got one on the last MD-88 flight which was during Covid. Hadn’t seen or heard of since.

  19. Maryland Guest

    TikTok ruins another nice thing for the geeks both big and small. It's a shame.

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jedipenguin Guest

Delta had trading cards before the Northwest merger.

1
Tim Dunn Diamond

This is the modern day version of the wings that pilots (and others) used to give kids. and Delta, like most airlines, wants its pilots accessible to the public. Doubtful this was something that ALPA negotiated along w/ the announcements that Delta and many airlines want their pilots to make. I was on a delayed Southwest flight not that long ago and the crew was fantastic including having the captain in the cabin talking to passengers and explaining what needed to happen. He apparently isn't willing to take out his frustration in getting a new contract out on his and his company's passengers. There are and will continue to be employees that will do their best. Good for Delta for giving its employees reason to favorably interact w/ customers.

1
Maryland Guest

TikTok ruins another nice thing for the geeks both big and small. It's a shame.

1
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