They say life is about the journey, not the destination. If SXSW is a metaphor for life, (and who's to say it's not), then maybe what really matters is not what happens in Austin, but how you get there in the first place.
That philosophy seems to have inspired Delta Airlines, in partnership with United Talent Agency to create the "festival shuttle," an invitation-only flight from Los Angeles to Austin, geared specifically towards entertainment industry bigwigs. The SXSW festival shuttle is an encore of a program that Delta debuted for this year's Sundance Film Festival. In both instances, UTA curated the guest list.
Invitees pay $247 each for the ticket, which includes a fast pass through airport security, a preflight brunch, open bar, free wifi onboard, and the chance to win first class tickets to destinations like NYC and London.
Of course it wouldn't be a Hollywood event without a fantastic swag bag – passengers also receive a comp'd subscription to Spotify Premium, gear from Columbia Sportswear, and grooming items from the skincare line Malin + Goetz.
One passenger on the Sundance flight, Gary Michael Walters, CEO of Bold Films, described the experience as "very much a club of people who are significant players in the business." Of the crowd on board Walters also said, "To have them all pre-assembled, it jump-started the film festival for me."
A Greycroft Partners Exec who was on this Friday's flight to Austin summed-up the value proposition simply and as follows: "Shared experiences are what create great relationships."