Meet Steve, the dad who loves Delta.

By Cailey Rizzo
December 13, 2020
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We all miss travel. But some people miss travel so much, they go the extra mile to recreate the experience. 

Last week, TikTok user Anissa Simao uploaded a video of her dad, Steve, a “pretty goofy” guy and a Delta Diamond Medallion member. He missed boarding flights so much that, when he came across a listing for two Delta First Class airplane seats, he bought them and installed them in his living room.

Whenever he missed his frequent flights, Steve would sit down in the First Class seat, read the safety information card, queue up safety videos on his phone, settle in with a Delta blanket of course with his seatbelt fastened, Simao showed in her video clip. He even put on the sounds of turbulence to fully recreate the experience. 

Anissa recorded the whole scene and follow-up videos where the duo even attempted to prank relatives into thinking they were mask-free on an airplane. 

As Anissa’s videos gained hundreds of thousands of views, it eventually made its way to Delta CEO Ed Bastian who sent a video back.

Credit: Delta Air Lines

“I understand that your dad really misses travel on Delta during this crazy year we’ve been through,” Bastian said in the video. “I’m glad he’s enjoying those First Class seats in your home. And we’ve got First Class seats waiting for him when he’s ready to start traveling again.”

The Simao family now has three round-trip first class seats valid for flights anywhere in Delta’s network, when the family decides they are ready to start flying again. 

“It's been a long year of making life happen from home and moments like these are what we need to keep us going,” Maria Moraitakis, a spokesperson for the airline, told Travel + Leisure on Friday. “We're huge fans of the family and can't wait to have them back in the skies with us soon.”

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter,Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.