In 2018, Delta Air Lines retired the last of its Boeing 747s, the iconic jumbo jets that, from their first flights in 1969, forever changed the scale and scope of commercial air travel.
The airline has sent most of its decommissioned fleet to boneyards in Arizona, California and New Mexico, except for ship 6301, the first Delta 747-400 to take flight, which today includes the immersion 747 Experience at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta. For aircraft enthusiasts still nostalgic for the “Queen of the Skies”, the airline, in partnership with American Express, today announces a limited run of credit cards made from metal cut from the Delta 6307 ship – the very first credit card recycled from a decommissioned 747.
“You think about the journeys that this aircraft has taken, the people who have flown on it, the stories that have been told over the more than 68 million miles flown,” says Jon Gantman, SVP and GM, cobrand product management at American Express. “It is an aircraft which militarily transported men and women in service. He evacuated Florida during Hurricane Irma. It’s a piece of aviation history that our customers will now have the opportunity to carry in their wallets. »
The latest in a 25-year travel rewards card partnership between American Express and Delta, the limited-edition offering of Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business Cards has been crafted from metal sourced from outside the United States. aircraft, which was retired in 2017. Harvested aluminum – which, along with carbon composites, titanium and steel, make up a typical fuselage and wing spars – was affixed to a layer of steel stainless steel to create a strong and durable card. A typical American Express non-airline metal card is made of stainless steel and polymers.
“Taking a 747, which many people are extremely sentimental about, and creating a card that meets Amex standards for quality, durability and usability was extremely difficult,” says Andrew Gaddis, vice president of global issuance. cards at American Express. “Aluminum alloys are softer than you might think and aircraft metal has many imperfections and scratches easily. In the end we affixed the 747 metal to a much harder layer of stainless steel, so that cards retain their integrity, form and function.
The result? A collector’s worthy credit card, 25% of which comes straight from the annals of aviation history, available until August 3 or while supplies last. This is the latest special-edition metal card American Express has issued this year; in January, the company partnered with artists Julie Mehretu and Kehinde Wiley on platinum card designs.