Chance encounters are great ways to meet interesting people you might not ever connect with otherwise. And nowhere are chance encounters more cliché than on airplanes. You know the feeling: sitting on an airplane wondering if your neighbor will be nice, interesting—maybe even someone who will change your life.

Well, thanks to a surprising (but totally brilliant) partnership between Delta and LinkedIn, the next person you fly next to absolutely could. Delta’s new “Innovation Class” gives LinkedIn members the chance to apply to sit next to industry leaders on their way to cool events around the U.S. Fliers get several uninterrupted hours to chat with this mentor, picking his or her brain about business strategy, shared passions, and everything in between.

As James Patten, CEO of Patten Studio and the winner of the first flight, explains: “It’s very rare to get a chance to sit down with someone in that sort of position and talk about whatever you want. Had we met in another context, we probably would have at, at most, a five minute conversation.” Patten got to sit next to Pebble Technology CEO Eric Migicovsky on his flight to Vancouver for the TED conference, where the two talked at length about their shared love for interactive technology.

It’s super easy to apply—just connect your LinkedIn profile on the Innovation Class website to be considered for the next flight. You can even nominate mentors you’d like to get the chance to sit next to.

No more opportunities gone to waste, and no more missed connections. By putting you on a flight with an inspirational business leader, Delta is helping your career soar.


Photo of airplane courtesy of Shutterstock.

Updated 6/19/2020