Flights of fancy: creating and communicating the elite travel experience
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 16:00 by Corinne Graham
This major research paper (MRP) explores the discourses of elite airline travel by applying principles of travel discourse, linguistics, and social identity theory to a case study of Delta Air Lines’ online marketing for its premium Delta Sky Club lounge. The following research questions guided this study: How does Delta Air Lines’ language use in the online marketing of their frequent-flyer and business-class services contribute to the creation of a Club motif? How does the Club motif help to differentiate the elite traveler (and their travel experience) from other ticketholders? How does it reinforce the salience of these groups? How does the loyalty and- reward framework capitalize on social anxieties about status and group identification? A qualitative analysis was used to analyze the spaces, status groups, and social structures that were featured on the five webpages selected from Delta Air Lines’ corporate website. The results of this study not only contribute to our understanding of the travel experience for ‘preferred’ airline passengers, but also reveal the discursive strategies by which these passengers are stylized and positioned as elites.