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by Michael J. Shapiro | July 18, 2016

Delta Air Lines unveiled its new Delta Edge Meetings program today, an industry-first initiative to link corporate meetings travel with a company's transient-travel spend on the airline. The announcement was made at the Global Business Travel Association Convention in Denver, which runs through Wednesday at the Colorado Convention Center.

Beginning Aug. 1, companies that have corporate accounts with Delta will be able to register meetings in the Delta Edge Meetings program. Any attendees traveling with Delta will receive the same corporate benefits already negotiated as part of their company's corporate agreement, including such perks as priority boarding and priority seating. Corporations also will receive credit toward their fulfillment obligations for that travel, and travel managers will receive the data associated with those travelers -- aiding in the integration of their transient travel and meetings programs.

"We wanted to make sure that every meeting attendee flying on Delta would receive the same benefits as their company's business travelers," said Delta's Jennie Ho, managing director of specialty and Canada sales. The program automatically provides corporate meeting attendees with the better of two discounts, comparing the Delta Edge Meetings discount and the company's corporate sales agreement discount. "We set out to make this as simple as possible for the customers," Ho  added.

Travel managers only need to set up a simple process with their travel-management companies in order to receive meetings-related reporting and extra financial incentives, such as an additional 1 percent discount for meetings with 50 or more attendees flying with the carrier. The Delta Edge Meetings program was three years in the making and came to fruition as a result of conversations with and feedback from more than 200 corporate customers.

Kevin Iwamoto, author of our Industry Insights blog, recently wrote about this topic; read is insights here.