This is much better than a seat upgrade.
Last month, Delta Air Lines announced The Gift Back Project, in which travelers can nominate ANY selfless "giver" they know to receive ANY "gift" in return for their loving deeds. Those gifts will likely include free flights... and more.
To nominate someone for a gift, travelers -- and we use that term loosely, as you don't need to be a Delta customer at all -- must simply register on the project's website and submit a short video or essay explaining why their "giver" is worthy of a gift and detailing what that gift might be. There are few limits, suggestions or guidelines; mostly just that the gift's value may not exceed $15,000.
It's a simple idea, but it's a powerful one, says Delta spokesperson Paul Skrbec.
"Giving back to the community is one of our core values," he told The Huffington Post. "Any time we can do things for the people we serve... it highlights those values."
The project's launch video tells the story of Karin Newport, a mother, military wife and Red Cross volunteer whom Delta rewarded with free flights to visit faraway family in Portland.
Travelers who nominate someone can dream up similar rewards for their gift recipient. (We don't doubt that Delta would be happy to fulfill a gift wish that includes free flights.) However American Express is also a partner in the contest, meaning it's likely that wishes for non-flight gifts will be respected, too.
In any case, it's always awesome to see an airline pay it forward. That's a gift to us all.