AMS-AUS: The Delta Dartboard heads to SXSW

The new Delta Breast Cancer One pulling out of the paint shop this morning

I know I joke plenty about the “Delta Dartboard” and some of the less than obvious routes the company operates. And when I first read the headline “Delta files Austin – Amsterdam March 2018 schedule” I was caught off guard. But this seemingly random filing makes a decent amount of sense.

Delta will run a handful of services between Austin and Amsterdam in March 2018 specifically targeting the SXSW conference in Austin. The flights will operate on the 8th, 9th, 14th & 18th, essentially covering the beginning, middle and end of the event. SXSW is a huge conference and draws a lot of traffic, much of it corporate travelers paying higher fares. This one-off (four-off??) route lets Delta and its SkyTeam JV partners take advantage of that demand and better move travelers from Europe to the event versus connecting in Atlanta.

SXSW is not the only event where Delta runs special segments to carry passengers in. For the CES show this coming January in Las Vegas there will be extra sections from Seoul on the new A350, for example. And, of course, major sporting events like the Super Bowl and NCAA championships tend to see a couple extra flights added.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. This is rather depressing. Austin is such a cool town with a large population, but it gets very few international flights. We are the San Diego of Texas.

  2. Interesting. AUS seems to be dominated by AA, UA, and WN. When I take early morning flights, the middle security is always a mess, and the agents say there’s no line down near Delta. Heck even the club agents say the same.

    1. Yeah, but for the handful of flights this represents it is a small deal, not a major shift in traffic. And decent feed over AMS from SkyTeam partners, I’d bet, on these trips.

  3. As the very popular BA London flight has proven, there is plenty of traffic (including premium passengers) originating and ending in AUS. Traffic drives from San Antonio to Austin to take this flight every day. Austin has a conference or festival every weekend, all year long, although SxSW is the top prize.

    I’ve been surprised we haven’t seen Lufthansa coming in to take over the Condor Route.

    Even more strange – I’ve been noticing people connecting through Austin with increasing frequency!

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