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Delta + SCAD



  • UI/UX Design & Research Lead
  • Researching
  • Wireframing
  • Interaction Design
  • Usability Testing
  • User Testing


Four advertisers, two industrial designers, two interactive designers, one interior designer, one service designer, two graphic designers and one UI/UX design and research lead (me)


  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Sketch
  • Webflow
  • TeamGantt
  • Slack


VIP Select is a specialized service offered by Delta to help celebrities and high-profile clients board commercial flights quietly and discretely. Delta reached out to SCAD for a curated team of designers to help re-design and optimize their booking system.

10-week project

As design lead, I was elected to oversee and direct all major aspects of the project, including  UX, storytelling, and design strategy. My focus was mainly on leading the research and polishing UI/UX artifacts such as wireframes, user flows, user journeys and our final prototype.

For optimum view, please turn your phone to landscape :)


The challenge? To research and develop an interface that streamlines their records, facilitates communication, and optimizes all internal booking operations. Such a niche service is handled by a relatively small staff that lacked the software tools to make the booking process efficient and simple.

As UX design & research lead, I was elected to oversee and direct all interactive design aspects of the project.  My focus was mainly on leading the research and polishing UI/UX artifacts such as wireframes, user flows, user journeys and our final prototype.


Delta Airlines launched the a VIP experience at LAX, California in 2010. The service thrives in a simple philosophy: public figures should be able to board commercial flights comfortably and discretely. Delta realized how stressful it can be for traveling celebrities and high-profile clients to deal with picture-takers and paparazzi.

So they quietly began working on a mysterious program that later came to be known as “VIP Select,” a personalized experience designed to offer premium clients a heightened sense of privacy and control. Back then, a simple google search would net you little to no information on the service. This was an exclusive and unpublished program offered only to those booking first class tickets through select travel accounts or agents.

Behind the scenes, things got very complicated. VIP Select's workflow  relied on inefficient and obsolete technology. Most of their tasks were staggered and interrupted by the limitations of their software.

Design Process

In order for us to design an integrated system, my team and I mapped out and analyzed every step of the experience as a Service Blueprint, in order to fully and completely understand their former system.

For departing flights, the client arrives at the airport by their personal driver. At curbside, the client is greeted by an Elite Services agent, who will guide them through the airport, and assist them on to their departing flight.

For arrival flights, clients are met at the jet bridge and driven, in a Porsche, to the location of their personal driver.

For connections, the client is greeted at the Jetway and ushered onto the tarmac. They are then driven in a Porsche to their next departure gate, and escorted onto their outbound flight.

For S&D's, If their schedule permits, E.S agents will provide a Surprise & Delight service, which cannot be requested, for Delta’s top-tier SkyMiles Medallion members. This provides clients with gate-to-gate transport, when connecting with Delta hubs.

Of course, this also included back-stage operations and processes for employees of Delta's VIP division. This meant scrutinizing protocol on important everyday tasks such as billing, reservations, calls, emails, etc.

While Delta prompted us to focus on VIP Select employees, after creating a Stakeholder Map, and a User Journey Map we identified the two other major players that had to be considered in order to create a truly integrated system. These were Elite Services and VIP Clients.

Delta's VIP Select Employees are the brains of the entire service. From their office in Salt Lake City, they handle all initial communications across the board, scheduling requests, organizing operations and billing respective clients.

Delta's Elite Services are the escorting agents, approving or denying a service requests from the VIP Select team according to their availability. They are the ones that service clients through 9 different airports across the US.

VIP Clients, are at the heart of the service. In most cases, a client's itinerary is arranged by a travel assistant or agency that requests the service to VIP Select employees.

Note: Since ES (Elite Services) are the ones that escort clients through the airport, the VIP Select service is only available where ES is present, as shown in the following map:

Our goal was to connect all three major stakeholders (VIP Select, Elite Services and Client), facilitating communication and streamlining the entire booking process through the use of automation and the creation of an API that connects their existing Databases with our design solution.



To make this happen, I spearheaded our research efforts, focusing on client and employee interviews as well as more than 30 internal documents provided by to us by Delta (training sheets, weekly reports, brand guidelines etc).

In total we accumulated a total of...

We also had the opportunity to do some field research. I flew to New York to experience competing services, while some of my other team members flew to Atlanta and New York to see Delta's Elite Services employees in action.


By far, the most important part of the research came down to dissecting their old system by looking at their current booking process and the programs they use to carry it through.

A compilaton of screenshots from their old system

Through all this,  we identified the six major pain points involved in their old system. These included:

From here, we developed a design framework based on all of our findings. This served as a guide to help us define the principles upon which to build a new system. In the end, we focused on three major values:


Time is crucial. Every step of the booking process must be organized, condensed and optimized to take the least amount of time possible.


By simplifying the process through automation, we can eliminate that margin of human error and keep the reservation procedure running smooth and streamlined.


To reach the best work conditions, there must be a direct and easy way to keep every party involved informed of notifications and any last minute-changes.

Through this process, we created Arc. A smart elegant, and powerful tool.

Design Solutions

What is Arc? Well... let me introduce you.

ARC lives in three different platforms. Desktop for VIP Select Employees, Web for VIP Clients and Mobile for Elite Services.

VIP Select (Desktop)

Elite Services (Mobile)

VIP Clients (Web)

Following VIP Select employee needs, we made billing an obligatory part of requesting a service, saving them the headache of tracking down client's that often forget to pay after a service has been fulfilled.


So what's the difference between old and new? Well...

Old System

Clicks 1044

Powered by Arc


Steps 115


Copy & Pastes 46


With ARC we drastically reduced the number of manual inputs by more than 1000 clicks and 100 steps. This dramaticall shortened the time required to carry out a reservation. Not only did we make the lives of Delta employees and their clients easier, but we gave them a modular tool that can be easily built upon to meet their future needs.

Like what you see? 
Checkout the project books I wrote and helped design!

Old System

Clicks 1044

Steps 115

Copy & Pastes 46

Powered by Arc



Copy & Pastes 0

By infusing Arc with innovative ideas and automation, we were able to drastically reduce the amount of manual input required to carry out a reservation. Not only did we make the lives of Delta employees easier, but we gave them a modular tool that can be easily built upon to meet their future needs.

Like what you see? 
Checkout the project books I wrote and helped design!

Pablo Portilla del Valle