From the Hangars

Collections Spotlight: Fantastic Flyer Program

Mar 22, 2019

Oh to be a kid again!! In 1988 Delta launched its “Fantastic Flyer” program and with it came a fun-filled flying experience for children.  The membership included fun on-board meals, activities and promotional items galore!

The face of the program and its chief ambassador was Dusty the Delta Air Lion.  

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The name "Dusty" and his pilot gear represents Delta's early roots as the world's first crop-dusting company, Huff Daland Dusters, which became Delta Air Service in 1928. Dusty was so popular that a life-sized costume was made by The Walt Disney Company to capture the magic of the mascot!


Dusty adorned many of the Fantastic Flyer promotional items but possibly none more recognized or sought after than Pawberry Punch! Introduced in 1989, the purple fruit juice punch was mainly a mixture of apple and grape juice and it was distributed by Campbell Soup Company exclusively for Delta.


In April 1993, Delta added the Fantastic Flyer FunFeast for children aboard flights.The first FunFeasts featured toys from the NFL, Disney, Delta and Lisa Frank Stickers. The container, which could later be used as an activity box, featured Dusty yet again, the friendly lion mascot for the Fantastic Flyer program.

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The Fantastic Flyer FunFeast menus on lunch and dinner flights featured pepperoni pizza with grapes, cookies and gummy candy or chicken nuggets, curly fries, grapes, cookies and gummy candy. Breakfasts offered cereal, banana, muffin, juice and milk. Snacks featured a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, cookies and grapes.

The Fantastic Flyer program ended in 1999, but while Dusty was around anyone would want to sit at the kid’s tray table! To see more Fantastic Flyer stuff, check out our online collections here.  

Austin Coleman



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  1. Danielle | Jun 21, 2023

    The bear and penguin were called Orville and Wilbur (after the Wright brothers). I can't remember who was who, but I had a plush toy of the bear and Dusty the lion, too.

    It was such a fun time to fly as a kid.

  2. Mary Anne | Mar 13, 2023
    I loved the program.  It enabled me to bring my children on some great vacations! 
  3. MiK3 | Sep 02, 2022
    the pawberry punch was amazing when I was a kid. would ask for it all the time...
  4. Lynda Saunders | Aug 15, 2021
    I forgot all about this promo and didn't know half of what it was about until reading what you wrote! Like the name Dusty! Thanks for enlightening me!
  5. Russell Maurer | Jan 21, 2020
    I worked in cabin service in New Orleans when this started and can remember stocking these items on our aircraft. Great program and great memories. 
  6. Tressa | Aug 08, 2019
    Fun read, Austin. They need to bring this back! Dusty seems like a real catch & the Pawberry Punch sounds divine! 
  7. Perry | Jun 04, 2019
    Super cool, Austin~  I wish we still had this program for kids-  It was well liked!

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