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The Making of American Express and Delta’s Limited-Edition Card Design, a Descendent of ‘the Queen of the Skies'

July 11, 2022


Photo: Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

American Express and Delta Air Lines are honoring the history of air travel with the first-ever credit card design made with 25% aircraft metal from Delta Ship #6307, a retired Delta Boeing 747 from the airline’s fleet, exclusively for Delta SkyMiles Reserve and Reserve Business Card Members.

The Boeing 747, nicknamed the “The Queen of the Skies”,  set the stage for many advancements in air travel and was a beloved part of Delta’s fleet  since its first flight in 1969.The double-decker 747 revolutionized the industry and was a major engineering advancement compared to prior long-range planes with its speed, long-haul flight capability and sheer size - marking the beginning of an era of more accessible international travel. Delta retired the iconic Boeing 747 fleet in 2017.

“My team managed the overall manufacturing and production of this Card and it was a really exciting initiative to be a part of,” said Andrew Gaddis, Vice President of Global Card Issuance at American Express. “This was my first time taking an object made of aluminum and transforming the material into a card design that customers will use every day. The overall production process was unique and I learned that because aluminum has much “softer” properties than our standard stainless steel products, we needed to shift our operations and develop new ways of working in order to meet different manufacturing specifications and quality standards.”

Bruce Coleman, Manager of Global Card Issuance at American Express, said this project was a front-row opportunity to see how design and function can work together, adding, “My role was really all-encompassing. I conducted research and design efforts, identified new ways that we could process panels into useable sheets, and ran form factor and technique testing. There were a lot of moving parts involved and I took so much away from working on this project that allowed us to leverage existing technology in new ways for our Reserve Card Members.”

American Express and Delta share a behind-the-scenes look at the process:


For over 64 years, American Express and Delta have been working together to bring Delta Co-Brand Card Members a variety of valuable products with benefits based on their travel needs, from Delta Sky Club® access to the ability to maximize miles. For more information, visit here.

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