A longtime executive at Delta Air Lines who is widely credited with turning the Atlanta-based company into a dominant player in New York’s ultra-competitive marketplace has been named chief experience officer at Wheels Up.
The position is new but was planned prior to the Wheels Up acquisition of Delta Private Jets. That deal makes Delta Air Lines the private jet membership company’s largest shareholder.
Gail Grimmett will oversee every aspect of the Wheels Up member experience, including event programming, marketing, public relations, social, digital and member benefits.
Honored as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” in 2013, 2015 and 2017 by Crain’s New York Business, Grimmett served as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s appointee on both the New York State Tourism Board and the New York City Regional Economic Development Council for over a decade. During that time she led Delta’s partnership with the Food Bank for New York City and other community organizations.
“Gail is a powerhouse, and we are proud to welcome her to the Wheels Up team at this exciting time in our company’s growth,” said Kenny Dichter, founder and CEO of Wheels Up.
He added, “She shares our vision for democratizing private aviation and continuing to invest in our member experience. Her proven track record of innovative marketing and execution of large-scale business strategies is already an undeniable asset.”
As Delta’s Senior Vice President – New York, Grimmett oversaw the transformation of Delta in New York State. That included delivering the airline’s first-ever profit in the state and ultimately contributing $6 billion dollars in annual revenue.
Grimmett also led the $1.4 billion redevelopment of Terminal 4 at JFK, which first opened in 2013. She also was in charge of the largest hub expansion in over 40 years at LaGuardia.
She was also president of Travel Leaders Group luxury brands with responsibility for over $5 billion of revenue.
In addition to hosting member events at the Super Bowl, Art Basel Miami, and The Masters, Wheels Up offers members a variety of lifestyle partnerships, from travel to fine jewelry.
Grimmett says her goal is to develop more personalized experiences and offers for its customers.
Currently, Wheels Up and Delta Private Jets sales teams are selling existing programs. It’s expected Wheels Up will announce a singular program sometime in March.