Eighty years ago this week, Monroe, Louisiana-based Delta Air Lines began serving Atlanta Airport with one daily nonstop to Birmingham. From that skimpy hop over the state line, Delta has developed ATL into the world’s largest airline hub, with nonstop flights to over 80 international destinations and who-knows-how-many domestic cities (well, Wikipedia probably knows, but…). In fact, it’s because of Delta that whether you’re going to Heaven or Hell, you’ll have to change planes at ATL.
A large part of the reason I like Delta (theoretically, anyway) is because of its commitment to Atlanta, a Southern city that, for all its faults, has always been much more progressive than the region to which it belongs, no doubt a positive consequence of its connections to the rest of the world. Likewise, Southern culture gets exported as well, from the unrefined graciousness of the cleaning ladies in the terminal to the gleam of the TSA agent’s gold tooth—my home culture, for better or worse. Oh, and there’s also that Chick-fil-A in Concourse A.
You can read more about Delta and the A at the airline’s blog. Meanwhile, in honor of Delta’s 80th anniversary at the doubly-named Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, I leave you with Atlanna’s own OutKast and their Southern Gothic classic, “Ms. Jackson,” probably filmed right down US-19 from the airpert itself. For real.