Why You Ought to Test Out Delta’s Surplus Sale

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There’s a shed within the parking zone close to the Delta Flight Museum. In the event you didn’t know any higher, it’s straightforward to imagine that it’s a upkeep shed. However inside this nondescript constructing, Delta homes a treasure trove of memorabilia, classic gadgets and plane seats. And as soon as a month, Delta places these things on sale to most of the people.

After listening to about this sale and eager to go for years, my journey schedule lastly lined up and I used to be capable of test it out in mid-August. And I already can’t wait to return.

In the event you’re a Delta fan, AvGeek or simply love searching fascinating gadgets, it is advisable to try the Delta Surplus Sale for your self. Right here’s why — and the way to take action.


The Delta Surplus Sale happens on the second Friday of every month, operating from 9am to 2pm. The subsequent sale is Sept. 13. As we discovered from private expertise, you’ll wish to present up early if you need first dibs on the merchandise. The road can stretch out the door.

Delta estimates that between 250 and 300 folks attend every month, and there’s not a lot house on the merchandise ground. To stop crowding, the volunteers who assist run the sale solely enable a sure variety of patrons in at a time. Nonetheless, there’s no restrict on the time that you’ve inside when you’re allowed in.

In the event you don’t like crowds, I’d suggest arriving a few hours after the sale has begun. After we left round 11am, there was no line and the sale ground wasn’t crowded.

The place

The Surplus Sale happens within the Museum Help Constructing positioned subsequent to the Delta DC-9 — and never too removed from Delta’s Boeing 747 — on static show close to the museum gate entrance. In the event you present up early, you’ll get to take pleasure in these beauties whilst you look ahead to the sale to open.

For ease of navigating, right here’s the precise location of the doorway to the constructing.

The simplest method of attending to the Surplus Sale is by driving your self or utilizing a ride-hailing service. Whereas the constructing is positioned simply north of the airport, there’s no public shuttle to get to the museum space from the airport terminals.

How Does It Work

Upon arrival on the parking zone, it’s possible you’ll must specify to the parking agent that you just’re visiting the Surplus Sale within the occasion you arrive earlier than the museum’s opening time (10am). Parking is free, however you’ll get a parking decal to hold in your rear-view mirror. After parking close to the Museum Help Constructing, head to the door marked “Sale Entrance.”

As soon as contained in the constructing, your wait isn’t over but. A volunteer or two paces the variety of patrons allowed on the sale ground.

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As soon as it’s your flip to enter, you’re handed a worth sheet and a golf pencil. Let me suggest from expertise: don’t mark your sheet till you’re carried out buying. My sheet had a variety of cross-outs by the point we had been prepared to take a look at.

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

What’s For Sale

The headline merchandise for our go to in August was the MD-80 first-class seats. A pair of seats had been priced at $300 and there have been solely a few dozen pairs on the ground to be offered.

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

We figured these would promote out rapidly, however seats had been nonetheless unsold by the point we left round 11am. Judy Bean — the supervisor of the Surplus Sale — famous there have been nonetheless extra seats in storage that may be obtainable at future gross sales.

After the sale, I reached out to a Delta spokesperson who informed me there are about 20 units of seats in storage. She says that it’s doubtless these will promote out within the subsequent couple of months.

Whereas the first-class seats had been the spotlight, the sale largely consisted of a disorienting mix of gems surrounded by infinite knickknacks. Photographs of basic jets had been stocked subsequent to drink coasters; unopened Delta plane buying and selling playing cards subsequent to “bingo daubers.”

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

There have been trays of outdated Delta and Northwest ticket jackets obtainable for 4 for $1. And you would have grabbed a close-by pamphlet holder for $1 if you happen to want a spot to show these ticket jackets:

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Whereas Delta Air Strains has been round for the reason that mid-1920s, it hasn’t grown to be the world’s largest airline by income by itself. The Delta of right this moment is the results of quite a few mergers over the many years. All of that historical past is summarized on this wonderful “household tree” you can decide up for $1.

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Additionally, you possibly can take dwelling an precise piece historical past by shopping for a brick from Delta’s unique headquarters. The bricks even include a certificates of authentication. Nonetheless, you’re going to have to go looking the sale ground for these gems, as we randomly discovered them on the ground behind different gadgets on the market.

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

There are tables and tables filled with pins, enjoying playing cards, Delta-branded cutlery and classic magazines:

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

My favourite shelf in the entire retailer contained “crash crew charts.” These charts present detailed layouts of older plane — together with the placement of emergency tools, gasoline tanks and areas for crews to breach the plane in case of emergency:

Whereas a lot of the gadgets are lower than $5, there are some dearer gadgets on a few tables which might be labeled with “distinctive boutique” tags. This stuff embody every thing from service pins to classic uniform hats and branded luggage to books.

You’ll be able to even purchase this Delta flight attendant doll:

Amongst the entire Delta-branded gadgets, I seen a couple of gadgets with a particular “AA” emblem. Positive sufficient, Delta was promoting American Airways espresso mugs and trays for $1 every.

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(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Though there have been loads of AvGeek goodies, we had been shocked by the quantity and variety of non aviation-related gadgets. There have been loads of framed photographs of cities around the globe, chairs, tables, flag stands, fishing sort out containers and ottomans. The truth is, a lot of the house is stuffed with workplace furnishings from Delta’s headquarters:

(Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

Nonetheless, strangest merchandise by far was the $50 wedding ceremony costume and veil:

Naturally, I had questions. Was this costume left on a aircraft by a runaway bride? Was the costume present in a misplaced bag? And absolutely this needed to be essentially the most distinctive merchandise that’s been obtainable on the market, proper?

Fortunately, I obtained solutions. A Delta spokesperson confirmed that the costume was donated to the Delta Flight Museum, and the costume will nonetheless be obtainable on the September sale — because it hasn’t been offered but.

As for essentially the most fascinating merchandise obtainable on the Surplus Sale, Delta shared that it as soon as offered the pressurized bulkhead door that results in the steps within the emergency exit from a DC-9. Whereas the MD-80 top quality seats are fairly particular, an escape door from a DC-9 is actually a singular storage sale merchandise.


If you’ve lastly settled on what you’re going to purchase, you’ll must fill out the shape that you just obtained on the entrance and go to one of many cashiers to take a look at. The Surplus Sale takes money, test and bank card. Whereas the money line could be the quickest, these of us who’re factors and miles collectors may be high quality with ready for the bank card line to open.

After we checked out round 10:45am, there wasn’t a line for both, so I handed over the sale sheet to a cashier on the bank card desk. He might clearly see we didn’t have something too invaluable, so he trusted our math — which got here to precisely $50. I charged the acquisition to my Chase Sapphire Reserve curious to see if it’d code as journey. Sadly, it coded as “leisure” and solely acquired 1x factors on the acquisition:

On our method out the door, we noticed a framed photograph of the Star Ferry and the Hong Kong skyline for simply $25. As Hong Kong is considered one of our favourite locations on the earth, we couldn’t assist however double-back to buy this as nicely.

Not realizing how the primary transaction coded, we charged this second fee to Katie’s new Citi Premier Card to see if it could code as “leisure.” Positive sufficient, it earned 2x Citi ThankYou Factors as an “Leisure-Vacationer Sights and Reveals” buy.

Now that we all know how the purchases code, you’ll wish to deliver alongside among the finest bank cards for leisure spending — such because the U.S. Financial institution Money+ Visa Signature Card (5% money again) Capital One Savor Money Rewards Credit score Card (four% money again) or Citi Premier Card (2x ThankYou Factors) — to pay on your buy.

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The place the Cash Goes

The Surplus Sale is operated as a fundraiser for the Delta Flight Museum, serving to the museum hold admission costs low whereas nonetheless having the funds essential to protect its reveals. There’s 12 to 15 volunteers that run the sale every month. They get first dibs on the merchandise in alternate for volunteering. Delta confirmed that a lot of the volunteers are Delta retirees, however some nonetheless work for the airline — just like the flight attendant I met who has 37 years of expertise.

I used to be additionally shocked to learn the way a lot these $1 gadgets add up. A Delta spokesperson shared that the Surplus Sale has raised greater than $10,000 monthly thus far this 12 months. And the traditionally busiest month continues to be arising: December, which sees a surge in patrons because of the holidays.

If you wish to try the Surplus Sale for your self, the upcoming schedule is as follows:

Associated: Snapshot: A Take a look at Delta Air Strains by the Numbers


JT Genter
is a digital nomad who travels full-time whereas overlaying American Airways (Government Platinum), IHG (Spire Ambassador) and something factors & miles. He is flown 59 airways and 711ok miles since 2017.

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