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Deltalina at a Pam Ann performance in October 2010 at The Tabernacle theater in Atlanta, Delta Air Lines' headquarters city
Deltalina on the Delta/Coca-Cola float in Atlanta Pride, October 2009

"Deltalina" is the nickname given to Katherine Lee, flight attendant for Delta Air Lines and since 2008-2012, 2015-, main presenter of Delta's onboard safety videos. The first Deltalina safety video was released in February 2008[1] and quickly became popular not only on board but also became one of the most-watched videos on YouTube soon after its release.[2]

With her high cheekbones, and broad, welcoming smile, Lee was soon compared to Angelina Jolie and the nickname Deltalina (from "Delta" + "-lina") appeared on blogs and YouTube comments.[3]

Safety videos[edit]

The videos are praised for their ability to get passengers to pay attention to them, through several techniques:

  • the beauty of Lee herself[3]
  • through unexpected elements in the video's "plot"[2]
  • through humor — including Lee's famous finger-wag when warning passengers that "smoking is not allowed"[2] and a computerized sparkle on the teeth of flight attendant Perry de Vlugt when he demonstrates the proper use of a life vest[3]

The unorthodox videos made the news in the United States (for example, in USA Today, CNN, Wired), Netherlands (De Telegraaf)[4] and Belgium (De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad).[5]

The videos were criticized in the book How to Do Things With Videogames by Ian Bogost because, in Bogost's opinion, the attention that is paid to the videos is given to Lee and not to the actual safety instructions.[6]

In 2012 Delta produced two new safety videos in which Lee is not the presenter, but in which she does appear in a cameo role, admonishing against smoking on board with her famous finger wag.[7][8]

Public appearances[edit]

Prior to her fame as "Deltalina," Lee appeared giving live safety briefing[9] in the May 22, 2007[10] episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show when the entire show took place aboard a Delta flight.

In September 2008 Lee shot a series of humorous instructional videos for the Atlanta Falcons football team, shown on the large screens at the Georgia Dome in advance of each home game. The videos' theme was "Delta Safety First".[11][12]

In March 2009, Lee helped celebrate the opening of the heliport atop the W Hotel Downtown Atlanta, accompanying developer Hal Barry and his wife in a helicopter which landed there, kicking off the party. Tycoon Barry, inspiration for the protagonist in the Tom Wolfe novel A Man in Full, intended to commute between downtown and his estate 50 miles (80 km) further south.[13] In the same month Lee appeared both in print and video to help kick off the relaunch of Delta's inflight magazine, Sky.[14]

In 2011 (November 2010), Lee served as spokesperson in an infomercial for Healthy Trim, a diet supplement. In January 2012 (October 21,2011) , Lee appeared on CNN offering travel tips.[15] In the November 2012 Lee appeared in a print ad for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, which appeared in Delta Sky Magazine.[16]

Personal life[edit]

She was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a Puerto Rican father and a German mother. Her father was in the military, and the family moved around. Lee graduated from Stone Mountain High School in Metro Atlanta in 1992.[17] Lee continues to work as a Delta Air Lines flight attendant.


  1. ^ Official in-flight video, Delta Air Lines
  2. ^ a b c "Deltalina, Hottest Video On YouTube", Z107.7 FM (St. Louis), March 25, 2008
  3. ^ a b c "Will 'Deltalina' get passengers to watch airline safety video?", USA Today, March 25, 2008
  4. ^ "Deltalina breekt door" ("Deltalina gets her big break"), De Telegraaf, 23 March 2008
  5. ^ "Stewardess schittert in instructiefilmpje" ("Flight attendant shines in instructional video"),  De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad, 24 March 2008
  6. ^ Ian Bogost, How to Do Things With Videogames, blz. 143
  7. ^ "New Delta safety videos, Deltalina is back", Atlanta Business Chronicle, Jacques Couret, November 13, 2012
  8. ^ "Deltalina is back in new Delta air safety videos", 11 Alive (Atlanta), Nov 12, 2012
  9. ^ Deltalina leading safety presentation on flight, Ellen (tv series) May 22, 2007
  10. ^ date: "This Day in Ellen History", Ellen show, May 22, 2010
  11. ^ "DELTALINA WAGS HER FINGER AT THE DOME", "Peach Buzz", Access Atlanta (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), September 24 2008
  12. ^ "Delta, Official Airline of the Atlanta Falcons", Delta Air Lines, September 26, 2008
  13. ^ Leon Stafford, "It’s easier to get a lift downtown: New helipad provides way to beat traffic", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2009-03-11
  14. ^ "Deltalina welcomes you to the new Sky Magazine", Sky magazine, Delta Air Lines, March 26, 2009
  15. ^ "Deltalina's travel tips",
  16. ^ Delta Sky Magazine, November 2012 (no online version available)
  17. ^ Jennifer Brett, "'Deltalina,' a real Delta employee, is loving the safety spotlight", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 25, 2008

External links[edit]