A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 28, 2013
Doesn’t Even Leave The Airport or Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport (Delta backronymic nickname)

Delta Air Lines was founded in 1924 and became one of the world’s largest airlines. The Delta backronymic (back acronym) nickname that’s popularly used is “Don’t/Doesn’t Even/Ever Leave The Airport.”

“Don’t Ever Leave The Airport” was cited in print in 1987; both “Doesn’t Even Leave The Airport” and “Don’t Ever Leave The Airport” were cited in 1990. Delta has also been nicknamed “Deliver Everyone’s Luggage To Atlanta” (Atlanta is Delta’s headquarters).


Wikipedia: Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL), operating as Delta Air Lines, is a major United States airline headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta Air Lines and its subsidiaries operate over 5,000 flights every day and have approximately 80,000 employees. The airline’s hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic (over 91 million passengers per year) and number of landings and takeoffs. Delta is the sixth-oldest operating airline by foundation date, and the oldest airline still operating in the United States. Delta Air Lines is one of the four founding members of the SkyTeam airline alliance, the other three being Korean Air, Air France, and Aeroméxico. The loyalty program for Delta Air Lines is SkyMiles. Delta Air Lines is, as of 2012, the world’s largest airline in terms of fleet size, revenue passenger-kilometers flown, and scheduled passenger traffic.

27 August 1987, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA, “Items from the Oops Department” by John Hall, pg. B2, cols. 1-2:
OWEN HUGHES says he’s finally figured out what Delta stands for—“Don’t Ever Leave The Airport.”

14 January 1990, Anchorage (AK) Daily News, “Alaska Ear,” pg. C3:
What does “Delta” really stand for? “Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport.” Obviously coined by an earwig whose flight got volcanoed.

Google News Archive
17-23 April 1990, Mohave Daily Miner (Mohave County, AZ), “Crowd enthusiastic comedy fans” by Kathleen Winstead, Mohave County Weekender, pg. 13, col. 1:
“Do you know what Delta stands for?” he asked. “Don’t even leave the airport.”
(Comedian Tom Wallek—ed.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Fly if you dare !!!
B|rge Haga
7/2/91
(...)
DELTA
- Don’t Even Leave The Airport
- Don’t Ever Leave The Airport
- Don’t Even Let Them Aboard (referring to the arabs ?)

Google Books
Acronymania: A Celebratory Roundup Of Nomenclature Yielding Mischief:
Abbreviations, Neologisms, Initialisms, Acronyms!

By Don Hauptman
New York, NY: Dell Pub.
1993
Pg. 225:
For example: Unhappy airline passengers suspect that Delta means “Doesn’t even leave the airport” or “Do everything longer through Atlanta” (the airline’s hub).

Google Groups: rec.travel.air
Joking names for airlines
Raimund Schiess
4/18/95
Subscribers to the e-mail mailing list of the American Dialect Society have recently been looking for joking names for airlines. Here are my favorites:
SAS= Sex After Service
DELTA= Doesn’t Even Leave The Airport
ALITALIA= Always Late in Take-off, Always Late In Arrival

Urban Dictionary
Delta
1. An airline company
2.Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport
(...)
by princeofdarkness Mar 23, 2008

JetPhotos.Net Forums
CanVoodoo
06-10-2009, 02:41 PM
Airline nickname list
This will not be new to most people here—it is an expansion of a list that has been around for years.
(...)
Delta
Damaged Engines Limit Takeoff Ability
Darn, Everything Leads To Atlanta
Dazed Executives Leading This Airline
Deliver Everyone’s Luggage To Atlanta
Delayed Even Later Then AirTran
Delta Gets You Close (Parody on advertising campaign slogan “Delta Gets You There”, after landing at the wrong airport a few times)
Deltoid (The Chicken Flight) Air Lines
Departing Even Later Than Anticipated
Departures Extra-Late, Tardy Arrivals
Didn’t Expect to Land There Anyway
Dirty Exteriors Lack Travellers’ Approval
Do Every Little Thing Awkwardly
Do Everything Late To Annoy
Does Eventually Limp To an Airport
Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport
Doesn’t Ever Let Terrorists Aboard
Doesn’t Experience Like This Andrenalize?
Doing Everything Less Than Average
Don’t Even Leave The Airport
Don’t Even Let Them Aboard
Don’t Ever Land There Again
Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive
Don’t Expect to Leave Terminal Alive
Don’t Expect Luxury Treatment Aboard
Drunken Engineers Land Too Abruptly
Hell-ta
Melt ya

Facebook
Delta Stands for: Doesn’t Even Leave The Airport
(Joined Facebook April 16, 2010—ed.)

Facebook
D.E.L.T.A- Doesn’t Ever Leave The Airport
(Joined Facebook June 25, 2010—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Thursday, February 28, 2013 • Permalink