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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:10 pm   #1
 
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Thumbs up Richard Anderson gives up seat for customer

Saw this posted in a DL Facebook group and though it was a pretty awesome story. As bashed as he is on FT, in all my dealings with him I've been left with nothing but a positive impression.

Quote:
Originally Posted by https://www.facebook.com/jessie.frank1/posts/10151605651656245
An open letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson:

Thursday was one of my more harrowing flying days. Due to weather, there were multiple delays, cancellations, re-routings and even a mechanical failure. A 2 hour flight turned into an entire day. By 9:30pm, I was just halfway home, waiting standby in DC hoping to make it out before the 10pm curfew.

During it all, I had contact with at least a dozen Delta employees – by phone, at the counter, at the gate, in the SkyClub… Without exception, they were all calm, kind, diligent, funny… and really went out of their way to try to help me. All this, while at the same time facing a firestorm of angry passengers because there had been so many disrupted flights.

I was 8th on the standby list, showing 0 seats left. I was about to give up, but the counter agent stopped me from leaving. He called 7 names… and then, finally, I was the last to be called. As we rushed down the jetway, the flight attendant at the plane shook her head – not a good sign – but then paused, talked to someone, and waved us down anyway. A vaguely familiar face met me at the doorway, not in uniform so probably an off-duty pilot I had seen before. He quickly grabbed my roll-aboard, helped clear a space in the overhead, and showed me to my seat.

It was important for me to get home – not important enough to tell anyone – but Friday I was to pick up my Type 1 Diabetic 12 year old from her diabetes summer camp. I’m sure she would have been fine if someone else had shown up in my place, but it’s a special moment for me. Camp Kudzu gives my daughter 5 days a year when she feels “normal.” Pick-up day gives me a glimpse into that special world where she’s just like everyone else, and she’s a little bit of a different person for the rest of the day. By the next day, it’s back to the harsh realities of managing a difficult, deadly, incurable disease that kills 1 in 20 before the age of 18. Most people just don’t understand how different it is from regular diabetes.

As the plane descended into Atlanta, the flight attendant announced that there was a special guest on board. He was riding in a jump seat, because he had given up his place to allow one more person on that flight. That special guest was you: Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta.

Suddenly I realized that “familiar face” was not an off-duty pilot. It was you, the CEO of Delta, vaguely familiar from the safety video. It was you, Richard Anderson, who gave up your seat for me. It was you, the Delta CEO, who helped me with my bag. It was you, acting just like an ordinary Mr. Anderson, who showed me to my seat.

You, Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta, did all that for me, just an average, middle-aged, woman with, as far as anyone at Delta knew, no special reason to get home. But more importantly, it was all of your employees that day that did so much helping me to get home – and now I know why. Because Delta is led by you, Richard Anderson, a dedicated and inspiring leader who so clearly demonstrates, at his very core, that he leads by example, and does not set himself above all those who allow this airline to exist.

Thank you, Richard Anderson. As a result of your leadership and the actions of yourself and your employees, I had my special day with my special child. You and your employees gave us both one more day of happiness, and for that, we are both very grateful. I have always been a loyal Delta customer, but Thursday solidified that loyalty for life! To all Delta employees who helped me on Thursday: thank you again.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:18 pm   #2
 
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Leading by example goes a long ways..........
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:19 pm   #3
 
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I got really excited for a moment...and then I read the rest of the title. I thought I was going to read that Anderson gave up his seat as CEO. A nice gesture nonetheless. A very rare occurrence of "having your back".
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:21 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
I got really excited for a moment...and then I read the rest of the title. I thought I was going to read that Anderson gave up his seat as CEO. A nice gesture nonetheless. A very rare occurrence of "having your back".
Seriously? No. I mean that. You want him to step down?
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:21 pm   #5
 
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Nice story. However, IMHO if you're in the service business the needs of the customers should be so ingrained that it would never even occur to any employee not to give the seat to a customer.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:31 pm   #6
 
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It's what he should do and good thing for this pax he did.

Although, promoting it as a charitable PR piece cheapens the sincerity of the act, imo...
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:34 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Vuelos View Post
Seriously? No. I mean that. You want him to step down?
Yes, I was always a big fan of Delta but under Anderson I just don't recognize the company I once highly respected. Mr. Anderson is a bright individual but I think he would be a much better fit at a company that isn't as customer service oriented. He's just a boring and unimaginative guy. Grinstein and Whitehurst had a lot of energy and did great things to restructure Delta and keep employee morale high. We also used to get a lot more insight of previous Delta management teams. Now, all we see is Anderson. Apparently he is the only one allowed to write the opening articles in Sky Magazine. At one time the articles were written by different Delta employees and offered interesting view points. Also, no previous CEO's felt they needed to be featured in the safety video. It just seems like something he did to satisfy he ego.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 9:51 pm   #8
 
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Good job by Anderson and all the Delta crew this woman encountered on her day. I've said it before — I'm always pleased and impressed by the Delta frontline crews. While some of the corporate decisions are questionable, it is a business. While I'll keep pushing for decisions that benefit the customers, I bear no ill-will toward anyone in corporate for making decisions in the best interest of the business.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:00 pm   #9
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I'm curious what are the rules for who may ride in a jumpseat. I thought it was FAs and pilots only as I've seen GAs ask nonrevs in order whether they're qualified to ride in the jumpseat and then boot the first one who says yes from a regular seat when DL is trying to get one more standby on board. Would this mean that Anderson has some sort of a certificate for safety training? (BTW, is/was he a pilot at some point? Or would he have some private pilot's license that would qualify him for the jumpseat?) I don't think it's the case that any (active or retired?) DL employee is jump seat qualified, but maybe they are and the jumpseat is more of an employee thing/perk than a safety issue.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:11 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'm curious what are the rules for who may ride in a jumpseat. I thought it was FAs and pilots only as I've seen GAs ask nonrevs in order whether they're qualified to ride in the jumpseat and then boot the first one who says yes from a regular seat when DL is trying to get one more standby on board. Would this mean that Anderson has some sort of a certificate for safety training? (BTW, is/was he a pilot at some point? Or would he have some private pilot's license that would qualify him for the jumpseat?) I don't think it's the case that any (active or retired?) DL employee is jump seat qualified, but maybe they are and the jumpseat is more of an employee thing/perk than a safety issue.
This was my first thought too. But it was a very nice thing for him to do.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:23 pm   #11
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I've always like RA, and thought he did a great job at NWA. It was JR and his lies that drive me nuts. RA should have kept Bob.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:29 pm   #12
 
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While I am gad that the PAX got home in the end Mr. Anderson did not give up his seat - he still flew home on the same flight albeit in the jump seat. So in the end I am not sure what to think. If he was flying NRSA then that is what I would have expected to happen regardless.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:34 pm   #13
 
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Wake me up when he stops making me listen to his loud annoying speech he tortures me with at the beginning of every flight.

Last edited by GogoSF; Jun 17, 13 at 10:35 pm.. Reason: Typo
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:34 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
While I am gad that the PAX got home in the end Mr. Anderson did not give up his seat - he still flew home on the same flight albeit in the jump seat. So in the end I am not sure what to think. If he was flying NRSA then that is what I would have expected to happen regardless.
He surely travels positive space rather than NRSA.
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Old Jun 17, 13, 10:46 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ti22 View Post
It's what he should do and good thing for this pax he did.

Although, promoting it as a charitable PR piece cheapens the sincerity of the act, imo...
No one is "promoting it as a charitable PR piece" (not yet, anyway). I am the person this happened to - I posted it today around noon on my personal FB page - because my small audience of 233 friends are mostly from Atlanta, so I thought they would enjoy it. I also put in on Delta's FB page and sent a personal message to Richard Anderson through his FB page. But it's my personal FB page where it's been shared over 800 times, not Delta's or Richard's (I feel like we're on a first name basis now - lol). For the record, I have no ties to Delta other than being a SkyMiles member. I just thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share. I really had no idea it would go this far...
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