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Delta CEO gives up airplane seat to mom

(CNN) -- Jessie Frank had spent the entire day trying to get home. When a man in a collared shirt and tie placed her carry-on luggage in an overhead compartment and pointed her in the direction of her seat, she didn't give it a second thought. She assumed he must have been an off-duty pilot. "As the plane descended into Atlanta, the flight attendant announced that there was a special guest on board," wrote Frank, in a letter to Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson. "He was… ( More...

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Mike Schacht 14
A CEO flying coach sets the bar for other CEO's to follow. Having a CEO who gives up his seat in coach for someone in need should be nominated for The Nobel Peace Prize.
AWAAlum 3
It was even better - the CEO flew in a jump seat - not the most comfy of seats. Kudos to him!
JOhn LEe 2
I agree
canuck44 12
Obviously an individual who has learned it is better to lead his company than run it. This type of conduct can be infectious for employees particularly when such an act has been done because the individual thought it was the right thing to do, not to generate publicity.

Bravo Zulu.
john bowen 5
John your comment rings true, as most people hearing the story will doubt his sincerity. The real value in this story is what he taught his employees that day.
Class act. Delta would still get my business if I flew commercially more often.
Alan Flewitt 8
I must admit if I had the option of flying jumpseat vs coach I know which one I would elect to do! That does not stop me taking note of what a good thing Mr. Anderson did though. Well done, Sir.
MaryJo Flicek 8
When he was at Northwest, and our CEO, Richard Anderson was on my flight. He was seated at a window exit in coach, but gave up the seat for another person. He sat in the back of a 757 in a coach seat for the flight. That is just his modus operandi!
matt jensen 1
I flew him on NW one year to Alaska - he spent most of his time up and talking with pax - asking them questions about the airline and what they thought. No one knew who he was until arrival in ANC.
Jonathan Cain 6
i'd pay half price to ride in the jump seat every time...maybe full price
I wish some flight attendants had a just a little of his courtesy. I came across one that stored her personal luggage above my bulkhead seat where there is no possibility to store at your feet, then told me that I had no right to a certain storage bin and could find space further back for my carry on.
Scott Campbell 4
Once on a short flight while seated in First, a man gave up his seat for a a lady in her eighties who was strugling to get on board. He just asked for her boarding pass and moved to the back of the bus. She said she'd never flown first class, and outloud I said, .. well then it's about time !, the women seated next to me dropped a few tears...
Harold Brewer 2
Delta seems to be getting back to it's roots. As a lifelong Delta flyer I have experienced it all through almost 5 million Delta miles. Growing up in Atlanta in the late 40's and 50's my parents would take me across town on Sunday to watch the planes at the old Atlanta Municipal Airport. The operations there were dominated by Eastern, Delta and a few other carriers, all long gone except Delta. Lunch in the Peachtree Room of the Dobbs House was a great treat. It was not unusual to see Mr. Woolman walking around talking to pilots, crew and passengers. He was a special CEO and a very nice man.

Running a large world-wide airline like Delta today is an incredible challenge. My hat is off to Richard Anderson for giving it a very good effort while maintaining a very good attitude toward his employees and his customers.
Robert Hutto 2
Yes, he can. FAR 121.547 governs and management personnel are authorized.
Stephen Bozec 2
I flew Richard Anderson on 2 occasions while I was a DC-9 Captain at Northwest Airlines and both times he could have had a business class seat but chose to sit in coach,I have the most respect for Mr. Anderson. He always came into the cockpit and talked with us.
Louie R 2
They should fly anonymously to check on all the personnel, in their regular behavior, towards us regular passengers.
AWAAlum 1
Back in the '60s they did. Don't know if they still conduct them or not, but they were known as "check rides" ... not sure how encompassing they were, but I know they did reports on the flight attendants.
Dee Lowry 1
These anonomous employees, many of whom were ex- flight attendants and crossed over to a Management position, were called "Ghost Riders" observing inflight crew members and writing an S.O.P. evaluation on certain crew members. After deregulation, flights were cheap and full. Tempers flared, attutudes, common sense and common courtesy were check at the gate and Ghost Riding obviously, for several reasons, became a thing in the past.
AWAAlum 1
Maybe different times or places, but they were check rides on the Chicago - New York routes. No matter. I'm forever the optimist and prefer to believe they went away because it was determined good job performances were intact all around. No matter, be it deregulation or the decade, tempers always flared under certain conditions. Today just like then, some people are courteous, some aren't. Human nature.
Dee Lowry 1
Donna, you can be the total optimist all you want but "check rides", as you like to title it, did not go away because "it was determined good performances were intact all around." Not True. Have you in your career ever had a "check ride"? Didn't think so. I have had several! They could be brutal, false, incriminating and could be used as a method of railroading an employee if that employee was targeted for some reason. Fortunately, for me, I had a great work ethic. Others weren't so lucky.
AWAAlum 1
Well, thank you Dee, it's important I have your permission to be an optimist - and to be equally as frank as you - I'd far rather be an optimist believing in good, than a pessimist with a bitter, jaded attitude. I wonder, did it even occur to you those those "others" who you say weren't so lucky, actually were doing substandard work? I mean - is it even a possibility? Why do you imagine an employee would be "targeted for some reason" had they been performing up to standard? Your thinking is dispiriting to me. I feel badly for you. Cheer up for gosh sakes woman. There's so much good around you if you'd just take the time to notice.
Dee Lowry 0
Donna, Donna, really have mastered the self-rightous attitude when you comment on subjects that you have little, if any, knowledge of. You mentioned, in your first post, that "they went away because it was determined good job performances were intact all around." I merely disagreed with you because I have been there and I know what I'm talking about. Don't feel sorry for me, Donna. Look within yourself before you dive head first into an empty pool. End of story. Good day.
AWAAlum 1
It wasn't my first post. It also isn't what I said. Learn to comprehend what is written - I didn't state they went away because, etc., what I said what "i "prefer to believe" that's why they went away. I didn't set myself up as an authority. Dee let's just agree that you and I invariably disagree and perhaps you could drop the holier than though, know-it-all attitude and stop being so petty.

All Hail to the Queen of Condescension.
Bruce Boaze 2
Not to belittle the CEO's action, but after accumulating 1,200,000 miles on Delta, this sounds very typical of all their employees.
Robert Gold 3
Thank you sir, what a rare gesture in this day and age.
JOhn LEe 2
I am glad it got posted and will serve as a good example for other elites. We need more civility like this and we should acknowledge and praise it when we see it. It is all too rare.
Don Mills 1
An admirable individual who seems to care about other people. Nice to read about in these troubled times.
matt jensen 1
That's what airline personnel are required to do - give up their seat to fare paying pax.
Timothy Graul 1
That's why we're Delta believers!
shellyxd 1
I'd sit up front too if I had the chance...just sayin'.
airborneryder 1
Nice! It's good to see that there are still good hearted people out there! I doubt whether or not Jeff Smisek would do that!
This is an act of gallantry, humility and unparalleled generosity...If Mr. Anderson did it because it came from his inner spirit to do so, then he is indeed a class-manager who not only knows what to do to lead, but also has the passion to lead. However, if Mr. Anderson did it just to simply draw media attention to himself and impress his on-board crew, then it remains a showcase of pretense, sycophancy and self-promotion at the expense of the poor woman, because she was going to be seated anyway. Let's see what happens in the coming months and years during the tenure of Mr. Anderson. Until then, BRAVO! Mr. Anderson. I nominate you as the CEO of the month!
JOhn LEe 5
We are so cynical we can't even acknowledge a good deed without suspicion. Too bad
Way to go. The employees are watching his every move.
that's really awesome
nugget 1
Way to go!
Richard Judy 1
There still is some decent CEO's out there! Way to go Richard...from another Richard
Michael Fuquay 1
Way to go, Delta.
CaptainFreedom 1
Inspiring. These are the types of acts for which Anderson will be remembered 20 years from today.
He did nothing special. The passenger pays his huge paychech.
JOhn LEe 4
Always a nay sayer in the crowd who can find bad in everything.
Dave Mathes 3
....yea, actually he did.....
Well done Mr Anderson! I doubt Tom Horton at American Airlines would have done that! AA couldn't even remember to wake me up and serve me breakfast on my last trip from Buenos Aires to Miami (in 1st Class!). I woke up to the Captain's P.A. saying we were landing in 20 minutes! Signed a Hungry Exec Plat!
AWAAlum 1
Hm. Usually if we're that hungry, we'd wake on our own. Odd.
Chris Donawho 1
Signed, Entitled Man Who Would Bitch If He Was Hanged By a New Rope...

Wow, that's a long name!
david watson 1
Dang, They always wake me up when I ask them to let me sleep. You must have a secret. 8/10 times they wake me even though I ask not to and they put sticker on my chair......
Ramon Abad 0
Not to spoil the party but why the fanfare at all? Why is this even a story outside of an internal memo? We're speaking of the CEO of company selling airplane rides, not Pope Francis. I wouldn't expect anything less.
zuluzuluzulu 0
Not newsworthy. back in the day, senior management would pull their whole family off when non revving to accomodate passengers. This is not an original act by old Delta mgt.
BOO HOO!!! Yes, I'd do that too if Delta CEO. Boo Hoo!!!
AWAAlum 0
Not to take away from what the CEO did, but I'm compelled to mention I'm not certain why this story is creating such a stir. As an employee of an airline, flying Space A mandates, understandably, that a revenue paying pax takes precedence. At least that's the way it was at the airline I worked for.
sparkie624 0
More people need to do acts of Kindness.
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
A great story . Well done Mr. Anderson. It not only speaks volumes of you as a CEO of a customer/service oriented organisation bust also as a person ! A chivalrous person at that .
I only wish that some others , especially in the customer section of Airbus will take lessons from you , a very small establishment qua Airbus BUT many times bigger organisation in terms of customer orientation and ethics .
tim mitchell -1
great gesture....but I am truly surprised that he doesn't fly with Delta Elite side of the company.
norman bookstein -1
I'll bet she paid full fare and got no peanuts! Just another revenue ticket sold by Delta.
I first met Mr. Anderson over 20 years ago when I was a pilot for NWA and he was the lawyer in charge of labor affairs. He was and remains a class act. He never lied or BSd when you asked him a question, and if he promised to get back to you when he needed more info to answer your question, he always did. In contrast, one of the two head honchos of the company would not hesitate to bump paying passengers to get his girlfriend on a flight, and on occasion would delay flights for his or her convenience. Most airline CEOs fly charter or fly first class.
tim mitchell -1
great gesture....but I am truly surprised that he doesn't fly with Delta Private Jet side of the company.
Robert Hutto -2
Hmmmmmmm, did the CEO meet the FAA/Homeland Security rules for who can occupy a jump seat?
AWAAlum 2
LOL - in my wildest imagination, I can't think the CEO isn't qualified.
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
Without meaning to be critical of your comment , in special circumstances special measures CAN be permissible , subject to safety concerns . My own experience , though for very short duration BUT explains the need . Long ago , in my hay days , I went over to galley to get a drink. Just at that moment the plane hit turbulence . The stew and I had to strap up into the jump seats close by and remained there for good 15 to 20 minutes ! No damage done to no body .
How much safety rules are followed or disregarded by SAR choppers ?
Although I have not understood to date which seats were ACTUALLY and ORIGINALLY allotted to him and the lady at the check in counter ? And what prompted for the offer ? Or did he do it at the 'check in' counter ?
But let us think of the humility of the CEO !
No offence meant .
Chris Donawho 2
I believe we are all (and the story too) referring to the jumpseat located in the cockpit.
Chris Donawho 1
Non pilots can be granted access to the jumpseat for a specific purpose if the VP of Operations and the FAA Principal Operations Inspector responsible for the airline approve such access.
Robert Hutto 1
Read my own response Chris.
George Kessanis -2
What a "koinkidink" this story airs the day before the story on how DL is fined $750,000 for DBC violations.....


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