The recent partial government shutdown impacted the U.S. aviation system, in particular employees of the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration. Throughout, numerous Delta people demonstrated the power of the airline’s culture by supporting their colleagues with food, donations and kind words.
“We have the kindest most dedicated employees in the business,” said Joanne Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer. “Everyone should feel proud of how the Delta community came together and stepped in to help out our hard-working neighbors get through this uncertain time.”
Stories of Delta employees providing food, drinks and other “thank you’s” to TSA and FAA employees have been shared via social media.
Captain Kevin Teel, who along with his fellow pilots cooked a hot breakfast for TSA workers at LAX. Here was Captain Teel’s breakfast recipe: “Take 300 eggs, 6 gallons of OJ, 500 sausage links and 10 pounds of pancake mix. Gently mix with pilot volunteers and 120 hungry TSA officers. Yields countless servings of happy TSA officers, proud pilots and tremendous goodwill!”
Delta dispatchers in Atlanta took collections in a jar, donating their own money to deliver lunch and show their support for unpaid ATC workers.
Delta people at New York’s LaGuardia airport hosted a pot luck for a large group of TSA officers and collected donations.
At a recent employee conference, Delta CEO Ed Bastian noted that when traveling he always stops to thank TSA officers for their service. “They don’t always get treated with respect by travelers,” he said. “But they provide a really important function.”
One silver lining of the shutdown, Bastian said, was “maybe people will remember that they were there, even when they weren’t getting paid, serving customers and serving us.”