- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Delta Air Lines just got a huge public relations boost after a woman took to Facebook to thank the CEO for ceding his seat on an overbooked flight so she could pick up her child, who suffers from diabetes, from camp.

Jessie Frank said she was trying to pick up her daughter from a five-day camp that’s targeted toward children with diabetes. But her day turned desperate after her travels to retrieve her daughter were marked by delays and mechanical failures, the Daily Mail reported. She was rerouted to Washington, placed on a waiting list to board, No. 8 in line. And she thought she was doomed to be late until she noticed a man whispering to a flight attendant.

Suddenly, she was led onto the plane, the Daily Mail reported.

Ms. Frank learned the identity of the man who helped her make her flight only after her plane was touching down in Atlanta.


A flight attendant announced during the descent the presence of a special person on the plane who had given up his seat and was riding in the cockpit — Delta CEO Richard Anderson, the Daily Mail reported. Ms. Franks said she then realized with some surprise that the seat the man had ceded was hers —– and that the unidentified guy who had helped her board was not an off-duty pilot, as she had assumed.

“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.”

Ms. Frank then revealed the reason for her travel.

“Camp Kudzu gives my daughter five days a year when she feels ‘normal,’” she wrote on Facebook. “By the next day, it’s back to the harsh realities of managing a difficult, deadly, incurable disease.”

Ms. Frank also said that because of Mr. Richardson and Delta employees, “I had my special day with my special child … and for that, we are both very grateful.”

Mr. Richardson declined to comment. Delta confirmed the incident but said the CEO wished to avoid the spotlight and would not comment, the Daily Mail reported.