Jessie Frank is a mom who was having a really bad travel day, the kind where everything that could go wrong, did. That is until it didn’t anymore. In early June, she was on her way home to Atlanta. The busy mom was going to pick up her 12 year old daughter who had been attending diabetes camp. Unfortunately, fate stepped in and handed her a laundry list of mishaps, weather delays and a mechanical failure that ultimately landed her in Washington, D.C. instead of Atlanta.
Later, when her ordeal was over, Frank wrote an open letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson which she posted to her own Facebook wall. In it she described the very “calm, kind, diligent [and] funny” efforts of the various Delta Air Lines staff she met along the way – all of whom tried to help her. But by 9:30 p.m. on that nightmarish travel day, Frank was certain she had missed the last flight to Atlanta and a chance to share a special experience at the camp with her daughter. Her daughter was at the camp because she has Type 1 Diabetes.
Jessie was the eighth name on a list of passengers waiting to fly standby on that final flight to Atlanta that night. The plane’s flight crew had managed to find seats for the first seven and things looked bleak. Surprisingly, she heard the gate agent call her name and she was hurried down the boarding bridge.
According to Jessie’s open letter, a familiar looking, ununiformed man was waiting at the doorway. He took her carry-on bag, shifted things in the overhead compartment and stowed the bag and then showed her to a seat.
It wasn’t until the plane was about to land that the flight attendant informed Frank and the other passengers that a special passenger had shared the flight with them, Delta CEO Richard Anderson. The harried mom later learned that Anderson was the one who had greeted her at the door and helped her to a seat. Anderson had given up his cabin seat and taken the cockpit jump seat so she could board the plane.
In Frank’s thank-you letter on her Facebook wall, she thanked Anderson for doing all he had done for an average, middle-aged mom. She credited his leadership and his actions as well as those of his employees with allowing her to get home in time to share that special day with her daughter.
The letter was popular and touching, it has been shared more than 1,750 times. While Delta Air Lines did confirm the event took place, they made no further public comment about it.