Interesting Delta news


Mama Bear....
Staff member
I think all of our hammering and/or yammering may be paying off!! who knows though until the deal is done!

Delta's lame attempt to repair its image isn't going to fly with me
By Dick Yarbrough

Don't look now, but somebody is getting ready to spray-paint a cow patty.

According to news reports, Delta Air Lines has hired a creative firm
BrightHouse to help improve its image. You remember Delta, don't you? They
are the folks who said they had to pay their executives $27 million in
bonuses and offer them special pension protections so that the suits
wouldn't run off and work for somebody else.

Personally, I thought Delta made a smart move. After all, with the economy
booming like it is, what is to keep the senior vice president for
nutritious airplane food from bolting the place for the chance to flip
hamburgers at McDonald's?

With the money safely stuffed in their mattresses, Delta executives have
decided this would be a good time to turn warm and fuzzy on us, which is
why they have brought in BrightHouse to work on their image. Joey Reiman,
BrightHouse's chairman, is well known in the advertising business, but he
says he isn't going to just create ads for Delta. Evidently, ads are pass??
in today's fast-paced world, except for car dealers who scream all the
and drug companies that interrupt the evening news to talk about body
functions that can't be mentioned in a family newspaper.

Instead, Reiman says the first thing he wants to do is to improve the
relationship between the company and its 77,000 employees, which he says
are Delta's "best advertisement."

Good idea. Happy employees mean happy customers. There is just one teeny
problem, however. The Delta employees I have heard from think the current
management stinks. Admittedly, I haven't heard from all 77,000, but I have
a feeling that I have heard from enough to say they aren't exactly the
of ad that Delta wants to be running right now.

Reiman and his team said a lot of other stuff about "corporate messaging"
and "discovering the vision" and "constructing a master idea" and the
It all sounds good and is the kind of thing consultants are expected to
say. But actions speak louder than words, and a bunch of people at Delta
have some pretty ugly words to say about their bosses' actions right now.

While I am sure that the people who hired BrightHouse will be eager to put
the bonus flap behind them and get busy discovering their vision, whatever
that means, they should not assume that the folks down in the ranks will
necessarily embrace the new party line. Unlike the well-paid people at the
top of the business, the rank and file tend to tell it like it is, or like
they perceive it to be.

Delta's executives have angered and embarrassed their work force, and
employees have made their feelings widely known to their friends and
neighbors. There isn't enough advertising money available or enough
creative gurus around to undo the damage that an employee can do to a
company's reputation, and Delta's has been hammered.

My humble suggestion to BrightHouse would be to forget the vision stuff.
All they need to do is tell the Delta executives to give back their
undeserved, ill-gotten gains because the company is hemorrhaging money and
to put their pensions at risk like everybody else.

Tell them to apologize for their greed and lack of sensitivity to the
rank-and-file employees. Tell them to admit they committed one of the
all-time bonehead acts in the history of the world. Tell the VIPs to spend
the next 12 months tagging bags, cleaning airplanes, hauling a few
tons of luggage on and off the planes and explaining to angry customers
their clothes are in Pittsburgh while they are in Denver. Tell them to do
all of the things that their employees have to do daily while worrying
about whether or not they are going to lose their jobs or their pensions.

Do all of that, and the Delta despots might have an outside chance of
regaining the respect of their 77,000 employees. Otherwise, BrightHouse,
you are just gilding a cow patty.

Dick Yarbrough is a former Atlanta businessman whose syndicated column
appears each Saturday. You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA
31139; e-mail,; Web site,

Originally published Saturday, July 5, 2003


Staff member
Thanks for posting that article Kristie! It's the best thing I've read all week!


New Member
I tell you as a Delta employee I am glad someone outside the company can see whats happening. The "Delta Family" doesnt exist and never will again. I dont care what they (management) says. Here in ATL we hear all the junk about we have to do more with less. Somewhere in there the old statement you can only do so much with what you have has been forgotten. I have said it before you cant work a fully load 757 with 3 people and expect to leave on time. I personally have tried it. It aint happening. So you know the wide body jets are trying to be done with 4 no way no how. Our image will only be repaired when the execs realize that the EMPLOYEES make it happen everyday not them. We load and unload the planes and fix tickets and other things like that. A happy employee produces and unhappy one slows down. I hope they get the hint.


Staff member
I think everyone should be transferred to Song, and put on a C-scale of pay.



Well-Known Member
Well, you don't want the execs flying the plane, that's for sure. Why? Because if they screw up flying as bad as they screw up everything else, there will be a lot of big holes in the ground with a lot of dead people.

Notice how Continental is the one traditional airline that's doing pretty well? There's a story of how on one flight, someone was verbally abusing the crew, insisting that he had to be in first class. Bethune stepped in, and asked the guy how much he paid for his ticket. Bethune then pulled that amount out of his wallet, handed it to the man, and said, "now get the • off my plane!"

Now, if I'm a guy on the line, and I hear a story like that, I'm going to think a lot more highly of management than when I hear that the execs are getting special bankruptcy proof pensions while they're trying to take my job away.