CBS got an inside look at Delta’s massive holiday season operation, where at any given moment, there are dozens of aircraft and support trucks coordinating with thousands of Delta people in real time.

As millions of customers reconnect with loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday season, CBS Mornings gave viewers a look behind the scenes at all the work Delta people do to make sure travel happens without a hitch.

Close up shot of a check-in kiosk at the airport.
Article
Delta is prepared to serve up to 5.6 million passengers over the Thanksgiving period as families, friends and loved ones reconnect this holiday season.

At any given moment, there are dozens of aircraft and support trucks coordinating with thousands of Delta people in real time. Tens of thousands pieces of checked luggage are being sorted and loaded each day to arrive with their owners. Despite all the hard work, employees and travelers alike are excited to see things returning to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything.

“Last year wasn’t pretty. It was a dramatic change for us. But one thing we didn’t do, we didn’t fold. We didn’t give up. We didn’t call it quits,” said Dion Cofer, Aircraft Load Agent Facilitator.

Now, the reward is seeing people reconnect with family and friends they haven’t seen in nearly two years since the pandemic began.

“One of the more gratifying things about flying on the holidays is at the end of the day when we’re going down the escalator, and we see family and friends getting together,” said Delta 737 Capt. Marc Garner.

Customer scanning ticket on phone to board flight.
Article
With Delta expecting to welcome up to 5.6 million customers over the Thanksgiving travel period, Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting shares guidance on how customers can prepare for holiday travel and gatherings.

CBS Evening News took a further look behind the scenes at the OCC, speaking with Flight Superintendent Chris Nunez about the important role he and his colleagues serve as partners with Delta pilots in the air.

"I am the safety person on the ground," Nunez said. "So I share the responsibility with the captain to ensure the flight is safe at all times."

Meteorologist Heather Heitzman and System Operations Manager Barnett Smith also explained their challenging roles at Delta, which are highly coveted positions within the industry.

"There's a little more pressure to get everyone home for Thanksgiving," Smith said.

Related Topics:
Share