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MINNEAPOLIS - Fundraising for a worthy cause. Leaders rolling up their sleeves to help run Delta’s operation with employees.

Not unheard of at Delta, but last week, the two combined as Airport Customer Service teams at the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub made good on an employee fundraising goal: Have MSP leaders work your flight in exchange for more than $1,000 in pledges for the American Cancer Society.

Delta leaders work customer service
The aircraft, inbound from Boston, had 52 minutes of ground time and called for a combined load of 308 bags and 2,057 pounds of cargo freight. The outbound, headed to Anchorage, departed three minutes early.

Leaders began with a stretch and flex exercise. Employees enjoyed refreshments while leaders, both above wing and below wing, worked the flight. Below wing, the MSP safety team conducted a full safety audit.

“They looked like they were having a lot of fun,” said Bruce Westin, an MSP aircraft load agent, who was on hand to monitor the process. “They were enthusiastically engaged, and I was there to ensure safety.”

Peter Freeberg, a below-wing Performance Leader, noted that Delta Cargo and Ramp Tower leadership also got involved, carrying out freight loading and ramp control tasks. 

This doesn’t happen often at other airlines. Delta’s Airport Customer Service employees have a direct relationship with their leaders where there are no boundaries as to who can do the work, so long as training is current.

Delta people and customers have so far this year raised more than $1.5 million for the American Cancer Society.

All Delta people are expected to, as the company says, “give back to the places and communities where we live, work and serve.”

“Working flights is something we’re privileged to do regularly,” said Ben Humphrey, Delta's Director of Airport Customer Service in MSP. “And this time was even better because it meant more than $1,000 for the American Cancer Society.”