Kathy Howard and Tom Holton
Tom Holton (TH): We are on a team called the "Go Team," which is part of the Care Team, which responds to incidents worldwide. It was developed specific for airline or aircraft incidents, but in this case we did have Delta passengers that were injured, and unfortunately some did lose their life in the bombing, because one of the bombs was detonated in between the Delta and the American counter. So because we had so many of our customers that were affected, within a seven-hour period we went from having a regular day to an email that said, "Help" and then, "Pack a bag and be on the flight to Amsterdam."
Kathy Howard (KH): For me the biggest piece was the whole--we've just got to get on a plane. We had no idea what was going to happen. We knew we were going to Amsterdam, that was it. Like, we didn't know what to do when we got to Amsterdam, where we were going, what hotel we were staying at, what our job roles were going to be. And then we had a flight arriving from Atlanta, flight 80, arrived during the bombing. The passengers got off with their carry-on, but their bags didn't. And so those bags were confiscated by the police. Those all were released into this huge hanger. And I remember walking in there the first night going, "Oh my God, we are never going home." [LAUGHTER]
TH: Yeah, "We're going to be here for a while." We were--eight days. I think it was one of the most proud moments I've had at Delta. We were in the ESA--what's "ESA" stand for?
KH: "Emergency Support Area."
TH: For airport operations for the Com Air incident, too. That was an interesting one, because we did a lot of family movement support. So the victims of that incident became very--you know, we put names with them and it became almost personal because you started to hear their stories, and what they were traveling for, and the honeymoon couple...
KH: Not that it's ever exciting to be in an emergency situation, but that was when we first kind of found a passion for it. Just having that ability to serve our customers and be there for them in that time of need, it gets in your blood.