In an internal memo, Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian has warned the airline’s employees to be “vigilant and careful” as the Presidential election gets underway. “Please keep your eyes open and keep you and your loved ones safe,” Bastian implored staff, reassuring them that Delta’s corporate security team was “focused on ensuring the safety and security of our operation and facilities”.
Bastian was careful not to back either candidate in the race to the White House, saying instead that Delta would “work closely with our elected U.S. leaders on the priorities that are most important to our people, our customers and our communities.”
“The power of travel and human connection will be essential to bridging our divides and uniting us in the months and years ahead,” Bastian wrote in the memo which was sent to Delta’s 80,000 strong global workforce and titled ‘A Time for Unity’.
Delta has long campaigned on a number of issues including gender equality and LGBTQ rights. In the last few days, the Atlanta-based airline confirmed that it would stop using terms like “ladies and gentlemen” during onboard announcements, favoring instead gender-neutral greetings like “hello everyone”.
“On every flight, we serve an incredibly diverse array of customers who are, for a short time, together on a shared journey. I have never more strongly believed that we have more in common than the differences that separate us, and I see it in the spirit of Delta every time I enter an airport or board a plane,” Bastian wrote.
While thanking employees for making their voices heard by going to the polls, Bastian told them to respect others who may have very differing views – including the opinions they share on social media.
“Civility and respect for others, even when we disagree is always required at Delta,” Bastian wrote. “As leaders in our communities, it’s vital that we always listen and empathize, but it’s also important to know that disrespectful behavior toward our employees or customers by anyone will never be tolerated”.
In the run-up to the election, United has moved its flight crews out of downtown hotels in case there is unrest in cities across the U.S. The airline has also temporarily relocated its operation center from Willis Tower in Chicago to a secure emergency backup facility in the suburbs.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.