What is Delta DO you may ask? Well 127 very lucky individuals were granted unprecedented access to Delta Air Lines Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia for four glorious days which became known as “The Best Field Trip Ever!”
This group made up of mostly frequent travelers saw the inner workings of an airline company that 99% of regular airplane passengers never see. No, there was nothing special about this select group other than they were the first to sign-up for this function. Space was limited and IIRC sign-up closed within an hour.
We had a four-hour, nothing off-limits, question and answer session with Mr. Richard H. Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines along with other VPs and senior management.
We participated in modified Flight Attendant training to include first aid, meal and beverage service, evacuation for smoke using the emergency slide and for some (the next day) a water evacuation. We learned, hands on, how to open and close each door on every aircraft in Delta’s fleet.
The tour included visits to Delta’s Operations Control Center, Technical Control Center and the control tower above Terminal A. Delta Air Lines is the only US carrier with their own meteorological department and provide weather info to other US carriers.
While some of the group were busy getting wet (from the water evacuation) others in the group opted to “be a gate agent” for a day. We worked with gate agents, arriving and departing flights to include passing paperwork to the flight crew, greeted passengers, scanned boarding passes and assisted with other gate agent responsibilities.
The biggest part of the tour was the four-hour block of simulator time that Delta gave us. Everyone in our group had the opportunity to select which simulator they wanted to fly and there were no limitations on what maneuvers could be performed. A few tried “flying” under the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge without success.