My wife works for Delta Airlines and has been shuttling troops to Kuwait off and on. Seniority is the measure of a flight attendant's ability to hold these particular trips. And the trips are greatly coveted by the people my wife flies with. It is all part of a deal the US Government has with US airlines to move troops. But it is more than just another business deal to Delta employees.
When my wife goes on a trip the attendants decorate the plane and bring prizes for soldiers coming home who for example have not seen children born while they are away. Emails get exchanged and some people correspond. She brings home photos of trips and stories about people she meets.
Another interesting thing is there is the opportunity to say, “Please store your weapons in the overhead compartments and be careful when leaving the plane as your weapons may have shifted during the flight.” Is that strange or what?
On her last domestic trip there was a young reservist who had been away from home for a year. He was being met by his family and wanted to look presentable in his uniform so he asked if when they got close the his destination the flight attendant in coach could let him know so that he could change from civilian clothes into his uniform. The flight attendant in charge said yes and that he could change in first class as there was more room.
The young soldier changed at the end of the trip and before the plane landed, the pilot got on the intercom and told the passengers there was a young soldier on board who was a little nervous about seeing his family for the first time in a year. He asked if the passengers would remain seated so the soldier could exit the plane first. The plane landed and the passengers applauded as the soldier left.
Ed Naile, Chair