Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Speaking of Airlines

Just hours after writing my last post yesterday (while waiting for my plane in the Atlanta airport, actually), I heard that Delta and Northwest both were possibly filing for bankruptcy today. I'm in our Hannover apartment right now and guess the decision is still pending? Interestingly, I read an article recently about David Neeleman, the CEO and founder of JetBlue which, like Southwest Airlines, enjoys an unusual depth of customer loyalty and is making a profit!

It's an amazing story that has its roots in a tw0-year mission trip he took to Brazil while a college student to live with the desperately poor. He was troubled by the vast inequities of privilege and poverty and took the lessons he learned there to build a company that eliminates stark differences affecting how customers are treated. The airline offers only one class of seats, for instance, and gives in-flight services with equal attention to all customers. There's more, of course....

So, if Delta and Northwest do in fact file for bankruptcy, I'm guessing it'll behoove them to pay attention to those few who are apparently getting it right. Perhaps all companies need to pay attention!


  1. hey Aunt Bootsie. i have a (very wealthy) friend whose mansion is in New Canaan, Connecticut. i used to have breakfast with him every Friday morning there. one week, as his driver was taking us out of the driveway and onto the road, my friend said, hey, look! and we both looked and saw a blank lot where a nice house used to sit the day before. turns out, David Neelman had bought the place and razed the house to make room for his new one! He has like 148 children and "needed" a mansion to house them all :) anyway, the new place looks great.

    just wanted to mention my connection with this dude.

  2. Nate, it never ceases to amaze me all the people you know or have met or know something about!