A modern-day rabbi with John Lennon’s inclusivity and a Blues Brothers mission.
Delta airlines, I’m sorry.
If you dislike someone, the way they hold their spoon will offend you, but if you like them, they can drop a plate of food in your lap, and you won’t mind.
Years ago, before my children were born – in an age that feels like lifetimes ago – Delta Airlines rebooked Jane and me on a flight. That summer, 2004, they lied to me. They did. The gate agent did. Our flight was canceled or delayed, and we were issued a stapled booklet of greenish paper tickets. As we were in the taxi for an unexpected night in New York City, we realized that our reissued flight was in three days. We were too far away to turn around. Too much time and distance had passed.
I have been mad at Delta airlines since then.
I’ve complained about their seats, making reference to the Greek sadist Procrustes.
To be fair to Delta Airlines, it was just a thing that happened. There was a mistake somewhere. And, due to that hiccup in the system, I have the memory of three wonderful days in New York and of our hilarious rushed time in Istanbul.
And, for years, I have been speaking ill of Delta Airlines.
“Dear Delta Airlines, I apologize.”
I am sorry.
I am sorry for those bad things you did. You have changed. I see that now. And I didn’t notice. You are the best airline I have flown on. I am sorry I avoided you for years.
You gave us food on our transcontinental flight. I remember thinking to myself, “Well, that’s quite something.” Maybe it doesn’t seem like a lot. Right? It’s a sandwich. But feeding someone is a statement of love. It’s not just a sandwich. It was a way you showed me that you care. And I heard it.
And then, on our recent second date – when we flew on you on our flight back – there was an electrical issue.
The inbound flight had a glitch, and you told us that you would rather be safe. You told us you would rather be safe and wait for a new plane. My eight and ten-year old and I waited with you in Hartford-Springfield for six and a half hours. You, Delta Airlines, were wonderful.
The rebooking? It took minutes. You had in-person representatives, on-the-phone representatives by the phone bank, and an automatic machine – all working harmoniously, re-booking, the many of us who would have to miss connections. When I spoke to you, you were kind and, dare I say, understanding – even sympathetic.
Our gate agent, Brandi, in all of her fabulosity, came looking for me and my kids. She searched out this family to make sure we knew we could get meal vouchers. You put out a snack table for us. Someone even found a stack of Delta playing cards, and soon the game of Egyptian War was being played by people who had just met. The kids and I joke about how much we had always wanted to spend some time in a twin cities’ Radisson.
I thank you. I would like you to know you are now officially my favorite airline.
Oh, can you do me two favors?
1. Can you look into getting the policy changed so you treat all people with delays of over two hours the same way? I was told some delays (like electrical) get food and vouchers and some (like weather) do not.
2. Your employees refer to environmental delays as “Acts of God.” I do not officially represent God, but can I ask you to show more respect and stop using this phrase? How would you feel if people kept associating your name with environmental terrors? God is not an environmental terrorist. Please stop.
I was in the principal’s office. Another dressing down for not-following-paperwork-protocol. Spending my prep-period being made to feel inadequate. Having to suck it up until I later when I could get an infusion of love to regain my equanimity. At that moment of...
“If you dislike someone, the way they hold their spoon will offend you, but if you like them, they can drop a plate of food in your lap, and you won’t mind.”
The story about Delta Airlines is to underscore the idea that OUR PERCEPTION IS OUR REALITY. That I didn’t like Delta Airlines for years was my issue. A thing happened, and I held on to it for too long. I didn’t do my anger well. I didn’t like Delta Airlines because of that, and, therefore, I didn’t like their seats.
We all do this; we overlook the faults of our friends and spew vitriol at our enemies.
(I know in POLITICS, we often think this is not the case, but how is ACTIVELY hating our enemies going to bring about love?)
If I don’t like the airline, then everything, every single little, jot, and tittle, about that flight attendant’s uniform is going to upset me.
If I love you, I will overlook a myriad of concerns.
Isn’t it better to love?