Live updates: pilots, flight attendants volunteer for a solemn mission

Countless people from Delta have stepped up to support the airline’s response to the activation of the Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, and that includes a team of people who go unnoticed, especially if they’re doing their jobs right – the Delta’s global cleanliness team.

Editor’s Note: This story will be updated as new information becomes available.

1 p.m. ET August 25: Pilots, flight attendants volunteer for a solemn mission

As Delta continues to support the U.S. government’s activation of a civilian air reserve fleet, flight crews will spend the most time with evacuees from Afghanistan. It’s a mission that many of these Delta flight attendants and pilots have volunteered for.

“It’s part of history,” said flight attendant Kurt Wolfe before leaving Dulles International Airport. “It’s an incredible opportunity. “

Delta will operate more than two dozen CRAF flights, engaging four jumbo jets and countless hours of employee effort for the mission.

Delta pilot Brett Dunham is among those who will transport the Afghan evacuees to the United States. Before leaving Dulles, he and his cockpit colleagues absorbed the information provided by the various divisions and departments of Delta and remained focused on the task at hand.

Meanwhile in the cabin, Wolfe and his fellow flight attendants prepared to offer the typical Delta warmth and hospitality to their passengers.

“Just show as much empathy as you can,” he said. “These people have gone through a world of suffering. I think our faces, our care and our compassion will simply bring Delta’s love to everyone on board. This is what is most important.

As pilots and flight attendants prepared for their mission, they also reflected when they would soon be a part.

“I’m sure there will be a lot of happy people on this plane. I can only imagine what they are thinking, ”said Dunham. “The opportunity to take them from there to here changes their lives 4,000 miles at a time.”

“We want them to feel at home and at ease,” Wolfe said. “We are taking them to their new home, and I hope they will remember Delta for that.”

6:15 pm ET August 24: “We love to help” – Clean Teams prepares planes for evacuees from Afghanistan

Countless people from Delta have stepped up to support the airline’s response to the activation of the Civilian Reserve Air Fleet, and that includes a team of people who go unnoticed, especially if they’re doing their jobs right – the Delta’s global cleanliness team.

Members of this team work tirelessly to support Delta CRAF flights out of a sense of duty to passengers and pride in their work. “That’s what we would do anyway,” said Latasah Polk, member of the Global Clean team. “We have to do it for these families. “

On Tuesday afternoon, a Boeing 767-300ER touched down at Dulles International Airport. A few moments after the disembarkation of the passengers – evacuated from Afghanistan – the Clean Team is on board.

Their methodical process includes treating the entire cabin with an electrostatic spray, picking up trash, collecting blankets and pillows, a good vacuum cleaner, and careful wiping of every surface.

While the Clean team is in the lead, they are supported by partner Delta Unifi and just about anyone nearby wearing a Delta reflective vest – including ramp attendants and company staff.

“Here, let me get this for you”, is repeated by everyone to help. It’s teamwork that pays off.

‘Ended!’ Global Clean Team Leader Harry Martinez said as he descended the 767-300ER boarding stairs. “Thirty earlier than expected! “

The sense of accomplishment for the team is fueled by this desire to take what they do best, and make it possible for those who need it most. In this case, it’s a spotless cabin.

“It’s awesome,” said Chavon Wooten. “We like to help. ”

10 a.m.ET August 24: Whether in the operation or behind the scenes, the people of Delta are coming together to help the evacuees from Afghanistan

(Download video here.)

Elizabeth Dickinson, Director of Customer Service at Delta Airport, has a saying within her team: “This is how we do it. This week it served as a rallying cry around their commitment to help new evacuees from Afghanistan to the United States.

A group of Delta employees from across the country, representing every corner of the operation, converged on Dulles International Airport on Monday to do just that in response to the federal government’s activation of the reserve air fleet. civil. It is a colossal undertaking that requires hard work on the part of hundreds of dedicated people at Delta stations across the United States and Europe.

More than 260 evacuees from Afghanistan were aboard the Delta A330-300 plane which landed in Dulles Monday afternoon. When the wheels touched the ground, it marked the end of an eight-hour flight, the last leg of a multi-day trip.

Some US citizens were among those on board. Many were very young.

“I was just surprised at the number of small children on board,” said Troy Dobler, Delta TechOps mechanic.

Dobler and his fellow mechanic Richard Gill were on board the rescue flight, with two of the Delta crew supporting the mission. After a grueling travel marathon, they climbed the boarding stairs to the A330-300 again late Monday, en route to Europe and the Middle East on a new mission.

“Anytime you can help people when they’re in a really bad situation, it makes you feel good,” said Gill.

Delta has committed four jets – two A330-300s, one A350-900 and one B767-300ER – and has already scheduled 25 flights for 6,700 passengers through August 31 in support of the CRAF. Each requires a full crew of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and security personnel. On the ground, hundreds of Delta people are working to support the effort in an incredible display of logistical prowess.

Delta called on some of its best operational managers and support teams, all united around a common goal.

“We are a Delta family, so whenever something like this happens we are always looking to support each other,” said Faiz Syed, manager of Dulles station.

At Dulles, the ramp agents work hard, taking care of the day’s scheduled flights and additional CRAF flights.

After each aircraft disembarks, Delta’s Global Cleanliness team ensures that the entire cabin is thoroughly cleaned and ready for the next evacuee flight.

Delta’s corporate security team strives to ensure that every flight operates safely, despite difficult circumstances.

“It’s just about focusing on one thing at a time and making sure you’re doing everything safely,” Syed said.

While always focused on the task at hand, a sense of mission is on the minds of every Delta employee.

“Being able to get them to a safe place and help them start a new life has a pretty big impact,” said Syed.

At the departure of the A330-300, the ground crew took a few moments to debrief on a successful turn and take a break. The next flight, one of Delta’s A350-900s, would arrive in less than an hour.

It’s time to do it again.

8 p.m. ET August 23: Delta people prepare for evacuees from Afghanistan

The best of Delta converge at Dulles International Airport as the first waves of evacuees from Afghanistan begin to arrive aboard Delta jets.

The teams continued the work started this weekend on Monday, continuing to prepare for the arrival of thousands of passengers.

After receiving reports from inbound flights indicating that passengers had several basic needs, three people from Delta decided to take action.

Kendall Antoine, Quentin Harris and George Taylor piled into a Delta van and lined up for a local store to pick up diapers, formula, baby snacks and personal hygiene products. All in addition to catering and supplies already planned for the flights.

“This is what we do,” said Harris. ‘We serve.’

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