Yes, that was Gary Kelly sitting in Delta's first-class section Monday

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by sobore, Feb 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/02/yes-that-was-gary-kelly-sittin.html

    People passing through a Delta Air Lines jet loading up Monday evening in Atlanta for a flight to Dallas/Fort Worth may have thought that guy sitting in a first-class seat looked familiar.

    In fact, it was Gary Kelly, chairman, president and CEO of Southwest Airlines, coming home from the festivities marking the opening of Southwest's Atlanta station.

    Kelly, speaking to our Jim Landers on Wednesday, confirmed that yes, it was him. It was late, he needed to get back to Dallas and he from time to time flies other airlines as necessary.


    http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/02/yes-that-was-gary-kelly-sittin.html
     
  2. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    he shouldn't be allowed to fly F. he should have to board in zone 4 since he checked in so late, just like his minions do when they get zone C for not checking in at the 23:59 mark.
     
  3. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Add a middle seat with large window/aisle pax in the other seats...
     
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  4. flyingdawg
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    flyingdawg Gold Member

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    Too funny. He can't fly 1st class on his on metal and takes an upgrade from a deserving loyal DL Skymiler - what a low life.
     
  5. cwpfly

    cwpfly Silver Member

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    Maybe Gary has a thing for Deltalina? I've never seen a WN flight attendant give such a good finger wag.
     
  6. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Absolutely hilarious. It's like seeing a GM exec driving a Toyota.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, if I was an airline executive, I'd

    - want to see first-hand what my competition does
    - want to fly the most convenient flight (time's money), even if it occasionally means flying on a competitor.
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I remember hearing at the DL DO that Richard Anderson flies DL coach for domestic but when he takes an international trip, he tries to do one direction on DL in BE and the other in a competitor's IFC or business class.
     
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  9. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    The funny part is Gary was doing a mileage run to keep his Delta Gold Medallion staus. :D (ok, maybe not)
     
  10. JennB
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    JennB Gold Member

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    That's my feeling.

    And did I miss something in the article? Who says he didn't outright pay for this flight?
     
  11. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Of course there is an element of competitive research involved and I'm not going to disagree that time is money but:

    If he wanted to scope out competition, he would have done research on the coach class product from Delta, not the 1st class product. In addition, there are other competitors also flying the ATL-DFW route (Spirit & AA) which I would think he'd be even more interested in due to not being an ATL based carrier flying direct to ATL.

    If saving money was important (since time = money), he could have saved quite a bit by not flying 1st class. In addition, he could have even downgraded to Spirit since they provide some of the cheapest flights around. I'm sure that he believes a 1-2 hrs deviation to his schedule is worth more than a paid 1st class ticket but I thought he also worked for the company that is all about pinching pennies?
     
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  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The 1st class seat doesn't preclude you from experiencing the overall product. And do we know if coach seats were available on the flight?

    Did they have a flight at the time that he wanted to fly? Especially Spirit... and as for not being an ATL based carrier... didn't they just buy ATL-based Airtran? So maybe learning more about one of your new biggest competitors might be worth something?

    Assumes that a coach seat was available. And how much cheaper are last-minute Y seats compared to F seats?

    A quick look at Spirit's website tells me they seem to have one daily non-stop from ATL to DFW that departs at 2:05pm. According to the story, Kelly couldn't fly WN because the last flight that would have gotten him to Dallas left at 6pm. So presumably he needed to leave later... hours after the Spirit flight left.

    Looking at AA, their last nonstop appears to leave ATL at 6:55pm while Delta has flights at 6:45pm, 8pm and 10pm.

    Not sure that WN is really all about pinching pennies. They have some of the highest paid employees in the industry. I think they are all about efficiency. And maybe this was the most efficient way of getting from ATL to DFW at the time he had to go.
     
  13. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Seems strange to think the head of the company is doing R&D investigative work exploring the other airlines...that's what lower paid and lesser known employees are for.
     
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  14. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Although a majority of the legwork on research is done by lower paid specialists, some executives like finding out first hand how their company or their competition is doing. The TV show "Undercover Boss" comes to mind.
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Oh, I am sure they have lower-level analysts researching the competition (I once knew one who worked for NWA). But if I was a CEO, I'd at least a bit wary about getting just carefully filtered and selected information in the form of powerpoints reviewed and approved by layers and layers of management. Sometimes it's good to trust but verify with your own senses. And I say that because I am one of those layers :)
     
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  16. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    He's the head of a major U.S. corporation. Flight times on DL worked better in his schedule. What is the big deal?
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    At least he didn't fly Netjets.

    What I would like to know is whether Delta knew he was on board (Gary Kelly isn't exactly a unique name, but if he has a Skymiles #, maybe they have a flag on it), and whether the FAs were made aware of it.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    And at least he didn't drive this distance just to prove how frugal and environmentally conscious he is, like auto executives about to testify in Washington. :D
     
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