Quick thinking turns crisis into opportunity for Delta
Turning lemons into lemonade is an ideal goal of any crisis management effort. The folks at Delta airlines’ Knoxville, Tennessee branch proved they understand that concept perfectly when they satiated a plane full of grumpy, travel-weary customers who had been stranded on a tarmac for nearly three hours with a surprise pizza delivery.
Here’s the story, from a Today.com article by Ben Popken:
After severe weather forced an Atlanta-bound Delta flight to divert to Knoxville, Tenn., on Monday night, the ensuing three-hour tarmac wait turned into a pizza party when airport employees arranged for pies to be delivered to the waiting passengers, escorted by a police car.
Flight attendants passed out the pizza to the passengers temporarily turning them into “Pizza Hut delivery people,” said passenger Jen Vazmina. There was enough for everyone on the flight, with the choices of cheese, pepperoni or sausage.
“Of course we were all upset, but everyone was pretty accepting,” Vazmina said of the delay. “The pilot kept the mood light and the flight attendants busted their butts to keep us hydrated.”
With a few quick behind-the-scenes phone calls to the TSA and a couple hundred bucks worth of pizza (probably less than the face value of one ticket), Delta staffers flipped this experience from something passengers would gripe about to friends, family and on social media into a positive human interest story that drew media attention nationwide.
The way that organizations handle crises forges a lasting reputation, be it good or bad. Whenever you find yourself in crisis, no matter how large or small, look for that opportunity to make lemonade (or pizza!) and get to squeezing.
The BCM Blogging Team