Quotes from C.E. Woolman
Through good times and bad, C. E. Woolman's faith in aviation's future never flagged. Woolman's most famous quotes which he used in many variations whenever he faced an internal audience:
[From This is Delta film, 1957]
"One thing is unchanged; a concept of customer service expressed in our slogan, Service and Hospitality from the Heart. We've always tried to put ourselves on the other side of the counter and treat our passengers as we would like to be treated. We believe that an airline has a responsibility to the public over and above the price of the airline ticket. We've tried to live up to that responsibility.
The airline industry is keenly competitive. All of us have good planes, the only way in which we can excel is in the quality of service. And this is where the human factor enters.
No one individual can create an airline. An airline is a team. Members of the Delta team have put the meaning in our slogan of Service and Hospitality from the Heart through teamwork."Additional Woolman quotes arranged by subject:
"The individual people of Delta will determine whether we maintain our reputation for customer service. Every employee has the power to destroy or uphold that tradition for courtesy and real hospitality."
"Airplanes are more or less standard. Fares are uniform. Competitive services are often available. The quality of Delta's service, the attitude of its people, will determine who gets the business." August 1946
[Creating a Delta "difference" was the core of Woolman's service philosophy.]
"We want to run every flight efficiently and give excellent service complete in every detail."
"One of the most effective ways we can be real competitors is to give the finest service possible…If we continue to be honest and fair and courteous and friendly to all of our passengers, we will more than hold our own."
"Delta's friendly voice and personal attention now have the backing of electronic speed and accuracy." Commenting on the launch of the industry-leading Deltamatic electronic reservations system in 1964
DELTA PEOPLE / FAMILY
"The character of our company…it's not me…it's US. You are the character of this company…everyone of you. Character isn't just being nice to people. Character is being efficient; character is being productive."
"Because a family must work together, we've got to be imbued with the same thoughts and the same ideals and the same ambitions and the same determination…if we are going to succeed."
"It is the initiative, the personal attitudes and the motivations of our people as they approach their daily work upon which we rely for acceptance, for growth, and for survival."
Advice to a Delta stewardess graduating class in 1960:
"I fear the onslaught of the creeping philosophy of 'Let Joe do it'—of the idea that 'I'll do my job and you do yours, and never the 'twain shall meet.'"
"Inspiration, and above all, vision is needed on the part of those who control the destiny of our company."
"Our task is to ensure that people are not denied the opportunity to realize their creative potential."
"Delta's success came not just from good operations and efficiency, but above all from the friendly spirit of Delta and the way Delta employees handled the public."
"Aviation's success can only be measured in its growing appeal to greater and greater numbers of customers."
"There is only about two percent difference between success and failure—and that two percent is the determination and singleness of purpose that makes us do things. Without it, we are just another airline—with it, nothing can stop us."
"Whatever successes we have achieved in the past, and whatever we may enjoy in the future depend upon the priceless asset of a deep-seated and meaningful personal integrity."
"Develop a thirst for knowledge. This will lead to an ability to reason…to reduce the complicated to simplicity and to make prudent decisions."
"Knowledge is our ultimate defense, and ideas the ultimate weapon upon which we must depend."
"We've got to think more than we've ever thought before. We've got to meet our unforeseen problems so intelligently that we'll have no regrets when we look back."
Delta doesn't necessarily want to be the biggest airline in the country, but we want to be the best." Atlanta-Los Angeles inaugural service, 1961
Speaking to the Delta sales team at their 1957 conference:
On the impact of World War II:
"The next phase of aviation development, the second fifty years, will be just as remarkable as the first fifty. If I were trying to name this second half from 1953-2003, I would call it the engineering vs. economic era."
"The Jet Age which looms ahead constitutes a challenge for us all, but at the same time it holds great promise. It inspires the hope that men of good will in all nations—only hours distant from each other because of the speed of flight—will join hands to strengthen and to expand free institutions everywhere." 1955
Referring to Delta's purchase of its first jet, the Douglas DC-8:
"Each of the many forward steps in aviation which have occurred since your company first began passenger service 30 years ago has been accompanied by its own unique problems, and the forthcoming jet era will be no exception. Delta personnel, experience, and equipment enable us to face the future with confidence, and we look forward to continuing full participation in this new chapter in aviation history." September 9, 1959
Inaugural of Delta's jet service (Atlanta-New York):
"I'm not worried about Delta's ability to maintain its place in the jet age. Delta Employees and Delta Experience can meet the challenge." September 19, 1959
"I'm optimistic about the future of air transportation. The introduction of the jets has created a lot of problems. But this industry grew up on problems—and it grew because it solved them." March 11, 1960