American Airlines has given RDU many things over the years – hub status, non-stop service to London and Christina Deutsch. Since landing in the mid-1980s with the start of hub service, Christina has become a fixture at the airport and we’re really going to miss her come Monday morning.
I first came to know Christina, “Chris,” as part of American Airlines’ VIP Special Services group and later as the Admiral’s Club Manager. Since 2008, after her retirement from American, she has been a part of the Airport Authority team, working to assist with the Terminal 2 Open House and later as a Lead Ambassador before becoming Guest Services Manager.
While Chris has served in many capacities on this airport since the mid-1980s, her lasting impact is that of a role model defining what we mean when we talk about providing world-class service, one of our top priorities.
She has touched the lives of many, ranging from politicians to the penniless traveler, and treated each with the same level of professionalism and courtesy. And she has imparted those values of respect and excellence to her team.
Chris also supported the success of the London flight, now in its 19th year. Not only did she greet the inbound and outbound flight every night for most of its operation, she could recite the names of companies and CEOs using the flight.
Chris has personally touched and made a difference in the lives of many thousands of people during her entire tenure at RDU. She earned the nickname of Saint Christina of Lost Travelers as she encouraged her team to go forth from behind the Information Desks and find someone needing help.
Finally, Chris Deutsch has been a portrait of leadership in action. She reminds us that leadership means being among the people you serve and among the team you support.
So it is with bittersweet emotion I write about Christina as she departs RDU to attend to other priorities in her life. Thank you Chris for your service to RDU and to the world’s travelers who have passed through our airport.
Here’s to Chris – a first class act!
Do you have a memory of Chris? Please share with me below.