Kevin Pinto to Leave Delta Air Lines

Kevin Pinto sits in one of the offices located in the flight simulator area of the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines on Friday, October 22, 2010. He graciously volunteered to direct FlyerTalk members to their assigned flight simulators during the 2010 Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk event. Photograph courtesy of Greg Johnston.

Kevin Pinto — who currently handles the worldwide marketing communications, programs and recognition for Delta Air Lines — has announced that his last official day will be December 31, 2012.
As someone who has known this news for several months, I can assure to you that there is nothing sinister or negative about the reason in why Kevin Pinto is leaving Delta Air Lines, as it is on the best of terms. He was simply offered an “early-out package” which he could not refuse and — for what it is worth — I do not blame him one bit for retiring.
FlyerTalk members are both saddened and grateful for all of the efforts Kevin Pinto has done for them over the years. One of many examples of his work is where Medallion Qualification Miles and SkyMiles earned during a popular promotion were not being properly posted in the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program accounts of many FlyerTalk members. Virtually anyone who contacted him regarding this now-infamous discrepancy had their accounts corrected within the hour. In my specific case, he not only corrected the issues I experienced within 30 minutes and notified me via an e-mail message, but also added SkyMiles to my account which I did not even realize I legitimately earned through that promotion!
As one of the dozens of Delta Air Lines employees who volunteered his time at The 2010 Second Annual Delta Air Lines FlyerTalk Event, Kevin assisted FlyerTalk members by personally directing them to follow him to their assigned flight simulators for each of them to receive time in being a “pilot”. With many different flight simulators located in different buildings at the world headquarters of Delta Air Lines — and with 80 FlyerTalk members awaiting their turn at this memorable opportunity to pilot a real flight simulator where time was a critical factor — Kevin ensured that everyone received their turn.
Kevin has been long appreciated in the Delta SkyMiles forum on FlyerTalk. This discussion — launched almost 12 years ago by FlyerTalk member mikey1003 — expresses appreciation for Kevin after FlyerTalk members were initially disgruntled with Delta Air Lines. In fact — due to his outstanding work over the years — some FlyerTalk members referred to Kevin Pinto as “he who walks on water.”
In my many conversations in person with Kevin, I have mentioned how valuable FlyerTalk members perceive he is to Delta Air Lines — including those who believe that he “walks on water.” With a polite smile underlying his slight discomfort to being referred in such a high regard, Kevin has repeatedly dismissed his legendary status to FlyerTalk members by modestly saying that he was “merely doing his job” and that he would do whatever he could to assist customers of Delta Air Lines — even if the request fell outside of the scope of his job. When I joked to him about what if someone complained that there was no milk served on a flight, he laughed and simply said that he would pass on the request to the proper department.
Every company should have a team of people like the exceptional Kevin Pinto. The world of business — and not just airlines — would be a far better place.
Because of his now-renowned work in assisting FlyerTalk members, it is important to note that Kevin Pinto officially worked for the Marketing department of Delta Air Lines, not for the SkyMiles department — although it is easy to realize why many FlyerTalk members would arrive at that mistaken conclusion. As his job title explains, Kevin worked with worldwide marketing communications, programs and recognition — which included various SkyMiles promotions.
Speaking for myself, I am honored to have known Kevin personally for the past several years, and have always enjoyed seeing him in person. He is modest and unassuming, honest and dedicated, trustworthy and amiable, and absolutely believes in doing the right thing. For example, Kevin had quietly committed to attending this gathering of FlyerTalk members, but had to cancel two days before the event, citing that “with my impending departure from Delta on December 31, 2012, I now have meetings scheduled for this entire upcoming week. I have to begin transitioning my work to other folks.” Kevin — a carnivorous native of New Jersey who was looking forward to consuming overstuffed pastrami sandwiches from Ben’s Kosher Deli in New York — could have simply said to his colleagues that he was taking a Tuesday off, thinking to himself that he was already leaving anyway at the end of the year…
…but then, that would not be the Kevin Pinto we all know and quite deservedly respect.
FlyerTalk members express that they will miss Kevin Pinto — at least in his current capacity at Delta Air Lines — but I have a feeling we have not heard the last of him.
What are your thoughts and experiences with Kevin Pinto?

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