Spotlight on Talent: Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant Amanda Amburgy

Talent Plus Talent Plus

June 28, 2021 Articles
Courtesy Sonja Redding

Sonja Redding and her son, Xayvior, were heading home on a Delta flight after a medical research trip.

Xayvior has Methylmalonic Acidemia, also known as MMA, and has also been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Xayvior processes quick changes in a different way, and Sonja usually braces herself for piercing stares and rude comments from other travelers.

On this flight, though, Xayvior’s mood changed. He began fussing and screaming.

Immediate, Empathetic Action

Flight attendant Amanda Amburgy sat just a few rows away from Sonja and Xayvior. Amanda drew from her experience and took immediate action.

“We’re there to help,” she says, “we always want to ease any situation and make anything easier for the family as well as other passengers.”


“We’re there to help. We always want to ease any situation and make anything easier for the family as well as other passengers.”


Amanda approached Xayvior and Sonja and offered them headphones for the in flight movies and music. When this didn’t work, Amanda offered to give him a tour of the plane. “Traveling can be hard even without kids and I know moments like this can be really stressful for parents,” she says.

“I warned her that he might get aggressive with her,” Sonja remembers, “she quickly responded that she did not mind and swooped him up, taking him on a tour of the plane.”

Xayvior responded positively, and Sonja took to social media to share her relief. “She was our hero on our flight home . . . she didn’t stare or judge. She just showed love and empathy without hesitation.”


“She was our hero on our flight home … she just showed love and empathy without hesitation.”


Sonja’s post went viral shortly after, and Amanda’s act of kindness highlighted Delta’s commitment to their customers.

Talented People Mean Memorable Service

The memorable experience Amanda provided for this family speaks to her talent. Anticipating the needs of those around her and finding creative solutions to problems comes as second nature to her.

Delta receives over 400,000 flight attendant applications per year. Out of those, only the best 3,000 are selected with the help of Talent Plus insights. Amanda’s talent themes like Resourceful, Customer Centricity and Work Intensity — were predictive of the quick instincts and problem solving she displayed with the Redding family.

The Science of Human Potentiality Discovered Amanda’s Talents

Amanda’s service is driven by talent. Amanda’s strongest theme is Resourceful, which shines in her interaction with Xayvior.

  • Driven to succeed
  • Creative problem solver
  • Adaptable to change

Read the Delta press release

Amanda’s Resourceful theme means she uses her creative problem-solving skills and high adaptability in her pursuit of success. Combined with her Urgency and Positivity themes, Amanda exhibits the key behaviors flight attendants use to create memorable service experiences.

“This exemplifies the Delta difference in every way,” explains Allison Ausband, senior VP of in-flight service at Delta. “Service from the heart is what we’re all about and I’d like to thank Amanda and Delta employees around the globe for showing thoughtful service like this to the world.”

A Culture of Growth

By partnering with Talent Plus and prioritizing talent selection, Delta Air Lines was able to provide a platform for a talented employee to do great work.

“Talent Plus has the opportunity to study potentiality every day,” says Talent Plus President Kimberly Rath. “When we discover what someone has the potential to achieve, we can create a platform for them to grow on.”

With a #1 Airline Quality Rating, Delta needs every selection to fit this vision and high standard of service. By Holding out for Talent®, Delta selected a flight attendant who fit their culture of excellence.

Talent Plus ® is the leading partner in building and sustaining high-performing and fully-engaged cultures through talent discovery, development and analytics. Listen to our podcast about how data-driven talent selection affects your team.

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