Delta employees raise over $1M for American Cancer Society with ‘Jet Drag’ comp

Delta employees compete in jet drag
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2023 at 2:35 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Delta employees are spending the day on the ground instead of wheels up, dragging a giant jet to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

“I’ve got my gloves,” said Celia Cody with the American Cancer Society.

“You have to have your anchor. They do the heavy pull at the very end and the rest of us pull with our every might,” said Patti Schultz, a Delta employee and cancer survivor.

Thousands of employees and their family members filled Delta TechOps for the event Wednesday.

“I love the energy. I love the enthusiasm. We’ve got Delta employees flying in from all over the country for, to me, the most worthy cause of all: to eradicate cancer,” said Cody.

This is the airline’s 12th annual jet drag.

“We very much believe we can improve lives through research, advocacy, and patient support,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, the CEO of the American Cancer Society.

Teams of 25 pull a 255,000-pound Boeing 757 a total of 25 feet.

“It is crazy, and your adrenaline is just pumping. So, when you get out there, for safety purposes, we warm up, but your adrenaline carries it. It’s a lot of fun,” said Schultz.

While it’s a lot harder than a squat or leg press, thousands of Delta employees fly in from all over to be a part of the day.

“People come for the energy but more than that, they come to raise money and raise awareness,” said Schultz.

“Cancer really does touch everyone. I’m a two-time cancer survivor and everyone here has a special story, whether it’s themselves, a loved one, or a friend, " said Cody.

Over its 20-year partnership with the American Cancer Society, Delta has raised over $16 million.

“This is incredible. I love seeing my team and the Delta team side by side, pulling for a great cause,” said Dr. Knudsen.

The day raised over $1 million.