On the road with Gerald Grinstein

Delta's hero will pull the airline from bankruptcy, leaving the skies on a high note. An inside look at airlines with a CEO who survived the turbulence

Ann States for TIME

Gerald Grinstein, CEO of Delta Air Lines, at the Delta museum at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, GA.

Boarding a plane these days is like getting on a bus--without the glamour. Meals have been reduced to peanuts and soda, pillows plucked from under our heads, the warmth of flying gone with the blankets. The industry's perennial woes--high fuel, labor and capital costs--have led to a traveler's hell of airport fees, climbing fares, flight delays and abysmal service.

Amid the gloom and doom is the surprisingly cheerful Delta Air Lines CEO Gerald Grinstein, who came out of retirement to take over the airline three years ago. Now that the No. 3 carrier is emerging from 19 months of bankruptcy restructuring...

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