Sometimes press conferences are boring, sometimes they unexpectedly turn interesting. Delta's executive VP sales and customer service Lee Macenczak is in London today mainly to launch the airline's London-New York service and also generally to talk about getting out of Chapter 11 and so on.
This morning we all sat politely taking in his Powerpoint and then my mobile phone rang. I shut it off, it rang again, I killed it again, and it rang again. So I thought I had better go outside and find out what was going on: it was a journalist in the US asking me what I thought about US Airways' bid for Delta. Huh? So he told me all about it...
I went back into the press conference and discreetly told one of the Delta public relations folks the news. She thought about this and after a few minutes her colleague handed Mr Macenczak a note telling him the news as he stood at the lectern. His expression barely changed, which was impressive, considering.
Then he invited questions. Suffice it to say the conversation rapidly strayed away from New York-London, lie-flat beds, etc and onto weightier matters. Bearing in mind that the rest of Delta's execs were thousands of miles away and mostly asleep I was also impressed that he took it upon himself to single-handedly rebuff USAirways' bid.
I went and filed my copy, was interviewed on CNN, and he did some interviews. An hour or so later Delta got its formal statement out to the media. Mr Macenczak and I read it together - he was mightily relieved to see his employers were saying what he'd already said they'd say. And I was relieved that they said what I'd said on TV they would say. All good fun (though pretty serious for him of course.)