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Champions of Customer Service

by Public Relations | Published On: May 24, 2011 | Last Updated: 

America’s Friendliest Airport® isn’t just a slogan for Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; it’s a philosophy each employee strives to live up to. In an effort to elevate customer service, the airport implemented a program called the “FLY” Challenge. There are three essential components to being “FLY.” They are Friendly, Let me help, and You - you are the customer and that’s why I’m here.

Customers who receive stellar service are encouraged to provide feedback about their experience through the PHX Sky Harbor website. In addition, managers and Airport employees are trained to be on the lookout for employees who go above and beyond expectations to assist our customers and then nominate them for recognition.

In 2010, a whopping 851 employees were recognized as part of the FLY program. Representatives from the Aviation Department’s Customer Service Task Force narrowed the list down to 20 examples of outstanding customer service, which were presented to Aviation Management for recognition. Ultimately, three exemplary stories were chosen as the 2010 Champions of Customer Service. One organization was also honored at a Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board meeting. We are proud to share their stories.

The first story involves a French-speaking passenger who received the tragic news that her husband had been killed in a car accident in France. Quickly changing international travel plans can be difficult, but the collaborative efforts of employees Lisa McPherson (United Airlines) and Roger Sevigny (Continental Airlines) helped ease the process and eliminated the challenges of a stressful situation. Ms. McPherson and Mr. Sevigny showed great compassion in coordinating the customer’s travel arrangements and waiving the re-booking fees.

The focus of our second story is a man who lost a shirt while passing through Sky Harbor. This may not seem like a big deal, but this shirt had significant sentimental value. It was one of the last gifts his wife gave him before she was diagnosed with cancer, and she would often wear the shirt to keep her warm around the house. After she passed, it took this gentleman quite a long time to start wearing the shirt again. Michele Ehrler, Olivia Franco and Robin Reuther (Southwest Airlines) along with Irene Felix (City of Phoenix) worked as a team to find and return this treasure to its owner. He was extremely grateful to get this shirt back as it now warms him in many different ways when he wears it.

Lastly, a young woman bound for Fort Smith Airport in Arkansas accidentally arrived in Phoenix. She spoke no English, was traveling with her infant and had no money. She may have felt alone but instead found a friend in employee Ronald Muhammad (City of Phoenix). He showed the utmost kindness and compassion by purchasing a ticket for this young girl and her baby. Mr. Muhammad went out of his way to ensure that the customer was safe and reached her final destination.

In addition to employees, our tenants/partners also receive recognition for outstanding service. CASAFenix earned the honor of this year’s Organization Champion of Customer Service for fully embracing the “Friendly Let me help You” standards. The organization encouraged their employees to distribute customer comment cards to passengers after providing excellent service. Our CASAFenix team also decided to immediately recognize their employees who received positive feedback and even took this a step further by entering those employees in a separate drawing for gift cards and other prizes. In 2010, the public returned 212 comment cards on behalf of CASAFenix which was approximately 25% of all compliments received.

Remember, when you travel through PHX Sky Harbor and see a random act of “friendly”, let us know about it by logging on to our website and filling out a comment card or by sending us an email to skyharbor@phoenix.gov. Congratulations again to all of the 2010 Champions of Customer Service as well as all employees recognized as part of the FLY Program.

Pictured above from left to right: Olivia Franco, Michele Ehrler, Robin Reuther, Lisa McPherson, Irene Felix, Ronald Muhammad and CASAFenix employees Gregg Savage, Yolanda Kizer, Eric Matthews, and Joya Kizer Clarke

Published: May 24, 2011