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Airports Aim To Expand Customer Service Initiatives

Airport officials know how frustrated travelers have become with flying, so they want to try to make the process more pleasant.

Several airports, including John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), Los Angeles International (LAX) and Miami International (MIA), are working with their employees on customer service initiatives. In addition to the training that is mandatory for those the airports directly employ, TSA checkpoint agents, food and retail clerks, and airline agents are also being offered instruction.

“Regardless of where they work, [airport workers] shouldn’t say, ‘I don’t
work in that area,'” Dickie Davis of Miami International, which is launching such a program, told USA Today. “It may not be our fault, but it’s our problem. If customers didn’t like hot dogs at MIA, they don’t say, ‘I didn’t like hot dogs at MIA.’ They say, ‘I don’t like MIA.'”

Fordham University’s Human Resiliency Institute has been hired by JFKIAT, which operates the JFK’s Terminal 4. It pushes four principles: adaptability, optimism, productivity and customer engagement. The program has trained about 500 AirTrain employees, airline agents and parking attendants at Terminal 4, and about 1,000 and LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark Liberty International (EWR). Sessions have also begun at LAX, Pittsburgh International (PIT) and Manchester (MHT).