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Airport recognizes customer service excellence

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

While many people come to work only for the purpose of receiving a paycheck, several employees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The airport honored those employees last Thursday at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), during the airport's 13th Annual Customer Service Recognition Program.

One organization, and five employees of various concessionaires at Hartsfield-Jackson, were spotlighted for acts of valor, acts of courage, and acts of kindness toward customers passing through the airport.

Naomi Holder, customer service supervisor and organizer of the event, said recognizing employees for going beyond their average duties makes the airport experience better for all those who are involved.

"When you have people who do things that they don't have to, it shows that they love their work," said Holder. "Customer service is the No.1 priority at the airport, and we want everyone to feel like they can participate in the delivery of customer service.

"The majority of the people listed here, this is not their first time doing something like this," Holder continued. "The fact is that people are doing things like this again and again."

Employees chosen for awards were among those who had received multiple-service recognition cards, letters, or e-mails from airport customers.

This year, the following groups and people received recognition: An Outreach Service Award was given to the Interfaith Airport Chaplain's Office for providing spiritual and counseling services to travelers and employees of all faiths since 1981; an Ambassador Award was given to Teremiah Crumpton, of DAL Global, for receiving the most complimentary letters and AirTalk comment cards than any other employee, from Nov. 2007 to Aug. 2008; a Heroic Service Award was given to Lornore Alexander, of ICS, Inc., for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an airport passenger who had a heart attack; an Unsung Hero Award was given to Robert Braddock for letting a solider who had missed his flight to Korea come home with him, shower, and get some sleep in a bed, instead of being stranded in the airport; a service award was given to Detective Donald Hannah, of the Atlanta Police Department, for flying from Atlanta to New Orleans to deliver a lost bag containing BCS (Bowl Championship Series) tickets to a customer, and then working with ticketing authorities to make sure the customer was able to get into the football game.

The highest honor, the Superstar Award, was given to Dionette Brim, of HMS Host, for going beyond the call of duty to help a stranded passenger bound for Argentina.

"In this case, she took a stranded passenger here home for two nights in a row," said Holder. "The passenger was elderly and it was Christmas time."

Holder said Brim helped the passenger find a special place in the airport to refrigerate a special dish the woman had made for her family until she could catch her flight to Argentina. Holder said employees like Brim "improve the airport experience.

"Some of [the passengers] come in with circumstances," said Holder. "As long as we have employees who care, it's going to make the airport look good, and that's what we want here at Hartsfield."