PDX People: Alberto Peirano Saves the Day with Spanish

Members of our PDX Volunteer Information Program are trained to proactively provide help to travelers, so when Alberto Peirano noticed two men looking confused, he approached them and offered assistance. The travelers were from Ecuador and spoke no English. Fortunately, Alberto was able to communicate with them in Spanish.

The dilemma? Their itinerary included two connections to get to Phoenix – one connection at PDX and one in Denver. They placed their ID and passports in their luggage, which had been checked through to Phoenix. During their layover at PDX, they left the secured area and now were trying to get back through the TSA checkpoint to their gate…which couldn’t be done without their ID and passports.

With assistance from the many PDX contacts he’s made over the years, Alberto employed his excellent Spanish language skills to escort the men through the security checkpoint to their gate. He then communicated to the gate agent that the men spoke not a word of English and were going to need assistance in Denver to ensure they didn’t leave the secure area. He also verified that appropriate notifications were sent to the other airports. Thanks to Alberto’s involvement, the men made it to their destination without further incident.

But the day wasn’t over. Minutes after the men were on their way, Alberto noticed two young ladies who appeared confused and distraught. They were flying to Quito, Ecuador, and had arrived at PDX with overweight bags. It was necessary to purchase a new bag to accommodate the extra items, which in turn caused them to miss their flight…though their bags made it on board. Unfortunately, after the ticket was rebooked, the women had discarded and destroyed their envelope with the old claim tickets.

Alberto jumped into action, working with the travelers to find the trash can with the discarded claim checks. He then put the torn pieces together and made a photocopy of the original claim checks, working with the airline agents to pass along notifications so that the women and their bags would eventually be reunited in Quito. Thanks to #PDXPeople like Alberto, we’ll always do our best to make international travelers feel at home.