PDX People: Four Stories of Extraordinary Customer Service

Being knowledgeable is a core value for PDX People, but it doesn’t just mean knowing all the answers – it also means knowing who to ask for help, where to find resources and sharing what you know with others.

When they encounter a passenger in need or an unusual circumstance, PDX People come through with problem-solving skills, empathy and a constant drive to use and share their expertise.

To recognize actions that truly stand out as extraordinary, we host the PDX People customer service awards each quarter. Although the ceremony may be virtual, the gratitude for these efforts is tangible. Below are the PDX People we recognized from January through March 2021.

Frances Sheehan
Alaska Airlines

When Port of Portland Police officers were called for a welfare check, they discovered a woman needing medical attention. It was clear to assisting officers that the woman should go to a hospital, but there was a complication – she needed her puppy, Lotus, to come with her. Without a kennel for the dog, the ambulance couldn’t transport them both, and the woman wouldn’t leave without her canine companion.

Thinking quickly, Officer Erin Flinn asked Alaska Airline’s employee Frances Sheehan if there was a left-behind kennel in the baggage claim office that they could use. While there weren’t any unclaimed crates to use, Frances – moved by the situation – purchased an Alaska Airlines’ kennel with her own money and gave it to the woman. The ambulance left with both human and pup, and the woman was able to receive the medical attention she needed.

Officer Flinn had this to say about Frances: “I am so thankful to work with PDX People like her. She gave without knowing, she acted out of kindness and she demonstrated teamwork and generosity – not only to the woman and her puppy, but also to the first responders on scene.”

Pat O’Halloran
TSA

A member of the PDX TSA team, Pat O’Halloran voluntarily deployed to Chicago, joining 40 other TSA personnel to assist the Chicago Department of Public Health with running a vaccination clinic for employees at O’Hare and Midway airports.

The team went through training and ran mini-clinics where they initially vaccinated about 250 people over a couple of days, before moving to a full-scale clinic. Clinic operations averaged about 450 vaccines a day, with the ability to do more as needed.

Pat went above and beyond, often working 12-hour days to ensure airport employees could receive a vaccine. Through his selfless service, a significant number of people were vaccinated. Not only did Pat represent PDX and TSA well, he brought back critical experience to share with the PDX team in our efforts to help others get vaccinated.

Likiak Langu
McGee Air Service

Travelers trust PDX People to make sure they – and their belongings – make it to their destination safely. At the forefront of that goal is Likiak (Berlee) Langu with McGee Air Service.

As his manager noted, “Berlee has an outstanding work ethic for our passengers here at PDX! He has provided years of service outside on the ramp. Without his keen eye, dedication to his peers and our passengers’ safety, I can tell our operation would be lacking immensely.”

Great customer service takes many forms and Berlee’s commitment to teamwork and keeping an eye out for passenger safety are how he consistently creates a positive passenger experience.

Carlos Banks
Francisco Evanado
John McIntire
Port of Portland

Stephannie Lewis
Travel Oregon

Stephannie Lewis, John McIntire, Carlos Banks, Francisco Evanado

When Stephannie Lewis of Travel Oregon encountered two college students sitting on the floor crying, she inquired and discovered that they couldn’t get their luggage. The airline staff had left for the day and wouldn’t be back until later that evening. Unfortunately, the students had to leave to return to school in Eugene…but they also couldn’t go without their luggage!

After many years working alongside the Port of Portland’s parking control representatives, Stephannie knew they might be able to help. She contacted Carlos Banks and John McIntire who called airport operations specialist Francisco Evanado. Francisco was then able to locate the bags and deliver them to the students.

Stephannie loaded the students up with Travel Oregon swag and saw them off with smiles on their faces. Using her knowledge of the airport and its most valuable resource – the PDX People – Stephannie was able to problem-solve and turn the day around for two travelers in need.

More PDX People Quarterly Award Winners: January – March 2021

Watch the awards ceremony:

Earline Huntley, Hertz Car Rental

Category: Rental Cars

Earline is very empathetic with passengers, which puts them at ease. One customer said, “She was a pleasure to work with. Made me and my wife feel special.”

Kelly Allison, LaTrelle’s

Category: Concessions Food & Beverage

Kelly made sure a customer was able to purchase coffee, even though she had just closed her register for the night.

Kai Vance, AtYourGate

Category: Concessions Services

Kai helped a customer who was having trouble with the AtYourGate app…and then delivered and paid for the lunch!

Dan Van Etten, SP Plus Corporation

Category: Ground Transportation

Dan received praise from a customer: “He made me feel like a valued customer instead of just a number to be serviced.”

Officer John Truong, Port of Portland Police Department

Category: Port Services

John went above and beyond helping a person who was clearly in need of assistance with compassion and empathy.