A TSA manager from St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) was recognized for going well beyond the call of duty and his great customer service. Robert Davis was named Ambassador of the Year for the Catch Us Giving customer service program at STL’s annual employee celebration this month.
Davis averted a travel nightmare for a father and son who were on their way to Japan. An early morning flight was canceled, but the two passengers found the last two tickets on another connecting flight. However, boarding was closing in just 15 minutes, and they still had to go through security. The son had TSA PreCheck™ and quickly passed through the checkpoint, while his father was still in the back of the standard screening line.
That’s when Davis stepped in to help. He moved the father to the front to make sure he caught the flight.
“As a manager, we have a little more flexibility on the decisions we make and just help them out,” Davis told St. Louis Public Radio. “Typically, we don’t have a habit of putting people in front.”
“Mr. Davis rescued me in the nick of time and placed me in a line which enabled us to barely catch the flight,” said the father in a letter to the airport. “My son purchased the trip for my 71st birthday. All the money he spent would have been lost had Mr. Davis not rescued us. The trip was wonderful; one of a lifetime. All would have not been possible had it not been for the kind intervention of this really good man. He’s my HERO and will always be remembered as the guy who let me fulfill my dream.”
Deputy Assistant Federal Security Director Shayne Danielson backed Davis’ decision to move the father to the front of the line. “It’s not necessarily what we do,” said Danielson, “it’s how we do it. For Robert, what he does on a daily basis, he does it very well. He has that person-to-person interaction that really resonates with people, and he can take an issue that’s escalated and deescalate it very quickly, turning it into something good.”
“I didn’t think anything of it,” Davis said.
It wasn’t the only time Davis interacted with the passenger he helped. “He went above and beyond to find me,” said Davis. “He wrote me a letter, I’ve talked to him several times, and he sent pictures of his son and him in Japan in front of some of the big-time monuments there.”
The Catch Us Giving customer service recognition program just completed its 10th year. It was developed exclusively for STL and its facility partners. The program encourages the public to "catch" airport employees giving great customer service and nominate them for customer service awards.