Small signs of big change are everywhere you look at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s airports. And behind the new lanyards, the bright smiles, and the celebrations of jobs well done, a new way of serving our guests has emerged.
Driven by a freshly energized workforce and underpinned by WE SOAR – a robust airport employee engagement program – the airports’ revamped core service values now reflect an overarching promise to employees and customers alike: By delivering exceptional experiences together, we will soar to new heights and proudly become the global standard for seamless air travel.
To accomplish this, nearly 40,000 employees from dozens of airport businesses have participated in classroom exercises or viewed a training video since the start of 2019 to learn more about WE SOAR and its principles, which are captured with a few keywords and phrases:
- Exceed Expectations
- Seek to Connect
- Own It
The WE SOAR training program affirms that all employees, whether they interact directly with customers or work behind the scenes, can build relationships and bridge gaps to deliver world-class service.
In addition to receiving an introduction to the WE SOAR service values, more employees are now equipped with tools and technology to enable success. Airport Customer Experience Specialists, better known as ACES, carry tablets programmed with airport maps and real-time journey information so they can better address customers’ needs and provide support to their co-workers.
Beyond training and new equipment, The Port Authority is acknowledging excellence, recognizing and rewarding the workforce whose daily contributions turn service aspirations into a reality. Since September 2019, over 600 employees have been recognized via the online WE SOAR HIGHER nomination portal for providing outstanding customer service to guests from all over the globe. Using a simple web-based form, airport guests can recognize a service provider, and employees can nominate each other. Their stories appear on a virtual Wall of Excellence, like this one from December 15: “This young man gave very concise directions (we were confused and tired) and gave them with great cheer and lifted up our spirits.”
The Port Authority has committed to recognizing employees and volunteers monthly, quarterly, and annually across the airport system. Inspired individuals who put the WE SOAR principles into action will receive quarterly awards of $500; annual award recipients will receive $2,500.
It takes an extraordinary collaboration between the Port Authority, airport terminal operators, federal partners, and contracted service providers to operate our airports daily. So the next time you are walking through the airport, take a few minutes to visit WeSoarHigher.com and recognize one of the dedicated members of this special community.
Sharon Joya with ERMC Aviation was very kind, patient, attentive and helped me to get a shuttle bus to my hotel. Wonderful service.
Karen Vølund Fechter
Thanks for taking the time to let us know about Sharon Joya’s wonderful service. The best way to give Sharon the recognition she deserves is to nominate her for an award on the Port Authority of NY & NY We Soar Higher website.
Last week I was traveling and one of your employees saw that I was overwhelmed with my baggage and seeming distraught. She did not know that I was just coming back from my mom’s funeral and my mind was also overwhelmed and my heart distraught. She pitched in to help me carry my baggage and accompanied me to my check in. She went beyond the call of duty with her kindness. Her name is Bertha Mansolez, with ERMC in Newark Airport. Badge# 6300503040.
We are very happy to hear that Bertha Mansolez treated as kindly as she did during your time of need. Our suggestion is that you nominate Bertha for a SOAR Higher Award at the NYNJ Port Authority website, https://www.selectagiftplan.com/wesoar
I traveled today from Fort Myers to LaGuardia Airport. I had a situation with my ride. I was at terminal B and wanted some directions for my ride to come get me. I went back in and found this kind and patient woman her name was Lauriston A.
Company ERMC. She really took times to help me figure it all out. Even waited for me to cal a Lyft driver so that I was safe to go back to my Gibraltar destination. Great customer service!!!!
We love hearing positive stories about the New York airports and all the hard working people that keep them running! Thank you for sharing!
Darlene Hunter (ERMC) is a stellar employee. I had to actually remind myself that I was at LaGuardia. What a pleasant surprise to have someone offer help and give it correctly. I am still impressed.
Thanks for sharing your experience with our readers!
Let me tell you about my experience landing at LaGuardia today New York can be a little intimidating. However me and my cousin wanted to be a little adventurous so we decided to see a little bit of Queens, this is when we met Veressa Tejeda she instructed us on what buses to get on where to get off and how far our walk would be to our final destination it gave us a lot to brag about. Located in B LGA thank Veressa for your help