Customer Care Connection

WELCOME FROM RICHARD HESLIN, GENERAL MANAGER, NEWARK LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

2012-01-09 Richard Heslin 1

Hello and welcome to our airport’s Customer Care Connection. Below you’ll find details about the Port Authority’s enhanced customer service program that provides you with the best amenities and services possible. Customer service has been a priority of mine since 1997, when I was Manager of Landside and Customer Services and helped create the Customer Care Representative program that’s a hallmark here at Newark Liberty and throughout the Port Authority’s airport system. As an airport customer, you’re responsible for Newark Liberty’s enormous economic impact: more than 161,000 jobs, more than $8.3 billion in annual wages, and nearly $23 billion in annual sales. We appreciate your business, and we’re committed to making your airport experience pleasant, efficient, and enjoyable. Please send your ideas and suggestions to airportcustomerideas@panynj.gov

THE PORT AUTHORITY’S CUSTOMER CARE PROGRAM

At the Port Authority’s airports, the customer comes first. We take great care to provide our 112 million-plus annual air travelers with the best services possible.

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Great service begins with our red-jacketed Customer Care Representatives (CCRs), who can answer just about any customer question and provide one-on-one personalized service for thousands of travelers every day. With more than 300 CCRs mobilized across the Port Authority’s airport system, we’re prepared to assist travelers throughout the airports: at our state-of-the-art Welcome Centers, terminal frontages, ticket counters, doorways, AirTrain stations, federal inspection facilities, and anywhere else customers may need help.

Other customer care services and initiatives include:

  • Welcome Centers in every terminal, staffed by CCRs and offering extensive information about ground transportation, hotels and tourist points of interest
  • Hundreds of power poles and charging stations throughout the airports, many featuring USB ports, to allow customers to recharge portable electronic devices at no cost
  • Thousands of new seats
  • Better and easier access to airport and airline information, including a mobile phone app, FlySmart; more flight information monitors; free airport alerts (subscribe at http://www.airportinfoalerts.com/); and “next-arriving-train” monitors at AirTrain Newark and AirTrain JFK stations
  • A cell-phone parking lot at Newark Liberty and JFK where customers can park legally and for free while waiting to pick up arriving passengers, who call their rides waiting in the lot when they are ready
  • “Mystery shopper” airport quality assurance teams to monitor and evaluate vendors and other airport employees in order to provide the Port Authority with analysis to make targeted improvements in services
  • Anti-hustling campaign to assist arriving passengers and targeting illegal rides and drivers
  • Customer Care Avatars — computerized, hologram-like CCRs that provide automated airport information to millions of travelers in arrivals areas at Newark Liberty, JFK and LaGuardia airports
  • Expansion of the agency’s award-winning airport signage program
  • Expansion of the Port Authority Customer Care Training program to emphasize attitude, appearance, awareness and knowledge for airport employees

SPOTLIGHT ON SERVICE: FREE WI-FI COMING TO OUR AIRPORTS

Every year, the Port Authority conducts a comprehensive survey of its customers at Newark Liberty International, John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, Stewart International, and Atlantic City International airports. We question more than 10,000 customers on a host of topics, and we use the results to inform the initiatives we undertake.

One of the top desires of Port Authority airport travelers has been access to complimentary Wi-Fi service. Following approval in June 2014 by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners of a new arrangement with our service provider, the Port Authority’s airports are set to offer access to limited free Wi-Fi at the terminals this fall.

Under a modified agreement with Boingo, the firm will upgrade existing wireless technology at the Port Authority's airports to enhance service, with free Wi-Fi service offered this fall upon completion of those technology improvements. Users may purchase additional access in daily or monthly increments following 30-minute free sessions.

“The Port Authority has put renewed emphasis on customer service and bringing free Wi-Fi to JFK, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia and Stewart has been a top priority,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “We’ve worked hard with Boingo to make changes that will significantly improve our customers’ experience at our airports.”

“Today’s announcement is further proof of the Port Authority’s unwavering commitment in recent years to improve air passengers’ experiences at our airports,” said Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Deb Gramiccioni. “We are focused on the myriad investments and amenities that will truly make our airports 21st century world-class operations.”

Boingo’s subsidiary, New York Telecom Partners LLC, will install, operate and maintain the expanded Wi-Fi network that will allow the 30 minutes of free service. New York Telecom will invest an estimated $3.8 million in additional hardware and software that will deliver higher speed Internet and better signal connections for users throughout the terminals at the four airports.

Is there a customer service improvement you’d like to see? We want to know. Please write to us at airportcustomerideas@panynj.gov.         

REWARD AND RECOGNITION PROGRAM

Every quarter, the Port Authority recognizes airport employees who go above and beyond their normal duties to assist our customers (Port Authority employees are ineligible). We also hold an annual awards ceremony.

Newark Liberty International Airport’s “Above and Beyond” Honorees

TSA_Kennish

Robert Kennish, U.S. Transportation Security Administration Agent

Mr. Kennish is credited with helping save the life of a passenger at Newark Liberty International Airport. He performed CPR on an elderly woman after she collapsed on a passenger ramp and stopped breathing. Flight attendants from a Virgin America aircraft and two passengers — an ophthalmologist and a nurse — also came to the woman’s aid. The TSA says the doctor administered an automatic defibrillator an attendant retrieved from the jet, and Mr. Kennish resumed CPR. The woman also received oxygen and was breathing when paramedics arrived. TSA officials say the quick action by Mr. Kennish, a trained emergency medical technician, was likely responsible for saving the woman’s life. Mr. Kennish called it a group effort.

Brianna Bravo, Metropolitan Museum of Art Store, Terminal C

Ms. Bravo, center with Nicole Crifo, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Executive Director and Ralph Tragale, Assistant Director, Aviation.

Brianna_Bravo_Terminal_C

A customer wrote us the following: “Last week (2013) I went to the Metropolitan Museum gift store in Terminal C to buy a few Christmas gifts. I usually buy one for a friend in Paterson every year and have the store send it to their home. I received a phone call from an employee of the store saying the shipper had been unable to deliver the package. Knowing how I send a gift to this person every year and that it would not get there by Christmas, this employee took it upon herself to deliver it in person. She called me from my friend’s front door in Paterson asking if I had the phone number since she was knocking at the door and getting no answer. I was completely surprised and deeply impressed that she had gone to such lengths to make sure the package would arrive by Christmas.  She is truly an exceptional employee.”

To nominate an airport employee for the program, please click here. Each quarter, we also will award a prize to a random customer who submits an employee name and information about how they provided consistency in service or went above and beyond, so send your nomination today!

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

In 2007, the Port Authority launched a dedicated email address asking customers for their input and feedback to enhance the customer experience and solicit ideas about improving the airports. Since then, hundreds of customers have written, and we’ve responded with a number of initiatives, including more power outlets, additional seating, Welcome Centers, in-terminal entertainment, and much more.

Contact us with your ideas and suggestions by emailing airportcustomerideas@panynj.gov

 

 



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