21:29 PM

July 2022 Employee of the Month: Passenger in wheelchair gets emergency curbside assistance

Despite using a wheelchair and requiring significant mobility assistance, an elderly Miami resident and his wife had their first flight in years all planned out. They arranged in advance with their airline for her to help him out of the car and leave him with some of their luggage at the curbside of Miami International Airport, where airline personnel would provide baggage assistance and a wheelchair. She would then park the car and meet him at the wheelchair assistance area, to save him the long journey from the garage. Everything was going according to plan that day until the husband realized his wife had just accidentally dropped him off at the wrong curbside entrance door for wheelchair assistance! His wife had already driven off and the 75-year-old amputee felt stranded, wondering how he would make it inside the terminal with his luggage.

Fortunately, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Senior Landside Officer Bart Allen saw the passenger’s distress and approached him to find out what was going on. After a brief explanation, Bart went inside the terminal and quickly returned with a wheelchair, organized his luggage, and brought him to the airline’s wheelchair assistance area. He stayed with the passenger while he got checked in and even returned a few moments later to make sure his wife had found him.

“Mr. Allen’s kindness and attention were incredibly appreciated and remarkable, which I think are understatements,” the passenger said in his commendation email to the airport. “I will be sharing this compliment with both Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who is a neighbor and family friend, and with her husband Rob, who is also my physician. Employees like Bart Allen deserve recognition for exceptional service to our disabled Miami-Dade County community.”

In appreciation of Bart’s compassionate efforts to provide some emergency curbside assistance, he was named MIA’s July 2022 Employee of the Month.