March 2021 Employee of the Month: Employees zoom traveler in wheelchair to flight in record time
NASCAR pit crews could learn a thing or two from Miami-Dade Aviation Department Terminal Operations Senior Agent Darius Bradshaw and Terminal Operations Specialist Shanna Cooper, MIA’s March 2021 Employees of the Month, who helped a passenger in a wheelchair make her flight in record time.
After a misunderstanding about wheelchair assistance between the Magnuson couple and their airline, the travelers found themselves at MIA’s Rental Car Center without a wheelchair to get Mrs. Magnuson to their boarding gate, and with no time to spare.
While Mr. Magnuson desperately searched for a wheelchair, he ran into Senior Agent Bradshaw and Specialist Cooper. The first thing Specialist Cooper said before he could even speak was, "How can I help you, sir?" He described what his wife needed, and they quickly jumped into action. According to Mr. Magnuson, “They approached the issue right away with a "can do" attitude, rather than a "why are you bothering us" attitude.”
Bradshaw and Cooper both got on their phones with multiple contacts to locate a wheelchair. After finding an available wheelchair in the airport’s Lost and Found office, Cooper walked Mr. Magnuson to Lost and Found, led him back to where his wife was waiting, and simultaneously answered questions from other passengers who were trying to find their way through the airport – “an impressive juggling act,” said Mr. Magnuson.
Cooper then grabbed their suitcase and led the Magnusons all the way to the airline check-in counter, only to find two airline employees walking away because they were done checking in the flight.
Though it was 40 minutes before departure, the airline employees said it was too late to make the flight. When Mr. Magnuson tried in vain to negotiate with the airline, his wife began crying because she felt responsible for then missing the flight. At that point, Cooper began talking to them and convinced one to call his manager. After a few minutes on the phone, the employee returned and said they could get us on the flight.
The experience went from being horrible to miraculous. The bottom line is that we would not have made it home if not for Shanna going the second, third, and fourth mile, putting our needs before her own, and turning disaster into relief. All because of two amazing individuals. Our hats are off to you, Shanna Cooper and Mr. Bradshaw. I would hope that if there is some sort of employee recognition program, that these two would receive the highest recognition possible because we were blown away by the extraordinary customer service.