18:25 PM

May 2021 Employee of the Month: Every traveler is a VIP to Protocol Officer Cristine Keller

As a Protocol Officer for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD), Cristine Keller is used to providing customer service fit for a king.

She is one of eight employees in MDAD’s Protocol Division who coordinate and facilitate the movement of high-level officials, dignitaries, delegates, guests and VIPs through Miami International Airport daily between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Protocol Division also consists of a multi-lingual staff proficient in Creole, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. 

So it was no surprise that when Cristine encountered two distressed passengers one evening last month, they received the royal treatment. That evening, after Cristine escorted a foreign minister to his flight, she also helped a married couple switch seats with the minister so the couple could sit next to each other. After they boarded the flight, Cristine followed her instincts and waited another 30 minutes because she suspected the flight might get cancelled - and sure enough, it did.

While helping the minister schedule another flight, Cristine saw that the same couple she helped previously was very frustrated and distraught about their flight getting cancelled, so she offered to drive them on her trolley all the way from Gate E33 to their airline’s rebooking area in Concourse D.

When the couple wrote MIA later to say thank you for Cristine’s help, they noted that the only silver lining about their frustrating experience was Cristine’s kindness and excellent customer service. They also commended Cristine for being at their gate bright and early the next morning to see them and the foreign minister off for their rescheduled flight!

For Cristine’s efforts to roll out the red carpet for these passengers and give them a positive airport experience, she was named MIA’s May 2021 Employee of the Month.