Lambert-St. Louis International Airport awarded its Ambassador of the Year at the Catch Us Giving customer service annual awards reception Tuesday. The celebration honored hundreds of employees who were “caught” by the public in 2015 for giving great customer service.
The highlight of the event was when a crowded room rose to their feet as Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge announced Henry Ford from ABM/Super Park as the Ambassador of the Year. ABM Industries manages Airport parking and shuttle services. Ford is honored for going out of his way to personally return an envelope containing several thousand dollars cash to Larry Hart, a traveler who unknowingly left it on Ford’s shuttle bus. Mr. Hart, President of LJ Hart & Company, made a surprise appearance to help present the special award.
“I didn’t even know it was missing yet,” Hart said. “I was getting a very good shoe shine for my trip to France, and Henry comes in just running and hands me the envelope. The look on his face, so relieved to find me, tells you what a good person he is.”
The Catch Us Giving program has a key foundation of public involvement to “catch” Airport employees giving great customer service. Nearly 1,200 nominations were submitted in 2015, a growth of 178 percent over 2014. Employees from 40 different companies and employee groups were represented, up 30 percent from 2014. The Catch Us Giving Committee reviews all of the nominations each month and chooses two monthly winners. At the end of the year, they select the person who delivered the most outstanding act of customer service as the program ambassador.
“This type of airport-wide acknowledgement of employees going above and beyond for our passengers is one we look forward to every year,” said Hamm-Niebruegge. “Catch Us Giving is a great way for us to celebrate these exceptional people, while also providing us an opportunity to hear what means most to our guests.”
The reception also included special recognition for the monthly winners, a live band, photo booth, candy bar, lunch buffet, and prize giveaways. The event was sponsored by the Regional Business Council, Funjet Vacations, Air Choice One, and US Bank.
St. Louis Rams merchandise is marked down at retail stores in Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
After 20 years in the gateway city, the St. Louis Rams made a recent announcement that the franchise is relocating to Los Angeles, CA. With a sign that reads “Thanks for the Memories,” Hudson Group, an airport tenant that owns and operates Lambert’s retail stores, has lowered prices by up to 75% on St. Louis Rams merchandise in response to the news. Frequent fliers had gotten familiar with seeing St. Louis Rams clothing and gifts alongside St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Cardinals gear. Fortunately for St. Louis sports fans, there will still be plenty of Blues and Cardinals logos in Lambert. However, just like the team, St. Louis Rams merchandise will only be here for a limited time.
Expedited security clearance through U.S. airports for St. Louis travelers just got easier with the announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that a new Global Entry Enrollment Center has opened at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. This Enrollment Center is for processing applicants for CBP’s trusted traveler programs, such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. The trusted traveler programs allow expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. It is the first Global Entry Enrollment Center in Missouri.
“We are pleased to open a Global Entry Enrollment Center in St. Louis for those hoping to join the ranks of trusted traveler,” said Area Port Director Joseph Lanzante. “The new enrollment center provides a convenient, local center for people to complete their application process.”
The St. Louis enrollment center is now open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Terminal 2, via the International Arrivals entrance (Door 16). Interested travelers must first apply online through the CBP’s Global Online Enrollment System. Once the application is filed, the program will offer available appointment times for applicants to visit Lambert’s enrollment center for an in-person interview. Applicants should park in the Terminal 2 Garage. They can also park in the Terminal 1 Garage and take a free shuttle to Terminal 2.
“A Global Entry enrollment center in St. Louis is one of the biggest demands we’ve had from our business and global travelers over the last couple of years,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Now, St. Louis applicants no longer have to travel to other cities to finish the enrollment process.”
Upon arrival in the United States from abroad, Global Entry members are able to bypass the traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk. Travelers scan their passport and fingerprints, answer customs declaration questions using the kiosk’s touch screen and proceed with a receipt to the exit—the whole process takes only about one minute.
Global Entry has expanded to 52 locations, including 11 international preclearance locations. These locations serve 99 percent of incoming travelers to the United States. U.S. citizens enrolled in Global Entry automatically become eligible for benefits of TSA Pre✓™ for domestic travel. Travelers interested in enrolling in one of CBP’s trusted traveler programs can learn more about the programs at CBP.gov.
Steve Valdez with the Airport Sign Shop moves a large piece of foamcore to a specialized roller to adhere the graphics.
If you’ve ever been to an airport, you have likely noticed that there are A LOT of signs. From roadways to runways and the entire building complex in between, signs of all shapes, sizes and materials are everywhere. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has its own sign shop that manufactures the vast array of airport signage needs. The Airport Sign Shop is a vital component to keeping people, planes and airport operations running smoothly and safely. The shop recently completed a major renovation project in Terminal 2, upgrading the public wayfinding signs from gray to a bright Lambert blue. The signs being made in this photo will be placed by concourse telephones for Cape Air and Air Choice One shuttle passengers.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport wrapped up 2015 with its best year in passenger traffic since 2009. Lambert (STL) served 12,752,331 total passengers in 2015, a 2.9 percent increase vs 2014 (12,395,860 passengers). Enplanements (boarding passengers) for the year were up 2.7% with 6,376,297 passengers vs 6,206,499 in 2014. Arriving passenger traffic was up 3 percent with 6,376,034 passengers vs 6,189,361 in 2014.
“We saw passenger growth in 10 months over the year, and ended with a strong holiday season that saw passenger activity increase more than six percent in the final quarter,” said Lambert Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “Lambert’s airlines reported strong ticket sales throughout the year and we added four new non-stop destinations this year that certainly helped fuel this growth.”
Lambert’s new non-stop destinations in 2015 included Southwest Airlines’ service to Austin, TX (AUS) and Orange County, CA (SNA), Alaska’s service to Portland, OR (PDX) and Air Choice One’s new service to Jackson, TN (MKL).
Momentum from 2015 is carrying over to 2016. The addition of several more new non-stop destinations from St. Louis will push Lambert to more than 70 non-stop destinations by the peak summer travel season. Earlier this month Southwest began twice-daily service to Little Rock, AR (LIT). In March, Southwest will begin flying a daily non-stop to Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) and will then add twice daily service to Wichita, KS (ICT) and Des Moines, IA (DSM) in April. Frontier Airlines will begin 3x per week service to Atlanta, GA (ATL) in April. In June, Southwest will begin new service to Oakland, CA (OAK) - a new St. Louis destination- while also adding Cleveland, OH (CLE) and Portland, OR (PDX) to its network.
Southwest finished 2015 with a leading enplanement market share of 51.7 percent. American Airlines is 2nd in market share with 20 percent. Delta Air Lines is 3rd in market share with nearly 14 percent of enplanements at Lambert for the year.
A passenger helplessly looks at a flight information display after flights are cancelled nationwide due to a large snowstorm in the east.
The east coast is bracing for a record-setting snowfall forecasted to hit this weekend. CNN News reported on Friday that nearly 30 million residents are under blizzard watches or warnings, and at least 4,500 flights have been canceled ahead of the expected storm, which is stranding thousands of passengers. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport alone had 24 arrivals and 34 departures cancelled on Friday. Airports in larger cities saw even more of their flights impacted. The weather conditions are predicted to be so severe, several major airlines began halting service completely to the affected states as early as Friday afternoon. Passengers are urged to check with their airlines for the latest information on flight delays and cancellations.
A low winter sun casts an array of shadows onto the floor in the Terminal 1 Ticketing Lounge.
The architecture of Terminal 1 at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is iconic for its sweeping domes and hundreds of individually unique window panes. The wash of natural light in the space-age terminal is beautiful in any season, but in the winter, it allows for special shadows that can only be seen this time of year. With the winter sun so low in the sky, the rays cast striking shadows onto the floor in the mid-afternoon. The myriad of shapes in the Terminal 1 Ticketing Lounge make for beautiful shadow art patterns that accent the space.
Hiding under that napkin is a giant sprinkled donut Dad picked out just for her, at the celebration of STL’s new service to Little Rock, AR.
A delicious and colorful sight greeted Terminal 2 passengers on Friday morning. Scattered throughout gate E10 were dozens of balloons, and seemingly endless boxes of decorated donuts for the taking. The sweet surprise was to celebrate the launch of twice-daily service to Little Rock, AR on Southwest Airlines beginning January 6th. The two daily flights to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock depart STL at 10:25 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. from Terminal 2, where Southwest currently operates 11 gates. Flights from Little Rock will arrive at Lambert at 7:40 a.m. and 6:35 p.m. The schedule gives Little Rock travelers greater connectivity to other destinations on the Southwest network through St. Louis. Also announced this week, Frontier Airlines is expanding service with a non-stop route to Atlanta, GA starting in April.
Until then, air travelers can continue to use all official state IDs for boarding domestic commercial flights. Beyond the new deadline, those passengers carrying IDs that do not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act must present an alternative form of identification acceptable to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
DHS also outlined a timetable for educating the traveling public beginning in 2016 with web-based advisories, handouts and airport signage.
Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) today applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of its plan to provide a reasonable time prior to initiating the enforcement of REAL ID requirements for passengers traveling on commercial aircraft.
“ACI-NA and its member U.S. airports applaud the decision by DHS to provide a reasonable timeframe prior to requiring passengers to present identification from a REAL ID compliant state in order to travel on commercial aircraft,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Through its decision to provide a two-year implementation timeframe, DHS clearly recognized the importance of minimizing the potential impact on the traveling public. ACI-NA and its member airports look forward to ongoing coordination with DHS and the Transportation Security Administration to advance initiatives to educate travelers and help to ensure a reasonable implementation of REAL ID requirements.”
Read official DHS Announcement and REAL Id Timeline.
DHS further states in its web post that it is in the process of planning how to enforce Real ID regulations at airports. However, there will not be any changes made without a minimum of a 120-day notice to the traveling public. Missouri, Illinois and a few other states are still working though compliance issues related to the Real ID Act.
Avoid parking fees the next time you pick up a passenger. Lambert provides free waiting zones for motorists near each terminal.