LAX Staff Graduates from Innovative Cornell University Airport Hospitality Program

07/09/2019 01:23 PM

For Immediate Release
July 9, 2019

Frederick Badlissi
(424) 646-5260

(Los Angeles, CA) A first-of-its-kind program that teaches hospitality skills that can be applied to the unique operating environment of a 24/7 airport graduated its first class of staff from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today.

“Los Angeles World Airports is committed to delivering exceptional guest experiences, and our innovative partnership with Cornell University will give our already dedicated staff an extra edge in exceeding the expectations of passengers from around the world,” said Barbara Yamamoto, Chief Experience Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Cornell University and LAWA partnered to create the innovative curriculum, which combines online learning and in-person instruction as part of the eCornell Service Excellence On-Demand Training. The program provided airport staff who interact the most with travelers and customers with training and tools necessary to create exceptional guest experiences. The first class of graduates included approximately 50 LAX employees from Operations, Guest Services Division and the Guest Experience Team.

The course, which began in November 2018, was designed to help staff at LAX broaden their service-oriented mindsets while using critical-thinking skills to navigate common interactions with airport guests. The Cornell training program builds on LAWA's airport-wide customer service training, performance management and employee appreciation programs with an additional eight subjects, including cultural sensitivity, conflict resolution and anticipating needs.

“The team members that support the LAX guest experience work in dynamic, demanding environments with countless passengers each day," said Elizabeth Martyn; Senior Project Manager, Online Learning and Collaborative Programs; Cornell School of Hotel Administration, who led the course virtually and in-person. "It was an honor to provide them with training that will not only enhance the traveler experience, but gives these dedicated team members even more tools to drive service excellence.”

Cornell University’s Hotel School is a world leader in hospitality management, making the partnership with LAX a natural fit as the airport aims to adopt a hospitality mindset throughout the passenger journey. LAX was the first airport to partner with Cornell University for this training.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.

LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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