LAWA Recognizes Gold-Standard Employees and Partners at First LAX Gold Star Awards Celebration

03/21/2019 05:00 PM

The Gold Star program recognizes employees for providing great service.
March 21, 2019

Frederick Badlissi
[email protected]
(424) 646-5260


(Los Angeles, CA) From reuniting family members to helping children with special needs get comfortable with the airport environment, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today recognized 18 airport employees and terminal teams who have gone above and beyond in providing gold-standard customer service with the first annual LAX Gold Star Awards.

The awards recognize achievements in customer service at LAX by teams of airlines, airport staff and business partners that make up entire terminals, based on airport service quality (ASQ) scores. ASQ scores reflect survey results from passengers at LAX. 

The LAXtra Mile Award also recognizes individual employees for their contributions to exceptional guest experiences. Employees who are recognized for this award must be nominated by the traveling public or by a fellow airport employee. 

The awards were presented this morning during a regular meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC). 

"Building a world-class airport is about more than just infrastructure – it takes our employees and partners all working together to consistently deliver gold-standard customer service," said Sean Burton, President, Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. "We are exceedingly proud of our people on the ground who have gone above and beyond to create an unforgettable guest experience and we thank them for their commitment to our guests."

"LAX is the employment and livelihood for more than 55,000 people, who cared for and served more than 87.5 million guests last year," said Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. "Together, we are one airport community and every day we strive to deliver an exceptional experience to our guests. Today’s Gold-Standard Corporate and Employee honorees exemplify this commitment to excellence."

Some of the inaugural winners of the LAXtra Mile award include: 

• Transportation Security Administration Officer Carolyn Williams, who provided assistance to a guest with special needs who was separated from his family. Williams remained with him at the gate and provided him water and comforting conversation as they waited for his family to return. Upon their return, the guest's wife expressed her appreciation for Officer Williams staying with her husband. 

• Cassandra Heredia, Chief of Operations for Los Angeles World Airports' Emergency Management team, who worked during a federal holiday to assist a family traveling with a person with autism. Heredia provided the family with mock boarding walkthroughs, showing them what to expect during their airport journey.


• Vilma Del Carmen Ramirez, who while working for SmartCarte in Terminal 1, flagged down a police officer to help a passenger with a medical problem in the baggage claim area. Vilma remained with the guest and provided assistance while first responders arrived.


Other award winners included:

  • Tom Bradley International Terminal – Best Overall Terminal, Best Retail & Dining, Best Restrooms
  • Terminal 1 – Highest Satisfaction for Security and Courtesy
  • Terminal 8 – Most Improved Terminal
  • Terminal 3 – Friendliest Terminal
  • Most Improved Airline – United Airlines
  • Best Check-In – Southwest Airlines
  • Best Airline – Southwest Airlines

To nominate a LAX employee or partner for the LAXtra Mile Award, visit or text STAR to 52948. 

Over the past few years, LAWA has made incredible strides in improving the guest experience. In March 2017, LAWA began the iCARE program, designed to train and reinforce five iCARE behaviors in all airport employees to be informative, courteous, approachable, responsive, efficient and effective. In November 2018, LAX's LAXceptional Xperience program, which includes iCARE training, performance management and the rewards program, was recognized by Airports Council International-North America as the "Best Overall Customer Service Program” in North America for Large Airports.

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.  

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter  @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube at  

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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