There are many ways to wear a face mask — under the chin, under the nose or hanging from an ear, for instance. But only the correct way — over the mouth and nose — helps protect others from illness and earns PHL airport employees special rewards.
To recognize and thank airport employees for wearing masks that can often be hot and uncomfortable over a work shift, PHL CEO Chellie Cameron charged Director of Guest Experience Leah Douglas with finding a way to show all badged employees that the airport is grateful for their efforts to ensure a healthy and safe environment for everyone.
“The City of Philadelphia launched its ‘#Mask Up PHL’ campaign at the end of June to encourage residents to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect others by wearing masks properly,” said Douglas. “I started seeing images of local landmarks and statues wearing masks with #MaskUpPHL. Since the airport is owned by the city, I thought it would be great to show our support for the campaign by incorporating the hashtag into our employee program.”
Earlier this year, PHL launched its Guest Experience Stakeholder Council, with representation from all of the airport’s partners, including airlines, TSA and PHL Food & Shops merchants. “There are 21,000 employees at PHL, only about 800 of which are members of the City of Philadelphia’s Division of Aviation. However, to guests, anyone wearing an airport security badge is a PHL employee- not distinguished by airline, concessionaire or other airport stakeholder,” said Douglas. “We all have to work together to keep everyone healthy and safe and recognize that wearing masks does just that.”
To provide a sense of solidarity and a nod of thanks, Douglas decided to build on the PHL Airport Art Program’s popular pinback button program and design buttons with Philadelphia’s beloved sports teams’ mascots (the Flyers’ Gritty, the Phillie Phanatic and the Eagles’ Swoop) along with the Rocky Balboa statue all wearing masks holding a #MaskUpPHL banner. Unlike the Art Program’s buttons, which are given to passengers, the #MaskUpPHL buttons are for employees only, making them highly coveted collectibles.
Douglas and representatives from the airlines and MarketPlace PHL have walked the terminals unannounced and surprised employees that are properly wearing their facemasks. To date, they have distributed about 500 pins. Employees are asked to wear the pins on their uniforms or lanyards as a way to signify compliance and to show their pride in the work that they do everyday to foster safety for our employees, stakeholders, and guests.
“United Team PHL was very proud to partner with the Division of Aviation in the ‘Mask Up’ initiative,” said Ophelia Dames, United’s PHL Station Manager. “We are honored to be a part of a responsible and caring team working to keep our employees, customers and airport community safe.”
“It is a lot of fun to giveaway the pins and employees are truly grateful to receive one,” said Douglas. “We also take photographs of each employee who receives a pin so that they can be shared among their respective companies. It’s a simple and great way to say thank you.”