JetBlue Airways Training Liaison Dana Ellis, a five-year JetBlue veteran, recently received the “Impression Makers” award in the second round of Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Employee Recognition Program. This award recognizes customer-facing employees who provide direct customer service to passengers.
In September, Ellis became a training liaison to 14 new hires. After new JetBlue employees finish basic training in Orlando, they receive on-the-job instruction from Ellis and another liaison at PHL. Ellis guides the staff through their first 90 days in the ticketing, baggage claim, and ticket counter areas. She also provides them with one-on-one training to further familiarize themselves with the new information.
When she’s not training employees during the 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. shift, Ellis works the 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. shift, fulfilling her previous role as an airport operations crew member. During these five hours, Ellis checks in passengers, works the gate area, and assists in baggage claim when needed.
Before working at the airport, Ellis was receptionist, but she craved a more exciting, hands-on job. Since a friend was working for an airline at PHL, she decided to apply for a position at JetBlue.
“This job has opened up a whole new world to me,” said Ellis, who recently received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a double minor in human resources and business law from West Chester University. “I wouldn’t ever trade this experience. I’m happy I applied.”
Ellis was nominated for the Employee Recognition Program by PHL JetBlue General Manager Juan Salmeron, Supervisor Pamela Rivers, and fellow Airport Operations crew member Ken Bowen.
“Dana is an effective colleague and has always shown a willingness to go above and beyond to help both our customers and her coworkers,” said Bowen. “This is even more apparent in this current COVID-19 pandemic. It is very overwhelming a lot of times for our customers, and Dana has shown patience with them in terms of assisting them fill out various travel requirements and navigate airline rules and regulations.”
As a ground security coordinator, Ellis works with other airlines’ staff to help maintain the overall safety of the airport. She’s also certified in CPR/AED and is a complaint resolution official and works closely with passengers with disabilities by confirming the paperwork they have for their service animals.
Ellis’ goal is to ensure that everyone who flies with JetBlue has a smooth-sailing travel experience. She enjoys assisting elderly customers at check-in, as they often prefer assistance from an airline employee over a kiosk. She has participated in JetBlue Airways’ “Wings for Autism,” event that allows families with children who have autism to familiarize themselves with traveling.
“Dana has worked with the Autism Speaks program with JetBlue,” said Rivers. “She will go out of her way to make those who have disabilities feel special, which includes escorting them herself to the gate to ensure that they make it to the correct place.”
Ellis follows JetBlue's five core values of safety, caring, integrity, passion, and fun. She also believes in the company’s slogan “bringing humanity back to travel”. The airline is one of many that have flown Afghan evacuees to their relocation destinations across the United States.
“We prioritize the safety of our passengers,” she said. “It’s also important that we are passionate about our jobs.”
“Dana keeps everyone updated and works collaboratively with our crew members and crew leaders to prioritize the needs of our employees and customers,” said Salmeron.
Ellis considers her coworkers family and enjoys spending time with them after work. “We work seamlessly together,” she said. “We’re all racially and ethnically diverse. We respect and learn from one another.”
As a member of the “fun” committee, she assists in planning team outings to places like Top Golf. She also enjoys planning dress-down days and decorating the ticketing area for different holidays.
“I hope passengers will have such a great experience with my coworkers and me that they’ll fly JetBlue Airways again after experiencing our elite customer service,” said Ellis. “This is a great company. They care about us. This is the first company that’s felt like home to me.”
The PHL Employee Recognition Program was established by the airport’s Guest Experience (GX) Department. Honorees are nominated by their peers and selected by the GX Council Steering Committee’s Employee Conduct and Recognition Committee. To nominate an employee click here. For more information about the program, click here.