American Airlines Administration Manager on Duty Lita Humphrey was recently recognized in the “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” category of Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Employee Recognition Program. This distinction acknowledges employees who create a positive guest experience through service and delivery while collaborating with other organizations.
Within her role, Humphrey supports approximately 2,000 ramp and 600 gate-side employees with staffing, work schedules, attendance, and payroll. Although she’s been at PHL for less than a year, she’s been with American for nine years, mostly in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
After serving in the military for seven years, Humphrey decided to join the airline industry. She enjoys how every day is different and that it’s not a typical 9– 5 job.
PHL's improvements, growth, and changes drew her to the hub. On any given day, she touches base with her manager and checks in with her team and every area of the operation, including projects and improvements.
“The best part of my job is helping our internal customers,” said Humphrey. “They are the frontline, the foundation of our operation and company. I’m ready to do anything to help and support them. I love coming in and coaching and developing new team members.”
Humphrey has become known for her great teamwork, for transcending expectations, for her proactive communication, effectiveness, and courage.
In his nomination of Humphrey, American Airlines Managing Director Phillip Dupree stated, “Lita stepped into her role in the middle of the summer and through a challenging stage of our transition. She was the only senior-level manager in the entire department for roughly the last quarter of the year. She had to do three different roles to keep the department afloat. Not only did she keep the department above water, but she was also able to implement a new structure that turned around the entire way we do business. We had a lost time problem, and in just a matter of weeks, Lita transformed the entire process while pushing down our issue by roughly 40 percent. Due to her hard work and tireless efforts, she has ensured that during one of the most difficult periods of the year, we had enough staff to keep the hub running at the success rate our customers have become accustomed to. Lita is a star and had every excuse to fail, but she refused to admit defeat and has triumphed. She’s an unsung hero working behind the scenes so that the rest of us are equipped to do our jobs.”
Over the years, Humphrey has improved her interpersonal and leadership skills. She also enjoys working with her coworkers and team members. “Whenever there’s a challenge, it’s all hands-on deck,” she said. “Everyone wants to help our operation succeed. Everyone has also been super supportive. Being from outside of Philadelphia, everyone has been welcoming.”
Of the 20 Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRG’s) at American, Humphrey is part of the PHL Veteran Military and Professional Women in Aviation (PWA) groups.
One of her most memorable moments working for American was when she started as a gate agent early in her career during major delays. “The terminal was filled with passengers,” she said. “I was only able to give passengers the information that I knew. Instead of sitting or hiding, I proactively gave group updates. Once the flights started moving out, actress, Vivica A. Fox, who happened to be a passenger with us that day, recognized me in front of the other passengers. She said that since the delays happened, I had been very communicative and expressed her appreciation of me.”
The most significant driving force in her life is her family. She’s enjoyed traveling with them to Maui, Australia, and Tonga Island, where she got to show them the island traditions of her culture.
“I would like to thank Philip Dupree and Lakshman Amaranayaka, vice president of American’s hub at PHL, for giving me the opportunity and for trusting me and my skills to do what I do,” said Humphrey. “I want to thank the entire administrative department for welcoming me and supporting me since I arrived. I also want to thank my husband, who is the biggest supporter in my life and would go anywhere in the world in support of my dreams and career.”
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. For more information about the program and to nominate an employee, click here.