TSA Supervisor Rafiu Adekanmbi recently received the “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” award in 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.
As a TSA Supervisor, Adekanmbi upholds the safety and security of passengers at the D/E checkpoint. He especially provides compassionate service to guests with different disabilities. He works the 4 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. shift Sunday through Thursday and has been at PHL for 10 years.
At PHL, Adekanmbi demonstrates customer-centrism, prioritizing passenger needs, teamwork, transcending expectations, proactive communication, and effectiveness.
“I love working at the airport,” said Adekanmbi. “I was always interested in the aviation industry. When I was a kid, my father worked for an airline and brought home toy planes.”
In her nomination of Adekanmbi, Assistant Director of Community Engagement Keesha Lane stated, “Rafiu does a phenomenal job. He and I coordinate screening students and chaperones through the security checkpoint when schools visit the airport. He always welcomes our guests with a smile and says something to make them laugh. His pleasant demeanor and customer-friendly personality add value to the PHL experience. He and his team accommodate groups with personalized service when possible, which allows us to adhere to a tight schedule. Rafiu and his team rock!”
He approaches his work understandingly and never takes anything personally while always smiling. He knows how frustrating travel can be for those flying for the first time and ensures their experience goes smoothly.
“I want people to be happy,” said Adekanmbi. “I like meeting different people every day. Interacting with new people is the best part of my job.”
Adekanmbi is certified in CPR/AED. He recently assisted a pregnant woman who nearly fainted. He called 3111 and got her ice. She recovered and was able to continue her travels with her husband.
While working, Adekanmbi listens to passengers and believes in being straightforward and consistent. He remains focused on the TSA's mission and pre-plans to achieve their goals.
Adekanmbi immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria over a decade ago. He’s fluent in Yoruba and enjoys learning a few words from every language. “I love the diversity of Philadelphia,” he said. “You'll find so many different cultures and traditions in this city.”
One of the most interesting situations he encountered was when a passenger brought a goldfish service animal through the TSA checkpoint.
He lives by the quotes “treat people the way you want to be treated”’ and “always do your best”.
“I would like to thank Keesha Lane for nominating me for this award,” said Adekanmbi. “I would also like to give a shout-out to everyone at the D/E checkpoint and to all the TSA Officers.”
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.