PHL Impression Makers: British Airways Customer Experience Agent Steve VanVechten

Recently retired British Airways Customer Experience Agent Steve VanVechten received the “Impression Makers” award in Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) Employee Recognition Program. This award recognizes customer-facing employees who provide direct customer service to passengers.  

Steve receives recognition of service to British Airways

VanVechten worked for British Airways for more than 30 years. In his role as customer experience agent, he assisted passengers with check-in, baggage claim and rebooking flights. 

In his recommendation of VanVechten, British Airways Regional Director Michael “Mike” Murray, noted how a passenger’s father wrote in thanking VanVechten for assisting his daughter, a college student in Philadelphia, rebook her flight out of PHL after her flight from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) was cancelled. The letter praised VanVechten’s excellent customer service and stated, “The world needs more Steves!.”   

Throughout the years, VanVechten has attended different trainings in customer service, safety, baggage claim and ticketing among others. His sense of humor kept him and his colleagues in a positive mood during challenging times.

“Helping travelers has been the most meaningful part of my job,” said VanVechten. “I enjoyed resolving any issues that arose.”  

VanVechten  always prioritized passenger needs and far exceeded employee expectations.   

“It’s been rewarding to get people back to meet their families after they haven’t seen each other for a long time,” he said.  

Prior to working with British Airways, VanVechten worked in cargo for a different airline. Over the years he has enjoyed working with colleagues located in different cities across the country.  

One of his most memorable moments is holding the London 2012 Summer Olympics torch   

“Working within the airlines is a niche job,” said VanVechten. “I learned something new every day.”   

Throughout his life, VanVechten has always lived by the quote, “Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”   

VanVechten is grateful to Murray for the employee recognition and hopes to travel to a few places in Europe now that he’s retired.  

“I hope the aviation industry comes back as strong as it was before the pandemic,” said VanVechten. I hope I left a legacy of doing the right things. I hope people followed my lead and learned things from me about the job and the industry.”  

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.     



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