Meet Los Angeles International Airport's N.I.C.E.™ Problem Solvers

We give N.I.C.E. new meaning - "Resiliency Edge" workers Neutralize Irritations Customers Experience™

They solve problems, relieve stress - and produce satisfied customers. Scroll down the page to read all their stories!

Read 2010 winners' stories - and see winners' photos

View 2011 annual winners

Click here for Participant Login

Thank you to our sponsors who make this Project LIFToff incentive possible, including Daniels Bistro, World Way West Cafe/Encounter Restaurant and hotel/restaurant members of Gateway to LA, including:

  • Holiday Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Border Grill, Embassy Suites, Westin, Radisson Hotel, Sheraton Gateway LAX, Paparazzi Restaurant, Daniels Bistro

And to LA INC members:

  • Starline Tours, Universal Studios Hollywood, LACMA, Buca di Beppo Restaurant - Universal City, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Malibu Family Wines, Pedal or Not Electric Bicycle Tours

Sort N.I.C.E. stories by company:

Return to Main Story Page


Photo (courtesy of the Daily Breeze) shows employees at LAX taking the Resiliency Edge "kick off" class. To view a news story about the class, click here.


Below, See LAX AWARD EVENT news clip (click here to enlarge)


"Resiliency Edge" Success Stories

Entry Num:
301
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Raymond S
Name:
Sgt Jackson
Comments:

A woman approached traffic officer Raymond S on the Arrivals level very upset. She leaned out the window of her car and was nearly incoherent as she told of her concern for her daughter’s safety. Raymond used his engagement skills to calm her by walking over to her window on the driver’s side and adopting a calm voice. She told him she was worried because she couldn’t find her daughter and he told her not to worry that he would help her.

He asked her questions in a calm voice and gradually he discovered that she had arrived at the airport two hours earlier to pick up her young daughter who was flying into LAX alone and had been driving around hoping to see her daughter at the arrivals curb. When she called the airline and learned that her daughter’s flight had landed nearly an hour earlier she went into a panic.

Raymond reassured her he would help. He was proactive. First, he suggested she park her car and directed her where to do that. Then he told her she should come back to him. She thanked him for his concern, and when she returned after parking the car he walked her to a monitor. He showed her where she could find the carousel for her daughter’s flight. He told her she might well find her daughter waiting there, he said, and if not she should come back and they would try another approach to solve the problem.

But no need. She found her daughter by the carousel, where the baggage had been delayed. The woman was calm now as she told Raymond how embarrassed she was for being hysterical, and she thanked him for being so patient.

He said, “No problem, ma’am. That’s what I’m here for."



Entry Num:
299
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Airport Police
Name:
Don Shaw
Comments:

We had a situation today which was well handled by the non-emergency police unit and we wanted to pass it along. A very distressed passenger came to the booth. She had her elderly father and two children with her. She had left her car with LAX Valet Service, but when she returned from her trip and called their number she got a disconnect. We called the number with the same result and then checked with Information which gave us a second number.

Same result.

We called Airport Police non-emergency to see if they had any information. They immediately sent an officer – a great service touch! - who gave the woman a ride to Airport Valet on Sepulveda and Westchester Expressway. The family stayed with us. When the woman returned with the car she said the Valet’s phones were not operating. She was very grateful for the prompt, helpful response of the AP police. Indeed!



Entry Num:
291
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Monique O
Name:
Sgt Turner
Comments:

It was late a night when traffic officer Monique O was approached by a female traveler who could not locate her car. The traveler had parked in a lot across from the terminals, but she got confused after returning home and could not find her vehicle.

After wandering around the airport for an hour and half, she was in tears. That’s when she approached Monique who calmed her by speaking softly and assuring the woman she would stay with her until they could find her car.

Monique was proactive and radioed to a police unit, which was able to connect her with parking. Using the patron’s name, vehicle information and the date and time the traveler had come to the airport, Monique and staff on the other end of the phone were successful in locating the garage and the area in the garage where the car was parked.

The patron was still crying, but she calmed down as Monique continued to reassure her that the problem was almost solved, and she calmed down further as Monique walked with her to the appropriate parking garage at to an area at Pillar 6-A.

Now the woman brightened totally and cried out for joy as they spotted her car and she continued to thank Monique over and over for her “rescue,” as she called it and after a hundred more thank you’s, she drove away.



Entry Num:
283
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Alan M
Name:
Sgt Jackson
Comments:

One evening a man approached Traffic Officer Alan M and asked for directions to a bus stop. He handed Alan a piece of paper with an address on it, and Alan interrupted what he was doing to help the man.

Alan used his cell phone to access the internet to identify the most effective bus route, but as he did so, he noticed that the man seemed increasingly confused. Rather than send him to the bus stop alone, Alan called dispatch to see if he could get the man a ride to that area to catch his bus. Then Alan engaged the man in conversation to learn more about him since the man’s continued confusion concerned Alan. When the man became upset for no reason, Alan relied on his training and called for police assistance to help determine the man’s real issue.

Through that process Alan and the police learned that the man was a “Missing Person” from Montebello with medical issues. Their investigation showed that the man’s father was distraught looking for his son. To make a long story short, through leadership, professional instinct and pride in doing his job well, Alan and airport police were able to turn the man over to the custody of a Montebello police officer who succeeded in reuniting the missing man with his father.





Entry Num:
281
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Alan M
Name:
Sgt Jackson
Comments:

One evening a man approached Traffic Officer Alan Mora and asked for directions to a bus stop. He handed Alan a piece of paper with an address on it, and Alan interrupted what he was doing to help the man.

Alan used his cell phone to access the internet to identify the most effective bus route, but as he investigated, he noticed that the man seemed increasingly confused. Rather than send him to the bus stop alone, Alan called dispatch to see if it might be possible to get the man a ride to the area where he could catch the bus. Showing concern for the man, Alan engaged him in conversation to learn more about him, and when the man became increasingly confused, Alan called for police back up to come by.

Through that process Alan and the police learned that the man was a “Missing Person” from Montebello with medical issues. Their investigation showed that the man’s father was distraught looking for him, but through Alan’s conscientious effort and his pride in doing his job well, they were able to turn the man over to the custody of a Montebello police officer who succeeded in reuniting the man and his father.



Entry Num:
269
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Jose Luis Miranda
Name:
Lt Hill
Comments:

It was Thanksgiving evening and things were very busy on the curb. I was directing traffic at Terminal 5 when a car pulled up and the driver stopped. I walked over and told him politely that it was against regulations to wait at the curb. I explained that the rule was in effect for everyone’s safety. He didn’t say anything, and drove up another 30 feet and stopped again.

Again, I walked over to him and I smiled, a little bit bigger this time. I motioned to him to roll down his window so I could show him something, and he started yelling at me.

I used my engagement skills and I spoke softly as I said, no, no, calm down. I told him, “I want to give you a coffee coupon to thank you for complying.”

“Wha?” he said.

I told him to help everyone get home and enjoy Thanksgiving, we had coffee coupons to thank drivers for complying with the rules and helping us keep traffic flowing in front of the terminals.

He was stunned, and he just stared at me. “I thought you were going to give me a ticket,” he said.

“No, coffee coupon,” I said, and I handed him the coupon.

At that point, his passenger arrived and hopped in the car, but the driver just kept staring at me. Then he apologized and drove on.

Courtesy mission accomplished!



Entry Num:
266
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
G. Leibscher
Name:
Coordinator
Comments:

While working traffic control at terminal 7, I stepped inside a moment and hear a man yell at an airline representative. The man was really upset about his bag being lost and demanded action from the rep. The rep told the passenger that if he did not stop yelling she would end the conversation. He didn’t stop, and she told him "This conversation is over, I'm calling the police.”

I used my resiliency skills to step in and be proactive. I separated the irate passenger from the rep and I asked the passenger what the problem was.

He said the airline and had taken his bag at the gate and gave him a claim ticket. Now he had the claim check and they couldn’t tell him where the bag was. I asked the Rep what happen and she said it was possible that the passenger was late for his flight and to accommodate him, they had checked his bag at the gate. She said the passenger needed to file a claim with the customer service department not her.

The passenger just wanted a contact number and an explanation for the lost bag, since he was worried about personal valuables in it. Obviously there was a communication issue. I was proactive and stepped in to calm the situation. I obtained the airline’s customer service number for the man and explained to him what he needed to do and this helped resolve the matter.



Entry Num:
265
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Ofc G. Leibscher
Comments:

While working traffic control at terminal 7, I stepped inside a moment to do paperwork and heard a man yell at an airline representative. The man was really upset about his bag being lost and demanded action from the rep. The rep told him that if he did not stop yelling she would end the conversation. He didn’t stop, and she told him that "This conversation is over, I'm calling the police.”

I was proactive and stepped in to separate the irate passenger from the rep and I asked the passenger what the problem was. He said the airline and had taken his bag at the gate and had given him a claim ticket. Now he had the claim check but they couldn’t tell him where the bag was. I asked the Rep what happen and she said it was possible that the passenger was late for his flight and to accommodate him, they had checked his bag at the gate. She said the passenger needed to file a claim with the customer service department not her.

The passenger just wanted a contact number and an explanation for the lost bag, since he was worried about personal valuables in it. Obviously there was a communication issue going on so I took it upon myself to obtain the airline’s customer service number for the man. Then I explained to him what he needed to do and this helped resolve the matter.



Entry Num:
263
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
D. S.
Name:
Sgt Goodman
Comments:

A couple approached me and they were very upset because their connecting flight was to leave in an hour and they were totally lost. I could see how upset they were and even though I was busy on the curb with traffic I took a moment to explain to them that they were at the wrong terminal, but I showed them how to catch the shuttle to get to the right place to catch their flight. They kept thanking me all the way to the shuttle as they ran to catch it.


Entry Num:
262
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Gabriel B
Name:
Sgt Santos
Comments:

While i was directing traffic a passenger and his wife approached me to complain that their luggage had been damaged during the flight they had just come in on. I engaged them and explained that I was with the traffic police but I understood their concern and I took time to explain them how they could get to their air carrier to bring the damage to the airline's notice - and that would help them. They were very appreciative for the time I took to pay attention to their problem.


Entry Num:
255
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Eric G
Name:
Sgts Stanciell and Jackson
Comments:

A woman on the verge of tears approached Eric, a LAWA traffic police officer, and asked if he was going to arrest her. Eric could see how distraught the woman was and his immediate response calmed her when he said, “No, I’m here to help you.”

She burst into tears and told him that her family had sent her to LA to enter a rehabilitation program but after she landed she decided she didn’t want to go. She had been wandering around the airport for four hours after arriving, she said, and he sat her down on a bench on the front drive. He sat beside her and he let her talk, just talk. This calmed her and told her everything was going to be OK.

In the course of things he learned that a driver from the rehabilitation clinic was supposed to pick her up, and long story short Eric made contact with the driver, who had been driving around frantically looking for the woman. As she got into the car she took Eric’s hand and thanked him. She was no longer crying. “Because of you, now I’m ready to go do this,” she said. “Thank you for caring.”



Entry Num:
250
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Patrick G
Name:
Sgt Turner
Comments:

A husband and wife needed a place to stay overnight, but they were having no luck finding a hotel. They could barely speak English. I was set to go on break and I told them I would help them.

First I was proactive and found an interpreter, another traveler in the area, and he translated for me as I told the couple I had an idea. I told them we would go inside the terminal to the Travelers desk, and I would see if we could get help there to find them a hotel. The interpreter stayed with the situation too, and I was able to work at the Travelers desk to find them a place for the night. The interpreter told them the good news and they broke into smiles. Then the interpreter turned to me, and said, “They want you to know how grateful they are for your professionalism.”

Made my day, better than a break.



Entry Num:
249
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Jesse P
Name:
G Jackson
Comments:

A woman returned to the airport very upset. She told me that she had dropped her brother off four hour earlier and that he had not made it to his destination yet, which was only an hour away by air.

So she had returned to the airport to check on him, and I was calm and engaging. I told her she couldn’t leave her car, but if she gave me a description, I would call in a report and have a check done on her brother. She thanked me and when she returned after driving around I was able to report that her brother was found. He was still at his gate waiting for his flight to leave.

Not a good thing for him. But good for her, that he was safe and she could relax. She thanked me for taking an interest and offering to help.



Entry Num:
248
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Tonya H
Name:
Supervisory staff
Comments:

I had a passenger who was upset because she was running late and about to miss her international flight. Sometimes discretion is important and even though she was taking a long time to get all her things out of the car, which was parked in front of TBIT, I could see she was taking things out of the car that looked like wedding things.

I engaged her politely and she told me that she was getting married overseas and she was so anxious because she was late. I used my discretion and waved to several cars to go around her so she could have an extra minute to get all her bridal things out of the car.

As she ran toward the terminal, she turned around and said to me over her shoulder, “Thank you for being a life saver!”



Entry Num:
245
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
James B
Name:
Sgt Gary Jackson
Comments:

Sometimes you have to use your head. I had a man drive around two times, since I could not allow him to stop and wait for his wife to come out of the terminal. That’s what he told me when he first pulled up, that he was there to pick up his wife. I explained the policy, and he understood and so he drove around the CTA two times. Then on the third time, I could see a woman waiting on the curb and I saw her make a motion to hurry toward the car. The husband didn’t see her and he was about to drive around a third time, but I held up my hand for him to stop, and he did. That give his wife the few seconds she needed to reach the car, and I let him pause another moment to put her bags in the car. Their two kids jumped out of the car and hugged their mother. The husband signaled me, “Thank you!” and I signaled back to him, “We love families here at LAX!”



Entry Num:
244
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Cleo J
Name:
Sgt Turner
Comments:

A woman tried to stop to pick up her passenger, who was running from behind to catch her car. She kept moving up and up and up, as she tried to obey the rule to keep moving. I saw her passenger running, and I held up my hand and smiled. She was so upset and almost in tears, thinking she would get a ticket if she didn’t keep moving. Again I smiled, and I gave her a moment to pause, which allowed her party to catch the car, and her party got inside. Then I waved her on, and she rolled down the window and said, “Thank you so much for showing interest.”



Entry Num:
243
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Robin B
Name:
Sgt Hoffman
Comments:

A woman called me on the phone very upset because she had lost her bracelet when she had passed through screening at LAX.

She was in NY now, and was calling me as soon as she had arrived. I could see why she was so upset and I communicated in a calm voice that I understood her problem. That helped calm her, and I asked her if I could put her on hold a few minutes. Then I called several places, but I could not locate the bracelet. I told her that, but I told her I would brainstorm with her on a few more reliable options she could try to locate the item.

Now she was very calm because she said she had been transferred to several departments, but she was happy to have me take interest and help her. I gave her the best ways to try to find the bracelet, and she told me thank you for being so helpful.



Entry Num:
242
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Chvele T
Name:
Sgt Turner
Comments:

A man could not find his wife and he was very upset. He told me she should be at the curb by now since the internet said her flight had arrived already.

He started yelling asking why she wasn’t there yet. I calmed him down by explaining in a calm voice that I wanted to help him find his wife. I used my engagement strength to hold the “connection” with him and listened to him and let him vent.

Then I was proactive and verified that in fact her flight had arrived, and at that moment the wife came out the door. The man said thank you for listening, and added, “Thank you for being understanding.”



Entry Num:
241
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Saeed Mala
Name:
Sgt Mixon
Comments:

A man was upset because he couldn’t find the person he had come to pick up. I told him he couldn't leave his car, but he told me he couldn’t park because he didn’t have money. I told him that if would drive around the CTA, I would check on the status of his person’s flight.

While he made a loop, I checked and when he returned I told him that the flight had arrived and his person should be on the way, which he was. His party came out the door and got in the car. The driver told me thank you for doing a great job!



Entry Num:
240
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
D. Sinclair
Name:
Sgt Alexander
Comments:

A group in a car was upset because they could not find their party curbside. I spoke calmly to them, and listened to them and let them vent their frustration. Then I asked a few questions and found out they were at the wrong airport.

I gave them directions to get to John Wayne Airport, and they were very grateful.



Entry Num:
239
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Reginald L
Name:
Sgt Sancielli
Comments:

A woman drove around the CTA several times and still they did not see her party in front of Terminal 5. She was very anxious. I could see her anxiety and I calmed her by offering to check the flight monitor.

When I did I found that her mother’s flight was delayed one hour and I suggested that she might want to park in the garage and go inside the terminal to wait. This would be a lot more comfortable than driving around and around. She told me thank you for the suggestion, and she did.



Entry Num:
238
Company:
Traffic
Employee:
Juvenal M
Name:
Supervisor
Comments:

I advised a driver that she needed to move her car away from the curb, but she did not want to move. I used all four of my resiliency strengths from the program, especially engagement, and I told her in a calm voice that the airport had safety rules and regulations. It was my duty to enforce them, I said. She got upset because she didn’t want to move, but still I remained calm. I took time to explain all over again how the rules worked, and maybe it was the calm voice, but it started to work. I was proactive and I pointed inside the window at the baggage area and explained that people were still waiting for their bags to be delivered. I told her by the time she drove around one time, her party should be ready for her, and again I could see that by my remaining calm, that calmed her. She did drive away. But first she said thank you for taking the time to explain.