New LAWA Gold Star program lets travelers, employees honor LAX staffers for great service.

Gold Star-Worthy

Story and photos courtesy Airports

On March 23, Airports honored 18 outstanding employees and terminal teams with the LAX Gold Star Awards for providing top-notch guest experiences.

From reuniting family members to helping children with special needs get comfortable with the airport environment, LAX recognized 18 airport employees and terminal teams who have gone above and beyond in providing gold-standard customer service with the first LAX Gold Star Awards. The awards recognize achievements in customer service at LAX by teams of airlines, airport staff and business partners that make up entire terminals, based on airport service quality (ASQ) scores. ASQ scores reflect survey results from passengers at LAX. The LAXtra Mile Award also recognizes individual employees for their contributions to exceptional guest experiences.

Employees recognized for this award must be nominated by the traveling public or by a fellow airport employee.

The awards were presented March 23 during a regular meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC). “LAX is the employment and livelihood for more than 55,000 people who cared for and served more than 87.5 million guests last year,” said Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, Airports. “Together, we are one airport community, and every day we strive to deliver an exceptional experience to our guests. Today’s Gold-Standard Corporate and Employee honorees exemplify this commitment to excellence.”

Some of the inaugural winners of the LAXtra Mile award include:

  • Transportation Security Administration Officer Carolyn Williams, who provided assistance to a guest with special needs who was separated from his family. Williams remained with him at the gate and provided him water and comforting conversation as they waited for his family to return. Upon their return, the guest’s wife expressed her appreciation for Officer Williams staying with her husband.
  • Cassandra Heredia, Chief of Operations, Airports’ Emergency Management team, who worked during a federal holiday to assist a family traveling with a person with autism. Heredia provided the family with mock boarding walkthroughs, showing them what to expect during their airport journey.
  • Vilma Del Carmen Ramirez, who while working for SmartCarte in Terminal 1, flagged down an Airport Police Officer to help a passenger with a medical problem in the baggage claim area. Vilma remained with the guest and provided assistance while first responders arrived.

Other award winners included:

  • Tom Bradley International Terminal: Best Overall Terminal, Best Retail and Dining, Best Restrooms
  • Terminal 1: Highest Satisfaction for Security and Courtesy
  • Terminal 8: Most Improved Terminal
  • Terminal 3: Friendliest Terminal

To nominate an LAX employee or partner for the LAXtra Mile Award, visit or text STAR to 52948.

The Gold Star program is just one aspect of LAX’s employee recognition program, and is part of meeting Airports’ strategic goal to expect and support organizational excellence. Over the past year and a half, more than 20,000 employees at LAX and VNY have had training in Airports’ iCARE program, which highlights five iCARE behaviors: informative, courteous, approachable, responsive, efficient and effective

Congratulations to the honorees!