BWI wants more help to aid traveling public

Officials are seeking to add 100 volunteers

April 16, 2002|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

If you like people, can read color-coded flight monitors and don't mind sharing your free time with confused travelers, rifle-toting National Guardsmen and the occasional bomb-sniffing dog, then Baltimore-Washington International Airport officials have an opportunity for you.

BWI Airport Director Beverley K. Swaim-Staley is seeking volunteers to help customers navigate BWI's ever-changing terminal, directing the 20 million travelers who pass through each year to parking lots, gates and the nearest deli.

"When you're in the terminal, it's very rare that you don't see someone who looks like they need help," Swaim-Staley said yesterday.

And although the airport director said BWI receives few complaints about customer service, she's quick to add, "I think we can do better in terms of providing assistance."

For the past seven months, Swaim-Staley has asked employees to volunteer as walking customer-service outposts throughout the terminal during peak times.

The airport has accepted volunteers through the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and other agencies for years, but Swaim-Staley believes that a formal volunteer program is needed to staff the terminal, shuttle buses and garages.

Swaim-Staley said that although she will continue to count on employees' help, she wants to cultivate a corps of volunteers to staff the information desks at the domestic and international piers, as well as roam the terminal. The airport has about 25 volunteers, and airport officials said they would like to see 100 more.

Swaim-Staley, however, said she has not settled on a number.

Information about volunteering at BWI: 410-859-7826.

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