A shout out to the Airport’s essential workers

Oct. 19, 2021

While a lot of people around the world have been working from home throughout much of the pandemic, thousands of men and women at Charlotte Douglas International Airport never left the workplace.

These employees were called ‘‘essential’’ in COVID-19’s early days. As the pandemic dragged on, the definition of what and who was essential changed.

More than 20,000 people working at the Airport – including nearly 700 who are employed by the Airport operator, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department – are all essential in some way. Each has a role in keeping the Airport running efficiently. But there is no doubt that those who came to work at the Airport every day, deserve special recognition.

We want to salute the men and women who have helped keep CLT operating since March 2020 when COVID-19 first rocked our world:

Pilots, flight attendants, ticket agents, customer service reps. Ramp workers, aircraft and avionics maintenance technicians, engine mechanics, wing walkers, airfield operations specialists, airline caterers, air traffic controllers, airline cargo handlers.

Police, firefighters, first responders, paramedics, TSA agents, Customs and Border Protection officers, Airport security, sky marshals.

Taxi drivers, ride-share operators, shuttle bus drivers, valet attendants, wheelchair attendants, vehicle maintenance mechanics, HVAC specialists, the IT geeks who keep computers and technology running.

Servers, chefs, cooks, retail cashiers, salespeople, waiters and waitresses, housekeepers.

Every day. On site. Doing everything in their power to stay safe amid a raging pandemic and help keep planes in the air and passengers on their travels.

There have been complaints about lost tempers, customer service that could have been more pleasant, and yes, closed restaurants and stores due to either a decrease in passenger traffic or the labor shortages that resulted from layoffs early in the pandemic. And we have all seen the stories of upset and unruly passengers lashing out at the very people there to keep them safe and on their travels. Unruly behavior is not tolerated, and the FAA and TSA could level fines on people who do not follow COVID rules and protocols or who disrupt air travel.

It’s is challenging for all of us to adapt in an unprecedented pandemic and all the changes it has brought to our lives. But each one of these essential, onsite workers do their best. They come to work with the goal of keeping the Airport open and serving our customers.

They do their best with the most unusual of circumstances. They continue to do so as CLT’s business partners begin to bounce back from dwindling passenger traffic that caused layoffs 18 months ago and hiring challenges in 2021 as your confidence to fly returned and you flocked to the Airport to travel.

We owe these folks a debt of gratitude. These essential workers at CLT, and airports around the nation, have been and are still today critical to keeping the nation’s air transportation network operating. They are critical to your travel experience.

Salute. High five. Kudos. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.