Airport attendant goes above and beyond to help a passenger
Helping a stranded passenger with instructions is one thing, but sticking with them and offering to bring them home goes beyond that. Especially during working hours.
Anthony Wheeler, a chief cleaning technician at Performance Plus at South Bend International Airport in South Bend, Indiana, did just that for an elderly passenger who was waiting on a bus that never came.
The man, in his 80s, insisted that Miller Transportation had a bus line to Indianapolis and that he took it to the airport every year.
Wheeler took the passenger to the airport information desk where Brian Wells, an information and communications center agent, confirmed that the bus had not been driven there since 2019 – likely the last time the man mounted it before the pandemic.
“Anthony stayed with him the entire time to make sure he was okay,” Wells recalls. “He even offered to take him home. The passenger was very grateful and Anthony was really a help to him; the man was distraught and Anthony went beyond.
Wheeler brought the man home during his lunch break and returned to work that day.
“I just wanted to help him because I just love helping people,” Wheeler said.
A generous spirit
Tina Watson, Performance Plus site operations manager and Wheeler’s supervisor, said she was “shocked, but not shocked” when she received an email from Wells about Wheeler’s generosity. “He is a great worker. He’s a team player. He will come in and help as much as he can, stay if he has to, come early, ”Watson said.
Watson had supervised Wheeler since he was hired last October and had known him almost two years previously. “He is doing everything he can and he will do anything for everyone, especially the elderly,” she said.
Performance Plus is a family-owned commercial cleaning company with over 100 years of experience. It provides on-call services to medical, airport and educational facilities in Indiana and Southwest Michigan.
Watson oversees 12 Performance Plus employees and said they often go above and beyond their cleaning duties, like Wheeler did, to help wheelchair passengers or to call an Uber for them. “We make sure we do everything we can for them,” she said.
Wheeler said he liked his job because he was able to work at his own pace. He added that the pandemic has not affected his work since joining Performance Plus. “The only challenge is finding the right employees to help keep the momentum going,” he said.
Wheeler was offered a free airport meal card for his generosity.