Operations Assistants Provide Tips for Pick Up & Drop Off
Picking up or dropping off a passenger at the Airport can be confusing, especially if you don’t do it very often. As America’s Friendliest Airport ®, we strive to provide exceptional customer service and to assist travelers. Passing through Sky Harbor, you will often see individuals on the curbs with black shorts or pants, black shirts with the city of Phoenix logo, yellow vests and radios. These are our Landside Operations Assistants (OAs). OAs play an essential role in assisting passengers on the curbs as they arrive to pick up and drop off members of their party. Here are some helpful hints from OAs regarding picking up and dropping off passengers, regulations on the curbs, how to obtain special needs permits, and much more.
First, it is important to know which airline the passengers you are dropping off or picking up are flying. This will allow you to follow the signs to the correct terminal. PHX Sky Harbor has three terminals – Terminal 2, Terminal 3, and Terminal 4. Both Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 have north and south sides and the doors are numbered. Odd numbers are on the north side and even numbers are on the south side. It is helpful if passengers stand outside one of the doors and tell you before you pull up to the curb which door number is closest.
Remember that the terminal curbs are for immediate loading and unloading only. Due to security regulations, vehicles are not allowed to park and wait at the curbs. Passengers ready for pick-up should wait on the curb and be ready to load as soon as the vehicle stops. So if you canít wait on the curb, what options do you have?
Instead of circling the terminals waiting to pick up a passenger, utilize the free Cell Phone Waiting Lots located on the East and West ends of the Airport. These handy lots have a flight display board where you can see if the flights have arrived and when you should head to the terminal to pick-up your party. Remember, you must remain in your vehicle at these lots at all times.
During peak periods, curbs can become very congested. For example, the Terminal 4 curbs are very busy in the morning and evening hours. It might be easier to park in the terminal parking garage. Aviation Supervisor II, Cindy Murillo, says that drivers can park in Level 4 of Terminal 4 Parking Garage by the East or West Elevator banks and locate their party, load, and depart within minutes. The cost is $4 per hour, but it eliminates the stress of navigating heavy traffic at the terminal curbs.
What if you have extra luggage or a wheelchair and will take longer to unload or pick up? Did you know that the Airport has Special Needs Permits? These permits are issued by OAs in an effort to manage the curb. In order to receive a permit, an OA must inspect the vehicle; fill out the permit with the date, starting time, the amount of time available for the permit, the license plate number, and the location of the vehicle. The OA will then direct the vehicle to the area on the curb that is least busy to minimize impact to traffic. OAs will also often assist oversized vehicles such as RVs with where to park.
Another helpful tip is to tune into 1610 AM on your radio as you are driving through PHX Sky Harbor for information on Airport conditions. Or visit our Pick Up & Drop Off web page for more information.
The OAs truly are the eyes and the ears of the curbs striving to provide outstanding customer service while also keeping an eye on safety and security regulations, traffic control and parking enforcement.
Above and to the right, OA Richard Angulo gets ready for his shift at Terminal 3.
First posted: 7/15/10