Oct 13, 2017

DTW Ambassador Program

I don't travel far very often so it's easy for me to get lost in the bustle of airports. Even especially DTW, even though that airport is by far the one I have visited most often in my life. So I can imagine how out-of-town or even out-of-country travelers could feel coming to such an unknown airport.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed more than 34 million passengers in 2016 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs.   With service from 13 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 non-stop destinations on four continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America.  DTW is operated by Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility.  The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations.   Visit metroairport.com for more information.

Add in the fact that DTW has 2 separate terminals that are quite a distance apart & also much construction building right now (which I got lost in on my way into my airport visit).

Enter the DTW Ambassadors. The team launched in 2008 with one booth in the North Terminal. As the time has passed, the now 80-person-volunteer-staffed team has 7 information booths scattered throughout the airport & other mobile volunteers that walk through the busy traffic areas. 

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) Ambassadors are a dedicated team of volunteers whose mission is to provide a helping hand to travelers along their journey and enhance their experience while visiting the airport.
There are many stories of the ambassadors helping with a wide range of requests, merely from the nearest restroom, all the way to coordinating a way travel to traveler-unknown "nearby" Traverse City & Mackinac Island.

Bonnie answers a traveler's question about her baggage
The volunteers I spoke to all agreed that the best rewards of being an ambassador is the satisfaction of helping, having a variety of tasks every day, meeting new people from all over the world, & always keeping on learning. Volunteers also spend 5 weeks in training to really learn the ins & outs of the airport, free parking always, & discounts at shops & airport restaurants.

Even though the group has grown to 80 now, the ambassador program has a goal to reach 250 to be able to run most efficiently. The booths are staffed from 8 A.M.-8 P.M. every single day of the year. There is especially a need for evening & weekend volunteers, since those are prime traveling times with more passengers needing assistance.

The ambassador program is a wonderful opportunity for people who are curious to learn, eager to assist, & able to problem solve & evaluate quickly. I could imagine the volunteering being a great opportunity for retirees, frequent travelers, job-searchers, students needing to have community service, & even stay-at-home parents that are looking for a fun activity for themselves. Volunteers can work as little as 4 hours per week, so it is very flexible timing for everyone.

If you are curious to learn more, you can visit the DTW Ambassador site here or email airportambassador@wcaa.us

DTW created interactive & still information displays based on FAQ data gathered from the ambassadors

Metro Detroit Mommy Writer: