Airport Business

OCT 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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34 airportbusiness October 2018 Margaret "Maggie" Hartnett Margaret Hartnett has always held forward facing positions in her professional career, which allows her the opportunity to interact with numerous people. “I love that interaction with people and in an airport, you have people going through a whole range of emotions and activities,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to meet people and impact them and make their day a little bit better.” Hartnett joined the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority in May 2016 and has been revamping the way we approach the customer experience at SAN ever since. One of her first initiatives was to bring the airport’s entire volunteer program in-house; eliminating $140,000 per year in contract costs. The volunteers work more than 30,000 hours per year to help travelers have a better experience. “I would never ask a volunteer to do something that I myself wouldn’t do, so I always try and find time to get into the terminals and work with the volunteers at the various stations,” Hartnett said. “Not only do I really honestly enjoy chatting with them and our passengers, but it also helps me do a better job as a manager. By working the stations myself, I can get to know the needs of both groups on a first hand basis.” She implemented a real-time restroom alerting system at SAN that allows passengers to text restroom conditions to airport staff. This program has improved response time to restroom conditions. Hartnett added roaming volunteers within the airport deployed during busy periods and recently opened a new information desk. Hartnett is building partnerships with airlines at San Diego, concessionaires and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to find new ways to improve the passenger experience. She also works with Guide Dogs of America, Love on a Leash, Include Autism, Wounded Warriors, Autism Tree Project Foundation, JetBlue’s “Blue Horizons for Autism” and Honor Flight San Diego. She is currently working on creating a revenue generating concierges program that will provide VIP services to the traveling public. Continued online at

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