Skip to content

Airport Customer Service Hero

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond for our airport’s customers? Nominate that person for an Airport Customer Service Hero award!

Send your nominations to by Dec. 31. To ensure a nomination is complete, please provide the following information:   

  • The person’s full name
  • Which airport they are located, see list of airports below*
  • Their organization/company within the airport community
  • The full story of why they should be selected (this is VERY important)

Simply write the nomination into an email. 

Then copy & paste the below email address to send the submission to

This award is open to all employees and volunteers at the MAC’s seven airports. The award includes a trophy, public recognition within MSP Airport and a check for $1,000.

*Eligible airports include: Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Anoka County Airport, Airlake Airport, Crystal Airport, Flying Cloud Airport, Lake Elmo Airport, and St. Paul Downtown Airport. 

2020 Airport Customer Service Hero award winners 

Phil Burke
Metropolitan Airports Commission

From Dec. 22, 2018, through Jan. 25, 2019, the federal government was shut down due to funding.  As a result of the shutdown, TSA employees continued to serve in their official capacity but did so without receiving compensation, causing severe hardships for themselves and their families. As the shutdown continued and it became apparent TSA officers would be missing their first paycheck, Phil Burke took action. 

He and his well-developed network of MSP partners pulled together resources that provided meals to officers at both MSP terminals. Phil ensured this continued until officers received their first post-shutdown paycheck. Additionally, Phil coordinated locations for the officers to sit in the terminals, and placed signs so the travelling public would have an opportunity to thank the officers while they were eating.  Numerous passengers showed their appreciation for the TSA officers during these times. 

In addition, Phil also created and currently chairs two committees within the airport community. The first is the Travelers Advisory Committee. This committee pulls together members of the traveling public to solicit feedback from both business and leisure travelers to enhance the customer experience.  The second committee is the Travelers with Disabilities Advisory Committee. Through a wide range of participation, this initiative works to provide equitable access for all travelers.

Phil continues to show his care and concern for those around him with not only words, but actions.  He epitomizes the term "MSP Nice" and has proven to be an irreplaceable member and partner of the MSP community. 

Butch Howard
HMS Host

A hero can be defined as someone who contributes meaningfully to a community and we genuinely could not have asked for a more ideal candidate than Butch Howard.  He has enhanced the workplace at MSP by introducing the Transit Link Connect shuttle service, which provides transportation for MSP employees who needed better options for getting to work.  

He also championed and chaired the annual MSP Nice Celebration, which recognizes the top 1 percent of airport employees who were recognized by the traveling public for their extraordinary customer service. 

Butch was the first to take the initiative and explore the logistics of donating fresh and healthy food to those in need, resulting in a highly successful food donation program. To date, MSP has donated more than 100,000 pounds of food to our community, in partnership with the Loaves and Fishes organization.

Butch has served as the chair of the St. Paul College Foundation Board and chair of the Ramsey County Workforce Innovation Board. He currently serves on the Airport Foundation Board of Directors and co-chairs "Everybody In" to reduce racial disparity in the seven-county metro area.

Jeanne McMahon
Delta Air Lines

Jeanne is an ambassador lead in the MSP Sky Club. Her natural connection with our guests has enabled her to be a "miracle" to not one, but two, of our guests.

In February, a guest entered the Club and told Jeanne she was not feeling well and mentioned she had recently undergone heart surgery.   Jeanne listened to the guest, who insisted it was not serious; due to her perseverance, the guest agreed to have paramedics look at her in a quiet room. The paramedics deemed the condition was serious, and the guest and her son immediately returned to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where the surgery had been performed. Two weeks later when the guest came into the club, she hugged Jeanne and said, "You saved my life. I would not be here had it not been for you."

Last June, two of our guests received a phone call while traveling. They were told a match for one of the guests, who was on the kidney transplant list, had become available and he needed to return to Cincinnati immediately that evening.  The last flight was departing in 36 minutes and was fully booked. 

Jeanne looked through the connecting passenger list and located two seats. She contacted the gate to inform them of the situation and the importance of having these customers onboard. Both were able to make the flight. The next day Jeanne received an update from the daughter that her dad had arrived at the hospital and tests were completed at midnight; he was having his new kidney replaced while she was on the phone. 

She said, "Jeanne you are our angel and saved his life." Jeanne traveled to Cincinnati, reuniting with the family and sharing their experience on the local television station; the event was aired on Christmas Day as the feature of its "Positively Cincinnati"segment.