Members of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires, such as Trudy Gordon, perform a number of important duties at the Charlottetown airport, such as helping passengers find taxis. In an effort to improve service for passengers arriving on flights late at night, the airport authority has launched a pilot project for the month of February in which they have hired an extra commissionaire whose sole job will be to help people find transportation.
Hailing a cab is a bit easier these days for passengers catching a late-night ride into the city after arriving at the Charlottetown airport.
The Charlottetown Airport Authority has hired one extra commissionaire for this month to help people get a taxi between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m., sometimes later when weather impacts arrivals.
Doug Newson, CEO of the airport authority, said the extra commissionaire's sole responsibility will be hailing cabs for passengers.
"The idea for February is to have a dedicated individual who will assist passengers and correspond directly with our taxi provider to ensure the service is where we think it needs to be,'' Newson said.
It's cost the airport approximately $3,000 to carry out the assessment. They'll also be tracking numbers and wait times.
"We want to make sure if we do any changes or do anything different going forward, and we're going to be getting into the busy spring and summer season here fairly soon so we wanted to do it at a time of year that will allow us to do that.''
The airport's contract for commissionaires is with the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.
Newson said it's in that late-night area where the airport wants to improve service.
"We're going to work with our taxi provider when we gather all the data and the metrics and see what we can do going forward.''
He noted that passengers can grow frustrated when there's nobody there to help them.
"At least if the passengers know someone is working on getting a car there or helping them out or to have someone to talk to, that alleviates a bit of the stress of basically standing there and waiting.''
The airport authority will review how things went at the end of the month by sitting down with the commissionaires and taxi provider.
"(It's) probably not something we can afford to keep on a permanent basis, but maybe there's a balance there that we can look at. At the end of the day, customer service is our number one priority. It's more important for us to have a good service so people know they can get that transportation when they arrive in Charlottetown.''