When Parkers are Pushed to their Limits

By Cindy Campbell

As a frequent flyer, you learn to roll with flight delays and cancellations—unless, of course, you enjoy unnecessary agitation and high blood pressure. A recent late-night flight out of Los Angeles was cancelled and I had the unanticipated opportunity to witness high drama at the curb. Perhaps you’ve heard: LAX now prohibits TNCs and taxis from picking up passengers curbside, instead shuttling these would-be ride-hailers to a remote location where they can meet up with their drivers. During the first week of this new curb management strategy, media outlets were reporting wait times in excess of 90 minutes for some customers. Needless to say, the new shuttle plan is still being tweaked. Travelers are inconvenienced to be sure, but the somewhat overlooked airport parking and traffic personnel have a thankless job as they deal with a higher than normal number of irate, agitated, belligerent passengers.

It’s no secret that frontline personnel within our industry encounter rude—even aggressive—customers on a regular basis. In fact, many of IPMI’s online and onsite training programs were specifically designed to address these difficult customer situations. What happens when a customer fully crosses the line and threatens—or even physically attacks—our personnel? While no one wants to promote physical confrontation, it’s important that we’re able to protect ourselves with the skill set necessary to escape harm when confronted.

“Out of Danger” is the featured article in the November issue of Parking & Mobility magazine. If you haven’t had the opportunity, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it. The article highlights the City of Milwaukee and their work with Vistelar, a company known for their deescalation, non-escalation, and physical escape training. Training sessions (like Vistelar’s program) offer our industry additional resources to better address the growing concern for employee safety. Check it out.

Cindy Campbell is IPMI’s senior training and development specialist.