It was a year of highs and lows for employees across the Caribbean. And nowhere is that more true than for the Envoy and Worldwide Flight Service (WFS) team in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (STX). After a series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms caused widespread damage to homes, island infrastructure and more, the station ended the third quarter on a high note, beating all five Customer Cup metrics and besting more than 25 other stations in their category to win American’s coveted Customer Cup.
While a special American Airlines relief flight evacuated customers and brought much-needed supplies to the island soon after the storms, those who remained had the hard task of rebuilding and getting things back to normal. With the help of the U.S. Red Cross, the American Airlines Family Fund and Hyatt Legal assisting with relief documentation, insurance preparation and more, it’s been a long road to get back to normalcy on the island.
“How the Caribbean islands handled this year’s storms was one of the proudest moments of my career,” said American Airlines Senior Vice President, International & Cargo, Jim Butler during the station’s Customer Cup celebration. “Not only that, but I remember looking at the numbers and I was amazed. You were able to win the Cup during a quarter that included the region’s most severe hurricanes in history. It’s outstanding.”
“The last time St. Croix won a Customer Cup was seven years ago,” added American Airlines Regional Managing Director, Alfredo Gonzalez. “In terms of numbers – the team was able to drive down complaints by more than 50 percent, improve airport experience by more than three points and beat more than 25 other stations in the category. Behind the numbers, that means that when customers leave the island, they have a positive experience and want to come back and visit again.”
And with St. Croix shifting away from traditional industries such as oil refining and more towards seasonal tourism, a positive island experience is a key part of the station’s success.
“After every flight, everyone – above and below the wing – gets together to discuss what went well and what could be improved for the next flight,” said Envoy Vice President, International Operations, Jorge Ramirez-Blanco. “This collaboration and teamwork is a big part of what helped team STX outperform all five Customer Cup metrics and take home the Cup win. I’m proud of the entire team for what they’ve accomplished – it all adds up to a great travel experience for American’s customers.”
“Customer Experience is really important for us. We try to live up to the ‘island hospitality’ vibe and make everyone welcome,” said Station Agent Rhonda Branch. “We’ve had some retirements, some transfers and lots of new faces since the storm. We’re all driving towards the same goal and working hard to get things back to normal.”
At a special event on December 20, the WFS and Envoy teams came together to enjoy a much-deserved Customer Cup meal together, with music provided by the Eddie Russell band.
“With increased frequency between Miami and St. Croix, we’re almost back to normal after a very tough year,” said American Airlines General Manager, U.S. Virgin Islands, Mark Nelson during the celebration. “This is a testament to your hard work – when we get knocked down, we get up and go for great.”
Here’s to the Envoy and WFS teams in St. Croix – congratulations on your well-deserved Customer Cup win.