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Economy / Business

TPA Has New Volunteer Ambassador Program

Tampa International Aiport terminal.

Just in time for the Republican National Convention, people traveling through Tampa International Airport now have volunteers to greet them with a smile.

It's all part of the airport's new Volunteer Ambassador Program.

The program has 89 volunteers and four new visitor information centers in the airport's baggage claim areas.

The volunteers give information from shuttle bus schedules, to restrooms, to the best attractions in the area.

"We feel like it's really important for passengers who are traveling through Tampa International Airport to get the best customer service possible and our volunteer core is a way to help them navigate through the Tampa Bay area, navigate the airport... so it's really about going the extra mile for our passengers," said TIA spokeswoman Janet Zink.

Zink says volunteers come from all walks of life from retired folk, to college students, to former airline employees.

Volunteer Tom Kelly joined the Ambassador program with his wife. He says they travel often and put themselves in other people's shoes.

"[T]here's been times that we've been in airports that we were somewhat lost and we thought to ourselves, 'gee it would be nice to help people in that situation,'" said Kelly.

Kelly and all volunteers go through an orientation.

"Mostly what was emphasized is a smile, I mean they went out of their way to emphasize that and I think that works in every culture, don't you?" he said.