Last year, Terri Gamble-Potter arranged for a helicopter to deliver a delayed bag to a guest who had arrived in Anchorage from the East Coast on his way to a remote area outside Talkeetna, Alaska.
“Knowing that logistics can be challenging for delivery to a remote location, I researched options and was able to have the bag driven to Talkeetna and then airlifted directly to the guest,” says Gamble-Potter, who has been an Anchorage-based customer service agent (CSA) since 1983. On a video of the helicopter’s approach, the guest enthuses: “That’s my freakin’ bag. … Thank you, Alaska Airlines. How ’bout that, huh? That’s service—customer care!”
On another occasion, when a film crew had a tight connection through Anchorage on their way to Nome, she accompanied their checked luggage through security and arranged for a ramp agent to grab it the minute it was cleared so that he could race it to the aircraft.
Gamble-Potter is dedicated to providing excellent service. If someone’s bag is lost, she’s determined to find it. And she not only helps direct guests at baggage carousels, she also assists travelers with offloading their bags.
“Success in service comes from having empathy for people, and follow-through, and doing the very best you can for them,” she says.
Throughout her career at Alaska, she has worked in positions ranging from reservations to the ticket counter to training, as well as bag-gage claim, and she says that Anchorage CSAs are “a very dedicated and caring group of people.”
Gamble-Potter, who was previously a travel agent, joined Alaska Airlines because airline salespeople calling on the travel agency were always talking about how wonderful their jobs were, and how great Alaska Airlines was, and how it was like a family, she says. “I felt the airline had the same values I did, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to work there.’ ”
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What is important to you at work? Giving 100%. We have a responsibility to help each other as co-workers, and to do things safely, and also to put ourselves in the guests’ shoes. I love everything about my job, including being a cheerleader for colleagues and for customer service.
What do you like to do outside of work? I was born and raised in Alaska, and I love living here and being active in the out-doors. I have cruised the Inside Passage and explored other areas of this beautiful state. Outside Alaska, I have traveled to wonderful destinations such as Portugal and the East Coast, and I was even on the first flight from Anchorage to Honolulu on Alaska Airlines. I enjoy organizing community service and volunteering with charities. Each September, my family hikes in Yosemite National Park in support of the Histio Cure Foundation.
What’s most important to you in life? My husband, four children and five grand-kids, who all reside in Alaska.
KUDOS FROM TERRI’S CO-WORKERS
“Terri goes above and beyond for guests. She is a baggage expert and is always there to help new employees learn. She shows compassion to our guests, and is a valuable and important part of our airline family.” — Misty V., CSA Manager, Anchorage
“Terri puts a smile on everybody’s face. She turns a difficult situation into a posi-tive one. She always has positive things to say. She does what she does, not be-cause she is trying to impress anyone, but because that’s just who she is.” — Nathan H., CSA Station Supervisor, Anchorage
“I can go to Terri if I need anything, and she knows exactly where to go so we can help guests out.” — Duane G., Ramp Service Agent, Anchorage
“Terri is passionate about her family, her friends and her airline guests, and that is why she excels in her job.” — Dana S., CSA (retired), Anchorage