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Houston Airport System Provides Warm Welcome for Cruise Customers

March 8, 2013

© Houston Airport System
Contributions from HAS team members included on site assistance as well as behind the scenes preparations.
Team members with the Houston Airport System (HAS) did everything possible to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for approximately 2,300 passengers from Carnival’s troubled Triumph cruise ship.

The passengers arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on February 14, after being stranded for five days on open water due to an engine fire that left most of the ship without power.

The passengers were flown to IAH from New Orleans on charter flights provided by Delta Airlines. The primary role of HAS was to assist in the coordination of those flights and provide basic comforts, such as bottled water and snacks.

"The Houston Airport System is happy to assist our partner Delta Air Lines with a smooth transition of approximately 2,300 passengers as they make their way home from the Carnival cruise ship Triumph,” says Lance Lyttle, Houston Airport System chief operating officer. “We are providing water, refreshments, comfort stations and coloring books with crayons to children. They are boarding busses in our cargo area in order to take them either to Terminal A for passenger pick up or to their final destination in Galveston at the port to retrieve their vehicles."

Operational staff with the airport system were stationed at several key locations throughout the arrival of the 11 chartered flights.

HAS members helped guide the aircraft to the unloading zone, which was established along the eastern portion of the IAH operations area. They also played a key role in reuniting passengers with their luggage and making sure they found the proper mode of transportation for their final leg home.

“All of us felt obligated to make these people feel as welcome and as comfortable as possible,” Lyttle says. “We had watched their ordeal unfold on television for several days, so this was our chance to make the situation a little bit better for them.”
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