A MAN OF ACTION: HOMER NALLOS
For Homer Nallos – airport customer agent of Philippine Airlines – the ideal of “total passenger care” is manifested through actions, more than words. Our simple and unassuming airport frontliner recently made a huge impact on social media, thanks to his appreciative passenger.
Homer was handling the flight of passenger Dean, who was flying on a recent PAL flight from Manila to Dumaguete after a very stressful journey from Ethiopia with a layover in Singapore. He was also carrying luggage with fragile items that required special care and handling.
To ensure that Dean’s belongings arrived safely and undamaged in Dumaguete, Homer placed several “fragile” stickers on the passenger’s baggage. “He did care,” shared Dean in a Facebook post, who remarked that in the past, agents of other airlines would not agree to place such stickers even when requested. “Homer was so thorough with his job and [I] appreciated how he took the time for detailed explanation re: my boarding time, gate, etc. I can see he’s trying his best and truly represents the heart of the Filipino!”
The service excellence exhibited by Homer not only ensured the safe arrival of the fragile items but touched the hearts of readers who came across the viral post.
Homer is new to the airline world, having joined the MacroAsia service company as a Passenger Sales Agent (PSA) only this year and being assigned to handle service duties for PAL flights at NAIA Terminal 2.
He admitted initially not knowing the extent and impact of the range of responsibilities his job entailed. But after going through extensive mandatory job training and accepting the guidance of his superiors, Homer knew he was good and ready.
Homer said: “Ang katangian bilang PSA ay may malinaw na pakikipag usap at kung ano ang nilalaman ng mga impormasyon sa mga pasahero, sa mga bagahe, at sa mga eroplano.
(The characteristic of a good PSA is being able to clearly communicate the content of information you are sharing with the passengers, information on their baggage and their aircraft.)”
Homer added that listening is an important facet of the job. A PSA needs to be able to connect well with the passenger, and must certainly have a solid grasp of airline and airport procedures and policies.
Homer in light banter with Raemon, his supervisor, during a catch-up meeting while recalling Homer’s “viral” experience.
Raemon Santos, Homer’s supervisor and a nine-year MacroAsia veteran, considers Homer a valuable member of their airport service team. He revealed that Homer is known for his humility and sincerity, traits that made him a standout and earned the praise of passengers and netizens alike.
Indeed, Homer is a positive and welcome influence. Raemon shares that Homer would lead the team in prayer prior to the start of their shift.
Raemon would often tell his team to treat customers with utmost respect: “Listen to their complaints and provide alternative solutions or options to address their concerns.” When tackling difficult challenges, good PSAs should always look at the situation with empathy and put themselves in the passenger’s position.
Homer works at the NAIA Terminal 2, handling domestic flights. Seen with him are Denev Taton, PAL Express Associate Manager for Ground Services, and Raemon.
In response to the viral post, Homer said, “ikinasisiya ko na may pahiwatig na positibo at ikauunlad ng komunikasyon at pakikipaghalubilo sa kapwa tao. (I am glad that there was a positive outcome from my communication and engagement with people.)”
Some netizens remarked that Homer’s actions could be considered standard. Dean, who was the grateful recipient of the assistance, said, “I’ve gone through many airports around the world, and Homer’s thoughtful service stood out.” He explained: “Some commented that my post is romanticizing bare minimum service, which they argue is expected from all ground crew staff. The truth is, that job can be very exhausting after hundreds of passengers and I’ve seen many crew in many countries just operate like a robot understandably, so maintaining such well-intentioned service is very commendable for me!”
Homer is proud to be part of the aviation industry, and to be working with Philippine Airlines. He values the camaraderie and genuine engagement amongst the people he works with, and looks forward to a healthy life, a clear career path, more learning experiences and more milestone moments.
Homer and Raemon shared tips for people aspiring to work as airport service personnel – be patient and kind. Be diligent. Know how adapt to people and situations.
Homer suggested that first-time job-seekers should not lose heart if they don’t get the job they want immediately. Sometimes, these experiences would lead people to a better place. “Take risks, deal with rejection, and learn from your mistakes" he said.
His advice to fellow frontliners: "Face the world and rise to the challenges with a sincere heart – one that aims to serve and help make memorable journeys."