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Philadelphia International Airport Introduces New Tools to Assist International, Non-English-Speaking Travelers

by Kimberly Inlander

Apr 2, 2024

© David Rosenblum, PHL

Airline

Philadelphia International Airport aims to enhance the travel experience for guests that do not speak English as their primary language. The airport recently introduced two new tools to assist those passengers in navigating PHL.

 

The GLOBO phone system provides an easy way to connect highly qualified, industry-specialized interpreters to travelers in seconds. GLOBO is accessed through the airport’s collaboration with the Language Access Program with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

 

traveler aid

© David Rosenblum, PHL

“Being in an unfamiliar airport, with no idea where to head to make a connecting flight, collect baggage or find transportation can be unsettling for anyone,” said Leah Douglas, director of guest experience, PHL. “Not knowing how to speak and read English, can make the situation even more stressful for travelers.”

 

Travelers can find GLOBO in all terminals at information desks; the Navigator and Volunteer Navigator teams use the system to instantly connect the travelers with a live agent via the phone.

 

PHL Airport Operations Center is a multilingual unit with bilingual operators available to assist travelers in Spanish, French, Arabic, Haitian Creole and Bambara.

 

I Speak Program

© David Rosenblum, PHL

“For all other languages, PHL’s AOC utilizes GLOBO for over-the-phone interpretation. Last year, our bilingual staff helped 731 guests, utilizing GLOBO 866 times,” said Denise Bailey, vice president of Business Diversity and Accessibility, PHL.

 

Coming soon, Department of Aviation and airport stakeholder employees will wear pins indicating what languages they speak other than English.

 

“We have employees that know American Sign Language (ASL) and speak Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, German and Italian and are identifying more multilingual speakers all the time,” said Douglas. “PHL proudly welcomes passengers from around the world to Philadelphia and we want them to feel at home and have a great experience while they are here.”

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