Employee Spotlight: Tihani Anderson, Guest Experience Supervisor
With a winning smile and a healthy fear of flying, Tihani helps bring world-class kindness to TPA's guests.
Travelers looking for information at Tampa International Airport might stumble upon the Airport's Guest Experience Team, and Guest Experience Supervisor Tihani Anderson is often one of the first people travelers meet when looking for information.
Tihani grew up in Chicago and previously worked at O’Hare International Airport.
“I'm a Chicago girl through-and-through," Tihani said.
While at O'Hare, she managed a large vendor dedicated to assisting passengers for American Airlines. But after her husband was transferred to Tampa, Tihani began considering her job options and ended up joining a wheelchair assistance team at TPA. Quickly after getting to know her way around the Airport, she knew where she wanted to be was on the Guest Experience Team with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which manages and operates TPA.
“I decided to give it a shot and was so nervous after applying,” she said. "I had heard that the hiring process for Guest Experience representatives could be intense and after several rounds of interviews, I didn’t know if I was going to get the job. Everyone seemed so excited to work in TPA's Guest Experience Team and it was infectious – the energy was really incredible and I wanted to join.”
As Tihani waited to hear back on the status of her job application, she went about her usual work helping guests at the Airport.
“Several days after the interview, we were assisting an elderly individual make their way through the Main Terminal," Tihani said. "That individual looked at me and said, ‘Be patient – things are coming.’ I had no idea what they meant by that, but wouldn't you know it, that same day I heard back from TPA and I had the job. It was such an incredible experience and I was thrilled to join the team.”
What does Tihani like most about her role at TPA? That no two days – and in fact, no two hours – are the same. Each interaction with a guest is unique, every question is different and each moment brings a new opportunity to make someone's day.
“I really think I attract guests who are a bit nervous to fly," Tihani said. "Funny enough, I’m a nervous flyer, so I come prepared with lots of tips to help make their travel experience better. You’d think that I would love to fly, but it takes a lot for me to board an airplane, so I find that I can relate to those travelers.”
Tihani explained that her team does more than simply sit at the Main Terminal Information Desk to answer questions.
“It’s so much more than that,” Tihani said. “We give so many guided tours, help international customers navigate the Airport, and go the extra mile to help each traveler with their questions.”
When she’s not at work, you’ll find Tihani working out, relaxing at the beach, or indulging in a reality television show. She also loves spending time with her three grandkids.
“Those kids are the light of my life,” Tihani said. She dreams of one day making a trip to Brazil. “Oh I definitely want to visit Rio de Janeiro and attend the Rio Carnival. It's the largest one in the world. While I am a bit fearful of flying, I’m working up the courage to go and I know I’ll make it there one of these days.”
Tihani offered advice for those considering a career in airport guest experience. “If you want to work in this industry, be yourself, be genuine, and let your light shine through. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or give suggestions: so many amazing ideas for improvement have come from our newest team members. And always remember that in this job, we are here to serve and give back to each person we come into contact with.”