Guest post from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport employee Heather Lissner
As travelers prepare for their upcoming holiday trips, many may have heard the TSA’s warnings to not wrap gifts before going through security in the event that they may need to be inspected. For some, this adds another thing to the To Do List--how to wrap my gifts once I get to the destination. What many may not have heard about is the post-security gift wrapping at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The gift wrapping is free for an optional donation which benefits the local United Way.
Last year was the first time that Phoenix Sky Harbor offered this helpful holiday service. It was also my first time volunteering as a gift wrapper. What a fun experience it was! I was pleasantly surprised how many passengers were thrilled that we were offering this service. People would walk by, do a double take and then come over and get out their gifts. They were so grateful that they didn’t have to worry with wrapping their gifts when they reached their destinations. We even had quite a few travelers who would walk by, smile, and then come back to us later with the items that they purchased at the airport. Knowing that there would be gift-wrapping available was a big incentive for many travelers to make airport purchases.
It was so enjoyable to be able to help these travelers. Along with fellow volunteers, I wrapped all kinds of gifts from books to gift cards and even oddly shaped objects. In fact, one man bought a stuffed animal dog-shaped purse for his daughter. That was a challenging one to wrap, but he was glad that he didn’t have to attempt it! No gift is too large or small to wrap.
For me, the holiday season is a time for trimming the tree, baking cookies, singing carols, and watching holiday movies. These are activities I enjoy each year. But being able to help travelers and wrap gifts for those who were in a hurry to get home to see loved ones was by far the most rewarding holiday activity of all. And, knowing that not only was I helping travelers, but the community as well was truly rewarding.
So as you travel through Phoenix Sky Harbor why not ease some of your worries by getting your gifts wrapped at the Airport? This year, volunteers will be wrapping gifts post security in Terminal 4 beginning Monday, December 20 through Thursday, December 23 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.