Vancouver airport ‘Green Coat’ volunteers help travellers get to their destination

VANCOUVER – As a longtime “Green Coat” volunteer at Vancouver International Airport, Doug Franklin has helped countless travellers find their way around the terminal.

He remembers one incident in particular.

“A woman walks into the airport and shouts: ‘To Toronto!”’ he recalled in an interview posted to the airport’s blog.

“And I say ‘On?’ Meaning on which airline, and she says, ‘Tario!”’

Franklin, 86, was recognized recently at a banquet for his 25 years as a Green Coat, serving for the entire duration of the volunteer program which was launched in November 1989.

The Green Coats, who wear bright green uniforms and are stationed throughout the terminal, answer travellers’ questions on everything from check-in locations and airport retail outlets to Vancouver tourist attractions, proactively approaching those who seem in need of help.

Asked for one piece of advice for anyone just starting out as a Green Coat, he said:

“Find out where the nearest washroom is because you’ll get asked that a lot! And also, don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know.’ And then say, ‘But we’re going to find out for you.”’


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