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By Mary Alice Murphy

Amanda Davila, a native of Grant County and now customer service representative for Advanced Airlines at the Grant County Airport, came into her job in December 2019.

"I was referred through a friend who transferred to the Advanced Airlines headquarters at Hawthorne, near Los Angeles, California," Davila said. "It's not surprising that all of my jobs have been customer-service based. I was a student liaison at Western New Mexico University. Even just after I graduated from Silver High School, I served as a dental assistant. I definitely learned I had a knack for customer service when I was a barista. It gave me experience to take pride in my work, as well as pride in the company."

She said she loves to chat with customers. "I live here, so I can relate on a personal level. I connect with people, especially here, with a small airline in a small community. I know a lot of the families that fly with us. I tell people this is not just a job, it's my social life, too."

Problem solving became a huge part of her employment, due to the pandemic. "Businesses have never had to work this way, but Advanced Airlines has really good teamwork. They always have my back and will help me do whatever I need to do. They are very open and communicative on solutions. I have had to deal with, and the company has had to deal with unique circumstances. Whether they can fix things to a person's satisfaction is key, but it can be a delicate balance to meet the needs of a customer within their requirements. We try to make sure they are at least happy with what we can do."

She said she feels like the co-workers have worked together flawlessly. "On any issue, we're able to talk amongst ourselves and with the supervisors and pilots. We try to keep every one in very good communication. Advanced Airlines has flawless communications. It impressed me during the pandemic how the airline overcame a lot of the issues."

Davila said being a local has helped her working at the airport. She noted that Advanced Airlines started as a charter airline, then they got the bid to serve the Grant County Airport, as essential air service. "They continue to get feedback from employees and locals. They are very open to feedback. They are open to making adjustments. They rely heavily on employee feedback. As a local, I can see the feedback and the things they have done to accommodate locals and how much the airline serves the community. They are here to get people to their doctor appointments or just to go see their family."

"They really do utilize my feedback," Davila said. "They take into account my recommendations. It's great working with a company that thinks your word is valuable."

Her big takeaway? "It's amazing to me how many locals don't know about Advanced Airlines. Some don't even know Grant County has an airport. I feel like it is underutilized. And the price can't compare. It's so reasonable, even comparable to driving."

In her two years with Advanced Airlines in Grant County, she has seen very few cancellations. "Yes, we have delays, but we try to be as helpful as we possibly can."

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