25 Faces of CLT

H. Todd Craven

Todd Craven - 2400

Name: H. Todd Craven
Employer: American Airlines
Job Title: Manager On Duty – MOD CLT Customer Operations

How long have you worked at CLT?
I transferred to CLT June of 1986 from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), so going on 33 years.

What originally attracted you to working at CLT?
Working as a part-time agent in CVG, the only way to become full time was to transfer to a larger station. At the time, the only large stations with full-time openings for Piedmont Airlines were Dayton, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pa.; Baltimore, Md. or Charlotte, N.C. I think I made an excellent choice to come to Charlotte.

Describe your typical workday.
I am up at 5 a.m. and at the Airport by 6 a.m. to work my shift from 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. However supporting the frontline is my purpose, the operation changes constantly.

Supporting the 1,600 frontline ramp employees takes one in many different directions, from staffing requirements, shift bids, union grievance hearings, ground support equipment purchasing and allocation to more simple tasks, such as just walking the three concourses and getting to talk to many of the CLT ramp family members on the flight line. I wish I could do that all day long, but there are conference calls and meetings to attend.

What do you like most about working at CLT?
It’s always changing and growing. When I got here, the Airport was nothing as it is today. D Concourse, E Concourse, runways, taxiways and terminal space were all added. Each addition changes how we do our business.

What daily attitude/saying/motto do you bring to your job?
I like to laugh! If you cannot smile or laugh sometimes this business will make you cry.

Do you have any fun memories or moments/stories from your time at CLT that you would like to share?
Wow after 33 years, I have so many memories swimming in my head. So many laughs and so many sorrows. I have caught dogs, cats, bats, rats, snakes and even helped to apprehend a monkey on the ramp.

One time stands out though. Several of us were trying to catch a dog that had freed itself from a kennel. We were literally diving for this fast dog that thought we were playing. We finally captured it, high fiving each other. Later, we received a call from the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower telling us they were watching us to make sure we didn’t encroach the taxiway and thanking us for the show.

My fondest memories, however, has to be the people. I have met some amazing people during my time here at CLT and made many lifetime friends.

What keeps you at CLT?
My job brought me here and is keeping me here. But now 33 years later, I have set roots and have family here. I love my job. It has supported me and my family.

What makes the city of Charlotte a special place to live/work?
As I stated earlier, this airport is growing. The City is also growing and attracting people from all over the world, who bring their own spin on life. This is what makes CLT what it is today.

What is the best advice you’ve gotten from someone since starting work at CLT?
Live for today, plan for tomorrow.

If you could hop on a plane and fly anywhere, where would you fly and why?
Working for the largest airline in the world, I can and I have flown all over the world seeing places and showing my family places that not everyone has the ability to do. If I had to choose, I would say get me outdoors somewhere in the woods or on the beach. Let me see something new.