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Acceptance found and opportunities abound – Piedmont Airlines

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“It isn’t possible for someone with your disability to work in aviation” is what Flight Attendant Vince Leggio heard from teachers in high school.  Not to be deterred, Vince set out to prove them wrong and pursue a career in aviation. He successfully worked on the ramp and as a customer service agent for nearly eight years before becoming a Piedmont flight attendant. Vince is proud to work for a company who welcomes and accepts him as he is.

“I worked for a different regional airline as a flight attendant and was judged by my disability,” shares Vince. “I felt welcome at Piedmont from the start. Even after I disclosed that I had autism to the recruiter, she was encouraging, and it felt good to be accepted. Gaining acceptance from others is what everyone wants.”

Vince grew up in a military family and lived all over the United States, in Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada. Growing up on military bases exposed him to the world of aviation, watching planes land and take-off regularly. Vince graduated high school and joined Piedmont as a cross-trained agent in Phoenix, Arizona (PHX). Four years later, he joined American Airlines as a customer service agent but always had a goal to become a flight attendant.

He was hired as a flight attendant by a regional airline and even though he received 100% on his tests, he was constantly being questioned by his instructors about his disability. The environment wasn’t a good fit for Vince, so he applied at Piedmont and became a flight attendant on February 14, 2023.

Vince wanted to return to Piedmont after his positive experience working with the Piedmont Ground Handling team in PHX. “Everyone knows everyone and there is a family feel at Piedmont,” shares Vince. He had a great experience in flight attendant training and applauds the instructors for understanding that everyone learns differently. Vince shares that the Inflight Management team in Charlotte is always supportive and shows they care. “I’m lucky to have awesome colleagues in the Inflight department.”

Previously working as an agent taught Vince patience and customer service skills which he brings with him to his Inflight role. “Being patient with passengers and providing excellent customer service are essential to a great customer experience,” shares Vince. “I love being a flight attendant. You’re somewhere different every day and meet so many people with different personalities.”

Vince experiences a visible head tick which often causes people to stare or ask him about it. “My disability doesn’t stop me from doing my job and being the best flight attendant I can be,” says Vince proudly. “Let us be who we are and please don’t judge anyone by their disability.”

He encourages those with disabilities who may want to pursue a career in the aviation industry to not give up. “If you are applying for positions and feel like you want to give up, keep trying. Do your best and show prospective employers what you can bring to the organization. Most importantly, be yourself and the right one will welcome you.”

As we recognize International Day for People with Disabilities, we applaud Vince for pursuing his dream regardless of obstacles he faced, and all Piedmont team members with disabilities who contribute to the success of the airline. Piedmont Airlines has always and will continue to recruit, hire, transfer, train and make all other employment decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other legally protected characteristic.

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