airport pick-up

Click link for: Airport Pickup Training for Roadrunners (scroll to end of page to download volunteer guide)

This page exists to provide information about airport parking, flight details, and drop-off instructions. If you are a member of a Good Neighbor Team, please refer to the downloadable and printable Airport Pick-Up Guide on the bottom of this page. 

Prior to airport pickup: 

  • If you were given car seats or booster seats for the family, please install them inside of your car. A World Relief staff member will coordinate getting these items to you. 

  • You can make a “Welcome to America” sign to help the clients identify you more easily. 

  • You are encouraged to bring goodie bags, chocolates and bottles of water for the family when they arrive. 

  • Make sure you have the client’s case manager’s contact information. 

  • All airport arrivals will come through SMF Airport 

  • Check the flight status before you leave to the airport! Flights are subject to delays, cancelations, or may be arriving early. You can go to the airline’s website or call to check the status. 

  • Make sure you are at the airport at least 30 minutes before their arrival. 

At the airport: 

  • Parking: The parking Garage located at Terminal A is where you will want to park, and it will have a fee that you pay when you are exiting the lot. 

    • Attempt to park in rows I – K since it is closer to Terminal A 

  • Enter the airport and meet near baggage claim, as that will be the best place to wait for the family to arrive.  

  • Refugees will be carrying a white or blue plastic bag with "I.O.M" printed on them. This will help you identify them. 

  • Be very welcoming!  

  • Do not be discouraged if they are not excited to see you. They have been traveling for many hours, possibly days, and are expected to be jetlagged and exhausted. 

  • After greeting the refugee(s), take them to their baggage claim number and help pick up any checked baggage. If the baggage is not there go to the airline's baggage attendant and place a lost baggage claim. 

Drop-off location: 

If they are going to their own home give them a small tour around the home and do your best to communicate the basics: 

  • How to work the stove, oven, and other kitchen appliances 

  • Where items such as towels, dishes, and utensils are 

  • Depending on their knowledge, they may need to be shown how to use the faucets  

  • How to use the shower and toilet 

  • Where to store clothes 

  • How to change the temperature in the apartment 

  • How to lock/unlock the doors 

Please note:  

  • Every case is different, so feel out how much detail you need to go into 

  • Do your best to answer any questions they have 

  • The welcome meal will be provided for them to eat when they arrive.  

  • If they are arriving at their own home, the food may be in the refrigerator. If for some reason the food is not there, please contact the case manager 

  • If they are going to the home of a family or community member, they will supply the welcome meal. 

  • If they want to eat right away and they invite you, you may share the meal with them.

PDF icon Airport Pickup Volunteer Guide633.81 KB