A day in the life of… Susanne Frank29 February 2012
Susanne Frank is director VIP and customer service at Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. She talks to Future Airport about the 29 years she has spent with the company.
How long have you worked at Copenhagen Airport?
I have been employed at Copenhagen Airport since 1982 and I've loved every second. I started out as a trainee, then moved to the building department. It was a very exciting period, with the airport undergoing huge developments.
I now work in the human development department. After five years, I was made director of events and visitors. In 2003, I was appointed director of passenger relations, and in 2009, I was appointed to my current position as director - VIP and customer service.
I also spent four years as vice-chairman and chairman of the ACI Europe Facilitation Committee, which was a great way to meet colleagues from other countries. I learned so much about the European airport business and the challenges we all face.
What is your daily routine?
I am lucky to have ten dedicated colleagues in my department - three dealing with VIP and CIP operations and events, and eight who deal with customer relations. The VIP department handles high-profile visitors such as royal families, presidents and heads of states from all over the world. The busiest time for me is planning the VIP operations and communicating with the foreign ministry, the royal household, the Danish security and intelligence service, Copenhagen police and the many different embassies in Denmark.
When VIP guests depart from the airport, they come in via the Royal Gate and meet me at the Royal Lounge, where they wait and relax while the airline checks them in, gets the seating ready and handles their baggage. When the plane is ready to board, I take them to the gate. On arrival, I meet them at the gate and follow their car.
What is your favourite part of the job?
When everything just clicks. I work with our security department, the handling company, the police and the airline. It is a pleasure to meet so many interesting people every day - from our own royal family to heads of state from other countries. It is very important for me that our VIP guests feel totally relaxed and taken care of while in our Royal Lounge.
Another important thing is working with so many nice colleagues. We spend many hours at work every day, and it is important to feel that you are among friends.
My colleagues in the customer service department are very dedicated and most of them have been employed for many years. This enables them to give passengers the best and most professional service.
And your least favourite?
I have very few 'least favourite' moments. One unfortunate period was when I was director of passenger relations and we had to handle people coming home from Thailand following the tsunami. Not that you can compare our problems with the difficulties in Thailand, but it was a big challenge to organise the homecoming operation - it was an emotional time for everyone.
What are your ambitions for working at Copenhagen Airport?
It is an exciting time right now. We have very good passenger growth and that makes me very happy.
Despite these difficult financial times, we are still managing to attract new airlines to start their operations at our airport. Our CEO Thomas Woldbye has been with us since May 2011 and has great plans for the future of Copenhagen Airport.
I also believe that if you choose to be employed at Copenhagen Airport, you are committing to giving your very best. My personal ambition is to make Copenhagen VIP known as the best place to be a VIP guest.