Behind the Scenes: Singapore’s Star Man

The job of a VIP Customer Services Officer at any airline – but especially at Singapore Airlines – is a highly specialised role that requires tact, discretion and confidentiality. Now, for the first time ever, Michael Andreou, our VIP Customer Services Officer gives you the lowdown on the role, the people and the outrageous stories…!

We understand that perhaps the most important aspect of your job is confidentiality but come on, who are the biggest names that have passed through your care? Are we talking footballers, rock stars, royalty, CEOs?

We get anyone from high profile celebrities, pop stars, TV and movie stars, footballers, royalty and corporate CEOs – we have them all. As we are the best airline in the world, of course they travel with us!

 

What story do you tell over and over again at dinner parties?

Here’s a good one for you. A few years ago for my birthday a friend made me a card with my face superimposed on to David Beckham’s body from an underwear shoot he did. I promised my friend that when I saw him again I’d show it to him. Years later, he flew out and after I felt comfortable enough to talk to him I showed him the card. He was so thrilled and he told me it was the most hilarious thing he’d seen!

 

Are there stories so outrageous that you will take them to your grave?

There are but I’ll give you another one! I once received a call from a passenger who was asking me for all the details about his flight. On his booking the name read JONES/TREV. He kept asking over and over again if I had the correct booking and over and over I kept saying ‘yes I do Mr Trev Jones’. When I called him by his name he seemed shocked and repeated his name wasn’t Trev. By this time he was getting a little upset so I said ‘I’m really sorry Mr Trevor Jones’, thinking he was upset I wasn’t calling him by his proper name. It transpired his name was Tommy and he was a Reverend…hence TREV….

 

How long have you been with Singapore Airlines?

Believe it or not I’ve just completed 25 years in August 2015!

 

What does your role entail?

In a nutshell, my role is to ensure that every passenger that flies with Singapore Airlines gets the best possible service. My team and I deal with problems and requests, we meet the arrival aircraft, see off the departures and we supervise our handling agents. There’s lots of paperwork pre- and post-flight and other less exciting things to do but overall it’s the best job in the world!

 

There are urban myths abound that airlines create an ‘unseen’ top level of VIP service reserved for very, very few people. Is there any truth to this?

There is the airport VIP service called the Windsor Royal Suite that people who meet a certain criteria can use. They get dropped off at the suite and all the checks that would normally be completed at check-in are done here. Then they get escorted by chauffeur-driven car to the airport tarmac route. This service is available for around £1,800 (although not through the Windsor Royal Suite) for both inbound and outbound passengers.

 

Us mere mortals think that top-level VIPs can bypass many of the elements we take for granted at airports, such as security, boarding gates etc. Presumably they have to go through the same security checks as everyone else?

All the security checks are the same regardless of who you are or how much money you’ve got!

 

How do you deal with hordes of paparazzi desperate for a snap?

Each situation is different and we have to deal with them as they manifest themselves but last year, I was walking Gemma Collins who had just come back from the jungle in Australia and we were NOT told that the paparazzi would be waiting by the aircraft. When this happens the airline has to be told and our Press Office would have taken over. I continued to walk with Gemma and I tried to guide her through the throngs as best I could. As we were making our way through, a TV crew stopped her for an interview and I was standing right next to her as she regaled stories from the jungle and little did I know that we were live across the UKs TV channels! I just stood there and tried to keep myself to myself!

 

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