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Changi Airport frontline staff lauded for going beyond call of duty

Press release   •   Feb 16, 2017 22:00 +08

SINGAPORE, 16 February 2017 – Helping a new business take flight, assisting an elderly who suffered a stroke and searching through refuse bags to find a passport a passenger has mistakenly thrown away – these were deeds not done by a business associate, a nurse or a passenger himself. They were acts of kindness by a SATS Customer Service Officer, a Certis CISCO Service Operations Executive and a P-Serv Changi Experience Agent who had gone beyond their call of duty to help passengers at Changi Airport.

To appreciate and honour the best of Changi Airport’s frontline staff who have contributed to service excellence, Changi Airport Group (CAG) today paid tribute to its service heroes at its Annual Airport Celebration 2017. A total of 24 awards across five categories[1]‘Outstanding Service Staff of the Year’, ‘Outstanding Custodial Staff of the Year’, ‘Outstanding Service Team of the Year’, ‘Service Partner of the Year’ and the prestigious ‘Service Personality of the Year’ were given out at the event graced by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan.

Going beyond the call of duty

Forty-nine year old Rozidah Binte Mohd Yasin with SATS is this year’s ‘Service Personality of the Year’.

In January last year, the 28-year service veteran was approached by two young entrepreneurs from Malaysia who wanted to buy 27 air tickets over the airline counter for their clients. As the departing destination was Singapore, the couple had come to Changi Airport after several attempts to buy them online in Malaysia were unsuccessful. Rozidah suggested that they approach a travel agency so that they could get a better deal for their bulk order. She also gave them directions and contact numbers to some travel agencies.

Rozidah’s kindness did not end there. Over the next two days, she stayed in touch with the couple to check if everything was alright. It was the couple’s first business deal and it would be make or break for them. When they called her for more help due to a problem with funds withdrawal in Singapore, she offered to drive them to Johor Bahru the next day to withdraw the funds, as it was her off day. She then accompanied them to make payment with the local travel agency, and only left when she was sure all 27 tickets had been issued.

Rozidah is no stranger to going the extra mile. She was a previous recipient of the Outstanding Service Staff of the Year (Silver) Award and the Outstanding Service Team Award in 2015, and also the Outstanding Service Team Award in 2008.

Committed to service excellence

In recognition of its commitment to excellence in customer service, Singapore Customs was named ‘Service Partner of the Year’ in this year’s awards. Singapore Customs’ Air Checkpoints Branch, which facilitates Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds and tax collection across Changi Airport, launched last year a series of customer-centric initiatives which achieved outstanding results.

The GST refund counters, including its Electronic Tourist Refund Scheme (eTRS) kiosks are common touch points for the tens of thousands of tourists which pass through Changi Airport daily. In the past year, Singapore Customs introduced many new service delights for its customers. These include little surprises for young travellers, and Care@Changi priority and personalised services for special needs passengers. It also enhanced the eTRS kiosks to make them more user-friendly, and launched a mobile app – Customs@SG – to provide arriving passengers the option of making declarations and paying duty and GST for their overseas purchases before they arrive at the airport.

Singapore Customs believes that its staff are its most important assets and developing them is critical. An enhanced, structured training programme with new modules was launched to ensure that officers are well-equipped with service techniques. Staff welfare and engagement were also key focus areas for the agency. Team bonding sessions and workshops were organised for its officers working at Changi Airport to get to know one another better. Singapore Customs also upped the frequency of its staff recognition efforts to acknowledge good performance by its staff.

These efforts paid off and service improvements have been well endorsed by passengers from all over the world. Over the past year, Singapore Customs had received over 1,500 compliments, three times more than the previous year.

Full citations for the ‘Service Personality of the Year’ and the ‘Service Partner of the Year’ can be found in Annex B.

Moving ahead as ONE Changi

Creating a seamless and enjoyable experience for every of the more than 58 million passengers who pass through Changi Airport every year is no easy feat, and can never be done by a sole agency. It is the pursuit of service excellence that CAG embarked on a ONE Changi culture-building initiative two years ago. With this initiative going into its third year, the culture has deepened.

Speaking at the award ceremony, Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of CAG said, “Over the past year, we have seen greater engagement and collaboration among our ONE Changi partners. One example was the ONE Gracious Changi campaign last year. This was jointly planned and carried out with our retail partner, Shilla and our service partner for trolley retrievers, Smarte Carte. Staff from DFS even put up song and dance items at the Terminals 1 and 2 canteens during lunch hour on several occasions, to spread the message of graciousness in a fun and light-hearted way. This is ONE Changi in action – building a sense of belonging, to learn and share as ONE.”

“This evening, we gather to honour the service heroes of Changi Airport. We will be touched by the many heartwarming stories of how our colleagues have gone beyond what is expected of them. In many of these stories, such as that of Rozidah Yasin from SATS, these service heroes have taken the passenger’s problem as their own, and stepped up to turn a difficult situation into a positively memorable one. Do join me in congratulating our service heroes for making a positive difference to the lives they have touched.”


[1] The full list of this year’s award recipients can be found in Annex A. Award recipients were selected based on the extent to which they had gone beyond the call of duty to assist passengers; their self-initiative, resourcefulness and creativity in handling a difficult situation; as well as passengers’ feedback.

About Changi Airport Group

Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) ( was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SIN, ICAO: WSSS) followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. CAG also manages Seletar Airport (IATA: XSP, ICAO: WSSL) and through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, invests in and manages foreign airports.

Changi Airport is the world's sixth busiest airport for international traffic.  It served a record 58.7 million passengers from around the globe in 2016.  More than 360 retail stores and 140 F&B outlets are situated across three terminals to cater to passengers and visitors.  With over 100 airlines providing connectivity to 380 cities worldwide, Changi Airport handles about 7,000 flights every week, or about one every 90 seconds.