5 years of MPA at Schiphol: Bridging digital service and human touch

Today, we’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of our Mobile Personal Assistant (MPA) service at Schiphol Airport. This milestone shows the unique blend of technology and human empathy in customer service.

Be Digital, Stay Human

5 years of mpa

The role of technology in customer service

Schiphol’s channel strategy, including its website, app, and Self-Service Units (SSU), plays a pivotal role in the passengers’ journey. These digital channels provide efficient, direct solutions to common queries and challenges. However, sometimes these means fall short, and a helping hand becomes essential.

Enter the MPA. These specialists continue where digital services stop. They are not only well-versed in airport operations but also possess the skill to understand the context and needs of each passenger. They are there for every passenger who hits a snag or is at a loss.

The MPA can be called upon via video call on the Self-Service Units or through the contact centre. But they’re also out and about at the airport, approachable, and proactively offering help to those in need.

A moment of humanity

A recent incident highlights our MPAs’ vital role. Let us share a personal story from one of our colleagues: A young girl, in tears, approached me at the KLM check-in desk at Transfer & Services. The desk was about to close, and she urgently needed to get to Paramaribo due to a family tragedy – her sister was dying following an accident.

In her rush, she had booked a ticket but overlooked the necessary visa. I knew every second counted. Despite repeated attempts to arrange the visa via phone and laptop, it seemed hopeless. With the help of a KLM colleague willing to rebook the flight, we gained extra time. We managed to complete the visa payment, albeit with some delay due to technical issues.

As time was running out, we prepared to immediately print the visa’s QR code. Just in time, the code arrived. With printed documents and Sky Priority on her boarding pass, we hurried to the gate, with only five minutes left before it closed. Both the KLM colleague and I had called ahead to ensure the plane would wait for her.

Upon reaching the gate, not only was the girl allowed to board, but the gate agent also offered her a seat in Business Class. Overwhelmed with emotion, she embraced me. It was a moment of pure humanity, where I had to swallow my tears and wished her all the strength.

This case underscores not just the impact of our MPA service but also the necessity, at times, of going the extra mile for someone in need.

The impact of MPA

The influence of MPA extends beyond solving problems. It’s about creating positive experiences and providing a sense of safety and understanding in an otherwise overwhelming environment. This is evident not only in the relieved, smiling faces of passengers but also in customer satisfaction survey ratings: MPA is the highest-rated contact channel Schiphol offers.


The MPA service symbolizes RIFF’s commitment to both technological innovation and profound human customer service. It’s this balance that makes our work at Schiphol so unique and valuable.


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