AirportCX Insights: How MSP’s Nine Customer Service Committees Work Their Magic

Sev Fevzi


October 4, 2022

mod MSP T1 GConcRotunda April2022


MSP has been chosen by J.D. Power as the number one airport in customer experience for the mega-airports category.

airportCX logoDuring the recent ACI North America annual conference held at Minneapolis-St Paul Airport (MSP), I was fortunate to spend time with Katlyn Schenck who spearheads, and is the specialist of, Customer Programs. Katlyn is also the face for the Customer Service Action Council (CSAC) program – which forms the foundation for MSP’s recognition for excellent customer experience.


Sevda Fevzi and Katlyn Schenck at MSP.

The morning Katlyn and I were having coffee, MSP had just been chosen as the J.D. Power number one airport in customer experience for the mega-airports category. The timing of this catch up could not have been better.

The key to MSP’s success is by prioritizing taking care of our people,” said Katlyn. “In 1999, MSP formed CSAC. It is chaired by Roy Fuhrmann, Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), in response to a State of Minnesota ‘quality’ initiative and charged the council with leadership of its strategic effort to provide world-class, customer-oriented air transportation services at MSP. CSAC’s mission is to improve the customers’ experience at MSP.”

Katlyn also refers to CSAC as a fundamental community, which acts as a glue between all the internal and external stakeholders to ensure consistency in services. Katlyn walked me through the CSAC council background, set up, and how it connects the entire organization to prioritize service excellence. Today, 40-50+ representatives across multiple organizations meet every month to promote, inform and improve the customer experience at MSP.


MSP Nice awards and celebrations offer recognition to staff.

CSAC enhances customer experience through the three pillars of Promote, Inform, Improve. The CSAC has nine committees:

  • MSP Nice: Headed by Katlyn, this is a mandatory training and awards program comprised of five core elements, provided during the initial badging process. They provide surprise recognition for staff members, including external stakeholders staff, including gift cards, certificates, invitations to the annual MSP Nice Celebration, a special customer service pin, in which some of the activities are sponsored by the MXP concessions. Recognition is provided to the top 1% of achievers.
  • MSPMSP Nice Celebration: An annual gratitude event bringing together the CSAC community and the winners of the MSP Nice program.
  • Forum: The CSAC committee plans 3-4 public forums per year featuring topics promoting customer service and current airport and aviation topics. These forums are open to all airport employees.
  • MSP Jobs: The purpose of this committee is to identify employment barriers for MSP employees, develop and brand the MSP employment experience and potential, and implement programming to support recruitment and retention initiatives. These include a whole array of incentives including vocation training, transit connect, meal and parking vouchers etc.
  • Benchmarking: Headed by Phil Burke, Assistant Director of Customer Experience at the MAC, this committee focuses on exchanging best practice and lessons learned with peer network airports.
  • Building on success: The focus of this committee is to provide facilities to valued employees; a safe and comfortable location to rest and relax.
  • Travelers advisory: Headed by Burke, this committee gathers constructive feedback from travelers to help MAC and MSP address common complaints and improve the overall travel experience.
  • Travelers with disabilities advisory: The main goal for this critical committee is to promote equitable access for all airport users. MSP’s aim to be the most accessible airport in the world.
  • Airport customer service hero: Chaired by the Federal Security Director of the TSA, this committee provides recognition in exceptional service for enhancing the customer experience within the airports of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. The recognition is open to all employees and volunteers and is displayed in the departures concourse of Terminal 1.

My personal experience of travelling through MSP? Absolutely fantastic. Arriving was one of the simplest and easiest I have experienced in a US airport. From disembarkation to baggage belt to Uber, all in under 10 minutes. Aside from the quick delivery of my luggage, I cannot pass this point without mentioning the great seating area in the baggage hall.


“Arriving was one of the simplest and easiest I have experienced in a US airport.”

The departures experience was incredibly pleasant. What did I enjoy the most? The variety of F&B, the overall cleanliness and calm ambience, live music in the terminal, the scent and the soft classical music in the most beautiful airport washrooms I have ever seen in recent times – think 5-star hotel.

Thank you MSP for being so awesome, and looking forward to travelling through your airport again soon.

[To learn more about Modalis Infrastructure Partners’ customer experience-focused service airportCX by Modalis and how it can make a difference to customer retention and revenue growth, please click here.]

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