Sunita Nanda has seen it all at Heathrow in her role as Passenger Experience Manager – and wouldn’t change a thing! Sunita, a Slough local, features in ITV’s Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, Series 2 helping a group of elderly delayed passengers find their way to their temporary accommodation.
Find out more about Sunita and her career below.
What’s a day in your job really like?
I have now worked at Heathrow for about 9 years, and always wanted to work at Heathrow, sounds corny, but it’s the truth. So I was delighted when I got the job as an Service Team leader, which is now known as Passenger Experience Manager (PEM).
I previously worked for a local authority, in a very different environment, and as I have said coming to work at Heathrow was a dream come true for me.
A day in the life of a PEM, came be a very easy day, to being a very challenging day. It’s definitely is a very rewarding, as you never know what is going to happen next!
As PEM you can face several situations that can kick off together, and you need to decide how to prioritise and what you need to do. You need to think on your feet, quickly and calmly. It can become stressful, as sometimes you cannot give the passenger the answer that they want to hear. It can take you from a couple of minutes to several hours dealing with the challenges as you need to ensure there is an outcome.
What’s the best part of your job? And the hardest part?
The best part of the job is that you know you can try to make a difference to the passenger, as you can try and influence a different outcome.
The hardest part is helping those passengers who are tired and getting frustrated at a delay or a missed connection – and most of the time this is the result of factors beyond our control. By staying calm, more often than not we’re able to help them out and get them on their way.
Your favourite moment at Heathrow?
My favourite moment working Heathrow was happened only recently, when a young man organised to propose to his girlfriend as she arrived from a flight.
My favourite moment working Heathrow was happened only recently, when a young man organised to propose to his girlfriend as she arrived from a flight. It was beautiful as he bought lots of balloons and printed-out photos of her which he ask bystanders to hold. He’d also arranged for violins to be played as she walked through the terminal to where he and his friends were standing.
Sunita Nanda, Heathrow
It was beautiful as he bought lots of balloons and printed-out photos of her which he ask bystanders to hold. He’d also arranged for violins to be played as she walked through the terminal to where he and his friends were standing. It was a really beautiful, emotional, moment and, more importantly, she said yes!
My favourite thing is just talking to the passengers as you walk around and helping improve their experience.
What was it like being filmed for the documentary?
Being filmed was initially very nerve racking, I was worried I may say something silly inadvertently, as there was no script. It felt like I was being interviewed for my job!
I did feel very privileged though that I was doing the filming. However, really fun, enjoyable experience.
What do you do with your spare time?
Outside of work I enjoy travelling gardening and shopping. I’m also married and have a daughter who recently qualified as a daughter – I’m so proud of her!
I also do a lot of work in the community which I find very rewarding and satisfying.
I’m also a fan of Bollyword music and films!