Thursday, 30 October 2014

Husband and wife cabin crew team

My post yesterday on the subject of petty quarrel among the cabin crew drew some concern from certain people. Some said that having husband and wife crew flying together isn't a good thing. Well I tend to agree with that statement.
This policy of letting spouses flying on the same flight has been there for a long time. No doubt about it, this policy or practice is not beneficial to the other colleagues.
It has benefited the company in cutting down the overseas hotel bills. You see in SQ, the husband and wife team are allowed to stay in one hotel room during their stops at oversea stations. If you have 2 husband and wife teams on a flight of 23 cabin crew, the airline would save on 2 rooms. The 2 hotel rooms could amount to a few hundred dollars and imagine if it is world wide how much would the airline have saved.

There are airlines that do not allow husband and wife crew flying together on the same flight.

As for the other crew there is no benefit at all. In fact, if the IFS's wife is a cabin crew, she would most likely be acting as though she is the boss of the cabin. She may even override the other senior crew's decision in the service and other matters and this can cause a lot of uneasiness among the junior crew.

During my time, I had a couple in my ward flying together as husband and wife. The male crew was a chief steward and his wife, a stewardess. The wife acted as though she was the chief and started to give orders to the leading stewards and junior crew on how to carry out the service. They were so pissed off with this couple and petitioned them to the company.

Another case was an IFS whose stewardess wife acted as though she was the assistant IFS. It caused a lot of unhappiness that many junior reported sick to avoid flying with them.

In the case that I've blogged yesterday, I know who the IFS is and am quite surprise to hear of such report. I have always thought that he is a gentleman.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Message WhatsApp to me re: tiff between crew

Papa's wife complained to him that IA Sambal stressing Jcl crew.
Papa confronted IA.
Issue exploded.
Papa wrote to SVP, n cc to CEO.
jcl crew called to give statement.
Sny IFS also asked to give statement.
Dis is not a rumour. Heard from horses' mouth.
Sigh, a case whereby a pot calling d kettle black.
One fss came to Sambal said lucky shes on board that day cos fss scared of Papa's wife Susu
Si peh Luan, luan luan!!

Well story goes ... papa changed flight to do with fss Susu (wife).
Not knowing IA Sambal on flight. Problem started ex bom susu working jcl 20 paxs.
Complaint that IA stressing crew which was not really true.
Started cos susu did not put headsets etc in seat pocket or offer on ground did it after take off which should not be the case.
So papa wrote his vr and IA had to write audit report.
The rest is history cos he by passed protocol wrote straight to SVP CC.
Investigations still on.

Legend:   IA = Inflight Auditor (Highest ranking cabin crew,like a check steward/ess)
               IFS= Inflight Supervisor (Crew in charge of flight)
               JCL = Biz Class
               FSS= Flight stewardess
               VR= Voyage Report (report on flight activities by IFS)
               SVP = Senior Vice President
               CEO= Chief Executive Officer
               Si peh= Very, very
               Luan, luan = Confusion or "Headache"

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Swensen's gave SIA cabin crew retiree huge food discount

Swensen's restaurant serves this thick and juicy beef patty oozing with heavenly melted cheese. It is paired with king prawns and crispy onion rings,....this is a definite must try!

As a senior citizen, Swensen's gave me a huge 50% discount on this dish. I end up paying around S$9 instead of $18!

God Bless Swensen's!

Ex SIA stewardess now flying for a Western airline

Hi Boh Tong,

Greetings! I've been following your blog for a number of years now (how many times have you read this opening line, right?), and I've finally worked up the courage to write you. :)

Your blog brings back many memories from years past, when I used to fly with SIA. While I definitely didn't fly for as long as you did, I also remember the long layovers or 'night stops' as we call it, and can't help thinking how different things were back then.

My name is xxxxx  and I presently reside in the United States in the state of Florida. I moved here 4 and a half years ago, and while I love it here, I have definitely missed Singapore! Having been an 'air girl' once, I decided to return to the airline industry and am currently employed with xxxxxx Airlines. Boy, is it different in xxx or what?!

Your blog posts about SIA cabin crew helped me recall how tough it was to be one. With SIA's exacting standards on customer service, strong emphasis on weight and looks and comprehensive initial training, I will say that it is a very much respected company in this part of the world. Fellow xx flight attendants often gasp whenever I tell them I used to be a 'SIA Girl', and they want to know all about it! One F/A even asked me if I considered xx a 'downgrade' lol...I guess there are pros and cons.

I scoured most of your blog to see if there were others in my shoes, as in, ex-SIA cabin crew who are now flying with a Western carrier, and I couldn't find any. So I thought I'd offer you this perspective, I hope you don't mind? Let me list it out to make the read less tedious. ;)

1. New Hire: Juniors are known as New Hires and seniority, as you know, is EVERYTHING in the airline industry. As New Hires, we get the worst lines (schedules) and remain on Reserve (similar to standby, only worse) for as long as we are not senior enough to hold our own lines.

2. Bases: XX  has many bases throughout the US. Due to the sheer size of the country, a lot of F/As do not live where they are based. I for one, don't. So we commute to work by flight or by other means. I drive from home to base, and my drive takes me 4 hrs. Yup, you read it right. So I have to rent a place close to base, and often don't go home for weeks at a time because of the commute and work demands. By the way, I am Miami-based.

3. Reserve: Aah, that word all New Hires dread. Our Reserve schedules last 1 whole month. Standby to us means we have to literally wait at the airport in full uniform and luggage to be called out to flight whenever we're needed. Standby sessions last 6 hours, and Reserve blocks can last up to 6 days a time, 24 hrs a day. We get the option to bid for 12 hr sessions too, but that also means we get pushed to the top of the list to be called out.

As a New Hire, our Reserve schedules are 1 month on, 1 month off. Eg, I'm on Reserve in Oct, Nov is my line month, Dec is my Reserve month etc. for the first 3 years then, it's 3 months off and 1 month on. Our upcoming new union contract is going to have all New Hires on Reserve every single month until they gain 1 yr then it's 1 on/1 off till 3 yrs. Confused yet?

In other words, Crew Scheduling owns us. : /

4. Airports: All bases except HQ which is in Dallas-Ft Worth Texas, requires F/As to work out of 3 airports. How you get there is your own problem, except for Reserve month when they will arrange transportation only out of 1 of the airports. And the airports are FAR apart from one another. I'm talking close to 1 hr's drive away far.

5. Salary: The starting pay is a joke. I make approximately USD 1300 - 2000 a month and that's if I fly high time on Domestic flights (more than 85 flight hrs a month), and pick up flights on my days off. We also have to pay for our uniforms, amongst other things.

6. Basic Training: Initial training is held at Dallas-Ft. Worth TX and is 8 and a half weeks long, and we are NOT paid for it. Except for those living there, all trainees have to share a small hotel room with a classmate that the airline picked out for you and you are not allowed to change room mates no matter how bad it gets. And we are not considered employees until the day after graduation.

7. Schedules: We get our schedules or rosters through a complicated bidding process, which I had to attend a class to understand.

That's all I will inundate you with for today. I guess my point here is that while I understand how hard it is to be a cabin crew with SIA, there are those out there who have it worse. LOL. I've grown used to my job, but if I could turn back time, I might not have done this!

Thank you for reading my loooong email Boh Tong. Just someone else out there in this world who is trying to reach out to you and say you're doing such a great job at helping others.

Best regards.

CS Suresh Anandan, brother of Singapore most prominent criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan

The story of the "Bus Driver Killer" was shown on channel 5 last night. Top criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan did not give up hope on his client when the latter was sentenced to death for killing his step daughter to death in 1976. Later on,Subhas appealed successfully for his client and the death sentence was reduced to culpable homicide in which his client was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

When interviewed by a reporter after the guilty verdict, Subhas told her he was determined to save his client's life despite of him not having sufficient fund for the case. The reporter was impressed and reminded Subhas that his late younger brother, SIA chief steward Suresh had something in common with him i.e. to save people's lives.
Suresh died in the Taipei SQ 006 crash in 2000 while trying to save his passengers' lives.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Grateful for being successfully coached by me

"Good Morning Mr Tan. Pleasant news for you. I got the call from Mary. Will commence training come ......"

"Just wanted to know whether you would be free either next weekend or the following... Would love to buy you a meal or coffee when I receive my first paycheck :).."

SIA share price up 21 cents or 2.2% by 12.40pm

It is unusual that SIA share price ever go up these days. Most of the time, it is on the down trend. It has been declining from a high of $20 to $9 recently. Perhaps, there is positive news coming out soon. Could it be reporting better than expected Q2 profits? Oil prices are declining and SIA should stand to gain from it. Lets wait and see.....

Update at 5pm: SIA share closed at S$9.83cts (+21 cents) on a volume of 2.883 million.