Tuesday, 29 July 2014

SIA's nicest business class.....

Gisella Pramesti wrote:

I went on a round-trip business class from Jakarta to Houston on SQ and hell, it was the nicest business class I've ever flew on. The seats in business are even bigger than some other airline's first class seats. Qatar Airways and Emirates honestly can't compare to SQ in my opinion, but then again SQ always had jacked up prices for their flights (but really, that's my only complaint). It was also nice how each of the flight attendants took their time to actually memorize my name and seat haha. Everything else is perfect.

Monday, 28 July 2014

The braggart C-I-C (crew in charge)

Tim (not real name)was an ifs (inflight supervisor) who harbour anti company feelings. He would instigate the cabin crew against the airline. He often told his crew that they should not work hard. In his own words, he said given an opportunity,he would delay flights so they would cause the airline to incur cost. Such was Tim's negative attitude towards his employer.

There was a flight in which Tim was the C-I-C. On that 8 hour flight, there was a set of cabin crew travelling as passengers. Whenever crew travel as passengers there are considered as bonafide passengers meaning they are issued with tickets, boarding passes, manifested as passengers as well insured as passengers.

What happened on that flight was a test of Tim's big talk about causing delay to his flight. 18 cabin crew travelling as passengers on Tim's flight were not catered food which they were entitled to as other normal passengers. Tim was informed of the shortage of 18 meals by his steward. The normal procedure was to ask the caterer to supply the shortfall even if it meant a delay in the departure of the flight. The captain of the flight would be informed too.

However, on that flight, Tim chose not to cause a delay. The 18 crew were left without food for the entire flight.
When questioned, Tim explained to the paxing cabin crew that he did not want to be a "dead hero". He did not want to be held responsible for the delay and in his own words, he said  " You 18 can eat the leftover food from the economy class passengers, if there is any at all ".

Not long after that flight, Tim had a severe heart attack and died thereafter.  To many, Tim did not die as a "dead hero" but a "dead villain".

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Bukit Batok Road Rage 'Hooligans' ...

Ex chief steward upset with the union not the airline..continues...

After finishing my work around the Balestier area last evening, I proceeded to one of my favourites dessert stalls to eat the ginko nuts/red beans/soya bean curd. The stall was quite near to the coffee shop where I met James recently.
After looking around, I could not find James. I called him on my mobile and it took James a long while before he answered the call. " Hey SS what's up?", James asked me. " I am at the coffee shop near your place", I told him. " Sorry la I am at the turf club...don't you know it's Friday racing here?" he raised his voice above the noisy background as he talked to me. " Oh ya, it's racing night huh" I replied softly, not wanting the people around me to hear.
" Tell you what, I will see the next time ok?" James hurriedly trying to terminate the conversation.

Horsing racing? What was James doing at the turf club? Actually he is a small time punter and I understand he will stop punting and leaves the club once he reaches his winnings of  $100. He would do likewise if he loses that amount. So you see James is a careful gambler. In fact, James is a shrewd fellow and he is more a businessman than a gambler.
James used to be a small time money lender in cabin crew. He used to lend the crew at the max of $3,000 a time. The interest he charged was relatively low.  I am not sure he is still doing it as the law governing loan sharking is very severe.

Talking about horse punting, many in cabin crew went bankrupt indulging in this form of gambling.
One my colleagues who used to make a lot of money in the 1970s is now a bankrupt. Another steward had to sell his multi million house to pay off his debts. One ifs was divorced by his wife for getting into huge pile of debts. There were many who were hurt by this form of gambling.

Tit for tat between S'pore &  Malaysia.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Ex chief steward upset with the union not the airline

We came face to face but I couldn't recognise him. It was a blow to his ego. "Come la you are SS Tan and you can't recognise me?" an old guy pointed at himself to me. As soon as I heard that voice, I knew who he was. " Of course you are James (not his real name)...ahh... I am sorry James it's my eyesight which isn't good these days", I blamed myself rather than blaming him for putting on a lot of weight and looking older than his age.

James gestured me to have a seat at his table where he had a bottle of beer and a half filled glass. "Can I get you a drink?" he asked me. " James, you know I don't drink beer " I replied. " I will get you a coffee then", James said to me. " No thanks James, I don't drink in the night or else I can't sleep", I politely declined.

James told me he wasn't working after he left the airlines 13 years ago. He was a chief steward back then. He didn't blame the airline for not being promoted to the ifs position but instead on the union for, in his words " they jammed my promotion". He was visibly upset with a union leader during his time whom he blamed for stopping the company from promoting him. He asked me whether I've met that union leader recently and I said yes. He cursed and swore at the union leader's name.
James pointed to a group of young men who looked like thugs drinking at a table nearby. "Those are my boys", he boasted to me. " One word from me and they will not hesitate to beat up that SOB" he told me as he downed his glass of beer. " I know where that SOB is hanging around", he said angrily.

I calmed him down by reminding him that we are much older now and should forgive one another ( he is 63 years old). Besides, I told him that guy will get his fair share of karma or retribution.

We chatted like in the good old days. James and I did get along well in the airline although it wasn't easy to work with him. He was quite an unenthusiastic fellow when it comes to work.
He also shared with me about ex crew he has met over the years and told me most of them are driving taxis and some are sick and lonely.
James told me he has lost contact with all his ex colleagues. He now spends his time drinking beer at that neighbourhood coffee shop almost everyday. He lives on the rent (2k +) he collects every month from his 5 roomed HDB flat. He lives with his unmarried sister and aged mother.
We exchanged phone numbers and I left after 30 minutes, promising to get in touch with one another.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

These WhatsApp exchanges are hilarious

Derrick was the supervisor who passed away a few years ago.The 7th month is the month of the "Hungry Ghost" whereby the Chinese pray and offer food to their dead ancestors. 27 July is the start of the "Hungry Ghost" month.

MH17 wreckage shows clear signs of fragmentation missile damage, experts say

Fly Tiger Airways, you can't fly cheaper than this.

Read more

An interesting story contributed by an ex-stewardess

It was my first US flight to New York, working B3 from Fra-JFK. There was a German couple and their son seated at 32 ABC. Nothing extraordinary on the flight, except on the return sector, JFK-FRA, the same German family boarded again and there were now on 49HJK (I think) and I was working C4. I recognized them from the earlier sector and enquired why such a short New York trip. Apparently it was the teenager boy's birthday and they were in NYC just to celebrate it.

We crew do what we do best, and we planned to put together some form of a small birthday celebration with extra desserts and champagne from premium classes after the first meal service, during lull period.

During tray collection after the first meal service, I accidentally spilled coffee on a male passenger across the aisle (bulkhead seat 49F) from the German family. I honestly believe it was the gentleman's fault because he had left the tray on the floor and was distracted with his movie as he picked it up to pass it to me. When that incident happen, this gentleman got up and started screaming expletives at me, like, "You d***b b***h! My $200 pants! You f***ing ruined it!" etc etc extremely loudly and every other passenger could hear. I was just so shell-shocked at what just happened and apologized profusely and tried to help with paper towels. My LS came out and helped with the situation, where he first asked if there were any burns. Then he went to first class to get a pair of sleeping pants for him to wear instead as we try to remove the stains from his jeans. This LS, I wish I can remember his name, is the NICEST guy ever. He never once did scold me. Once when everything calmed down, he talked to me in the galley and I started crying, not because the passenger was rude, but because this LS was just so patient and understanding. With the passenger being so aggressive, he asked if I wanted to work on another aisle instead. The other stewardesses had also witnessed what happened and were willing to change positions with me. I said yes. As I was eating my meal, I asked myself, why should I run away from a bully and I should be professional and continue working as designated. Also, this guy should be the one to apologize for the rudeness. So I told my LS that I changed my mind and would it be possible to continue working on my original position. The LS commended on my brave decision. The passenger did apologize later. That was my most horrible passenger incident I have ever encountered in my 3-year flying career.

Anyway, I continued on my duties and during lull period we celebrated the German boy's birthday by surprising him with a cake and served Champagne to his parents. They were very surprised and touched. The family took lots of pictures with the crew and I exchanged emails with them so that they could share the pictures. When the family visited Singapore a few months later, I invited them for a satay dinner with my family. They following year for my birthday gift, they brought me to Naples and Capri in Italy. And in 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, I went to watch the opening games with them at Allianz Arena, all courtesy of them. While at the games, just into the second half, a guy somewhere behind me suddenly fell into epileptic seizure. His friends and people around him were in shock and did not know what to do and stood there speechless. Somehow, SQ's first aid training kicked-in, and I rushed over. People were shouting to put something into his mouth so he does not bite himself, but I recall from our training that we should never do that. I checked if there was anything in his mouth and asked people to help me roll him over to the side. Some fluid came out as we did this and that was when the official medics and first aid arrived and they took over taking care of him. Phew!

From just one flight, I experienced 2 extreme sets of emotions. The lowest point (passenger facing point, not including personal matters) in my flying career, but also at the same time one of the highlights, by meeting a wonderful family who showered me with a lot of love.

A lot of times, as a crew, we are always presented with very unfortunate situations, but somewhere in there, there's some form of sunshine peeking out. So do keep a lookout for those possibly wonderful moments. And I have been fortunate to encounter quite a few of these wonderful moments with other passengers as well.

(In case you're wondering, no I never had any sexual relation with the son. He was like a little brother to me. And I was like a daughter they never had.)

Ok I think I am a bit long-winded. Please feel free to edit, or if it's not blog-worthy, there's no need to publish it at all! Thanks so much!


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Demoted to LS, IFS is now appealing to be CS

"WhatsApp discussion"

Most cabin crew I spoke to feel that IFS Moon should be given a fairer punishment by demoting him to the position of chief steward (1 rank down) rather than the position of leading steward (2 rank down) which most think it's too severe. IFS Moon is appealing to the management to be a bit more lenient by giving him another chance.

Frankly, it's no big deal about upgrading our own cabin crew when they are flying as passengers. Most airlines do it. The cc are well behaved people when flying as passengers.

I recall a time when a station manager from Australia upgraded SQ staff to the first class when the flight to SIN was overbooked in the EY and JC. These staff were on "standby" and they did not have a right to the business class let alone flying in the first class. If "off-loaded" the staff would have to pay for their own accommodation and catch another flight home the next day. But the station manager took pity on the staff and upgraded them. I was working on that flight and I, on behalf of the staff expressed gratitude to this station manager.

The " gud old days" was the period whereby the company did not even bat an eyelid when we upgrade someone. The company do not suffer any monetary loss but those were the days of understanding and compassion by a then great company.

More in-depth discussion here

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Away from airlines stories. Facebook posting and Selfie is the topic of the day

New study has shown that people who post constant update of themselves and sharing with other people are lonely individuals.
In a study entitled ‟Self-disclosure on Facebook among female users and its relationship to feelings of loneliness,” which will be published the July issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, Al-Sagaff and Nielsen (researchers at Australia’s Charles Sturt University) collected data from 616 female Facebook users over the age of 18. The users were identified by searching for recent status updates on the now-shuttered Facebook status search engine YourOpenBook saying they were felt either ‟lonely” or ‟connected” to other people.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has confirmed that ‘selfies’ (taking pictures of oneself and posting them on social media) is a mental disorder. The disorder is called selfitis, and is defined as the obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of one’s self  and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.

APA said there are three levels of the disorder:

Borderline selfitis : taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.
Acute selfitis: taking photos of one’s self at least three times a day and posting each of the photos on social media.
Chronic selfitis: Uncontrollable urge to take photos of one’s self  round the clock and posting the photos on social media more than six times a day.

According to the APA, while there is currently no cure for the disorder, temporary treatment is available through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).