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Saturday, 27 January 2007

"Not Such A Great Way To Fly"

Please refer to 'Life' section page 6 of the Singapore Straits Times dated 27 Jan.2007 ( Saturday)regarding the above article.
The following is my personal opinion and view and may not necessarily reflect SIA's.
Khoo Kah Liang's,one of the writers of the article,long list of complains against SIA cabin crew do not seems justifiable.
SIA foreign stewardesses are employed to look after all passengers on SIA flights,regardless of race. More than that, they are also employed to communicate with their own country folks in their own languages when our local crew could not.
So what Khoo saw was the frequent interaction between the foreign SIA girls and their own kind.This could have made other passengers as well as Khoo to conclude that these girls "take better care" of their country folks.
As for taking "better care" of Caucasians, this has been an old and ancient complaint from Singaporeans.
With 35 years of cabin crew experience and as an ex-trainer/checker, I am quite qualified to comment on the topic of the so called racial discrimination by our SIA cabin crew.
I do not say that there is no racial discrimination at all. There is and will always be, wherever you go.
The whole issue of the SIA girl discriminating against her own kind is blown out of proportion.
Let me explain what seems to be the so-called "discrimination".
Often, you may notice that the crew interact more with the Caucasians than the Singaporeans.
The Caucasian passengers are, by and large, a lot more extroverted than their Singaporean counterparts. For example, they greet the crew when they board the planes,even before the crew could greet them. As for our local passengers, some of them do not even return the greetings,let alone greet the crew first.
The Caucasians speak and ask more questions than the locals. In return, the crew are seen to be attending more to them than the quieter Singaporeans, at least from a distance.
They,the Caucasian passengers are generally more generous with their compliments but not our Singaporeans.
When the Caucasian passengers compliment the crew, from the good service rendered to the beautiful Balmain's sarong kebaya,it is only natural that the crew appreciate them and smile more to them in their response.
The Singaporean passenger is one who is demanding and arrogant. He or she would at the slight thing threatened the crew with legal suits or complaints.
We all,as SIA crew ,understand the Singaporean 'culture'.

As a trainer, I had always taught my crew to be aware of the above situations.
"Be more aware and sensitive to the feelings of our local passengers" was the thing I always told them.
Besides, I had always taught them not to overly react and get carried away by the compliments given them by the Caucasian passengers. "Always be conscious of the fact that other races are watching you".
To cut the whole story short, my advice to Khoo and the other like-minded passengers, is for you to be at your best behavior wherever you may be and people will reciprocate and treat you better.
We should ask ourselves why people like Mr. Robert Kuok or the late Mr. Yap and Tun Mustapha and others are well- liked and respected by the crew as compared to other wealthy passengers.( refer to my earlier posting on "Cocky PPS Passengers")?

11 comments:

BookLover said...

I agree with your arguments. Many a times stewardess talk to me as well. Stewards are more reticent except for the seniors and they do talk to me at the kitchen area.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to say all Singaporeans are demanding or arrogant but there are quite a lot of them out there.
You would probably understand crew psychology more because of your vast experiences in the training field as well as a regular and cultured passenger.
Thanks BL.
boh tong.

Anonymous said...

Lolita said..
Uncle u shd answer that Mr khoo in the press so that others cld read too. I agree with u sm Sporeans just bec the fly the national carrier they think the crew must give them extra service. But the crew will alwys try to oblige them.

Anonymous said...

u mean i shd write to ST forum?
BT

Anonymous said...

went for interview yesterday..didnt make it on second round cause maybe im too honest haha...he ask me would i stay long and consider other career options...cant give an exact answer...cause i dont even know i can stay long oh not hahha,...maybe i should 'cheat' a bit..then may be accepted by them...:P

BookLover said...

I just read Khoo's letter in ST Forum. I am not sure if British Airways, CX and a couple of other airlines really treat their own better. If they do, I guess foreigners make up a very small portion of their paying passengers. I do not mind if our Singapore Girls are nicer to other passengers as long as my requests if any are met.

Anonymous said...

I did not know it was in the forum cos i read it in yesterday's Life!
Thanks BL.
BT.

Anonymous said...

Lolita said
Just wondering why all of a sudden so many thgs written abt the gals lately. Must give it to them they hv bn workg vry hard for so many years and they hv done a great job.

Anonymous said...

I am a Singaporean but I think Singaporeans are just to sum it up 'one kind'. Of course there are exceptions, but most Singaporeans are just not gracious. They dont bother about others, they only care about themselves, and their families. Apart from that, if you're a stranger, then there's no way you're gonna be even noticed. They wont hold the door for you, they wont give way to you on the roads when you signal to change lanes, they wont even give way when walking along the malls. But when others dont serve them in a certain manner, they start to make noise, complaint etc. Look at the Caucasians, most of them are well mannered, they know their limits, they would give way, hold the door for others, and always say please and thank you. Most importantly, they smile. That's an international langauge. So to the demanding local pax out there, I think you should just chill out a bit and dont expect too much, when you yourself cannot set a good example of how to act in public. Not everything is about dollars and cents, it doesnt mean that once you pay, you are king.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you just hit the nail on the head. I agree 200% with you.
So can we blame the crew if they are nicer to the Caucasians?
Thanks for yr time to comment.
boh tong

Anonymous said...

Not only that, just take a look at the way the Singapore team played against Thailand in yest match. The awarded penalty was not a penalty, everybody knows that, including the Singapore players. There is a editor in Today paper who even said 'shame on you, thailand', well I felt that true sportmanship would mean that the SIngapore team kicked the penalty out purposely cos they dont deserve it in the first place.In it was awarded against Singapore, I am sure we would feel terrible and upset as well. So do unto others what you want others to do unto you. If Singapore had done the right thing and kicked the ball out instead of capitalising on the penalty, there will be no need to talk about added security for the return leg in BKK on Sunday. All the time, money and effort wasted on the added security and the possiblity of a Singapore player or fan being injured can all be solved by a simple gesture of true sportsmanship by putting the ball out from the penalty spot.