From a distance,during boarding, we spotted a potential trouble maker passenger. He was 6 ft tall of Chinese descent, wore a matching bow tie with a white long sleeve shirt. He looked grim and unfriendly.
As he approached his seat in the economy class, he pointed at the seat which was occupied by another passenger. It was a transit flight and he was a joiner from TPE (Taipei). His seat was mistakenly occupied by a transit passenger. He looked annoyed.
The crew quickly diffused the situation by moving the transit passenger to the correct seat and let the 6 footer take his seat. 6 footer wasn't happy and demanded to see me, the most senior cabin crew on the flight.
He started to complain and complain about this and that. He also told me how influential he was and that he was my SVP's mentor many years ago. He flashed his Changi Airport pass which showed he was accessible to many areas. "He must be some big shot whom I may not know"..I told myself.
During the flight back to S'pore from TPE, I gave him "Black Label" whisky from the first class instead of the "White Label" that was served in the economy class ( he was seated EY). All in all he had 5 glasses of Scotch from the FC. He was happy with the service and the crew who had served him, I was told.
Back in S'pore, a week later, my crew and I was given a pat on the back by our SVP. Apparently, Mr. 6 footer had wrote a complimentary letter about us.
Wah, this passenger was very easy to please indeed,we thought but a few weeks later, he lodged a serious complaint against another set of crew. He wrote a 30 something page complaint against the IFS and his crew. It was so serious that our SVP had to take him out for lunch and apologise to him.
One night, on my way to the aircraft, I met 6 footer at the airport check in counter. He recognised me and waved at me. I went up to shake his hand and asked where he was flying to. He told me it wasn't him flying but his daughter. He wanted his daughter to be upgraded to a higher class. She was booked to fly economy.
I was telling myself it would be extremely difficult his daughter to be upgraded. SIA has strict criterion for upgrading. Well, I found later on, 6 footer's daughter was upgraded to first class. She was travelling on my flight. Wow he must be some hot shot or else this upgrading couldn't be successful.
Each time, 6 footer wanted to fly SQ, he would call me and I would have to alert the crew to ensure that a "high standard of service" be accorded to him or his friends.
Year after year, he would send me a Christmas card. But there was one Christmas, I did not received a card from him. Someone told me 6 footer had died of a heart attack that year. I looked up the newspaper and managed to find that obituary page.....yes he had passed away. SIA had lost a loyal customer and me a friend!