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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Is the situation that bad...I wonder?

A few days ago I met a senior cabin crew while queueing up to buy something. He was right behind me in the queue and I didn't know he was a cabin crew until he stretched to shake my hand. Then I recognized him as one of the crew in my ward just before I left the airline.

We had a good 15 minutes conversation before it was my turn to take delivery of the goods I was buying. Let's call him Jack (not his real).

Jack was as far as I know, a quiet guy. We hardly talk even when we meet each other back then. But it was different that day. He actually complained to me more than chatting with me about the difficult situation he and his colleagues are in now.

These were the things he brought up to my attention,most of which I already knew. He complained bitterly about the reduction in his LMA (location meal allowance) and the amount he has to pay back to the company.
Overall, he told me his take home pay is reduced by at least $500 a month. He find it tough to support his family of 2 young kids and a non working wife.

Besides, Jack was also very upset with the tight operating flight patterns and the cutting down of overseas stay. He was also bitter about having to forgo his $50,000 gratuity if his retirement was to be extended for 2 more years. " What kind of shit is this Mr Tan?", Jack asked me. I was tongue-tied as I could not offer an answer. Instead I nodded sympathetically.
He also told me of how punitive the cc management is. "One slightest mistake you make and they are after your arse...oh it was much much better when you people were around ", Jack lamented. " And the union has got no balls to take on the management so much so that the company could do whatever they want to" he said with sadness in his eyes.

Jack went on and on and before I could say anything else, my queue number was called. I excused myself and attended to my business ( frankly I felt relieved at not having to hear anymore of Jack's complaints).

It is quite often I hear about the discontentment from the crew regarding their current working condition, pay etc and frankly I don't enjoy it at all. I hope someday when I meet the crew, they will have better and more positive news to convey to me eg. SIA is paying them 6 months of bonuses, CC management is treating them with dignity and respect etc etc.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

That guy must be an IFS I supposed. He has every right to be bitter.
I support what this IFS said to you because I am also a cc and the whole damn thing is happening to me too.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened Jack should not have complained to an ex-cce. How does one know whether this ex-cce may feedback to the office about the name of the complainant?

Boh Tong said...

Hello who do u think I am huh? An SIA cabin crew spy? Please lah I don't do this sort of thing. Check with all those who knew me in cc ok? KNN!

Anonymous said...


I feel that CC can start off by OFFLOADING all the deadwoods in the Office ! Stop those AM's Wayang Kings from performing & revamp the works ! Tua Bak & Co !

btw i am quite an old ex-crew !

Anonymous said...

Same for me whenever I meet the CC outside. Full of unhappiness & complaints about working conditions & salary. Always try to console them by saying its also not easy on the "outside" earning a living. Advise them to to work smart till they leave SQ. As for those who are in their late 30s and early 40s, I really empathize with them coz they're neither here nor there. too young to think about retirement & a little too old to leave SQ to start a new job outside.

Anonymous said...

Like the saying goes 'Charity begins at home', how do you expect the crew to be courteous when they are being ill treated by those unhelpful and arrogant AM . Come on SIA please look into it before further damage is done !!

I am not Eddie said...

The airline industry is going through structural changes, models are being challenged.

All staff are vulnerable to losing their jobs. Some positions may never exist anymore. ( except the AMs at CC.. their live forever )

Its better to manage risk. Here are 5 ways...

#1. Be mentally prepared to lose your job.( regardless of disciplinary actions/retrenchments etc)

#2. Be as debt free as you can ( dump the car, dump the dog, dump the golf memberships)

#3. Take stock of your strengths ( whatever happen to your writing, software development skills?)

#4. Network with people outside the airline ( they can be a resource to tap on)

#5. Learn to let go. ( all good things have an end... that includes pizza & spaghetti in FRA and Gold mine in Bayswater )

Understand that being a flight attendant is not a career no matter what others might say.
It may have been 20 years ago.

I know what I am talking about
I was a crew for more than 25 years.

I am now happily retired.
Work when I want to and have sufficient funds to for the next 30 years and yet leave a legacy for the kids.

You can be in the same position too.

Anonymous said...

what does it mean by tight operating flight patterns? sorry im not in the industry.

Knows All said...

Tight operating pattern = crew has limited rest at oversea stations eg London use to be 3 days then reduced to 2 and now down to 24 hours = less meal allowances = less take home pay.

Anonymous said...

24 hours? what can they do in 24 hours? the crew also needs to sleep right? do the crew sleep straight away after flight upon reaching hotel or go sightseeing immediately?

Knows All said...

Most of the crew would be tired and sleepy after that 18 hour-duty flight time. So first thing they would go to sleep. After a few hours they would get up and go for their meals and then back to the hotels and sleep again and get ready for the next flight back to S'pore.

Anonymous said...

no sightseeing? like that be a flight attendant for what? which city has the longest stopover?

i heard before that US or london stopover can be up to 2 weeks last time. prob long long ago.

Boh Tong said...

During my time (1970s to 80s)the trips would be 2 weeks away from home but not now.
I am not sure about which layover is the longest. Heard it may be San Paulo ( 3 to 4 days)

Anonymous said...

No wonder being sia crew was a big thing last time. Long layovers good pay make a happy crew plus superior service, gd management and gd marketing. sia had the winning formula last time. But prob not anymore.

Anonymous said...

Since 2003 after SARS, SIA had lose the winning formula.
It has been going downhill.
Exactly 10 yrs.
Guess who caused the downfall?
During that time guess who was the SVP of cc division?
Who roped in his buddy to be cc manager.
Only know the easy way out is to retrenched the staff.
Pair of nitwits.

Anonymous said...

The culprits were SKW and CPL!