Having meals in Japan..read more




Saturday, 23 July 2016

Article conrtibuted by "Old Man"

During the early years of flying ( 1970-2000 ), the exchange rates
against the S$ was not in the crew's favour... in other words, it
was expensive. 

And crew in general ( Singaporeans, Malaysians east & west, technical crew too ) were
not eager to eat hamburgers after a long flight. This style of food was easily available in many of the big cities: LAX, SFO, LON, FRA, ROM.. etc. 
In particular, LAX ( Los Angeles, California ) the crew hotel was located in not so friendly places. The hotels were located in far off places... not along Sunset Boulevard or near eateries ( that the crew liked ).

Some places were very near the LAX airport... you could see the runway and watch take off and landings. Some were located about 7km from the airport near marinas where eating outlets were very limited. Either sit down tables with table cloth ( Wolfgang Puck ) or Subway, KFC or Soup . After a long & tiring flight, you would rather have familiar foods that offered comfort: rice, noodles.

California is a very, very big state. Los Angeles is a very, very big city... and it is very sprawling ( wide spread, like from Petaling Jaya to Federal Territory and Subang ) without a car, its very difficult to move around. Singapore Express was an outlet owned and operated by Thai people located in Marina Del Rey. A marina for rich people who owned yachts, boats. Its very sprawing and Singapore Express was located in a small single storey strip mall. There is 1 laundry shop, 1 nail polish shop, 1 car rental, 1 medical centre, 1 stationary shop, 1 Subway, and Singapore Express.

This mall was across a very large car park which was next to Marriott's. That was the hotel that the crew stayed. In the middle of no where. ( crew hotels were short listed by station managers and after assessments by unionists, chosen and contracted by SQ for crew to lay over ... go figure )

Singapore Express had food that was freshly stir fried at prices that crew would be willing to spend. A Subway sandwhich would cost US$5, for the same price or slightly more, you could get stir fried beef thai style with rice or noodles... and they would deliver it to you room or to the crew room.

Over the years, crew hotels changed to different locations, yet Singapore Express was willing to deliver ( within a 3-5km radius of their outlet )
Crew who were more seasoned would be aware that after TYO-LAX sector with effects of GMT changes, it would be better to order food rather than wake up at 9pm ( LAX time ) and find it risky to walk through the car park at night.

Junior crew were asked if they wanted "in". Some declined. Thats fine. No one was forced, coerced, arm twisted or threatened. The knowledge and understanding of each night stop station's peculiarities is an unstructured part of training: 

"How to survive night stops in various cities"

During those early years, there was no internet googling. Intimate knowledge could only be shared verbaly. You shared for 2 reasons: 

1.The crew was deserving - positive attitude, compliant, diligent.
2.To show off - displaying how seasoned and how often LAX appeared in your roster.

These days, with the internet, all this sharing is not required... including techniques in providing customer delight and recovery. It is not worthwhile for seniors to share their experiences with juniors or even managers. We live in our own cocoons. No need to give thanks, appreciation. All taken care of by smart devices.

Why bother at all.

2 comments:

Eager beaver said...

"These days, with the internet, all this sharing is not required... including techniques in providing customer delight and recovery. It is not worthwhile for seniors to share their experiences with juniors or even managers. We live in our own cocoons. No need to give thanks, appreciation. All taken care of by smart devices.

Why bother at all."

Agree 100% !!!

Anonymous said...

I miss the old Subang airport.Back when I was growing up,there was no KLIA,LCCT or even AK.For some strange reason,your post brings back some fond memories for KLites like me.One hour from my KL home to Subang,then board MH to Kch (1 hr 45 mins) to visit my late grandfather.