Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The year end school holiday in Singapore and a tribute to our station manager

With the start of the year end school holiday, many staff including cabin and technical crew are on annual leave. The airline will function with skeletal staff and crew. Many will bring their families for vacations.
All flights leaving Singapore will be full during this period (from 19 Nov 2016 till 2 Jan 2017). Not only revenue passengers will be flying by the hundreds, SIA staff and their families too.
As far as I know, the airline will reserve 8 free firm seats in the economy class for its staff on each flight except the ULR (Ultra Long Range) flights like the SIN/SFO/SIN flights. The staff will have to ballot for the firm seats. The rest who are unsuccessful in the balloting may travel if there are seats available (sub-load basis).
The worry of the staff who travel on sub-load basis is that they are not assured of a seat on the flight back to SIN after their vacation. Some who were stuck at outstation would run out of money and would also not be back to work on time. Their children would also miss attending schools.
At the airports one may witness our staff literary begging the station managers to help them secure seats back to SIN. In most overbooked cases, the station managers are unable to help as revenue passengers come first before sub-load staff.
When talking about our staff being left stranded at outstations, the following incident always come to my mind. The place was Melbourne 40 years ago and to cut a long story short, the station manager using his own initiative and risked being punished by his bosses put a dozen of our staff in the upper deck of the first class section (B747) and flew them back to SIN. The flight was chock-a-block and I was an operating crew on that flight. .
Often, this particular station manager, would upgrade our staff when they travel out of Melbourne. He has retired and I think probably has passed away. I would usually prefer not to mention names in my blog but I will make this an exception. This is a tribute I would like to pay to our most helpful and kind Mr Alex Grech (not sure if I spelled it correctly). He once told me "if we could not look after own our staff, how could we look after our revenue passengers?"

10 comments:

Mike Lim said...

Dear Mr. Luke,

Can you kindly clarify how does balloting work?

Thank you.

Best wishes,
Mike

Anonymous said...

Yay free stuff.

Boh Tong said...

Dear Mike, the staff in the travel dept will at random
pick the applications for the flights. Only 8 seats will
be reserved for each flight out of SIN and the return sector.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you with SIA?

Anonymous said...

Yes. Remembered him. Great guy,it happened to me once. May he RIP and more.

Anonymous said...

What talking you?

Anonymous said...

It's obvious you don't have anything current to talk about.

Anonymous said...

At least better than the station manager who couldn't resist hogging the limelight in the infamous SQ Schooling photo incident. Netizens cursed him for it.

SIA staff said...

Alex upgraded my daughter out of MEL to business class some years ago.
Indeed like you said he was kind and good to the staff whom he did not even know.

Janey said...


Hi Luke. Thus far you have wrote about meeting and remembering ex/ current crew. Just an idea, maybe you can also write about Passengers who remember you?Has this happened before? Will be interesting to hear from you / a crew

Thank you and I always enjoy reading your blog.