Monday, February 24, 2014

The grant of retirees' travel benefits is conditional .....

A retired SIA staff and his or her spouse is "entitled" to a free ticket on its network yearly. The free travel is granted on condition that the retired staff does not take up employment with an airline or company that is considered a competitor of SIA.

This restriction was imposed a decade ago after SIA discovered that one of its management staff joined another airline as a top management personnel after his retirement. A few others also engaged themselves in consultancy work with other airlines which were considered as SIA's competitors.

The irony is that most of the airlines that engaged former SIA retirees did not do well. Two of them closed shop and a few are struggling to survive.

My ex-colleagues started a company and trained a few third world country airlines cabin crew on how to give good inflight service to their passengers. Today, the company has folded up incurring huge losses and the airlines cabin crew they trained were out of job. One glaring example was Sahara Air of India.

Not all retired staff are brilliant people. Most are in their 60s.
As for the pilots, they retire on reaching their 65th birthday and many do not think they should be flying during their retirement. Why?  The answer is a straightforward one, they are too old to handle such a big responsibility....the lives of their passengers!

A friend of mine told me this story:

He witnessed a road accident on the ECP. It involved a taxi and a motor bike. Apparently, the taxi hit the motor bike as it tried to swerve to the right lane. The biker was laying on the road in a semi conscious state. My friend stopped his car and offered help. The taxi driver called for an ambulance. A little later, the ambulance took the injured biker to the hospital. A tow truck arrived and parked itself next to the taxi. Then a minute later, my friend heard a loud bang.  A speeding taxi hit the tow truck from the back. It was followed by another loud bang and this time it was another taxi slamming into the second taxi. All in all, 3 taxis were involved in the accident. Guess what? All the 3 taxi drivers were greyed haired uncles of over 65 in age.

The point I am trying to arrive at is that old people has less concentration power plus their reaction to a situation is much slower than they think. Also, their modus operandi may be outdated. In fact they should be grateful they are still alive and kicking at that age let alone be employed in a high management position to do damage to SIA.

A former brilliant chairman of SIA was asked to help Tiger Airways out of its difficulties a few years ago. He is in his late 70s and was roped into Tiger as its chairman. Still, he couldn't do much and in fact Tiger lost more money than before. I believe he could have done a fantastic job and help Tiger out of its current position if he was a little younger.

Another ex CEO started an airline after his retirement and he recruited a retired SVP as its CEO. It disappeared as soon as it started from the skyline. So what's the big deal about retirees helping SIA's competitors? Perhaps, it may be an advantage to SIA for these retirees be employed by its competitors.

Therefore, I think SIA should not be unduly worried about its retirees imparting their expertise and knowledge to its competitors.


Anonymous said...

Dinosaurs where got modern expertise? Haha

Anonymous said...

Excellent post BT. Certainly hope that the high-handed or so-called brains of the airline are reading this as well. I've met a former CPT recently and now looking after his grandchildren. A man of few words and still shy, he is a role model of wisdom and sound common sense. Many of us have disharged our duty in serving NS and as airline ambassadors, and ought ot feel proud of this.

JYP could have done better as a consultant to Tiger Airways. An old schoolmate of mine took my advice recently by selling his computer school that he had owned for many years. He now functions as consultant/lucturer and draws a monthly salary. His new-found freedom has become a joyful discovery. I have come across ex-airline employees who never fail to rattle about their glory days, as if seeking attention.

The wise ones keep a low profile, with their ears open and spend time with family. No retiree should feel awkward about not earning his or her last drawn salary or who are now on a budget. Our cuture and tradition can exact a heavy toll on our lives if we keep on trying to keep pace with others as in keeping up with the Joneses.

No Big Deal said...

SQ think the free travel for its staff is a big deal. FYI it is on a subload basis. In short it means the retirees are perpetually on standby.

Anonymous said...

SIA stop micro managing. Concentrate on bigger issues. Your products & services are at best mediocre.Your share prices are going southwards. Stop pretending you are the best airline in the world. Even AirAsia gives better service than yourself. WAKE UP!

Anonymous said...

5 years flying junior says:

the subload ticket for retirees big deal? Still have to pay taxes also what. What really amazes me is how coy treat us like we are so hardup for the job, like we are so hardup for the tix, if i am a boss, i will be very greatful to those veterans that pia for me for 20 - 30 years, not take away his gratuity of 50k lol.
Thats why when i see these, i tell myself to plan now or never or i will be just like these seniors that are quite sad. Not as if our coy pay us skyhigh wages but expect a-z , as if we got no family to take care and no need spend time with family.

The happiest and most pleasurable is to be able to earn a living by doing what you like, or at least able to spend your time how you want to spend. Not everyday at office and be a 3 legged creature.

Start to plan now or never. Fly can, only for fun, career? No way.

best regards,
5 years flying junior

Jacky said...

You are so right. I believe when a person reach 60s, he or she should just retire and focused on doing what you enjoy instead of slogging hard. Thus, I don't agree with the government who is always preaching to the citizens to work and work. Your generation is fortunate as most are under the pension scheme and SIA also give retirees free air ticket. Do they still give free ticket to new retirees? I heard from a friend that they stopped this free air tickets scheme.

Boh Tong said...

Hi Jacky SIA still has the free travel scheme for its retired staff. To retire one must either served continuously for 15 years and get an early retirement or retired at age 62.

Anonymous said...

Hi, does SIA hire cabin crew with indonesian PR in singapore's recruitment drive? Because their requirement on the website is "Singapore Citizen", so I was wondering if PR is accepted. Would appreciate your input in this, thank you very much.

Angry said...

SIA does not mean what it says so go and try the walk in. And for goodness sake your question is not relevant to the title of this post.

Anonymous said...

Taxis nowdays are 2,200cc with very quick pick up speeds and response.

Have you seen or felt how the new generation taxis move? Very, very fast and sensitive steering. Older drivers who are not aware of this will get into accidents.. they think they are still driving Toyota crown.

5 years Junior:
People who join SQ in the lower ranks are very drawn towards the fame of SQ. They also lack ambition and require a structure to help them move forward.
SQ offers a 'safe' environment like Police or teaching or PUB.

People in the management level are also stuck. Very difficult for them to move out. SQ's structure is and has kept its 'old school' hierarchy.

As long as you keep in the shadows and do your work... you will complete the journey past the finish line... just like pilots, CCE, ( living proof at STC.. you know who they are! )managers.. no one ever trips and falls... except the very frontline staff. They get the hit first... thats why they are in the frontline!

Boh Tong said...

Don't pay to attention to "Angry". The SIN walk-in is for Spore Citizen only. SIA would not allow other nationality to apply. You may be turn away.

Anonymous said...

One ex-CEO who left SQ became Dy Chairman of an advertising agency and unlike his other peers, remained successful. He had spent many years of his working life with SIA at overseas stations. He had a mind of his own, eloquent and was always affable to everyone. He was a rare breed.