Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A great compliment from a SIA's PPS passenger

Email and photos published with the kind permission of Mr Hendrik J Nobel.

Dear Sir,

While it is not normally a habit of mine to follow Internet blogs, yours has become a favorite.
Since 1988, I have been on many flights with Singapore Airlines. In these 27 years I have been constantly impressed by the fact that the airline would always be the first to offer the newest type of aircraft and in-flight services. Always setting and raising the standard for the entire airline industry, without ever really being beaten by the competition. What an incredible achievement that is. But my greatest admiration goes out to the ladies & gentleman such as yourself. Always offering impeccable service, regardless of which of the available cabin classes my wife & I traveled in.

Having read many posts on your blog, I realize even more how tough the cabin crew training is and how hard they have to work to offer the excellence we have always experienced. On top of that, we have so much respect for the way they deal with sometimes very rude and unfriendly passengers. Uncivilized people like that should once try any other airline and see how they are treated there. They will undoubtably notice the big difference.

At the age of 20, I saw the first Singapore Airlines television commercial in The Netherlands. I saved up money from my student job, to book my first intercontinental flight from Amsterdam to Singapore & Medan with Singapore Airlines. As far as I can remember, with stops in Abu Dhabi and Malé, taking well over 18 hours, nowadays only 12. That first flight was the start of a long and warm relationship with SIA and it's wonderful crew members.

Many trips followed, since my wife and I are passionate travelers. Our flights frequency increased even more when we moved from The Netherlands to Hong Kong in 2011. Whenever we travel to Europe or the USA, we rather fly a few extra hours through Singapore then take a direct flight from Hong Kong.
As poor students we started of as Krisflyer Blue Members and a few years back made it all the way up into the PPS Club, hopefully without becoming PITA passengers for the crew. We actually have flown hardly any other airline for our travels. The choice of our holiday destinations is also often based on the Singapore Airlines destinations charts on the company’s website.

We always look forward to see the Golden Kris on the aircraft’s tail at the departure gate and meeting the crew at the door. We have seen several talented cabin crew members grow from Flight Steward or Flight Stewardess all the way up to Male or Female In-Flight Supervisor. Therefore it almost feels like coming home to a part of our family whenever we step aboard.

In Amsterdam, we used to live just around the corner of The Marriot Hotel, often seeing the crew wait outside for the crew bus, when we were cycling by to get to work. Especially in the cold Dutch winters, we would feel sorry for the ladies in their thin kebayas.

Through these years, we have tried to help in advancing the careers of exceptional cabin crew talent by requesting their full name so that we could send positive feedback to SIA. The customer services department always replied and ensured us that our feedback would be forwarded to the cabin crew management department. I hope that has been the case and that we have been able to assist in pushing cabin crew members through the ranks.

A few years ago I purchased two Little Singapore Girl suits for my two little nieces in Kris Shop. A few months later, they wore them during their first ever flight, taking them from Amsterdam to Christchurch and back. The Male In-Flight Supervisor came over and told them jokingly that since they were wearing the kebaya, they would need to work as a Singapore Girl. One of the Flight Stewardesses even tied their hair in a bun, so that they would comply with the companies policies. They assisted in handing out snacks to passengers during a part of the flight. They still talk about that during family gatherings. Another perfect example of the warmth of many of the cabin crew members.

Because of all of this, I wanted to send you an email. As an acknowledgement from two travelers, for all that you and your many colleagues have done for us throughout the years.
Sincere thanks and good fortune to you and all the people that work and have worked so hard for their passengers. It has been a privilege flying with them in the past. I am looking forward to many more flights with them in the future.

Yours Faithfully,

Hendrik J. Nobel

Ps: This is us

Dear Mr. Tan,

I forgot to mention one thing that my wife & I always say: "There are many carriers, but only one airline: Singapore Airlines".


Hendrik J. Nobel


Anonymous said...

I have dozens of such compliments in my personal file. When i apply for jobs like bartender or housekeeping, the employers cant even bother to take a look. Where did a person who is GQ, wine someliar, acta 1 to 10, culinary and announcement grade 1 and tons of such compliments end up? Taxi driver

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr & Mrs Nobel,Although I had retired(having flown for 40 years)it's many passengers like you that keep us going for future flights. We were lucky to join in the 70's where we had many gracious and appreciative passengers around from the 70's to 2000's bud sadly,for the last 10 years we are seeing an increase of obnoxious passengers.
God Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1. You are so right. Before anyone decides to sign up for a course for the purpose of upgrading, think again. We had lots of our fellow staff who even obtained a degree only to be turned away at job interviews. Don't think they were even able to claim their course fees. The reason?......Grey hair is an eye sore. Some who were employed are only drawing as little as $6.00 per hour and had to wear a tie. The foreign workers are the ones who are really gaining from the Singapore style of mgt.

Anonymous said...

Those so called certifications and toilet papers given by SQ are only worth maybe 1 point in SQ context but totally not recognised outside. No need to waste off days and attend such courses thinking it will upgrade you or come in useful? 1 day elementary korean course or 1 day course on making salads at SATs can get you some job huh? Off days get some rest and spend time with family and friends or jus lying on my bed staring at ceiling is better. As for compliments, it serves as a personal thing for a job well done but nobody gives a shit to it when apply for jobs

Anonymous said...

I had a job which gave me a title of manager but pay me $8 per hour from 8.30 am to 6.15 pm. A manager but have to beg those operational people to cooperate and work. Most of the timw i work till 9 pm without additional OT pay . This job expect me to wear a full suit with matching jacket, tie and pants most of the time. I was thinking wtf? $7/hr and act like some ceo huh? I was not willing to invest in a full suit and i wore the dark blue jacket from SQ and black pants to work. My Director asked me- this is SQ standard huh? SQ can like that ah? I told her say 'you mean here is SQ ah? 1.7k job must wear full suit huh? Go check your brains'. After that I quit.

Anonymous said...

Hi BT,

Who are the top 10s that the crew in SIA must take note of?

Anonymous said...

6 years flying senior says:

all the above are very true, that is why I always feel it is so important to find 2nd income stream, look for opportunities and start building. As long as I have deliver to passengers and bring the AC safe to destination, I have done my job. But majority are blinded by check reports numbers, eca points, ranking, promotions...in the end will get to nowhere, pay get smaller,roster get suckier, new crew come in have you have to do more to cover them, and then start to worry about extensions....

Anonymous said...

The job of a crew is not much different from a waiter or waitress.
In fact it is much more diluted.
There is little table setting except in F
There is no recording & charging of food & beverage
Much of the work is preparing the carts ( regardless of meal or drink )

The pay is higher because of difficult work environments
- Time zone differentials ( shift work really )
- Meal times ( no set times )
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Higher risk to health ( turbulence, decompressions,)

Remove the work environment and the pay would be the same with waiters

And you do not have hygiene certifications to handle food ( a requirement by NEA in Singapore)
Neither do you have food handling certification ( raw food )

Also no certification in first aid/CPR that is valid after you leave the airline

Sommelier certification is ok for your own knowledge.. but there are lots of people with it already.

Annoucements: you need lots of practice and need to have the right network to get a job in mediacorp or other entertainment industry. Reading from the usual text for 6 years will not improve beyond a certain point. You would also need to have the charisma to bundle with the voice... something that most crew lack. ( you are selected for compliance as a potential crew.. not a celebrity)

PR conversations: Useful in any job but no certification... useful during interviews.

What is missing is computer software applications. Word, Excel, powerpoint is basic for all office jobs now days. And you need to stay updated on them.

Whatever, ex crew must start from zero and claw your way up. That means low pay.
But if can survive at 37,000 feet with a load full of demanding pax, a back stabber, a demonic CS (CSS) or IFS and the evil empire lead by Seth.... hey!


Anonymous said...

Work smart and do your job as required by being a FLIGHT attendants(meaning strictly work on board the plane,period).And not be a sucker like a homeless person,going back to the office(during off days),to score points,hoping to be promoted.One mistake out you go!
There are many who get promoted on their own merits without having to resort to "carrying balls".

Anonymous said...

Homeless and now even ECA. Now what has this ECA have to do with the job of CC? Don't forget that the Agreement signed in the eighties had provided for 112 off days annually for CC. Looks like crew are not valuing their rights anymore. Why keep blaming the Mgt?

Anonymous said...

Did unions ever asked members?
Representatives give their opinions and then draft the agreements?

Agreements seem to be drafted by unionists under the supervision of management with
the unionists having secured their own gains.
2 groups of gangsters bullying the wage earner.

Both milking the crew for all their worth... even if its 2cts.

Anonymous said...

Why must union ask members? The majority of u guys voted them in and hence they were given power to decide on your behalf. If must ask every member, then they sibeh bo eng liao. Jus like our govt. Whether they choose to increase tax tomoroow or import more trash in, its up to them. No meed ask you people. Only time you have some power is during erection time.