Thursday, September 17, 2015

SIA cabin crew should exercise flexibility when hiring stewardesses

SIA cabin crew management has not changed for the better since I left 12 years ago. Besides other things, cabin crew is still insisting on recruiting stewardesses with flawless complexion and it is for this reason SIA is repeatedly conducting interviews here and overseas without much success. Not many girls have flawless complexion and this should not be the number one criteria in its selection. Other qualities like good service attitude and team spirit are more important in the service industry. But if you could get girls with good complexion as well as the other qualities it will be ideal. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get a perfect candidate for the job. Under the circumstances, SIA should be less strict in its selection.
The airline is critically short of crew and most flights leave with less than the required number. Service is affected and the morale of the operating crew is at rock bottom.
All airlines would desire to have beautiful stewardesses but in a situation like the one SIA is facing some flexibility should be exercised.
Beauty and flawless complexion should not be all and end all in SIA's recruitment exercise of its cabin crew. Good service attitude, pleasant personality, passion etc are also important ingredients in pleasing and satisfying the passengers.

My wife and I frequent a cafe near our place and are impressed with a particular coffee barista. She does not have flawless complexion but we enjoy her coffee as well as her presence. Below is my email to her employer and its reply:

"My wife and I are frequent visitors to the Toast Box outlet at
Greenwich. We are impressed with a staff of yours by the name of "Lucy" who
is not only efficient but friendly and bubbly towards her customers. We once
offered "Lucy" a $10 tip for the wonderful coffee she painstakingly made for
us and the other customers as well as her pleasant disposition. She politely
refused to accept our small tip citing Toast Box's policy. We were impressed
with such attitude. Staff like "Lucy" should be commended and treasured
because there are not many like her left".

Hi Luke,

Thanks for your compliment on Lucy. We will be sure to inform her of this. I
am sure she will be happy when she heard of this. She have always been a
excellent staff and before this at Junction 8, she was popular among some of
her customer too.

We will continue to educate and train our staff so that there will be more
"Lucy" around!

Thank you.

As customers, we are not overly concerned with Lucy's complexion or looks. The most important thing Lucy is always smiling,eager to make the best coffee for her customers and passionate about her job.
Perhaps SIA should give my suggestion some consideration as there are many "Lucys" out there eager to join as its cabin crew.


Anonymous said...

6 years flying senior says:

good morning Mr BT, somehow or rather after working in this coy, i realise in this coy and in Singapore, it doesnt pays in the end to be like lucy, who gets recognized ? not lucy, those that can help coy save $ and cents and those that can carry ballah in their offdays will get recognized, same goes to our country level as well. Thats whys I also make effort to commend people like lucy , not like our coy, 90% of commend forms we know are fake, solicitated one.
Only maybe 10% are real.

Boh Tong said...

Good morning 6 yrs flying senior. We need people like you
around to boost the crew's morale. Keep on commending the good people.

Anonymous said...

Totally agreed with BT!! After reading this post, I would like to share my recent travel experience with Emirates and Singapore Airlines:

I travelled to Sydney on Emirates Economy Class, night flight. I was very impressed by the service as the stewards and stewardesses were very cheerful, smiling and very welcoming. The flight was really very empty, yet there were I think around 6 cabin crew in my section of the economy class. I think because it's night flight. The food was great, the stewardess was very helpful when I asked her or the adapter to charge my electronics and they had FREE WiFi!! The whole journey was very enjoyable. When I asked for white wine, they gave me the entire bottle and guess what I paid only around SGD$380 for my one way ticket to Sydney through Emirates!!

On the other hand, my return flight was booked on Singapore Airlines Economy Class (I left Sydney after 35 days) and paid around SGD$700.. The whole flight was packed, only 1 stewardess and 3 stewards to serve every single one of us (at the economy class area where I was seated)!! They tend to forget passengers request for drinks or other stuff because there are too many of us and just 4 of them.. Except for 1 steward the other 2 were probably in their 40s and the girl should be in her 20s.. They did not smile and they were running around to attend to as many passengers as possible.. But what made me angry was when I wanted to use the lavatory, the cabin crew locked it because the flush was broken or something but did not put any signage on the door.. I was waiting outside the lavatory for 10min (no exaggeration as I kept looking at my watch) I badly needed to pee and it felt like my bladder was gonna explode.. The cabin crew saw me waiting from their tiny work space where they were chit chatting and having some drinks after serving us with our breakfast and did not tell me, not even once, that the lavatory cannot be used and they even closed the curtain so that!! I was waiting outside for so long thinking someone was inside and finally I lost my patience and moved the curtain and asked the steward standing if anyone was using the toilet and if he could check what's wrong then he said oh the flush is not working so we locked it!! I'm like WTF!! Can't you see I've been waiting for the damn toilet for so long and you even had the cheek to go close the curtain (of course thought this in my head lah coz my bladder was too full for me to stand and fight).. Asked which other toilets can be used then I walked over to the other economy class side, waited for 5min there and finally used the toilet.. Seriously very bad service!! You have no idea how hard it was to control my full bladder for a good 15min with so much of pain from all the tahaning!! I almost peed myself..

Just from this 1 trip to Sydney this year in July I experienced 2 completely different services from these 2 airline company's cabin crew.. I'm just sharing my experience that's all :)

Anonymous said...

But BT during your recruitment days, sadly many good and kind hearted candidates were booted out due to complexion checks. Their dreams were never fulfilled and now they are in their 40s and have better complexion than they were in their youth. If you could turn back the clock to your recruitment days, would you do it differently?

Boh Tong said...

My job was to shortlist them on their suitability for the job and not their complexion. The beauty consultants were the people who would advise management whether to hire the wannabes or reject them.

Anonymous said...

Emirates Cabin Crew minimum age requirement says 21, do they follow just the year or specifically your birthday itself for the age calculation?

Anonymous said...

Bladder explosion is no joke ):

Anonymous said...

i was traveling on SIA Business Class from Frankfurt to Sgp & there were like 10 pax in B-Cl. During an "off-peak" period, I asked for a glass of warm water from a stewardess when she was strolling around. After 30mins, i have yet to receive my water. So i went to the galley and saw her chatting there with her colleagues. I casually & politely asked for my glass of water and fetch it back myself.

Yes she did apologies for forgetting my request. No, i didn't make a complain, i just accepted it. So it doesn't matter how many pax or crew the flight has. Maybe?

Gone were those days where Cabin crew work with a passion.