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Singapore Airlines Leaves The Rest Behind  
User currently offlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 857 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5209 times:

Perhaps it is something of a cliche to the extent that people doubt its validity, but I'm sorry, it's true - Singapore Airlines absolutely rocks.

I've flown all the premium classes on EK, NZ, and QF. Dollar for dollar, SQ is so far ahead of any of these they're not in the same ballpark. I've just completed a return trip AKL - AMS on SQ; in F class for the AKL-SIN legs and J for the SIN-AMS legs. From the attentiveness and grooming of the crew, to the cleanliness of the aircraft and quality of the Changi lounges and food, I am utterly convinced that this is the best airline in the world. Long may it continue!

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2420 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (1 year 3 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5143 times:

I flew SQ for the first time ever just 2 weeks ago. I was truly impressed with the service level, the attention to detail, the experience and the food. I flew SFO to HKG on the A380 in Y in the upper deck. Hot towels, plush pillows, nice blankets, ordering meals off a menu, foot rests, side storage compartment by the window, comfortable seats, plenty of movies, nice beverages, snacks available during the flight in the galley, incredibly attentive and groomed cabin crew. The 14 hour flight was very pleasant, and went by much too quickly. It was like I was traveling in the early years of the jet age again.

As a contrast, last month I flew FRA to DFW on AA in Y on a 767-300, with CRT screens hanging above the aisle as the only entertainment. The cabin attendants must have known Wilbur and Orville - no personality, no concern, no class. The AA FA confided with me that she would retire if she could, but she still had kids in college.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4966 times:
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Quoting CitationJet (Reply 1):
Quoting CitationJet (Reply 1):

OMG. I die right now. Wilbur and Orville!!!!! That is hilarious!!!!!!!

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):

And yes, I agree wholeheartedly, SQ is a great way to fly!



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 4941 times:

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
And yes, I agree wholeheartedly, SQ is a great way to fly!

Cheers! I forgot to also add TG to the list. I flew them AKL-CDG last year in a mixture of J and F. They tried hard, but were again not even close to SQ (and the catering was dreadful).


User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4937 times:
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Quoting gasman (Reply 3):

Cheers to you, too!

TG can only be #2 to your list (and mine)... as SQ will forever be #1!

My first experience with Thai, was many years ago flying LAX - KIX - BKK, and I LOVED the whole experience! I hope TG maintains a significant presence here at LAX because I love seeing them here and really appreciate their attentive service and tasty cuisine!

Thai. Smooth As Silk. =]



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4917 times:

Quoting CitationJet (Reply 1):
As a contrast, last month I flew FRA to DFW on AA in Y on a 767-300

Ah yes, the usual comparison of a darling of the industry to a pioneer of the industry. A comparison of an airline with NO domestic service in a country so small that it has only one airport (I've been there, it's not all that...torn carpets?) to an airline with a large domestic and internationalnetwork with many hubs spread out over one of the largest countries on Earth. A comparison of an airline where they 'possibly do' whip their cabin staff to an airline where they have cabin staff that only 'look like' they've been whipped. A comparison of an airline that has no other home-grown airline to compete with and enjoys direct government support to an airline that has strong home-grown, cut-throat competition and no direct government support. A comparison of an airline that enjoys labor laws that give a company freedom to maintain a young/pretty/handsome/subservient staff to an airline that respects laws that require them to retain qualified, experienced staff until that staff decides to retire.

It's not just SG, it's also CX and EK. One airline in a small country that has a large concentration of people with cash with nowhere else to go but outside that country.

Airlines of the United States go to more places and carry more people than any other in the world.

There's nothing to compare to that.

Rant over



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4829 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 5):
Ah yes, the usual comparison of a darling of the industry to a pioneer of the industry. A comparison of an airline with NO domestic service in a country so small that it has only one airport (I've been there, it's not all that...torn carpets?) to an airline with a large domestic and internationalnetwork with many hubs spread out over one of the largest countries on Earth. A comparison of an airline where they 'possibly do' whip their cabin staff to an airline where they have cabin staff that only 'look like' they've been whipped. A comparison of an airline that has no other home-grown airline to compete with and enjoys direct government support to an airline that has strong home-grown, cut-throat competition and no direct government support. A comparison of an airline that enjoys labor laws that give a company freedom to maintain a young/pretty/handsome/subservient staff to an airline that respects laws that require them to retain qualified, experienced staff until that staff decides to retire.

It's not just SG, it's also CX and EK. One airline in a small country that has a large concentration of people with cash with nowhere else to go but outside that country.

Airlines of the United States go to more places and carry more people than any other in the world.

There's nothing to compare to that.

I'm really not sure what your point is. That the route network of US legacies somehow exonerates them from bad inflight service??

I suspect what you're getting at is that SQ, with their impeccably groomed cabin attendants who are attentive, insightful, enthusiastic and warm, actually are creating a package that while it appeals to one's hedonistic and superficial side, is actually somehow morally inferior. That US carriers, with their ageing aircraft and rude FA's provide something worthier, less easily quantified than mere good service. And of course, SQ cabin attendants could not possibly be the way they are voluntarily. Everyone knows that as soon as the flight is over the smiles go, they become bitter, send home their $2 per day earnings to the family back in Singapore etc.etc.

All of which is, of course, just sour grapes and complete rubbish. The hard product and soft product of SIA in the ground and in the air is impeccable. If the staff are all in fact acting and are deep down severely unhappy, they all deserve oscars. But whatever the reality is, they made me feel very happy. And at the end of the day, that's the bottom line.


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4825 times:

Different geography, different funding, different labor laws, different culture, different network.....
Still not sure? Find someone else to help you.
I'll pass gas man.   



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineHOONS90 From Malaysia, joined Aug 2001, 2999 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4797 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Although I've flown SQ and had a great experience overall, the most warmth I've ever felt from flight attendants were on two separate AA flights. Straight from the heart. Who cares if they're not exactly young?


The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
User currently offline9vswr From Singapore, joined Jun 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4682 times:

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 8):

Yes, but are these flight attendants the rule or the exception? Admittedly, while Asian carriers like SQ might not provide the best onboard service at times, they are generally adept at being able to provide a consistently above-average to great standard of service, and it's the consistency of service levels that makes flying with them such a joy.

[Edited 2013-03-29 18:47:27]

User currently offlineTYCOON From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 393 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4575 times:

Although admittedly I haven't flown SQ in some time, my last flight with them LHR-SIN-KUL in J left alot to be desire.
I for one do not particularly find the flight attendants to be human, but very robotic in their approach to service etc....
The fruit salad served at breakfast was literally frozen SOLID!!! And to top it off, they lost my luggage in SIN and never delivered it to my hotel room... I asked them to keep it at the airport and I would pick it up on my way to KUL (I overnighted in SIN for business). When I arrived at the Changi and went to pick up my luggage which had arrived, they had dispatched it to the hotel in spite of my instructions to keep it!!!
Finally retrieved in at KUL.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5171 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4538 times:

Quoting 9vswr (Reply 9):
Yes, but are these flight attendants the rule or the exception?

To be honest, there is no "rule" with any of the US legacies. They are not all universally bad, as some would have us believe, but they can be anywhere on a spectrum from 0 to a 10000000. I've had some flight attendants in the USA who have been on their own playing field (no exaggeration, 2 in particular were exceptional) and others whom should never be allowed within 100 feet of a paying customer. They are such a diverse bunch that you can't possibly quantify the average. although it is undoubtably lower than in other parts of the world.

Quoting TYCOON (Reply 10):

I agree, I've also had some poor experiences on SQ. They're not #1 in my book, but if other people have had universally good experiences with them then I am genuinely glad for them.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 5):

Oh, leave it out. SQ is better than AA, or - GASP - your beloved DL. The reasons why don't detract from the accuracy of that statement.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineFlyingthe757 From UK - England, joined Mar 2013, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4462 times:
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Have to agree with the others here. Comparing AA and SQ is like comparing Apples and Oranges.

a. Local labour laws
b. Population
c. Distances travelled (I believe SQ only have long haul aircraft in its fleet)
d. Funding
e. Competition

US and Singapore are very different markets, so the product will understandably be different. In my opinion, in not a fan of the J, but I have never travelled in it, so I guess I could be wrong? I did get the opportunity to have a look on board and it looked very cramped in J, well, not as much room between the TV screen and the seat as I have seen on other carriers?


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4406 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 11):
The reasons why don't detract from the accuracy of that statement.

Just from everything else. I'm curious, where does Ryanair place in all of this? You seem to be the one who should know.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

I havent been on SQ in ages, since my childhood really, but i would love to try them again. The only thing that bums me out about them is their mileage earning fare classes are stingy with regards to reciprocality with their Star Alliance Partners, namely UA.

User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19187 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4301 times:

There's a good business book about SQ that you may find useful: Flying high in a competitive industry: Cost-effective service excellence at Singapore Airlines.


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4184 times:

Quoting Flyingthe757 (Reply 12):
Have to agree with the others here. Comparing AA and SQ is like comparing Apples and Oranges.

a. Local labour laws
b. Population
c. Distances travelled (I believe SQ only have long haul aircraft in its fleet)
d. Funding
e. Competition

US and Singapore are very different markets, so the product will understandably be different.

But different doesn't have to equate to "worse". There's nothing in the above reasons that ought to excuse rudeness (US carriers) or laziness (NZ occasionally) or sloppy personal grooming (NZ often). Every single member of SQ's staff, from the ground staff, to lounge staff, to cabin crew were professional, enthusiastic, well groomed, and not at all "robotic" (as they are often spitefully accused of being). I can't believe they were behaving in this way under some sort of "sweatshop mentality duress" (as is also often suggested). They deserve full kudos in my book.


User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 537 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3976 times:

I grew in love with SQ in 2009 and flew with them quite a lot since. The cabin crew are in a league of their own. Very well trained and consistent. But I can't say the same of the support staff.. and their new website is crappy when it comes to flight bookings, lets not talk about mult-city bookings.

I recall a flight to NRT in Economy 3 years back. I asked for green tea. A minute later the In Flight Supervisor came back to me and said they don't have green tea in Economy so they got me green tea from Business Class, complete with the the JCL cup and a cookie. I have no status with them but even with I fly Economy, the cabin crew always address me by name when I chat with them.

SQ is going to face increasing competition from the LCCs in the region and the likes of the Gulf carriers long haul. But I hope they realise their cabin crew are their competitive advantage and keep the standards there.

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 5):
Ah yes, the usual comparison of a darling of the industry to a pioneer of the industry. A comparison of an airline with NO domestic service in a country so small that it has only one airport (I've been there, it's not all that...torn carpets?) to an airline with a large domestic and internationalnetwork with many hubs spread out over one of the largest countries on Earth. A comparison of an airline where they 'possibly do' whip their cabin staff to an airline where they have cabin staff that only 'look like' they've been whipped. A comparison of an airline that has no other home-grown airline to compete with and enjoys direct government support to an airline that has strong home-grown, cut-throat competition and no direct government support. A comparison of an airline that enjoys labor laws that give a company freedom to maintain a young/pretty/handsome/subservient staff to an airline that respects laws that require them to retain qualified, experienced staff until that staff decides to retire.

It's not just SG, it's also CX and EK. One airline in a small country that has a large concentration of people with cash with nowhere else to go but outside that country.

Airlines of the United States go to more places and carry more people than any other in the world.

There's nothing to compare to that.

That's not very valid. SIN is one of the largest air hubs in the world and the Singapore government has very liberal policies, many airlines enjoy 5th freedom flights here e.g. LH flies SIN-CGK which was a cashcow for SQ and one of the busiest routes. There are over 10 airlines flying SIN-KUL which is an even busier route. SQ's arch nemesis if you will, EK, has flights to Australia via SIN. Even with the Southwest Pacific as SQ's competitive advantage and the reason why StarA needs SQ.

Not to mention, the LCCs in the region have grown exponentially over the past 10 years.

Granted SQ doesn't have a domestic network but flying domestic in the ASEAN/Southeast Region is akin distance-wise to flying domestic in the US. SIN-KUL is a 30-40minute flight, SIN-CGK is 80minutes, SIN-BKK is about 100minutes. The LCCs plying SIN-KUL sell all-in roundtrip fares for just S$ 50 (about US$45) all year around.

SQ's profits have dipped of late but considering all the competition it faces, more than a lot here seem to realise, I think they're still putting up pretty well.

And with the American carriers, I think its really a question of training. Not the age of the crew or the average length of their flights.

[Edited 2013-04-10 21:24:44]

User currently offlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3954 times:

Quoting infinit (Reply 17):
But I hope they realise their cabin crew are their competitive advantage and keep the standards there.

I think they do. They're not stupid.

Quoting infinit (Reply 17):
And with the American carriers, I think its really a question of training. Not the age of the crew or the average length of their flights.

While it's valid to state you'd be crazy to expect Singapore silkiness on a packed 737 flying between LAX and LAS; I agree it's nothing to do really with the age of the crew nor length of the flights. It all comes down to attitude. Too many US legacy FAs have some deep engrained institutionalised sense of entitlement. For many, passive-agressiveness is their default setting, converting to open hostility at the slightest provocation.


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5171 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3852 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 13):
I'm curious, where does Ryanair place in all of this?

Fair enough, and I'm sorry I came over as rude. As for FR, well we all know that they are different and not going for the same market. FR are looking to provide the lowest possible cost, and will cut as much from the flying experience to achieve that. Moreover, they are geographically precise within Europe.

The difference to AA (and DL and UA) is that they are the premium international US carriers, competing directly against competitors from Asia and the Middle East. While I accept that the US carriers have certain liabilities that some foreign competitors don't, most impartial observers would agree that the US carriers provide a lower quality offering than the Asian carriers.


As for my username: I haven't flown FR in 7 years, it's what you get when join Anet too young! At the time I was obsessed with them and dreamed of working for them one day ... and then I grew up!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 19):
The difference to AA (and DL and UA) is that they are the premium international US carriers, competing directly against competitors from Asia and the Middle East. While I accept that the US carriers have certain liabilities that some foreign competitors don't, most impartial observers would agree that the US carriers provide a lower quality offering than the Asian carriers.

Perhaps it's because that most 'American' carriers are staffed by...'Americans'. We ARE a different sort of people.

Quoting infinit (Reply 17):
And with the American carriers, I think its really a question of training. Not the age of the crew or the average length of their flights.

What kind of training is lacking? Kowtowing 101?



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 537 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3807 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 20):
What kind of training is lacking? Kowtowing 101?

I qualify- I believe beyond reasonable doubt that the cabin crew of all major airlines around the world are trained sufficiently in their basic duties as cabin crew e.g. safety. The rest is about service and that is one of the few differentiating factors in this industry. My sister was a stewardess with SQ. They're taught to serve a beverage the same way all the time (unless of course a particular circumstance warrants a different treatment), to anticipate passenger needs in a busy Economy deck of the 747 (it was some years back) etc. For the lack of a better comparison its akin to McDonalds. You know what to expect all the time whenever you go to one anywhere in the world, you get a consistent product.

Of course many of the American carriers have much bigger largely domestic fleet so it's not a fair comparison but I'm sure there is some scope for improvement. Perhaps with all the big mergers lately and profits going up for the big American airlines we'll see them investing more in their staff?

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 20):
Perhaps it's because that most 'American' carriers are staffed by...'Americans'. We ARE a different sort of people.

I don't buy that. Singaporeans aren't service orientated. I read that 70% of the service industry here is manned by foreigners and it feels like its more. Singaporeans shun jobs in the service sector. In most shops I walk into here they are almost always staffed by people largely from other parts of Asia.. And when the service stuff is Singaporean I would never expect good service. Cold and nonchalant is what I'd probably get.. and our fellow Southeast Asian neighbours know us to complain and whine at just about everything under the sun.. While they have foreign crew the bulk of them in SQ are Singaporeans. And the service in SQ is so not Singaporean (thank god!). So again I'd say it goes back to investing in your staff, training etc..

Quoting gasman (Reply 18):
I think they do. They're not stupid.

You'd think so. While the newer management of SQ have continued to keep the airline profitable and that is the core of any business, SQ was an airline built on charm. The newer management on the other hand seem to run it like any other "Western" shareholder profit-orientated company.

They've but cutting back on their top tier PPS loyalty program over the last decade, their expenditure on catering has been going down consistently every year, and they recently cut back on cabin crew allowances, cleverly using a strong Singapore dollar as the rationale. They also did away with team flying to save cost.

Sure, its a tough industry an SQ faces a multitude of challenges as I suggested in my previous post and it seems they're holding up well so far but, no, I'm not entirely confident in their management.

[Edited 2013-04-12 09:13:15]

User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5171 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3785 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 20):
We ARE a different sort of people.

I'm well aware of that. For a start I live in North Carolina.

What I was trying to get at was that regardless of why an impartial and disinterested bystander would fall on the Asian side. As for the reasons why, we could probably discuss them all day and never get anywhere...



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3778 times:

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 20):
Perhaps it's because that most 'American' carriers are staffed by...'Americans'. We ARE a different sort of people.

Nope. Don't buy this. You ARE different, but usually in a good way. Contrary to popular belief, the default configuration for an American person is warmth, enthusiasm, confidence and kindness. But put one in a legacy carrier's flight attendant's uniform and it all goes out the window. It's a simple workplace culture thing. It will only ever change from within.


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3658 times:

Quoting infinit (Reply 21):
Quoting gasman (Reply 23):

Wow, you two caused my head to spin!   

Gasman, I've been to 60 countries and people always ask me which is my favorite. I'm sure you can guess.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
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