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SQ Cutting Back On Cabin Crew Allowances  
User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 556 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 16195 times:

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore...bin-crew-unhappy-allowance-changes

Quote:
A strong Singapore dollar and protracted negotiations between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its staff union have caused unhappiness among some cabin crew, who have to pay back a significant portion of their location meal allowances.

These allowances are pegged to currency exchange rates and hotel menu prices in different regions. They are adjusted every two years to take into account changes in menu prices and every six months for currency exchange rate movements.

..
According to SIA cabin crew TODAY spoke to, the allowances received for working on flights to European countries and the Americas were the hardest hit by the adjustment — by as much as 20 per cent. For example, the allowance for a five-day trip to London used to be about S$900 but has now decreased to about S$650.

SQ should never -ever- do anything to demotivate their cabin crew. No matter how bad the going gets, their salaries or allowances should never be cut. Simply because their cabin crew are their one true differentiating factor. If the crew become dissatisfied and lose the consistency they have, it's all going to go downhill for SQ.

51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17420 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 15977 times:

This is just the beginning. Between flailing TG/MH, resurgent carriers such as GA/VN/PR, GCC carriers overflying SIN, LCCs all over the place, and their 58 confused regional brands, things are only going to get a lot more difficult for SQ.


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15794 times:

Quoting infinit (Thread starter):
These allowances are pegged to currency exchange rates and hotel menu prices in different regions. They are adjusted every two years to take into account changes in menu prices and every six months for currency exchange rate movements.

..
According to SIA cabin crew TODAY spoke to, the allowances received for working on flights to European countries and the Americas were the hardest hit by the adjustment — by as much as 20 per cent. For example, the allowance for a five-day trip to London used to be about S$900 but has now decreased to about S$650.

According to a (presumably) reliable online currency converter, at today's exchange rate S$650 = US$525 or GBP271... that's US$105/GBP54 per day based on the example quoted above. Am simply asking for the sake of curiosity: are hotel restaurant meals so expensive in London as to make the equivalent of US$105/day a less than generous meal allowance?


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4926 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15756 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 2):
Am simply asking for the sake of curiosity: are hotel restaurant meals so expensive in London as to make the equivalent of US$105/day a less than generous meal allowance?

Where I fly, meal allowances are different for every destination, and adjusted for currency conversion. The UK is about "middle of the road" for expenses, and are presently $147.66 CDN. (as a guideline, the US and Canadian dollar are around par).

For comparison, MEX is $78.12 and SYD is $221.44.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineklinit From Australia, joined Jan 2013, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15310 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 2):

It says a five day trip to London - would that mean 3 nights of rest in London?


User currently offlinejohnclipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 843 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15222 times:

I think their cabin crew is already demoralized...over the last few years, I find no distinguishing difference between SQ and any other Asian carrier.

User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15108 times:
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Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 2):
are hotel restaurant meals so expensive in London as to make the equivalent of US$105/day a less than generous meal allowance?

It's a five-day trip, so I am guessing that amounts to about 12 meals, or £22 per meal.

Coincidentally, that is the cost of continental breakfast where my company puts us up (very nice, but not the Four Seasons). For lunch, a ham sandwich and a soda is £12, I think. Plenty enough left over for pizza, pasta or a burger and a couple of drinks for dinner, but not much else.

Prices have been going up, not down, but the Singapore dollar seems to have gained in value, albeit slowly, so I could understand if staff feels this downward allowance adjustment isn't warranted.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineordjoe From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13884 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 2):
US$105/GBP54

Just to be clear this $105 a day is for meals and other misc. expenses, the hotel is already paid for, I am correct on this.

In all honesty I was just in London last week and $105 USD a day in London is not hard at all. Yes one will not be dining at Michelin restuarants, but this could easily be done by getting breakfast and lunch specials get a decent dinner and a few pints at the pub, I do think this is feasible even in central london. This allowance is just that, an allowance to cover your expenses, not dine at 60 quid a plate establishments.


User currently offlineSCQ83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13746 times:

I would say SQ has been going downhill for a while...

User currently offlinecbrboy From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13745 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 3):
Where I fly, meal allowances are different for every destination, and adjusted for currency conversion. The UK is about "middle of the road" for expenses, and are presently $147.66 CDN. (as a guideline, the US and Canadian dollar are around par).

For comparison, MEX is $78.12 and SYD is $221.44.

I'm quite surprised that SYD is considered so much more expensive than the UK. I would dine very well at $221 for 3 meals in Sydney.


User currently offlineteme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13675 times:
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Quoting ordjoe (Reply 7):
In all honesty I was just in London last week and $105 USD a day in London is not hard at all. Yes one will not be dining at Michelin restuarants, but this could easily be done by getting breakfast and lunch specials get a decent dinner and a few pints at the pub, I do think this is feasible even in central london. This allowance is just that, an allowance to cover your expenses, not dine at 60 quid a plate establishments.

Last January I was in London. And my hotel was close to Gloucester Road tube station. The hotel was crew hotel for AA and DL and I must day that near by there were few good places to one get some food etc. And they were mid priced. The hotels breakfast had two sides Continental and British side. And I've managed with that all the way to dinner. Yeah I paid a visit to Star Bucks for coffee every now and then. 



Flying high and low
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3218 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 12994 times:

Quoting infinit (Thread starter):
For example, the allowance for a five-day trip to London used to be about S$900 but has now decreased to about S$650.

That seems more than reasonable. Assuming 5 days, 3 meals a day, that's still £22 per meal...where are they eating that they find this insufficient? I eat in London a lot, and a main course in a reasonable restaurant is normally £10-15. Given the size of most of the crew, I guess they don't eat that much?

I guess if they are eating in their 5* hotel, and having 3 courses + wine then they will run out, but surely that's their own choice? I would have thought that a London trip would only include 2 nights in London though? 3 max.

NH crew does 2 in London, AZ crew only do 1 night in NRT. It's nearly always the best off that whinge the most.

Having said that, I agree that it's the crew that make SQ such a good airline. If the airline is still making money hand over fist, then perhaps they shouldn't mess with this?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LHR-VIE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR,STN-SNN-STN,LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,
User currently onlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2157 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 12882 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):
Having said that, I agree that it's the crew that make SQ such a good airline. If the airline is still making money hand over fist, then perhaps they shouldn't mess with this?

A good airline is proactive. SQ may be making money hand over fist but if they ignore the storm clouds off in the horizon (and they are there as MaverickM11 alluded to in the first reply) then they will quickly be losing money hand over fist.


User currently offlinep201055r From Ireland, joined Sep 2011, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 12515 times:

Somehow I felt I was missing out on something in this thread, so with apologies to all for being pedantic, old fashioned and dithering(!), trying to reason this out in public and courtesy of various UK Government sites and xe.com, I reckon as follows:-

S$900 converted to £ as follows
01 Jul 12 £452.74
01 Aug 12 £463.88
01 Sep 12 £454.74
01 Oct 12 £453.80
01 Nov 12 £456.97
20 Nov 12 £461.54 - the day of signing the agreement
21 Nov 12 £460.85 - the following day
06 Feb 13 £464.04
The variation over the period 01 Jul to 01 Nov was £11.14 and the average converted amount was £456.43 or just over £91/day.
At today's rate, the quoted S$650 allowance comes in at £335.15, a drop of 26.6%, and an average of £67 per day.
The UK retail price index was at 242.1 at the end of July 2012 and by 31 Dec had risen to 246.8 - an increase of 4.7% which, when applied to what the allowances are supposed to cover is a considerable drop for crews to face, even if they never had to pay back any of the "temporary" allowances from the Jul-Nov period.
Maybe the real question is if the old allowance was excessive and the new one too shocking, too sudden and combined with having to refund some of previous allowances, just too much to stomach all at once? But if a rate was struck as being realistic for July 2012, and consumer prices have risen since, that hardly justifies recouping money already paid and imposing a 25%+ reduction.
London, like any other capital, has its levels of cuisine and cost and I would be surprised if SQ's crews haven't made a well beaten path to the best value eating houses in the vicinity of their hotels.
SQ operates 28 weekly flights (according to its website) - basically 4 a day - into LHR, so why a 5-day rotation (I presume arriving early morning, Monday, resting the rest of that day, free on Tue, Wed and most of Thu, for example and then departing early morning Friday) is deemed necessary escapes my sense of logic.
The reduction in allowances and clawing back "overpayments" will hardly save SQ's "bacon" but this type of false economy and imposed austerity can't help for the future either.


User currently offlinehuaiwei From Singapore, joined Oct 2008, 1113 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 12063 times:

Quoting johnclipper (Reply 5):
I think their cabin crew is already demoralized...over the last few years, I find no distinguishing difference between SQ and any other Asian carrier.

So are you suggesting cabin crew in any other Asian carrier are similarly demoralized?



It's huaiwei...not huawei. I have nothing to do with the PRC! :)
User currently offlineSCQ83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 12008 times:

Quoting p201055r (Reply 13):
The reduction in allowances and clawing back "overpayments" will hardly save SQ's "bacon" but this type of false economy and imposed austerity can't help for the future either.

Coming to London... Singapore girls grocery shopping in ASDA and ALDI.


User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 494 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 11709 times:

They can always work for a US carrier and see how awesome that is...

User currently onlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4368 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 11616 times:

It's good to see SQ imposing USA-legacy carrier type efficiency into ever more of its operations.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1613 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10095 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 17):
It's good to see SQ imposing USA-legacy carrier type efficiency into ever more of its operations.Live life to the fullest

That is easy to say when you do not rely on that money to support your family. They are paid very small base salaries and their per diem makes up a huge portion of their income.

How would you like it if your employer told you tomorrow "We've decided to cut everyone's salary by 25%."



Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21554 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10013 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 18):
That is easy to say when you do not rely on that money to support your family.

I'm suspecting the comment you're referring to was sarcasm, since the efficiencies that US legacy carriers have imposed haven't exactly led to either decent profitability or good service.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9887 times:

Quoting infinit (Thread starter):
Quote:
A strong Singapore dollar and protracted negotiations between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and its staff union have caused unhappiness among some cabin crew, who have to pay back a significant portion of their location meal allowances.

These allowances are pegged to currency exchange rates and hotel menu prices in different regions. They are adjusted every two years to take into account changes in menu prices and every six months for currency exchange rate movements.

From the article it sounds like this procedure has been going on for years. So it really is not new, news now is it. Also I would bet you that the majority of this money is not spent during a lay over. Most crews are pretty adept at finding a low cost place to eat.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineFCAFLYBOY From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9836 times:

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 20):

So true. A 5 day trip for SIN-LHR? Really?! I'm assign that's two local nights with overnights both ways? If not then I'm applying to SQ haha.


User currently offlineAnsettB727 From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 9689 times:

Quoting cbrboy (Reply 9):
I'm quite surprised that SYD is considered so much more expensive than the UK. I would dine very well at $221 for 3 meals in Sydney.

My property in Melbourne overtook my property in London in terms of price years ago. Australia is a very expensive country to live in right now.


User currently onlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2071 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 9491 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 18):
How would you like it if your employer told you tomorrow "We've decided to cut everyone's salary by 25%

A lot of people here would be fine with reducing airline staff wages to as little as possible, as long as it saves them $5 next time they fly.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2087 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 9446 times:

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 2):
are hotel restaurant meals so expensive in London as to make the equivalent of US$105/day a less than generous meal allowance?

I think the $105 is for all expenses, not just meals. Obviously you have not eaten in a London hotel. I would not be surprised if the SQ crews were put up in one of Singaporean owned Millennium hotels in London where dinner would be around £30-35 including VAT and tip, or around US$45-55, assuming the cheaper items were selected. The internet is probably included in the crew rate but that is usually US$30-$35 per day. Transportation tips, laundry and other costs come out of the allowance as well.

It certainly can be done for well under $105, especially for tourists if you buy food at grocery stores or sandwich stands for breakfast and lunch. For a sit down dinner, there are pubs, The Stock Pot, Wagamama and various Chinese and Indian places. However, if you eat your meals in the hotel or at mid-range restaurants in central London you may come up short.


25 DTWPurserBoy : That is NOT sarcasm--it is fact. Our MNL, BKK,and SIN-based crews (as well as those in PEK and PVG) receive a base salary of $200-300 per month. Why
26 DTWPurserBoy : You are dreaming if you think the airline will reduce the fares. They put that money right in their pocket.You republicans call it out sourcing or my
27 MaverickM11 : What pocket?? Who is making all this money in the industry? I know it's popular to think management is taking all the money but just follow the money
28 Sassiciai : In any service industry, airline or other, the only offering is the service provided. That calls for attention to quality across the offering. We all
29 Coal : I find this a bit bizarre given the SGD/EUR has gone from roughly 1.52:1.00 to 1.69:1.00 in the last 3-4 months. I wish the SGD was strengthening as a
30 davidho1985 : Oversea allowances is an allowances, which compensate your additional expenses for being away from home. It is in addition to your salary. It is not n
31 Post contains images multimark : Unfortunately it will likely lead to USA-legacy carrier type service.
32 johnclipper : No, I am just saying that SQ In-flight is nowhere where it used to be. I have noticed this over the last 3-4 years even my last flight with SQ two we
33 braynfeeble : It's coming to the point where Customers should give gratuities to flight attendants and their airline should allow them to accept tips. They deserve
34 infinit : Thanks for the detailed analysis. I hadn't realised this. So using the economy and currency conversions is more of an excuse on the part of their man
35 Polot : The problem is it is impossible to reduce costs without impacting service in some way. Airlines are already pretty lean- to cut costs you are either
36 MaverickM11 : They don't have a choice. The cold, hard reality is that although people appreciate the premium SQ service, they're not willing to pay a premium to o
37 silentbob : I am, and have been, an opponent of that practice for years. It is a large part of the reason the economy tanked and has been so slow to come back. T
38 celestar : Singapore Airlines used to be a respectable airline and I think it still is. I am not an expert but I continue to be amazed at how their management ad
39 planespotting : I just flew on SQ for the first time yesterday, NRT-SIN. Best economy experience I've had in years (but I typically fly domestic US airlines, so go fi
40 EagleBoy : I do agree with you in principle..........however I would argue that due to time zone changes crew may need to eat at odd times which may require roo
41 DTWPurserBoy : Some people on here are so literal.By "pocket" I refer to the corporate coffers. And you are sadly mistaken if you think the airlines are not making
42 AngMoh : I can both agree and don't agree at the same time. I can not believe all the stupid investments they made in the past (e.g. Virgin), but on the other
43 MaverickM11 : Thanks, I'm familiar with the colloquialism. Whose pockets is the money going into? Yes, several airlines are profitable, but at razor thin margins,
44 avek00 : Two years ago, I had the privilege of a sit down meeting with a couple senior SQ executives, and even then, they expressed that the company's greates
45 longhauler : When assessing crew allowances, this is taken into consideration. As quite often, the only available restaurants are right in the hotel itself. Also,
46 lax777lr : Look at SQ earnings release today for Q3: operating profit and revenue both down. Results were aided by one-time asset and part sales. Comments by ana
47 Post contains images MaverickM11 : Welcome to deregulation, and the region isn't even deregulated yet.
48 celestar : I was not aware of that SQ maintain such a lean cost. I do want to share some thoughts though, again, personal in nature. 1. SQ bought way too many n
49 EagleBoy : I can remember a few years ago, crew at my company were told "don't turn left when you exit the hotel" in one particular city. Yeah....its up to each
50 zeke : The allowances are usually linked to the cost that the crews would pay for meals in the hotel after the company negotiated discount. There is normall
51 DTWPurserBoy : Everyone! Historically, if an airline made a 1-2% profit that was considered outstanding. That is why people say "If you are a billionaire and want t
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