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SQ Cutting Back On Cabin Crew Allowances  
User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 560 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 16233 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 offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17446 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 16015 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 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15832 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, 4930 posts, RR: 43
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15794 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 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15348 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, 844 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15260 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, 3971 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 15146 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, 701 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13922 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, 910 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13784 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 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13783 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, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 13713 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, 3245 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 13032 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:STN-SNN-STN,MAN-LHR-ARN-OSL-TOS-LYR-OSL-CPH-LHR,LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW-DXB-
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 12920 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 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 12553 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, 1114 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12101 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, 910 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 12046 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, 496 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11747 times:

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

User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4369 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11654 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, 1622 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10133 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, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10051 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, 12103 posts, RR: 49
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9925 times:
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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 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9874 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, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9727 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 offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2081 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9529 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, 2088 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9484 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.


User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1622 posts, RR: 7
Reply 25, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9689 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 19):

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.

-Mir7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day

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 do you think DL kept them on? They were cheap labor. The SEL base is closing and terminating all the f/a's based there--my bet is that NRT will not be far behind because they are very expensive to maintain and we have ample Americans that speak Japanese and Korean. TPE is for all intents closed as they have about 8 people there. DL terminated all the BOM crews at 9 months and 2 weeks because under Indian law they are GUARANTEED lifetime emploment at the ten year point. Nice, huh?

The Pacific Division f/a's received a debit card where they would be able to draw money in local currency. And boy can they make the currency converson rates work for their benfit! Plus many supplemented their incomes by selling Duty Free (for a small commision) and we got kicked out of one hotel in KIX because the MNL based crews would set up "grocery shops" in their rooms and sell Philippine delicacies to the Philippino bar girls that worked in the bars nearby. FYI--did you know that a $1.00 pack of hot dogs sells for $10.00US in Japan? Not a bad mark up. Boy, do you have a lot to learn about what goes on behind the scenes!

In the Pacific, a job with an American carrier is considered a real plum and generaly goes to the children of wealthy, influential locals. It is virtually impossible to fire them.



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 offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1622 posts, RR: 7
Reply 26, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9354 times:

Quoting silentbob (Reply 23):
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.

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 personal favorite it is "Off-shore sourcing."



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 offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17446 posts, RR: 46
Reply 27, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 9349 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 26):
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 personal favorite it is "Off-shore sourcing."

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. There isn't much of it in the first place and it's not going in anyone's pockets. Also any carrier with a revenue management system is CONSTANTLY trying to raise fares, but if the industry does not match and/or the demand dries up, the increase doesn't stick.

[Edited 2013-02-06 12:31:30]


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineSassiciai From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2013, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 28, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8419 times:

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 know that SIA has an approach to keeping its aircraft fleet young (and also the Singapore Girls -LOL!)

But any service industry company must make sure that it maintains all of its component parts in a top operating condition such that the whole is still top quality and attractive.

The easiest way to undermine a quality company is to take the eye off one (or more) of the core components. Reduce maintenance would be one way. Try to motivate the people at the sharp end of service delivery by cutting "income" (all parts taken together) may not be the wisest move


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2025 posts, RR: 9
Reply 29, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7464 times:

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 majority of my savings are in SGD and my expenses for the next 4 months are in EUR.

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | CX SYD-HKG-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlinedavidho1985 From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2012, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7085 times:
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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 necessary to cover all your expenses during your stay as long as it is enough to cover the different of the "living cost" between the out port and your home.


User currently offlinemultimark From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 796 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6686 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 17):

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

Unfortunately it will likely lead to USA-legacy carrier type service.   


User currently offlinejohnclipper From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2005, 844 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6679 times:

Quoting huaiwei (Reply 14):
So are you suggesting cabin crew in any other Asian carrier are similarly demoralized?

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 weeks ago. You could tell the crew did NOT want to be there and it showed.


User currently offlinebraynfeeble From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6634 times:

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 all the per diems they can get. I feel sorry for the SIA female attendants, (or anyone in the field, really) - they work very hard, wearing sandals, for hours on end, dealing with irate passengers and their trash.


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User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 560 posts, RR: 1
Reply 34, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6244 times:

Quoting p201055r (Reply 13):

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 management.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 17):
It's good to see SQ imposing USA-legacy carrier type efficiency into ever more of its operations.
Quoting Mir (Reply 19):
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.

Precisely. I read up extensively about the US aviation industry. Asia has had 10 years of LCC competition and I think the legacy carriers here especially SQ which is perhaps the biggest brand and the industry standards leader, has hold up well.. for now..

But the SQ management that built the brand, the likes of J Y Pillai who created the notion of the Singapore Girl, seems quite different from today's management. Back then after the split of Malaysia-Singapore Airlines into today's MH and SQ, the latter was ambitious and they were determined to provide the best service. I read that they were the first airline to introduce full hot meals in Economy. They also invested highly in their cabin crew who were trained to even serve drinks the exact same way each time. For the female crew they were assigned a make-up tone based on their skin tone and would be inspected by the In-Flight Supervisor before each flight to ensure they complied. This is the level of detail they went down to and the likes of NH and OZ had studied and even tried to adopt this model. On customer service they built a reputation for caring about the finest details and going the extra mile in service.

While I still find the cabin crew excellent. These days however, the management seem to run the company like any typical shareholder-profit orientated one. If you compare SQ's profits in the past 10 years against their spend on catering, the former has generally gone up continuously while the latter has gone consistently down. They also reduced the benefits of SQ's high-tier loyalty programme, the PPS Club. My friends working in SQ told me about how they have too many PPS Club members and want to reduce the number- seriously.. which company complains it has too many loyal customers. It's myopic and parochial. It should be used as an opportunity and not a weakness.

I think the current management has a certain arrogance which they can ill-afford. The SQ brand although well-established and regarded, needs to be handled very carefully in an era of LCC competition or it'll go the way of the UAs and AAs in a matter of years.

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 20):
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.

Like some have pointed out here, allowances are seen as a part of the salary. I know some SQ cabin crew, my sister was one of them a decade ago too. 60% of them being Singaporean, and typically Singaporean at that, they're pretty financially conservative. A steward friend of mine told me how he'd get his food almost exclusively from street markets and save 50% of his salary+allowance. He now invests in stocks and bonds and is intending to invest in property soon.

Point is no matter how you choose to spend your salary, you will notice if you are getting less in real dollars. And if you do you won't be happy. And when you're not happy you will be less motivated to work.

Quoting Sassiciai (Reply 28):
The easiest way to undermine a quality company is to take the eye off one (or more) of the core components. Reduce maintenance would be one way. Try to motivate the people at the sharp end of service delivery by cutting "income" (all parts taken together) may not be the wisest move

Well said.


User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 35, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6071 times:

Quoting Sassiciai (Reply 28):
The easiest way to undermine a quality company is to take the eye off one (or more) of the core components. Reduce maintenance would be one way. Try to motivate the people at the sharp end of service delivery by cutting "income" (all parts taken together) may not be the wisest move
Quoting infinit (Reply 34):
Well said.

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 going to have to affect the employee (such as forcing them to be more productive, or just cutting their salaries period) or directly affect the customer (by cutting back on services that the airline previously offered).

[Edited 2013-02-06 20:06:36]

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17446 posts, RR: 46
Reply 36, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5961 times:

Quoting infinit (Reply 34):
The SQ brand although well-established and regarded, needs to be handled very carefully in an era of LCC competition or it'll go the way of the UAs and AAs in a matter of years.

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 other carriers in the long run for service. Asia is finding out what most of the rest of the world already knows: people pay for schedule and network; everything else is secondary.

Quoting infinit (Reply 34):
On customer service they built a reputation for caring about the finest details and going the extra mile in service.

All that effort, and they're losing pax to LCCs and the Gulf carriers



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2081 posts, RR: 1
Reply 37, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5932 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 26):
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 personal favorite it is "Off-shore sourcing."

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. Too many consumers have been removed from the economy, or at least had their spending power reduced. The remaining few that have had their spending power increased, are not enough to offset those reductions.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 27):
What pocket?? Who is making all this money in the industry?

Several airlines made healthy profits this year, including US airways, who booked their biggest profit ever.


User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5936 times:

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 adjust its strategy to meet challenging environment.
I believe SQ is spending too heavily on capital expense, buying/replacing new planes, spending heavily on cabin product, poorly executed investment (I am referring to sales of its share on Virgin to Delta which amounts to 50% off its value etc) These works very well when you are in expansion, but in today's difficult time, I am not convinced there are that many people who can afford the high fare SQ charges and this philosophy of continue investment will drain its bottom line soon.
SQ need a sharper management to deal with its future and it is not that bright. SQ needs to offer value. From where I reside in Taiwan, SQ offers flights from TPE to SIN but at the most unattractive price point and flight time. Perhaps, and I could be wrong in what I said above, I just feel SQ needs to run a tighter ship instead of resting on its laurel. I watched the recent advertisement in Taiwan SQ, could not help but feeling how outdated it is, to show SQ girl wonders around foreign destination, evoking 'fond' memory of the infamous Singapore girl - but please, everyone knows that SQ girls are sexy and attractive, what we like to see if what is the intangible aspect of flying SQ - safety? on-time record? service standard?
SQ reminds of a premium luxury good brand, seeking to maintain or further expand its standing instead falling into a faded image.
In this respect, I continue to feel CX is doing everything it could, to build and expand its brand image.
Again, personal thoughts, no offense to SQ diehard.


User currently offlineplanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3527 posts, RR: 5
Reply 39, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5766 times:

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 figure).

But at least they can still impress new customers, ha ha.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineEagleBoy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 40, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5593 times:
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Quoting ordjoe (Reply 7):
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.

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 room service (ie arriving into hotel at 10pm local, or pick-up at 0800 local) In these cases crews do not have the luxury of shopping around and getting to know the area. Thus they may just eat in the 2nd or 3rd spot they find. (I think SQ crew stay in Kensington......quite a pricey part of London) Of course if you rae there regularly and/or for several nights the chances to find more modest eateries increases.

Another query is whether the airlines covers phone and/or internet costs. Obviously part of the allowance is to compensate for time away from home, does this allowance have to cover these costs, (My company have a deal for free internet at 80% of the crewhotels but calls are your own business)

On another note.......I too query the 5 day trip.....with so many daily flights I would have thought 2 local nights would be sufficient. Or those "5 day trip" refer to entire duty from check-in at SIA to return to SIA?


User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1622 posts, RR: 7
Reply 41, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5351 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 27):
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. There isn't much of it in the first place and it's not going in anyone's pockets. Also any carrier with a revenue management system is CONSTANTLY trying to raise fares, but if the industry does not match and/or the demand dries up, the increase doesn't stick.[Edited

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 money. DL showed a $1Billion dollar profit for the last year and next week will be distributing $367 Million of it to the employees as profit sharing.



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 offlineAngMoh From Singapore, joined Nov 2011, 484 posts, RR: 0
Reply 42, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5303 times:

Quoting celestar (Reply 38):
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 adjust its strategy to meet challenging environment.
I believe SQ is spending too heavily on capital expense, buying/replacing new planes, spending heavily on cabin product, poorly executed investment (I am referring to sales of its share on Virgin to Delta which amounts to 50% off its value etc) ...
SQ need a sharper management to deal with its future and it is not that bright.
...
SQ reminds of a premium luxury good brand, seeking to maintain or further expand its standing instead falling into a faded image.
In this respect, I continue to feel CX is doing everything it could, to build and expand its brand image.
Again, personal thoughts, no offense to SQ diehard.

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 hand, since they have a new CEO they seem to have a much more sensible strategy of which getting rid of the Virgin share is a part.

In terms of cost, people need to realize that SQ is notoriously low cost on everything the passenger does not see. They have declared that to be a CEO you need to be grown within the company to understand how upmarket customer service can be combined with penny pinching in the back-office.

To me cutting crew allowances in tough times does not surprise me at all. It is actually completely in line with the official government policy: a smaller portion of the salary to be fixed and a larger portion to be variable (low annual pay package in bad years and a high one in boom years).


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17446 posts, RR: 46
Reply 43, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5126 times:

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 41):

Some people on here are so literal.By "pocket" I refer to the corporate coffers

Thanks, I'm familiar with the colloquialism. Whose pockets is the money going into?

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 41):
And you are sadly mistaken if you think the airlines are not making money
Quoting silentbob (Reply 37):

Several airlines made healthy profits this year, including US airways, who booked their biggest profit ever.

Yes, several airlines are profitable, but at razor thin margins, and certainly not consistently profitable looking back.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 41):
DL showed a $1Billion dollar profit for the last year and next week will be distributing $367 Million of it to the employees as profit sharing.

About a 2-3% margin, and a third of it is going back to employees (ie, your pockets), so again, who is making out like a bandit in the industry?



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4369 posts, RR: 19
Reply 44, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5108 times:

Quoting infinit (Reply 34):
Precisely. I read up extensively about the US aviation industry.

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 greatest competitive threats were the Mideast carriers on one hand, and consolidated USA legacies (with the network heft, efficiency, and cost structure to enter markets that only foreign carriers could hitherto exploit) on the other.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4930 posts, RR: 43
Reply 45, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 40):
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 room service (ie arriving into hotel at 10pm local, or pick-up at 0800 local) In these cases crews do not have the luxury of shopping around and getting to know the area. Thus they may just eat in the 2nd or 3rd spot they find. (I think SQ crew stay in Kensington......quite a pricey part of London) Of course if you rae there regularly and/or for several nights the chances to find more modest eateries increases.

When assessing crew allowances, this is taken into consideration. As quite often, the only available restaurants are right in the hotel itself.

Also, sometimes Corporate Security will assess a city as "more dangerous" than a median, and will suggest that crew not venture too far from the hotel ... if at all ... oh the glamour!

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 40):
Another query is whether the airlines covers phone and/or Internet costs.

This usually depends on the contract with each hotel. Normally Internet and local telephone calls are included.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinelax777lr From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 46, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4992 times:

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 analysts, "... The glory days are behind them.... The airline needs to find ways to improve cash flows.." The premium business has weakened and grown very competitive at the same time. Costs need to come down. Sad but true.

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17446 posts, RR: 46
Reply 47, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4962 times:

Quoting lax777lr (Reply 46):
The glory days are behind them.... The airline needs to find ways to improve cash flows.." The premium business has weakened and grown very competitive at the same time. Costs need to come down. Sad but true.

   Welcome to deregulation, and the region isn't even deregulated yet.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 398 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4639 times:

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 42):

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 new planes, believing new is better, that is far from being through, witnessing so many teething delays on new plane introduction plus issues/problems on new plane. I recalled a conversation I had with a fellow Airbus engineer long long time ago on a flight, he mentioned that SQ has the worst capabilitiy in repairing plane - which I find that to be doubtful because he went on to say, the best are CI and CX in Asia!
2. Pardon me but I cannot help but stated that based on my experience with SQ, their cabin staff, while attractive to say the least (that mighty pen insert.... on the front....OMG!) are not that efficient and flexible. I had a meal service from SFO to HKG where my finished tray was left on my seat for an hour before being collected away and I noticed this happen very often.

Having said all these, I think SQ should work with its cabin staff on how mutually they can face the down time.
I can't help but noticed how poorly the management of SQ has been, and they should be the one to take the pay cut or incentive tied to performace.

Good luck to SQ still!


User currently offlineEagleBoy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1820 posts, RR: 2
Reply 49, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4574 times:
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Quoting longhauler (Reply 45):
Also, sometimes Corporate Security will assess a city as "more dangerous" than a median, and will suggest that crew not venture too far from the hotel ... if at all ... oh the glamour!

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.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 45):
This usually depends on the contract with each hotel. Normally Internet and local telephone calls are included.
Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 40):
(My company have a deal for free internet at 80% of the crewhotels but calls are your own business)

Yeah....its up to each company how they deal with this issue.


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9031 posts, RR: 75
Reply 50, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4225 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?

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 normally an allowance for laundry as well as part of this. I am not sure, two of the hotel I stay in that SQ also stay in gave me the impression that the company included breakfast in the room rate.

I know most hotels I stay in, meals in the hotel are much more expensive than "local" restaurants.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):

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?

Probably is, I could see a meal and single non-alcoholic drink like a milk shake exceeding that in a hotel restaurant. Keep in mind that these crews are being sent all over the globe, they would be ordering room service as well in some instances, they would be awake due to the time differences when "locals" would be asleep. Often the schedules have the crews starting early or late compared to the local time zone.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 11):
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?

It is, however I think you will find that they would not an allowance that would cover the cost of wine.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineDTWPurserBoy From United States of America, joined Feb 2010, 1622 posts, RR: 7
Reply 51, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4132 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 43):
About a 2-3% margin, and a third of it is going back to employees (ie, your pockets), so again, who is making out like a bandit in the industry?

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 to become a millionaire, buy an airline." It is not a business for the feint of heart Cost intensive, subject to many conditions outside its control--the costs of fuel, aircraft, landing fees are all set by others. That is one reason the airlines LOVE these "add on" fees like baggage fees and buy-on-board fuel. They are pure profit. Profit sharing has been a godsend because it makes you think twice before you throw out a handful of sugar packets or open too many bottles of wine. DL profit sharing will work out to about 7% of their salary--the people that did the work deserve a slice of the pie.

DL is also paying down debt and stockpiling cash--ya never know when an opportunity will present itself.

Airlines are a terrible investment for the average stock purchaser--that is why most of the stocks are held by institutions rather than individuals. They tend to be cyclical--buy at the 52 week low and sell at the 52 week high and you MIGHT make a few bucks but sometimes that spread is only a dollar or two.



Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
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