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Singapore Air SQ 415: 11/OCT/06: CCU-SIN: J Cabin  
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5126 posts, RR: 55
Posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Feedback always appreciated.

Trip Report: 016
Flight Category: Y-IMR (See Report End)
Date: 11-Oct-06
Dep.Arr.Time: 2350/0630+1/04:10hrs (Delayed by 03:00hrs)
Flight: SINGAPORE AIRLINES SQ 415, 1799 miles
Routing: CCU-SIN
Aircraft: 772
Seat: Raffles Business Class , 12A

I > Background:

Part of a month long amazing passage to India for a wedding, with some stops in Asia to see friends. Routing was CCS-MIA-EWR-SIN-CGK-SIN-CCU-DEL-CCU-BOM-CCU-IXZ-CCU-IXA-GAU-CCU-SIN-ICN-YYZ-EWR-CCS with a mix of J and Y class of travel. This focuses on the SQ J-class segment from CCU to SIN. Other trip reports for this trip will be EWR-SIN (SQ/J-Cabin), SIN-CGK (KI), CGK-SIN (VF), CCU-DEL (SG), DEL-CCU (IC), IXZ-CCU (DN), CCU-IXA (CD), IXA-GAU (IT), GAU-CCU (6E), and ICN-YYZ (AC/J-Cabin). I think these reports will be “firsts” for revenue flights on CD, IT (mainline) and 6E and cover IXA, GAU, IXZ-CCU, and CCU-DEL for the first time on Airliners.Net.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Booking for the sector was made using my travel agent in CCS. I was frustrated that the agent could not book my seat directly and I had to call SQ a few times before finally being guaranteed my choice of seat. SQ seems to have a very old-fashioned system as passengers in Y-cabin cannot pre-select a seat. Guess traveling in Raffles Business Class has its perks.

b) At Airport:
Construction work all over CCU’s international terminal was very apparent. After having my ticket verified, I walked pass the other empty check-in counters (see picture) to around the terminal where SQ had its “new” counter. They had definitely moved from the last time around and I was surprised to see that their new counters were probably the worst at the airport. Check-in at the Raffles counter was a disaster. The line was long. See the picture of the check-in counter below? I stood exactly at that same spot for 32 minutes! UNACCEPTABLE! Anyways, then at the check-in counter, the sheer incompetence of the SQ staff was legendary. Despite the fact that I was flying to YYZ, they kept on tagging me to EWR. It took 3 attempts before they understood the concept of short-checking bags. The staff also “lost” my pre-reserved seat, could not enter BD’s FF number (check the boarding pass, it says UAL), and finally could not give me the SIN-ICN connecting flight boarding pass. Uugh. Anyways, grumbling at their incompetence, I took the lounge passes, made my way back out of security (bizarrely, the international lounge – or rather small room – is outside the security perimeter.) Only in emerging countries . Anyways, I had a last round of beer with my friend and thanked him for an amazing time in India. It truly is an incredible country and hands-down the best travel experience in the world. It can be infuriating for sure – but no country can challenge you and teach you the meaning of life like India. I am going to be back!

At around 1115pm, my friend’s parents were freaking out given my 1150pm flight and I decided to make my way to finally make it onboard. Pass security, awesome check-out immigration (the guy was like, “Mr. AM, hope India was good to you. Do come back!”), then a round of security check at the gate. Here is when further issues with SQ started. First of all, there was these 3 annoying Aussie dudes who kept on yelling at the security staff and saying pure bigoted commentary on how 3rd world the country was because they were not allowed their lighters on and how they would never come back. After hearing them scream for a bit, I lost it – I went to them and literally yelled at them something along the lines of “…try doing this in Australia, UK, or US and you will be behind bars. And take your bigotry outside. I am glad for India you all are leaving.” At that point, they turned beet red and knowing I had the crowd behind me, retreated to the back of the gate area. Later, I had several people come up to me and just thank me. Anyways, having done by good duty for the day, I waited to board with my friend and A.Netter KIRAMAKORA who got special passes to wait with me. 1150pm, 1210am, 1230am, 1250am and still NO announcement. Suddenly an apology (but no explanation) for the delay and boarding was announced (an hour late.) It got worse. Post the London bomb scares, Indian security had been conducting secondary screening for all passengers prior to embarkation. Now, SQ had obviously STILL (it was almost 2 months later) not adjusted to the whole concept and boarding took a further 2 hours. I was one of the last to board and pulled the station manager aside and remarked at this. The guy went off – he kept on saying how it was the fault of the Indian Government, how they are brutal with their security, and something like he was from Singapore (which he kept on saying several times), followed by more blame-the-Government-of-India rhetoric crap. Probably inspired by me, Mr. KIRAMAKORA just fully exploded. You guys should have seen him – he went to Mr. Station Manager and said something along the lines of … “I work for the Government of India and we are doing this to protect innocent civilians. If you are not capable of accurately scheduling your flights with appropriate turn-around times, it is not the fault of the Government. You are welcome at any point to leave the Indian market and take your profits with you.” Mr. KIRAMAKORA went further, “…and I don’t give a crap to if you are originally from Singapore, India, China, or America … nationality and incompetence need not be related. I travel outside CCU often enough to know this happens mostly with SQ.” Wow. Even I was impressed. And it seemed so did all the other J class passengers who started clapping. Haha. You had to be there to see it. Anyways, I gave my friend a good hug and bade farewell. I was told the station manager followed MR. KIRAMAKORA and that the later has filed a complaint against the SQ manager and have asked SQ to install sensitivity training.

Anyways, on board, the SQ girls quickly took my jacket away and I made myself at home at 12A – next to a Brazilian guy! He had apparently been 43 times to India this year! Apparently, Indo-Brazil trade grew at 454% last year. He also mentioned how he eagerly anticipated the new EK flights. Soon prior to boarding, I was offered a choice of either water or orange juice. No hot towels and no champagne. By the way, J class load was 100%.

Airport - External:

(NSCBIA – International, Kolkata)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/005-4.jpg

Check-In:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/002-4.jpg

Airport - Internal:

(Empty Counters)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/003-4.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/004-4.jpg

Scenes of the tarmac:

NONE

Lounge – TAJ Clipper Lounge:

NONE

Boarding:

(Basically people congregated for secondary screening – all SQ had were excuses – read above)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/005-4.jpg

III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
Pre-takeoff included a choice of orange juice or water. Soon after take off and upon reaching cruising altitude, dinner was served (at around 3am) to the few passengers awake. No breakfast or snack was served prior to arrival.

SQ’s overall Raffles product is definitely showing its age. I was disappointed by the amount of small things that SQ did not have anymore … including lack of deck of cards, and lack of amenity kits/except an eye-shade and socks (this is totally unacceptable to me in a premium cabin.)

b) Aircraft + Seats:
The regional 772s in high-density J class seating on SQ are OK. The cabin was extremely clean; however, the old-styled moderately reclining business seats with average 50” pitch contributed to the outdated feel of the cabin. The bathroom was impeccable though.

Aircraft:

NONE

Views from Aircraft:

NONE

Seat Leg-Room:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/006-4.jpg

Seat Recline + Angle View:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/007-4.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/008-4.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/009-4.jpg

Cabin:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/010-4.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/011-4.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/012-4.jpg

c) Meal + Beverage:
Surprisingly, there were no menus distributed for the flight. This was probably my first Singapore Airlines flight without any in-flight menu. Options for dinner were either a chicken curry with yellow rice, a pasta dish, or a vegetarian entrée. I chose the chicken curry dish and it was accompanied by a shrimp appetizer, and a rather lovely dessert. The usually robotic SQ FA was very cute when I was initially reluctant to have a dessert … she insisted with a “come on sir, its really good.” The food on board was MUCH better than the J food on the EWR-SIN flight. Though, the lack of menu cards definitely reduced presentation. After dinner, I also ordered a cup of tea to go with my movie.

In terms of beverages, SQ offers a wide variety of specialty cocktails including the Golden Spice, Singapore Sling, Silver Kris Sling, Gin Fizz, and Cloud Nine and regular more common ones. Aperitifs include Campari and Dry Vermouth. Spirits include Cognac XO Otard, Chivas Regal, Johnnie Walker Black, Jack Daniels, Gordon’s Dry Gin, Smirnoff, Bacardi Carto Blanca. Liqueurs include Cointreau, Tia Maria, and Baileys. There is also an international selection of beer, red wines (Lockwood Cabernet Sauvignon 2004, Chateau Marquis De Terme 1998), port (Dow 2001 late bottled vintage), white wine (Wente Reserve Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2003 and Rheingau Riesling 2004), and champagne (Piper 1999.) Besides these, there was a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, 5 kinds of fruit juices, soft drinks, and iced drinks (tea, coffee, mocha, chocolate, milo.)

(Shrimp Starters)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/013-4.jpg
(Papad – crunchy Indian snack)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/014-4.jpg
(Chicken Curry)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/015-4.jpg
(Dessert)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/016-4.jpg
(Tea)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/017-4.jpg

d) Inflight Entertainment:
I simply love SQs on-demand IFE system … 80 movies, 104 tv channels, music, game, live tv … it cant get much better than this. However, the choice of recent Hollywood movies was not as stellar as it has been in the past and I ended up seeing a classic … THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. Helping enhance the IFE experience were the noise-canceling headphones provided on board. The excellent SILVER KRIS magazine helped as well during this long flight. Of course, having internet on board helps and this was surely missed from such a long flight.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/018-3.jpg
(In-flight magazines, Boarding Passes, etc.)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/019-3.jpg

e) Crew:
Singapore Airlines crew were nothing to write home about … except my one interaction at dessert. Otherwise, they looked extremely tired (they don’t stay @ CCU) and slow. However, they met every request with a smile.

IV> Post-Flight:

Transferring at Singapore Changi is a breeze and it continues to be one of my favorite world airports. I made my way to the SQ Raffles Lounge and waited there until my next flight to ICN … and even managed to get a shower.

Singapore Changi Airport:

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/021-3.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/022-3.jpg
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/023-2.jpg

V> Impressions + Scores:

Singapore Airlines standards have gone down drastically. I was not impressed on my EWR-SIN flight and was not impressed this time around. A shabby J class cabin product, coupled with the overlooking of small details that make J-class J-class (lack of menus, cards, etc.), an indifferent crew onboard, and an absolutely horrible ground crew made this one of my least favorite SQ flights. Don’t get me wrong … they are still a great airline and better than the most and I enthusiastically recommend them. However, I can think of at least 10 airlines off the top of my head which I consider better … if you are curious they would be … NH, CX, MH, NZ, 9W, IT, ET, ME, EY, and JJ.

Reservation: 7.0
Check-In: 3.0
Lounge: 5.0
Boarding: 1.0
Seat: 7.0
Aircraft Overall Ambience: 7.0
IFE: 9.0
Crew Service: 5.0
Food: 7.0
Beverages: 9.0
Amenity Kits + Others Freebies: 6.0
Disembarkation: 8.0
On-Time Record: 2.5
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5.88

(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

VI> Other Trip Reports:

1/ Avianca: BOG-LIM: 07/06/06: 7.09pts: Y-IMR
2/ Air Tran: EWR-MDW: 08/02/06: 6.73pts: Y-DMR
3/ West Jet: YYC-YVR: 09/05/06: 7.14pts: Y-DLR
4/ Air Canada: YYZ-YVR: 09/02/06: 5.92pts: Y-DLR
5/ Air Canada: ALB-YYZ: 09/01/06: 5.88pts: Y-ISR
6/ Singapore Airlines: EWR-SIN: 09/20/06: 7.81pts: J-ILR
7/ Adam Air: SIN-CGK: 09/22/06: 6.04: Y-ISR
8/ Valuair: CGK-SIN: 09/22/06: 5.04: Y-ISR
9/ Spice Jet: CCU-DEL: 09/25/06: 6.67: Y-DMR
10/ Indian: DEL-CCU: 09/26/06: 7.25: Y-DMR
11/ Air Sahara: CCU-BOM: 09/28/06: 4.42: Y-DMR
12/ Air Deccan: IXZ-CCU: 10/07/06: 5.75: Y-DMR
13/ Alliance: CCU-IXA: 10/08/06: 7.54: Y-DSR
14/ Kingfisher: IXA-GAU: 10/08/06: 8.21: Y-DSR
15/ Indigo: GAU-CCU: 10/08/06: 6.54: Y-DSR

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul :: I have designed these codes so people don’t believe my scores are comparing apples and oranges)

VII> Other Pictures:

(Raffles Class Comfort Pack and writing materials!)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/020-3.jpg
(Leaving India)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/025-2.jpg
(An SQ 744 awaiting push-back)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/024-2.jpg


Live, and let live.
41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline9MMAR From Malaysia, joined Jul 2006, 2110 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Amazing report.

Another testimony that MH is better than SQ.  wave 


User currently offlineB742 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 3768 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report, very clear also  Smile

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
Another testimony that MH is better than SQ

I have to agree  Smile

Rob!  wave 


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

MH's inflight service and crew are definitely better than SQ.
A little doubtful about all other aspects.

Great report... and pics!

[Edited 2006-11-12 18:20:29]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The guy went off – he kept on saying how it was the fault of the Indian Government, how they are brutal with their security, and something like he was from Singapore (which he kept on saying several times), followed by more blame-the-Government-of-India rhetoric crap. Probably inspired by me, Mr. KIRAMAKORA just fully exploded. You guys should have seen him – he went to Mr. Station Manager and said something along the lines of … “I work for the Government of India and we are doing this to protect innocent civilians. If you are not capable of accurately scheduling your flights with appropriate turn-around times, it is not the fault of the Government. You are welcome at any point to leave the Indian market and take your profits with you.” Mr. KIRAMAKORA went further, “…and I don’t give a crap to if you are originally from Singapore, India, China, or America … nationality and incompetence need not be related. I travel outside CCU often enough to know this happens mostly with SQ.” Wow. Even I was impressed. And it seemed so did all the other J class passengers who started clapping. Haha. You had to be there to see it. Anyways, I gave my friend a good hug and bade farewell. I was told the station manager followed MR. KIRAMAKORA and that the later has filed a complaint against the SQ manager and have asked SQ to install sensitivity training.

Do not remind me of Mr. Incompetent Station Manager. I have had 3 SQ-J flights since then ex-CCU and he is obviously scared of me or something. His rhetoric is strongly down ... unfortunately, SQ's delays at CCU keep on happening. In any case, I am pretty much routing my J flights on TG as much as I can.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
Another testimony that MH is better than SQ.

Hands down. Leaving the politics of mismanagement aside, MH is hands-down a far superior product than SQ. I would rather take an old-styled MH-Y than fly SQ's regional J. Its a shame really because SQ was an airline people in India looked up to. Any chances of MH coming back to CCU?


User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 3):
MH's inflight service and crew are definitely better than SQ.

Personally, I think they are the most important aspects of travel. The last really great SQ flight I had was SIN-LAX in Y+ in latish 2004. I have been on SQ more than 40 times since then and it definitely is not an airline I would place on the top 5 ... even within Asia! (Ok, thats slightly misleading as a number of the world's best are in Asia  Smile)


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Yes I would agree with you that inflight service is an important factor for me as well...Equally important for me, as a business traveller, are the ground service, how convenient its schedules are, mileage and alliance (very important personally, as I try to maintain my gold status), how well passengers are looked after during delays, and last but not least, how efficient is the airline's hub where I travel most frequently out of - Singapore.

My impression of the airline is largely dependant on the sum of all the above. I place importance on every aspect of my travel, and how the airline is able to provide me with a total experience. So far, SQ has not failed me. The crew may not be anything to write home about, but they, and all other aspects of their operations have consistently been between good and very good (even in Y class). I've flown various other leading Asian and Middle Eastern carriers, and while the service of some have literally blown me away, it was not consistent...and the difference was like night and day!

SQ415 that the author had experienced, was definitely atypical of how SQ's service generally is. Perhaps something needs to be done to whip SQ CCU into shape.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 7, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report Abrelosojos. I really have enjoyed all your reports so far as I am Indian myself but currently residing in the US. Your reports provided some valuable insight into the many airlines that are currently in the Indian market. I'll be heading to BOM within a few weeks albeit on an airline not as good as SQ.

Quoting 9MMAR (Reply 1):
Another testimony that MH is better than SQ.

I second that. The service on MH has consistently been better than SQ or any other airline I have flown! However I still prefer the other Asian airline overall when compared to MH and SQ, you know, the green and grey airline based further up north.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
SQ415 that the author had experienced, was definitely atypical of how SQ's service generally is. Perhaps something needs to be done to whip SQ CCU into shape.

I have dealt with the BOM staff on occasion and have to say they are wonderful, this has to be a very isolated case with SQ. My main gripes with SQ has never been ground staff but more in flight, something they claim to excel at. However long gone are my days of flying SQ into BOM as my current Elite Status is with Skyteam, my account gets filled thanks to the likes of MH, AF, & KE.

However everytime I see a set of Singapore girls at an airport, I think back to all the fantastic flights I had with them in the 90's with a smile. I only wish their in flight service levels could revert back to those days.

SR 103

[Edited 2006-11-12 20:51:47]

User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
Equally important for me, as a business traveller, are the ground service, how convenient its schedules are, mileage and alliance (very important personally, as I try to maintain my gold status), how well passengers are looked after during delays, and last but not least, how efficient is the airline's hub where I travel most frequently out of - Singapore.

I think they are important for all business travellers including myself. Hence I stated that business have generally gone to TG as they continue to be part of Star and I can accrue miles and maintain my 1K status on UAL. While SQ might provide good schedules and all that, I do feel that they will suffer as more worthy competitors come about.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 6):
I've flown various other leading Asian and Middle Eastern carriers, and while the service of some have literally blown me away, it was not consistent...and the difference was like night and day!

Interesting. I agree with you on the ME carriers. They are inconsistent for sure. However, the Asian carriers I maintain have consistently had a better product than SQ. For me, they include CX, MH, NH, and TG. Thankfully, NH and TG are both Star carriers and I have been increasingly taking my traffic to them.


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13745 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:

An interesting trip report. Maybe you could consider forwarding it to Singapore Airlines. All feedback is highly valued and reviewed by the relevant department.

I am sure that they hope to welcome you onboard in more happier circumstances.

As for my trips, they have always been superlative on Singapore Airlines. It is unfortunate that you did not feel that this particular trip was one of them.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineDocPepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Regarding the lack of menus, was it cos it was hidden in the seat pocket in front of you? In the rare occassions I've gotten an upgrade on SQ from Y to J, (since I'm not a seasoned J traveller like some of you!) I thought there weren't any menus, until I noticed them in the seat pocket in front of me.

Also, the cabin crew in J usually hold a menu with them while taking the meal order, rendering it unnecesary for you to even flip through the menu. And I notice that 99% of J pax never ever open the menu.... Since 99% of J pax really don't get excited about airline food!

(Plus SQ's menus are usually in French anyway. If I wanted a French menu, I would go to a French restaurant!)

There are no playing cards on SQ now cos they're all the First to Fly A380 ones that have been withdrawn and destroyed.

I personally find ammenity kits useless cos I've to carry them to the toilets. On SQ, all the amenities are stocked in the drawers and I find that much more convenient. The ammenity kits of today could be compared to that useless gift that airlines use to give out at the end of the flight for F and J class pax in the nineties. Remember those? It would be a useless pen or a useless golden figurine of whateverness. And frequent travellers in premium cabins would amass about 10-20 golden bull figurines in a month.

The major problem with SQ service is, their ads and promotion material promise you the inflight service that even other airlines talk about. So everyone goes in with extremely high expectations. So an above-average level of service on SQ would be a disappointment. (I'm sure there's some marketing theory here that can explain this)

I've flown SQ in J twice the past year (LHR-SIN and SIN-SYD) and in Y 7 times (SYD-SIN, SIN-PVG, PVG-SIN, SIN-LHR, PER-SIN, SIN-CHC, CHC-SIN) I gave up writing trip reports ages ago but the flights have been the same really. I know what to expect, I know what I'm getting, they stick to the script, they're pleasant. The senior crew have perfect deportment - Absolutely stunning.


User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 860 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report

I'd tend to agree with SQ772. I've done 60 odd flights with SQ (mix of J and Y) in the past 5 years, and have never encountered an experience like that described above. Some flights have been just average, but most have been well above average. The flights that are always more ordinary than others are when the cabin is full (be it in J or Y).


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Kiramakora (Reply 8):
They are inconsistent for sure. However, the Asian carriers I maintain have consistently had a better product than SQ. For me, they include CX, MH, NH, and TG. Thankfully, NH and TG are both Star carriers and I have been increasingly taking my traffic to them.

I acknowledge that the other Asian carriers are catching up fast, and have the necessary soft and hardware to back them up. Perhaps I've become too comfortable with SQ's service, I know exactly what I will get and not get on each flight. Overall, I still believe they have an excellent overall product, and are in no way worse than majors such as CX or NH. (MH is great, but only in the air, and in no way in the same league as SQ, CX or NH).

Maybe I am just a little biased towards SQ, since I used to work for them, and now travel extensively with them. My experiences with NH, TG and CX have been predominantly in Y, so I can't say much about how they really are in J or F. All I can say is that I've found SQ's Y product to be much more consistent than the rest, and backed by excellent infrastructure and support on the ground and in their hub.

My conclusion is that SQ is still my all time favorite. They have an excellent Y class product, that is consistently efficient and friendly 99% of the time. Of course, there'll always be the occasional bad apple FA who would fail to meet the expected service standards.



There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineBlrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1426 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Good report!!

Last year, when I was flying SQ from BLR, i too had to face an incompetant check-in staff. But she wore the uniform and badge of AAI and not SQ, which surprised me. She said that my SIN-SFO flight was confirmed even though I had a confirmed ticket, and she had to get a SQ personnel to sort it out after making me wait for 30-40 mins. I had sent my complaint to SQ and I remember them writing back and acknowledging that the check-in agents weren't SQ staff.

Were the check-in agents at CCU wearing SQ uniforms? There seems to be some wierd AAI regulations on that issue i think, but I might be wrong


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7110 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report. I agree that SQ are slipping alot lately (Or others are catching up rapidly) but they are a good airline none the less.

User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4757 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 10):
(I'm sure there's some marketing theory here that can explain this)

It is called, I believe, PRODUCT MISREPRESENTATION. It even led one forum member, namely Shinkai, to believe that SQ had very WIDE pitch in YCL.

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 14):
Great report. I agree that SQ are slipping alot lately (Or others are catching up rapidly) but they are a good airline none the less.

It is more like other carriers have been catching up. Once you get to the top, the challenge is thinking about how to remain there. Remember when they introduced the Sky Suites back in 97/98? We were all wondering... geez.. what next? Granted they weren't the first to introduce these sleeper suites (I believe SR was the one), but there was so much hype generated that it eventually overshadowed SR, no?

Just when we thought there was nothing more, then came the recent product launch. Now I am really asking myself what next because the seats are now so large that the cabin can only take so much more enhancements. But I am sure in another 10 yrs time, there will be another surprise in store.

So SQ's so called legendary service creates a lot of expectations that when a little crack appears, it would normally yawn into a gaping crevasse. I am not down playing what happened at CCU because I am sure the delays would have annoyed me as well.

An incompetent SM? I am sure, if the letter of complaint was actually filed, the person concerned would be taken to task very seriously as SQ is really not very forgiving when it comes to situations like these.

I risked getting flamed here... but if other ex-SMs might be able to shed some light. Indian stations are never known to be an easy one to handle. So CCU is no exception?

*Brace for impact...*



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 237 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thankyou very much for sharing your trip report with us. I must say that i have enjoyed reading about all of your travels to date.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was offered a choice of either water or orange juice. No hot towels and no champagne.

It has been some time since i have done a flight to India but i believe this is because of local customs laws. Not to give blame to the Indian government again but all alcohol served onboard is duty free. Most countries will allow bars to be opened on ground for the purpose of providing pre-departure drinks. In India the bars can only be opened after doors are closed and the aircraft has pushed back.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Singapore Airlines crew were nothing to write home about

As a fare paying passenger you shouldnt be expected to consider this but i dont believe anyone would be providing stellar service on an overnight trip on the return sector of a 3-hour delayed flight. This is a responsibility of the airline as to the workload they give their crew and whether it is having an impact on the service level.


User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3272 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
and an absolutely horrible ground crew made this one of my least favorite SQ flights



Quoting Blrsea (Reply 13):
But she wore the uniform and badge of AAI and not SQ, which surprised me.

As BLRSEA mentioned, SQ have outsourced their ground handling to the AAI in BLR. I think TG has done that as well. Plus the ground staff don't use the SQ systems (whatever they are) to do the checkin at BLR (they use some AAI system where I was told they have to manually load the flight onto the system). Hence the ground experience in BLR is generally nothing to write home about, plus occasionally you don't get through boarding passes, can't ever use eTickets etc. Is that the case with SQ @ CCU as well - where they've outsource ground handling to AAI, rather than doing it themselves?

I'm glad you and Kiramakora showed folks their right place, I hate seeing (a few) westerners complain loudly about "unbelievable Indian security regulations" etc, while meekly standing in queue while in Europe/US.



Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 15):
I risked getting flamed here... but if other ex-SMs might be able to shed some light. Indian stations are never known to be an easy one to handle. So CCU is no exception?

*Brace for impact...*

I like the disclaimer you gave. You should be flamed for your commentary because it demonstrates an air of arrogance. The mark of a truly great airline/company/individual in a global marketplace is not to hide behind justifications but be able to overcome and succeed given local market conditions. Every station and every country is unique - be it in perceived difficulties in India, hightened security measures in the U.S. and Europe, traditional wear in Saudi Arabia, or rowdy passengers on flights between UK and any fun destination. Airlines and companies that survive are able to understand this local situation and handle accordingly. An Indian airline in Singapore has to play by the rules in Singapore. PIA is forced to not utilize 743s to Europe, and every airline flying to the U.S. has to give passenger information to the American authorities. These are all part of the global realities we live in and the basic expectation of handling a global business.

As an Indian, I am grateful that the Indian government has imposed security measures to protect me. If this is considered a challenging situation for the Station Manager, I wound encourage that SM to re-evaluate their own abilities and look to be transferred anywhere else. Same goes for SIA as a corporation. When I travel, I do not analyze the world based on the prism of my cultural training. Perhaps Ryanair, you could do the same? At the very least you would not have to then give disclaimers  Wink.

Cheers.


User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting EK773 (Reply 16):
It has been some time since i have done a flight to India but i believe this is because of local customs laws. Not to give blame to the Indian government again but all alcohol served onboard is duty free. Most countries will allow bars to be opened on ground for the purpose of providing pre-departure drinks. In India the bars can only be opened after doors are closed and the aircraft has pushed back.

On my flight out today on TG, alcohol was served while on the ground. This also was true on 9Ws BOM-LHR flight I took last week.


User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Kiramakora (Reply 18):
If this is considered a challenging situation for the Station Manager, I wound encourage that SM to re-evaluate their own abilities and look to be transferred anywhere else.

I'd have to agree with you on this point. SQ management has never tolerated poor airport infrastructure or difficult authorities as excuses for sloppy service. I'll bet you if that SM gave the same story that he told you to management, he wouldn't be getting any sympathy from his bosses.

There have been numerous stories of SQ SMs overcoming difficult situations, such as major flight disruptions, or unexpected changes in airport procedures, or even sudden inclement weather/national disasters and still managed to overcome them to provide stellar service on the ground. As for SQ CCU's poor service, I'm quite certain that it could have been avoided with just a little more planning.

An SM's performance is judged not solely by how well he runs his airport operations, but how well he manages the above difficulties and constraints to garner high passenger satisfaction on the ground.

Quoting Blrsea (Reply 13):
Were the check-in agents at CCU wearing SQ uniforms? There seems to be some wierd AAI regulations on that issue i think, but I might be wrong

More than 90% of SQ's oversea's ground services are outsourced. This is the same for most other airlines. It just isn't economical to self handle if you have limited flights operating out of the station. SQ self handles their ground operations only in a handful of cities. Off my mind, I can only think of KUL, PEN and TPE. At other stations, it's usually the local ground handling agent. In most cases, SQ has reciprocal arrangements with the local airlines or caterers - e.g. If AI is handled by SATS in Singapore, then AI would handle SQ in say BOM, DEL etc - you scratch my back, I scratch yours.

SMs have to live with such reciprocal arrangements even if they know very well that there are other ground handling agents providing better quality service at their respective stations. Many SMs are resigned to this, and overcome the problem by building strong rapport with the designated handling agents, and getting these agents to understand SQ's service philosophy and service standards (it can be an uphill task, but not impossible).

Of course some SMs have it easier...From what I understand, SQ's handling agents LAX don SQ ground uniforms (this is possible because the company provides SQ with a dedicated team of staff who service only SQ flights. Few handling agents have the resources to do this). It ensures accountability and ownership when these agents feel that they're part of the SQ family and are familiar with SQ's procedures and standards.

[Edited 2006-11-13 17:13:21]


There's always a better way to fly...
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1943 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the report! I am sorry to hear that SQ has been a disappointment. Generally, SQ is a pleasure to fly on, but these short flights seem to lack some luster, and also the crew has just worked the SIN-CCU flight, and going back on the same flight (as most SQ Indian subcon flights are designed these days). Nevertheless, that is not a valid excuse.

The menu situation is unacceptable and I don't agree that most folks do not look at the menus. Most actually do, but F/As are often kind enough to repeat the choices just to make sure people are reading the right menus. SQ recycles its menus for those who don't need them, so I think it is fine to have menus. In this case, the boarding is possibly extremely disorganized due to the lateness, but you should ask the F/A for the menu. If SQ forgets to load them, the F/As will tell you so.

Concern the writing kits, I missed the old Raffles Class writing kits (in blue). I guess SQ is no longer differentiating the letter pads/writing kits. I got the same writing kit in F last week.

About amenity kits, SQ have decided not to do amenity kits for decades... so I guess we can't do much about it. However, I actually will prefer a nicer pair of slippers (being so Chinese of me).

Thanks for all these reports! Are we going to have a report on SQ 18 SIN-ICN?

Carfield


User currently offlineKiramakora From Argentina, joined Aug 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 20):
I'd have to agree with you on this point. SQ management has never tolerated poor airport infrastructure or difficult authorities as excuses for sloppy service. I'll bet you if that SM gave the same story that he told you to management, he wouldn't be getting any sympathy from his bosses.

There have been numerous stories of SQ SMs overcoming difficult situations, such as major flight disruptions, or unexpected changes in airport procedures, or even sudden inclement weather/national disasters and still managed to overcome them to provide stellar service on the ground. As for SQ CCU's poor service, I'm quite certain that it could have been avoided with just a little more planning.

An SM's performance is judged not solely by how well he runs his airport operations, but how well he manages the above difficulties and constraints to garner high passenger satisfaction on the ground.

I appreciate the sincerity, thoughtfulness and maturity of your comments. Thank you.


User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5126 posts, RR: 55
Reply 23, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow. In one day, 22 responses. Thanks for all the commentary and I am glad as usual to bring these to you. Here are a few observations:

Quoting Singapore_Air (Reply 9):
An interesting trip report. Maybe you could consider forwarding it to Singapore Airlines. All feedback is highly valued and reviewed by the relevant department.

= Sent. I just hope there is some meaningful follow-up rather than some insulting compensatory affair which any J class passenger does not care about in the first instance.

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 10):
Regarding the lack of menus, was it cos it was hidden in the seat pocket in front of you? In the rare occassions I've gotten an upgrade on SQ from Y to J, (since I'm not a seasoned J traveller like some of you!) I thought there weren't any menus, until I noticed them in the seat pocket in front of me.

= Nope. Nothing on front seat pocket. I go through EVERYTHING   - moslty to take a picture for a trip report  .

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 10):
And I notice that 99% of J pax never ever open the menu.... Since 99% of J pax really don't get excited about airline food!

= I do not agree with this. I think most passengers look @ J-menu. For business travel, I utilize only J or F and almost always look at the menu - unless, I use BOOK-THE-CHEF or want to sleep the entire flight.

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 10):
(Plus SQ's menus are usually in French anyway. If I wanted a French menu, I would go to a French restaurant!)

= What??! SQ menus are usually in English and language of where they are operating.

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 10):
I personally find ammenity kits useless cos I've to carry them to the toilets.

= Given current security situations, amenity kits have an even better place in modern travel.

Quoting DocPepz (Reply 10):
The major problem with SQ service is, their ads and promotion material promise you the inflight service that even other airlines talk about. So everyone goes in with extremely high expectations. So an above-average level of service on SQ would be a disappointment. (I'm sure there's some marketing theory here that can explain this)

= Agreed for infrequent travellers. However, SQ made the choice to advertize themselves as such and they need to understand repurcussions. On a personal note, I have taken more J flights than I would like and can tell you that SQ has been disappointing from a comparative standpoint on almost all flights. As I say in the conclusion, are they better than 95% of the airlines out there? A RESOUNDING YES. However, are they anywhere in the top 10? A RESOUNDING NO for me. For an airline that has been stellar in the past, this is a huge disappointment and fall in standards.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 11):
ome flights have been just average, but most have been well above average.

= My last SQ flight EWR-SIN scored above average; SIN-ICN which I did not review would have also scored a 7.00-7.50 in my book. The review pertains to this flight.

Quoting SQ772 (Reply 12):
All I can say is that I've found SQ's Y product to be much more consistent than the rest, and backed by excellent infrastructure and support on the ground and in their hub.

= Completely agreed. The reason SQ can "get-away" with some slippage is due to an excellent hub-spoke network in SIN and backed by a consistent infrastructure than can get you from point A to B.

Quoting Blrsea (Reply 13):
Were the check-in agents at CCU wearing SQ uniforms?

= Yes. SQ agents. Even had different colors to distinguish seniority.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 15):
An incompetent SM? I am sure, if the letter of complaint was actually filed, the person concerned would be taken to task very seriously as SQ is really not very forgiving when it comes to situations like these.

= Hope you are right. Complaint has been filed.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 15):
I risked getting flamed here... but if other ex-SMs might be able to shed some light. Indian stations are never known to be an easy one to handle. So CCU is no exception?

*Brace for impact...*

= Completely irrelevant and prejudicial.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 16):
Not to give blame to the Indian government again but all alcohol served onboard is duty free

= I was served in prior years on EK, VS, and BA ex India.

Quoting EK773 (Reply 16):
As a fare paying passenger you shouldnt be expected to consider this but i dont believe anyone would be providing stellar service on an overnight trip on the return sector of a 3-hour delayed flight. This is a responsibility of the airline as to the workload they give their crew and whether it is having an impact on the service level.

= As I said in my report, the crew were nothing to write about ... this does not imply they were bad. They just were not stellar.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
However, I actually will prefer a nicer pair of slippers (being so Chinese of me).

= Me too!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 21):
Thanks for all these reports! Are we going to have a report on SQ 18 SIN-ICN?

= No  . I was going to write one but the 3 hour delay in CCU and subsequent lack of sleep meant that I kept on dozing off during the SIN-ICN flight. All I remember was the FA telling me that I could not have my lunch when I wanted because they can heat the food only once.

Cheers,
A.

[Edited 2006-11-13 23:25:11]


Live, and let live.
User currently offlineSQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 23):
Quoting Blrsea (Reply 13):
Were the check-in agents at CCU wearing SQ uniforms?

= Yes. SQ agents. Even had different colors to distinguish seniority.

I didn't know SQ had colour differentiated uniforms for its ground staff. May I ask what colour uniforms were they wearing?



There's always a better way to fly...
25 Abrelosojos : = Ok, I will give my disclaimer: besides, the Station Manager, I cannot be 100% sure if all ground staff were SQ. Reason: I never asked. However, the
26 SQ772 : Thanks for the clarification. SQ's ground staff's uniforms are easily identifiable by their batik blouse and light blue jackets (for ladies), and for
27 Ryanair!!! : Pardon me for my ignorance, I apologise for it. My opinions have only been based on hearsay and are by no means my experiences.
28 Ardian : And have you already heard someting from SQ? I'm very curious about how they're going to handle this situation. I enjoyed your tripreport though, you
29 Maperrin : Your report is not surprising. However Same pbs are more frequent in Business class tahn you think, I recently had: GIG_LIS__ORY (TP) CDG_FRA_NRT (LH)
30 EK773 : Just to clarify this point, i operated a flight to BOM this week and our service sequence notes ex-BOM clearly stated 'Welcome drink: bars may be ope
31 Post contains images Kiramakora : I do not work for the aviation ministry. However, given the tone of your message would gladly comply. The law states: "(2) No operator operating a do
32 Post contains images Abrelosojos : = Thanks for this clarification. So the check-in supervisor was SQ and the man-in-green was AAI/AI probably. = Well, no need to apologize. We all lea
33 Feroze : I flew DEL-LHR on VS last week. Pre-departure (and before the doors were closed), I was offered a choice of champagne or orange juice. There may have
34 Abrelosojos : = Haha. So the not serving alcohol has more to do with EK being cheap and not paying duties. LOL. = Thanks. -A.
35 Abrelosojos : = So after 4 months (!!!, compared to the 1 week response by Vijay Mallya himself for IT), SQ "bothered" to respond to my letter. Some of my highligh
36 Post contains images Caliatenza : crew is awsome on MH, especially on the long hauls (LAX-TPE-KUL and vice versa). Hot female flight attendants willing to flirt as well
37 Post contains images Abrelosojos : = . -A.
38 Ag92 : AFAIK you can request for them, but they stopped giving it out freely some time ago Welcome to SIA. Inflight Service Even Others Talk About Now that
39 Abrelosojos : = No. I believe the cards are done with. Perhaps the SQ resident experts or those who have more recent experiences on SQ can clarify. Cheers, A.
40 Ag92 : On my fathers recent flight to Delhi and back, (December/January 2006/7) he came home with brand new playing cards from the Aircraft. He said just re
41 Abrelosojos : = I guess I was unlucky all 3 times ... or there was that problem with the printer as one of the FAs confided. Good to hear the cards are back. Cheer
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