I know quite a number of FAs in SIA from entry-level Flight Stewards and stewardesses (FSS) to an Inflight Supervisor (IFS), which is the highest rank a cabin crew can attain. What the article has described SIA to be is highly unlike what my cabin crew friends tell me it is.
1 - You have to be under 25 yo to be invited for the interview
That is quite untrue. As any Singaporean will be able to tell you, SIA used to have recruitment ads published in the papers almost every month. The criteria for employment is quite clearly stated on every ad. Anybody can go to the SIA School for Cabin Crew for the interview, IF they meet the criteria spelled out in the ad. The entire process is transperant as there are usually about three interviewers interviewing every potential Singapore Girl or guy.
2- You must bring a bathing suit and wear it during one of the interviewing process. You must CATWALK with it in front of a panel of judges
Again, untrue. From what my friends in the airline tell me, the bathing suit is required in the second round of interviews. The bathing suit is used when the interviewees go for their swimming test. All SIA cabin crew are required to have some sort of knowledge in swimming, and thus the need for the bathing suit. Guys have to swim as well. They go through the exact same swimming test as the ladies.
3- They do a grooming inspection during the interview that means, hair, legs, butt, arms, make-up. If you have a scar or a tatoo, you are eliminated automatically. If you are overweight/don t have a what they consider a nice bum and breast, you are out. If you are not pretty enough, you are out.
If I remember correctly, one of the requirements on the recruitment ads is that females cannot have tatoos. It's all part of the graceful Singapore Girl image. Call it sexist or whatever, but they sure give better service than most other airlines I've flown on.
About the bum and breast part, from what I hear, the airline actually gives the female FAs padded bras and panties! Haha.. so what you see in that sarong kebaya is not exactly what you get!
4- Of course, you cannot be married or have children (you will know why later).
5- There are height restrictions
The airline is actually re-employing FAs who have taken maternity leave to serve on board again. Of course, they must still be in pretty good shape and stuff before they're considered for the job.
The height restrictions are for practical purposes. You don't expect the FA to help you put your carry on baggage into the overhead cabinet when she's barely taller than the seat right?
1- You MUST maintain your weight/height proportion as they will not supply you with another uniform for size purposes.
2- If you did gain weight, they will ground you and post you to a office position till you lose your weight ( I m not kidding, my hairdresser s sister was for SIN and got grounded once for gaining 5 pounds).
That much is true. I haven't heard of anyone getting grounded for gaining 5 pounds yet, but if any FA is deemed to have grown too big, they're not given any flights until the airline deems them fit to fly again. In the first place, who uses the Imperial system of weights in Singapore anyway?
3- You MUST wear make-up. And that is not only some mascara and lipstick only... THE WHOLE thing. When I saw the GIRLS in the lobby, they all looked like they were going to this asian wedding or something. Apparently because of the lights in the plane, they must wear enough so it shows that they have make-up.
Well the part about the make-up is true. Female FAs are required to put on make up so that they can look their best. Don't know, but I personally don't think the amount of make-up they put on is excessive. Never heard my female FA friends complain about the make-up as well.
4- Guys do get hired but most of them will do ONLY galley positions. They want the SINGAPORE GIRLS in the aisle.
That's not true. Ask anyone who's ever travelled SIA and I'm sure they'd have seen their fair share of male FAs serving them. Guys however, usually volunteer to do galley work as there is a fair bit of kneeling and some stuff to carry. It's apparently kind of uncomfortable for the girls in their tight uniforms to be kneeling all over the place.
6- They wear sandals
7- Hair must be in a bun or tied up VERY neatly. Baby hair must be shaved or else...
The female FAs wear a different pair of sandals during take off and landing, which allows for easier movement around the aircraft.
I don't think it's sightly to have long hair swinging around the place when you're serving passengers food is it? Or in the case of an emergency to have your hair covering your entire face when you're running to help someone? Again, the hair is tied up for practical purposes. Anyway, tied up hair looks neater.
1- All FAs are trained on the B747. Depending on the needs, some of them will be trained on the B777 and some others on the A340s. As the A310 are too old for them, they do not train any FAs on that aircraft type anymore
That's true. In fact, the more recent batches are only trained for the 744s and 777s as the 340 will also be phased out soon.
2- They do not bid for a schedule. They company gives them a 6 month draft. The schedule is modified if it needs to be.
3- They have reserve periods while being on layover: example: at JFK layover, they get the day off but from 6pm till 6am, they need to be in their rooms.
4- They can not exchange pairings unless you give them a valid reason (to fly with your buddy is not considered as valid)
True, they don't bid for a schedule, but they can make requests to scheduling officers, and these requests are aceded to as much as possible.
I've never heard of a reserve period before. Is the article talking about a standby? That happens when the airline anticipates that there may not be enough crew for certain flights, and thus puts some crew on standby so that they may be called up to serve that flight. However, crew are put on standby only when they have had enough rest to recover from jet lag and stuff.
There is actually a notice board for staff on the staff intranet which allows them to post up notices if they wish to change their flights. That is of course subject to someone on the other flight willing to exchange flights with you. If both FAs are willing to do an exchange, there's no reason why the airline will object.
5- Their starting hourly wage is 12$ Sin dollars which is 10$CND + a bonus depending on the airline s performance (they got 6000$ Sin dollars last year).
6- The girl to whom I ve talked to had 8 days at her home base during that month and has 1500$Sin dollars of Per diem.
FAs on SIA are not paid an hourly wage. New FAs are given a basic monthly salary of about S$1000 or US$750. They are then paid many other forms of allowances like transport allowances, laundry allowances, inflight allowances, turn around allowances, meal allowances, and so on. My friends tell me a new FA can expect to make aroun S$3500 a month, which is around US$2500.
On top of that, they also get a considerable amount from SIA's profit sharing scheme and bonuses, which usually adds up to a considerable amount.
7- In-flight positions on a 747:
1 In-Flight Supervisor
2 Chief Pursers
1 Leading FA per cabin (4)
3 FA per cabin
2 Leading FA for the First Class section (no FAS can do the First Class
It takes 5 years to be promoted to Leading FA.
The reason why FAs are not allowed to serve First Class is because they are given training to serve on First Class only when they've been promoted to a Leading FA. This will of course ensure a certain level of quality for their premium passengers on First Class.
As for Corsairf/a's comments that FAs only get a 3 year contract which can only be renewed once, that's not true. Females are usually offered up to three 5 year contracts, and any subsequent contracts will be at the airline's descretion and the FA's performance. Male FAs can work until retirement.