Singapore Airlines 026
Frankfurt-New York JFK
Photo © Jerome Zbinden
Check In: As it was a Sunday the counters were packed with people at 6:15am. The flight looked like it was running full. Staff were helpful and managed to get me a window seat with two of my friends sitting next to me. Bags were checked in all the way through to Boston on TWA though boarding passes were not issued.
Boarding: We began boarding at 8:00 and I was assigned 39A so I was one of the last onboard. I was welcomed onboard by the IFS with a smile. The last smile I saw on the flight. Reached the seat and was a bit disappointed but it was alright. PTV's looked nice and certainly bigger than the UA 777 I had flown across the Atlantic with 2 weeks later. We pushed back exactly at 8:30.
Photo © Frank Schaefer
The Flight: Hot towels were passed out followed by breakfast. I don't have the menu for this so all I can say is that they ran out of my choice and gave me the omelet which was the only thing left. It was ok, never really found the eggs served on planes to be good. The pocket TV was nice and kept me and my "non-aviation" friends busy. There were no walk around, crew did answer the call button when I asked for a coke. A light snack was served before arrival, no idea what, sorry! Like a mini heated quiche or something. Throughout the flight the crew had no smiles, just did their job, like it was an LH flight!
Arrival: We landed in the brand new terminal 1 and it was something really good. We collected our bags in no time and were off to the TWA terminal for our flight to Boston.
Singapore Airlines 025
Frankfurt-New York JFK
Check In: We landed at 3:30 from Boston on TWA so we had plenty of time to check in. The counter just opened at 4:30 when we got there. We managed to get some good seats and were told that the flight was 100% full tonight. We went into the terminal and my friends started bombarding me with questions regarding planes and I answered willingly! Hey when else are you the "know it all?"
Photo © Vasco Garcia
Boarding: Boarding started at roughly 8:45 and we were on first having seat 57A. My friends were seated next to me which was good. A steward welcomed us onboard and pointed to our seats. We backed away from the gate at 9:30, no reason given. Worse came when we sat on the side till 9:55. We eventually took off at 10:30, over an hour late. Not one announcement as to why we were late.
Photo © Jason Milligan
The Flight: Hot towels were handed out first and menus were handed out after take off but not to all. As I was about to put my hand out to get mine, she walked away. As she went back down the isle a minute or two later I asked her for a menu and this was the response. "We are only serving menus to people who need them. I'm sure you'll want the vegetarian option anyway!" and walked away. At this point one of my American friends that were sitting next to me with a smirk on his faces said "So this is the Singapore Airlines warmth you talk about!" My other German friend that was between the two of us at this point, said something I had not noticed. "You know who the people who need menus are? They are all the 'Caucasians' on this flight!" I said "what?" As I looked around he was right. Every person that had a menu was American or German. In my group there was another Indian and a Turkish, neither of them had a menu either! Either way my freind gave me his menu and this is what it said.
Braised Fillet of Fish in Black Bean Sauce
Seasoned Mixed Vegatbles, Steamed Rice
Sauteed Chicken with Fresh Herb and Mushrooms
Vegetable Medley, Roast Sable Potatoes
Cheese and Crakers
Apple & Pecan Nut Pie
Coffee - Tea
Choice of Juices
Fresh Fruit Appetiser
Assorted Breakfast Rools
Butter - Fruit Preserve
Coffee - Tea
I tried to watch mt PTV but guess what? It was not working. I checked to see if my freinds TV's were working and they were. I waited for another memeber of the cabin crew to come round instead of you know who! When a male steward came round, he said "Wait till we reset the system." I said fine, but nothing ever happened. No audio, no video.
Then the meal came with the "wonderful" stewardess. I was about to say chicken. Before anything came out of my mouth a tray with a vegetarian dish was slapped in front of me. "Ma'am I would like the chicken, not this please." "We have to save the non-vegetarian for the people that need it!" At this point I lost it. "Look lady, I did not order a vegetarian meal and I certainly am not vegetarian. I can see that you have enough Beef and chicken in the cart. Why won't you give me my choice?" "Because I need to conserve the dishes for the ones that need it!" At this point both my friends were like "just take my chicken, don't give her the satisfaction!" I said no and started an argument. She just walked away as I started off on her.
It looked like some sort of Spinache with green pasta. I found it dry, leathery and tasteless. As she came to collect the try, she snipped at me, "Are you done or not?" "yes" "Then hurry up and give it to me!"
After the meal was cleared, my freind said he wanted to go to sleep, and said I could use his entertainment system. I plugged my headphones in his armrest and watched a quick movie and then put the music channel on.Throughout the flight, the other stewardesses were polite if not robotic as usual but the "wonderful" stewardess was so rude to the non-caucasian passengers it was unbelievable. When this paticular stewardess came round to serve drinks she automatically skipped my row every single time. In the end I jumped over my freinds to go to the galley to get a small bottle of water. Thankfully I managed to get another stewardess and she smiled and gave me a bottle and asked if I would like anything else? I told her that my PTV was not working and that I was using my freinds. "I am so sorry about that." She then handed me a pen in a black case. "Please accept this as an apology from me." I said thank you. I looked at the pen and it was what Raffles Class passengers get, having flown RC often I know this. This is the legendary SQ that I have been used to for years!
Breakfast was served and it consisted of a crossaint, butter and jam. Bread was offered twice. I ordered tea and the "stewaredess" runs out of teawith a snipe "Just wait for it!"During breakfast an Italian woman asked for tea and at last minute changed her mind to coffee. "Look, I don't have time to play these games, you want tea or coffee, make up your damn mind!" Wow, so she was mean to everyone! I saw quite a few passengers giving her dirty looks now. We began our decent and touched down at 11:15, over 30 minutes late.
Arrival: During disembarkation I got halted at the galley and she was there with a frown on her face. As the line moved forward I said the following. "I will never fly Singapore Airlines again after receiving service from you. You are a bi*ch and I hope some day someone will write you up on your 'service skills'! At this point the entire section started applauding! I then walked off and I my freind smaked me on the back and said, "Man you were too lienent on her!" Immigration was a breeze and bags were out when I got there. I have never been so happy to get off an airplane and into freezing Germany.
I wrote the letter within 2 days of arrival and sent it to the SQ office in FRA. Not a single word came back. I even talked to a freind that works for SQ in BOM. She had no idea why they would not reply me. She insisted I write another letter and this time to SIN. It was too late. I had thrown everything out as it had been over a year and had moved from Germnay to the US. I had no idea what her name was anymore and so on. It was SQ's decision not to answer me!
Singapore Airlines is not an airline I am every going to fly if I can help it. Service has been going down for years and this was the last straw. 1 excellent stewardess compared to the others isn't enough! If SR, CX, KL etc can have great cabin crew in numbers, why can't SQ? I know this is not what most of you SQ people like to hear but I think you have to face reality, SQ is changing and it is not for the better. I have heard countless times of people switching to CX, EK and even UA because of the service on SQ. I'll only fly SQ when every other airline is booked, including NW & DL!!!
Congratulations Singapore Airlines, you have managed to lose a loyal customer who has been flying SQ for over 15 years, a customer who has flown over 3 Oceans and 4 Continents with you in First, Raffles and Economy. A customer who once upon a time said he would never fly anything but the airline with the Singapore Girl!