Ryanair!!!
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Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:30 pm



Singapore Changi Terminal One- Sydney International
Gulf Air / Olympic Airways
GF 148 / OA 8148
Seat 49K
Airbus A340-313 (A40LG)
1116 – 2051H
Duration: approx 7hr 30 min

20 Jul 2004

==========================================================

Yippee! Sydney beckoned once again and it was time to fly again. Unfortunately, I only decided on this a week before departure and all flights were full – even on Business Class! Thus, no MAS for me. There was no way I was going to fork out cash to fly First Class. And the only airline available was Gulf Air.

So here am I, embarking on my adventure once again as I plonked my bags at Row 7 in Changi airport. Getting served by Juhana, who was employed by SATS in Terminal One, she informed me that the flight was delayed due to the late inbound of aircraft.


I asked for a window seat and wanted the seats next to me to be left empty. No problem since the flight was only ¾ full. So I was assigned to 49K.

The original departure time of 1045H was now 1055H. Not that bad, I thought.


Arriving at Gate D41 (the same gate for my last trip on Valuair), transit passengers were in the midst of boarding. The agents were rather strict about letting ONLY transit passengers in as they had to identify their bags in the aircraft.

1100H: There is no way the flight would be leaving on time now. The general boarding call came over the PA and everyone expectedly rushed for the doors. Since I was standing at the entrance, I was on of the first few on the aerobridge. But there was going to be a further delay.

“Stop! Hold on! Not yet, we are not ready…” hollered this Arab accented in-flight supervisor at the entrance of 2L. So we stood there for 10 mins like fools while the flight attendants nonchalantly went about their duties within without even a crack of a smile.

1110H: We were finally allowed to board and was welcomed by the same man (let’s call him Ahmed) who hollered at us at the door. Something had pissed him off and I was to find out why. He basically looked at our boarding passes and gestured us “hhhhere” and “down therrre”.

I walked into the Business cabin and found it very familiar. Why of course! This looks exactly like Raffles Class! The Economy section soon made an appearance and the same SQ-coloured fabrics were used. The interior looked like it had seen better days. The seats looked tired and worn. The Arabian and Caucasian FAs didn’t smile muchand left pax to their own devices, while the Filipinas and Chinese ones seem to be genuinely happy to see us.

I soon found my seat at the back of the cabin and sat down next to the broken armrest. The seat next to me was empty, of course. On the seat were blankets and earphones, which are the clip kind similar to those found on SQ.


As soon as the pax were settled, didn’t take that long as the passengers joining the flight from Singapore were a mere trickle, Ahmed went down the aisle with a bag in his hand belonging to a transit passenger and shouting “Whhhhose bag eeees theeees? Whhhhoooose bag eees theees?”

A Caucasian pax raised his hand in my cabin and boy was I sorry for him. Almost immediately Ahmed fired off in rapid Arab before chiding him loudly for the entire cabin to hear “Whhhy didn’t you claim your bag just now?! Do you know the flight has been delayed further because OF YOU?”

He then opened the overhead compartments, chucked the bag in it, and firmly slammed it shut.

1115H: As soon as Ahmed disappeared into the front of the aircraft, the doors were closed and pushback commenced.

Manual demo was carried out by 2 FAs on each aisle, a Malaysian on the further aisle and a Caucasian on mine. The Caucasian seemed like she has something else better to do.


The welcome announcement came on in Arabic followed by Australian accented English. Meanwhile, a long taxi ensued as there was a line of aircraft waiting to depart. We taxied behind a SQ 777-200 and were followed by a CX 777-300 and a MAS 737-400.


While we waited at the marshalling point, a SQ 747-400 landed before we lined up.

1131H: Line up, and roll a minute later.

Many on the forum have joked about the climb characteristics of the A340. One thing I can say, I wasn’t pressed onto the seat as we headed for the skies.

1143H: The seatbelt sign soon pinged off and the cabin lights dimmed. Climbed and tracked over the Indonesian island of Batam and turned left for a south-easterly heading towards Karimata Straits along the western coast of Borneo.

FAs soon walked down the aisle and disinfected the cabin with a spray. A little early in the flight, no?

The Australian announcemencer came on the PA that told us pax that the FAs toaday spoke English, Punjabi, Arabic, Malaysian (??), Tagalog and Polish. “Malaysian”? What is “Malaysian”? I thought it should have been “Malay”.

1159H: 31000 ft.

The passengers soon became comfortable in their seats and began to explore them. Some complained that the reading lamps weren’t working. As for the IFE, even though the magazine illustrated 7 channels of movies, only 3 were working. So I had a fantastic choice of “Hellboy”, “Laws of Attraction” and “Hidalgo”. Yawn…

The rest of the channels had Arabic, Hindi and Filipino together with sports and entertainment programs. So there were actually a total of 24 channels including the Airshow.

Meanwhile, my headrest refused to be cranked into position so it remained the same way for the rest of the flight.

1230H: Lunch cart appears! My aisle was being served by 2 lovely individuals who were a Malaysian and a Singaporean and I shall name them Connie and Carla respectively. Connie was a trained “Sky Nanny”.

When the arrived at my seat, Carla was excited to find out that I was Singaporean and starting yakking to me in Mandarin. She was so sick of speaking in English that she took the opportunity to banter in her mother tongue, I gladly humored her. Carla joined in the tête-à-tête and the both promised to see me after the meal service.

The meal was pathetic. A choice between Beef or Chicken pie…

1310H: 552 mph, 35000 feet

The trays were soon cleared as we coasted into the eastern tip of Java. Over which I witnessed a volcano spewing plumes and several other imposing peaks. Just check out the photos!



I noticed that the Airshow was making no sense as “Estimated Time of Arrival”, Time at Destination”, “Time at Origin”… was all the same!

1340H: The FAs walked around the cabin asking for the shades to be pulled down in order to darken the surroundings. Presumably to allow pax to sleep before arriving in SYD.

Carla soon appeared next to me and we chatted excitedly about home and Sydney. Connie popped by and gestured to her chest while saying in Cantonese that the "Sky Nanny ran out of milk". We had a good laugh about that and woke several slumbering pax in the process... I later found out that their hotel was just next to mine! So we made a date to meet for supper once we arrived, together with Connie.

With the island of Bali now behind us, we cruised over the Indian Ocean and coasted into Australia (photo above) at 1400H for a direct track to Derby, across the Great Sandy Desert and the Great Arterian Basin before arriving in Sydney. Pretty much a straight south-easterly flight.

This part of the flight gets pretty boring as there is nothing much to do. Even the FAs disappear into the galleys and bunks. Meanwhile, Connie and Carla took turns to chat with me. I even took a trip to the spacious aft galley and was being offered ice cream before anyone else on the plane.

Deep into the flight, I requested for water and Carla returned with a giant bottle!

“Shh… don’t tell anyone” she whispered.

She later walked down the aisle again with a tray of ice cream and began distributing to the pax who were not asleep. “I don’t think you want another one, right?” She laughed.

And with that, we continued to cruise across the vast continent into the sunset. Carla later came over and asked me if I wanted to have a “crew meal” because the dinner later would be “disgusting”. She lifted the foil over her pasta and I must say it was indeed tempting, but I turned her down as I didn’t want the rest of the pax to wonder.

1710H: The sky is now completely dark outside. The lights are turned on and the meal carts appear towards the front of the cabin with Carla and another stoned face Australian FA.

We had a choice of fish or chicken and I chose the latter. As soon as I lifted the foil, Carla found the opportunity to lean towards me and said “I told you so…”

Dinner consisted of just 2 small sticks of kebab.

1750H:Tea is being served by Connie after the meal trays are collected. The flight continues leisurely and the remaining meal service items are soon cleared.

1821H:Arrival announcement in Arabic and English, that also signals the commencement of descend.

Another round of disinfectant spray into the cabin.

The aircraft was soon tracking south of Sydney towards Wollongong ...

But soon made a northerly heading change pass Sydney over the western suburbs.

1840H: Further descend and an announcement comes on for cabin crew to remain seated. Lights are then turned off in the cabin. The aircraft is now in North Sydney as it swings back south for runway 16R.

1844H: Flaps are extended further as the landing gears starts clanking beneath.

1846H: Touchdown and full reverse thrust…..

The cabin erupts in spontaneous applause after the smooth touchdown and I wonder if it is an Arab trait to do so?

It was a quiet time for Sydney and only the following aircraft were seen at the international terminal: 1 x 747-400 each from SIA, QF and Thai, Polynesian 737-800 with winglets, Emirates A345-500 and a Hawaiian 767-300.

1851H: We finally came to a stop at Gate 60 at local time 2051H.

Business Class…


First Class…


Since we were the only flight arriving, immigrations and customs were quick and I was out of the airport and onto the train bound for the city within 30mins.

Departure: 8/10… Check in was handled very well by cheerful SATS agent and she was very informative.

Boarding: 4/10… Someone screwed up here. The crew was obviously not complete with their screening of transit passengers. It was not nice for us to be stuck in the aerobridge for 10 mins.

In-flight service: 4/10… With the exception of Connie and Carla, plus another Filipino stewardess, everyone else was all sour faced and didn’t even bother with service. I would have given this score a token “1” if it wasn’t for them. The Middle Eastern FAs wins hands down for topping the angry look with their heavy eye-liners.

Catering: 4/10… For a flight with this duration that requires 2 meals to be served, I thought at least one meal would be substantial enough to fill the tummy. The meals the served on this flight, I would classify them as “snacks”. A pie for lunch? 2 miniscule sticks of tasteless kebabs for dinner? Looks to me that GF didn’t even bother to try…

Arrival: 9/10… No complaints here as I was at the hotel by 2200H. I would describe this part of the journey as painless.

Overall: 58%... My first impression of Gulf Air is not good. They have a good advertising campaign in the press that gives the impression of the fabled “Golden Falcon Service”. However, I found them to be rather sloppy and disorganized. The service level was comparable to a bad domestic flight in the US.

With Emirates at their doorstep, and the creation of Air Etihad and the general expansion of Oman Air and Qatar Airways, they have some serious competition. GF does not seem like an airline that has been around for a long time as their overall service seemed to be amateurish.

They didn’t even bother to remove the evidence of the previous owner of the A340 that I was flying on to protect their product integrity. The curtain separating my cabin and Business Class had a VERY visible “Raffles Class” imprinted on them. The toilets had a container at the tap with the logo of the previous owner. The mentioned container was empty and not in need to store anything, and could be removed by simply removing the screws. I guess no one bothered.
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SQ772
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:47 pm

Thanks for another great report with equally nice pics...you should have taken a pic with Connie and Carla.

Catering - Is this what they serve on GF? You're right, they look more like snacks than a proper meal. Any menu cards distributed? Any mid flight snack?

Crew - Sour faced crew... did they join the flight from Singapore? If so, they should be feeling fresh and relaxed...and at least be in the mood to smile... maybe they missed home already.

How much did you pay for this cheap service?



There's always a better way to fly...
 
Qantasclub
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 4:22 pm


Ryan, I think you are gaining a reputation for your trip reports-they are simply superb! Really enjoy reading them, including your attention to detail and quirky little observations, with the SQ symbols left throughout the plane.
Good stuff and hope you will post a return trip report.
Enjoy Sydney-it's my favourite city in the whole world. (I live in Melbourne)

cheers,

Qantasclub.
Long Haul is the only way to go
 
garuda
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RE: BHX-DXB-BHX EK 777-200

Mon Jul 26, 2004 5:45 pm

Nice trip report!!

Ryan, I have to admit, your trip report is getting more and more interesting to read.. Keep it up mate...

JA
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 6:21 pm

Thanks for another great report with equally nice pics...you should have taken a pic with Connie and Carla.


Here a shot of us on a ferry ride to Manly. They have never really explored Sydney so I brought them around the next day and a ride up the AMP Tower at Centerpoint.

No menu was distributed and the in-flight snack was ice-cream. I should have taken the pasta offer from Carla!

There is no way the crew would have done 2 sectors straight (BAH-SIN-SYD). They have a night stop in Singapore before continuing to SYD. God only knows why were they so grumpy? Maybe they had a lashing from Ahmed before we boarded?

How much did you pay for this cheap service?

The tix cost me $777. Everything else was full (SQ, QF, MH). This was the only option. Not that I wanted to as i was all ready to fork out cash for a JCL tix on MH. But even that was full!
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 6:23 pm

Enjoy Sydney-it's my favourite city in the whole world.

Well, why do you think I keep going back every year?  Big grin
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zizou
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:33 pm

Great report once again Ryanair!!!

From SYD, GF is the cheapest option to Singapore and now after reading your report, I understand why. I won't be flying them in a hurry! are you flying GF back home?
 
jsnww81
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:44 pm

Excellent report yet again! Your photos always have me struggling to keep up - I base a lot of my own reports on yours!

Sounds like the Gulf Air experience needs a little fine-tuning. They seem to be trying to reposition themselves as a real competitor to Emirates, although from your report it seems they have a little more catching up to do.
 
YUL2010
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:50 pm

Great report!!
I can't wait to visit Sydney in December!! I'm shopping for flights the moment I arrive in Singapore.
"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
 
COEWR2587
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:58 pm

Very nice report! I liked how you included a "time capsule" sort of posting. Made it seem more real like.
Newark Airport...My Home Away From Home
 
ba319-131
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 4:27 am

Great report and photo's.

I must say,I thought GF were better than this,how wrong I was.Though this was only one flight,the crew(apart from C & C) seem awful,though they could be having a bad day,but the catering looks terrible,I doubt that was an off day!

Thanks again and i'll avoid GF!
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
airbus3801
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:27 am

WOW, I must admit that that was one of the best trip reports I have read. Great attention to detail and I great discription of the flight. Sorry to hear you had a bad flight with GF.
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767er
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:38 am

Ryanair

Great report................as always. They photos were fab!!!!!

GF had better lift their game as this is their second attempt at the Sydney market. The catering sounded atrocious!!

It looked a cold day in Manly as you are all rugged up?

Brent
Sydney
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:39 am

great trip report, i must admit your one lucky SOB to have 2 beautiful flight attendants on your arm!  Smile
 
SR 103
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:31 am

Amazing trip report! The pictures were great as well. You seem to be getting better and better with each report. I don't know if I could come up with anything as good as this.

I flew Gulf Air a few years ago, totally the opposite of what you experienced here. Excellent food, with equally excellent crew (no matter where they were from).

With Emirates at their doorstep, GF does not seem like an airline that has been around for a long time as their overall service seemed to be amateurish.

We all know EK can be just as bad!  Big grin Lets not get into that debate again though. Regardless there is no excuse for the way the crew were behaving and it is shocking to read as I found them to be more genuine than the other Middle Eastern carriers. I am sure though this has something to do with the trouble GF is going through, low moral is probably evident at the moment.

Oh and just to let you know, looks like I will be on your beloved Malaysian in a few months. Hope they are as good as you say!

SR 103
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:39 am

Hi Guys!

Thanks for all the replies. Lets me attempt to answer some of you...

GF had better lift their game as this is their second attempt at the Sydney market. The catering sounded atrocious!!

I really thought that GF was far better than what I experienced for several resons. One, they are an established airline. Two, they have a new management. Three, being the national carrier of national carrier of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.... they would have bucked up and realised the competition coming from the last 3 countries. GF is pretty much on its own now that Bahrain seems to be the only one concentrating on developing the airline. Which I think that should work to the organisation's benefit, less cooks will not spoil the broth.

I doubt that was an off day!

Nope, definitely not... my return flight was worse without another pair of C&C.

It looked a cold day in Manly as you are all rugged up?

Brent, I don't know about you, but this has to be the "chilliest" winter I have ever experienced in Sydney.The photo was taken on 21 Jul. The temperatures did rise within the next few days but I still needed scarf and gloves- I have never had to use that in the city before, only in the mountains.
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767er
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 10:13 am

Ryanair

I agree it has to be one of the chiliest winters I have ever known. That week you were here was just bitterly cold. In fact, Sydney looked downright miserable!!! Sydney is not really a winter city is it with very few homes having central heating,etc. Though I didn't resort to wearing gloves!

So the flight home was just as bad you say???
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:20 am

Oh and just to let you know, looks like I will be on your beloved Malaysian in a few months. Hope they are as good as you say!

I am waiting for this report with bated breath!  Big grin

Brent,

I spent my last few days in the suburbs of Surry Hills at the Moore Park side. I observed it tends to be a few degrees colder in the suburbs so maybe that was why I still needed the gloves. Lets just say that when I got up every morning, I didn't even want to get out of bed, let alone have a shower on the freaking cold floor!

And yes, my return flight was B A D. Stay tuned for the report.
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LFutia
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:23 am

Nice Trip Report! I liked your pictures from GF! sorry to hear about your grumpy FA... but im glad you enjoyed GF...

I also noticed that in your first pic, its like the ones at AMS too!  Smile

[Edited 2004-07-27 04:28:53]
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
 
767er
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 12:15 pm

Ryanair,

Did Carla and Connie say much about their jobs and what GF was like to work for? Do they fly all of GFs routes through to LHR????

After your report I will not be flying GF!!!!!

Brent
Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
 
Businessflyer
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 1:02 pm

Another excellent trip report and in the photo of the east side of Singapore after take-up, you can see where I live (just beside Bedok Court)!

Anyway, to be honest this trip report does not surprise me. The last time I flew with GF included being stuck at the end of a runway at Muscat with all engines switched off and the plane getting steadily hotter and hotter in the desert air. Very unpleasant really...

There is so much high quality competition between Singapore and Australia that they will need to do more to compete effectively...
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Jul 27, 2004 3:54 pm

Did Carla and Connie say much about their jobs and what GF was like to work for? Do they fly all of GFs routes through to LHR????

Carla is bailing over to SQ soon... that should be an indication. And yes, they fly all the routes. However, Connie, being a Sky Nanny, only concentrates on LHR and SYD flights.
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WidgetBoi
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:43 am

wow! awesome report and great pics (as usual)!

jeremy
 
AsianFA
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Sat Jul 31, 2004 11:06 pm

She`s going over to SQ???hmmm....give her a few months.and she will regret it....
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:24 pm

Hahaha... i told her the same thing. But SQ must be getting desperate because they actually held on to the position or her! So she will be going over in Oct.  Smile

Take care of her when you meet her ok? Hahahaha.... MEOW!!!!!
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EK773
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Mon Aug 02, 2004 9:42 pm

Hey Ryanair

Im an Australian crew working for EK. You'd be welcome to travel on one of my flights anyday.. although i think i'd feel like theres someone always watching over my shoulder. Hehehe... and i'd better keep smiling because who knows when you'll whip that camera out and take a picture.

Im glad you had a good time in my home city of Sydney. I was last there in March for MG/QN parties.

Keep up the quality of your trip reports. I'd be interested to read your views on EK, both good and bad. Personally i think its abit unfortunate that for airlines with multi-national crew like EK/GF there are some service inconsistencies because it all depends on where the crew working in your section originate. Whereas if i were to fly on SQ then all of those crew would have similar mentality and cultural beliefs. I can find it quiet difficult at times working with such a mix of people in the small aircraft environment, but i never let it interfer with my work.
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:48 am

Dear Jason...

Just so you know, i was so close... this close to flying for EK as a steward. I came to a cross-roads earlier this year either to wait for SQ as a pilot, or EK as they were having an interview for stewards. You see, I just want to fly so bad it doesn't matter what I am, I just WANT TO FLY!!!

But i chose the former and decided to wait it out for SQ. And I am still waiting. Hehehe...

Fly away!
Ryan
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singaporegirl
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:40 am

oh my, more sq bashing i see.... do you guys feel better about yourself when you bash sq or something? hehehe...

She`s going over to SQ ???hmmm....give her a few months.and she will regret it....

well you guys might not know this, but a lot of us singapore born (opposed to m'sia/indonesia, etc) sia girls are actually truly proud to be a singapore girl. i first thought that i was only going to fly for a little while and 9 years later i still love putting on my sarong kebaya!

yes, we have issues with the company and all, but whenever we're at some far away airport terminals, people still look at us and whisper, "here comes the singapore girls" with that certain admiration in their eyes. i'm not kidding! there might be ba or jl crew within the vicinity, but the sq girls always get the most attention. the same as at checking in/out at hotel lobbies. and i have to tell you that even after 9 years, i still love that attention!

in the late 90's a lot of my friends quit sq and joined ua, ek, etc... but most of them told me that one thing that they miss from sq is that singapore girl 'pride'. for most of us singapore born sia girl, this is not just a job, there's something more to it. maybe the foreign born sq girls do no see it the same way, who knows... and for a few of us, it's actually a family tradition, my mum was a sia girl in the 70's and when i was a young girl i remember her telling me her days as a singapore girl, which made me dream about being one. and i am still pleased that i am one today.
Ladies & Gentlemen, we will now demonstrate the use of the safety equipment on this aircraft...
 
EK773
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:12 am

I agree singaporegirl, there is certainly alot of national pride which goes into this work. And perhaps this is something else which affects those airlines which recruit large numbers of foreigners as crew. I have to admit that if im passing through a foreign airport and i see a Qantas aircraft then my heart skips abeat to see that big kangaroo enblazened on the red tail. Its not that i would like to fly for Qantas but more out of pride for seeing my national carrier represented in a foreign country.

Before EK i had 8years of service with SQ working in both SYD/MEL airports so i have certainly seen the attention you girls get when walking through an airport. On my last trip to SIN us EK certainly caused a storm in T1 as a group of mainland china tourists all stood infront of the escalator which heads down to immigration so they could have their photo taken infront of us coming down those stairs.

Ryanair, hope you will hear some news from SIA soon! Good luck.
 
SQ772
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:46 am

I'm just curious...

AsianFA, do you work for SQ or the other almost there but never quite there (except perhaps inflight service??) airline from your home country?

SingaporeGirl, fully agree that the girls in their SQ kebayas are definitely head turners at airports and hotel lobbies. In my previous life as a station manager, both MH and SQ flights departed at almost around the same time from where i was based, and one would often see both sets of crew walking into the crowded terminal building together. It always brings a smile to my face whenever I notice that most passengers had their eyes pinned on our girls. MH's crew, though equally stunning in looks, tend to lack that certain deportment and aura found in SQ girls. Perhaps this sums up by the way they conduct their inflight service...

While SQ's service aims to be a little 'upper class' and refined, MH's service wins more heart by emphasizing the warm and friendly "kampong spirit"*.

This is just my personal and I might add, perhaps nationalistic perception. So lets not start a flame war here.


*kampong = Malay village
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 12:25 pm

Oooh trust me, when I was in a tiny little town called Rockhampton working for 3 months, when the locals heard that I was from Singapore, one of the first things they said was "Ahhhh.... you people have a very good airline".

Which was ironic, because as the older members of this forum know, I flew to ROK on SQ and the service was abysmal. It was throroughly covered in 2 reports.

On one hand, I was embarrassed to tell them about my flight, on the other, I was proud that they know at least something about Singapore. And these are the red-neck country folks, mind you!

Singaporegirl, I acknowledge there are some very hardworking FAs in SQ and I have no doubt that you are one of them. In fact, I am very happy to know that there are still some shining stars out there that take pride in their kebayas. Because you certainly do not need bad apples to tarnish the level of service you have attained. But trust me, I kept encountering one bad apple after another to a point where I decided enough was enough. I did not deserve to be treated like this.

But my last few flights to JKT on SQ was excellent. Dunno if you read my report but I was very pleased with the service on both flights. Granted there will be bad days for the airline but I hope it won't happen to me anytime soon as I had one too many.

The SQ girl not only grabs the attention of others, it grabs mine as well. When I see one taking a taxi beneath my house, I still look at her in awe and wonder "where is she off to today?"

Many of my friends who work as FAs in SQ are all but jaded... jaded by the management. Jaded by the management's push to please the customers and the general feel is the needs of the employees come 2nd. The company seems to push all aside to achieve all those awards, and only those awards matter.

This sounds very much like any other government office from the SAF to a stat board. It is the amount of trophies you have on display that counts, how we get there doesn't matter. Wreck your brains and come up more suggestions! It doesn't matter if your suggestions are crap, but as long as we win the "Department With The Most Suggestions Award"... You know... something along that line.

Unfortunately, it is those awards that made SQ what it is today. But at what cost? Morale? My relationship with SQ has always been a love-hate thing. I LOVE that airline for it epitomises quality in service that only others can follow. This becomes very apparent when I fly other carriers and their service, while more sloppy and personal, does not have that starched and snippy quality I find on SQ.

But I hate it for their relationship with their employees are in the pits.

It worries me that they might be potential employer. While I wait for the reply for my pilot application, somewhere at the back of my head I still wonder if I had made the right choice? But then again, I do not have any other alternative but to go with them now, do I?

So now, am I proud of SQ... at the end of the day... HELL YEAH! But it is a damn confusing "hell yeah" for me.

Fly away
Ryan
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debonair
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:23 pm


@Ryanair

would luv to see your pics, but this is not possible any more! any other way??
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:05 pm

Huh? Not possible anymore? I can still see them! If not you can always try ...

http://www.travelquality.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=801
http://www.travelquality.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=802

 Smile
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debonair
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 7:46 pm

Hi ryanair,

well also not working, everytime error: Bandwith exceeded! any idea to fix the problem??? thanx chris
 
GoldenMAS
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:11 pm

I can't see the pictures too.....Is there anyway to fix the problem?
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Wed Aug 04, 2004 12:54 pm

Here are the photos...

SIN-SYD
http://photobucket.com/albums/v53/compact_cruiser/Sydney%20Trip/?start=0

SYD-SIN
http://photobucket.com/albums/v131/rainbow_cruiser/Sydney/?start=all

Strange that I am still able to view the pics on my computer??
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Lufthansa
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 1:42 am

Ryan

What in god's name where you doing in ROK? That's one of the freakest places in Queensland. Only Gladston and Mt Isa could possibly be worse.

Did SIA have some kind of thing going on there? or perhaps did you do a stint with QFlink or something?
 
AsianFA
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 5:07 am

The question as to whether we feel better when we bash SQ...well..ask those other guys who bash UA..or QF...or Airbus/Boeing.There has to be a reason why these people(me included)bash airlines.We have our opinions/experiences and have a right to air them.SQ isnt perfect..but then nothing is on this earth.9 years of flying with SQ ....well..i first flew SQ(actually it was MSA then)in 1971 from SIN-HKG-TPE-HND.I also flew on SQ`s very 1st 747-200 with the cool upper deck lounge with the slumberrettes and the bar.I have flown it over the years ever since during my schooldays and up tilll now in First Raffles and economy....and i have seen the standards then and now.You probably werent even born yet Singapore Girl.And i can tell you..the standard of the SIA Girl in the 70s and 80s is nothing compared to today.Each and every single 1 of them had the grace,the beauty..and they carried themselves with confidence and style.Where do you think the reputation of SQ came from.I am sure your mum being one of the former SIA Girl can attest to that.She was most likely one of them who helped SQ attain its reputation of the Singapore Girl.Today....except perhaps the more senior of the Girls...look like a bunch of giggling schoolgirls.Yes they may wear the sarong kebaya..but its the sarong kebaya that attracts the people because its unique design for an airline uniform.Yes i am proud of the kebabya....but not so with most of the girls wearing them today.In the 70s and 80s it was the Girls who attracted the attention...the kebaya was secondary but of course helped.Thats my 2 cents worth......so let the "bashing" begin.
SQ772..as to answer your question whether i work for SQ..or almost been but not quite there..or other airlines...u can contact me and i will tell u.So..Ryanair!!!there yah go.....my reply.LOL.Hope you get into SQ soon.Best of luck.
 
singaporegirl
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:58 am

of course there's a difference between the yesteryear sia girls and the ones that we have today. according to my mum, back in the 70's when women wanted to join the work force, they didn't have much of a choice. they could be a nurse, a secretary, and of course a stewardess, among other 'feminine' jobs/careers.

also according to my mum the number of sq cabin crew was much, much smaller compared to the number that we have today. sq had fewer fleets and flights, therefore they only needed a smaller number of women working as cabin crew. the competition to become a stewardess was so fierce back then. when they did have an opening, thousands of women would show up for a maybe 20 slots.

being a stewardess in the 70's was considered to be such a chic job too. and also, traveling overseas was a total luxury back then as well. you probably have to be wealthy to be trotting the globe. now, that's not really the case anymore. nowadays for a lot of singaporeans traveling overseas is not really considered as a luxury as it was once because we are a much wealthier country. one does not have to be a stewardess to see the world. also these days most young singaporean women are more drawn to be bankers, doctors, entrepreneurs, etc when they're very brainy, or you can go to a different avenue, you can be veejays/tv personalities, actresses, models when they wanted to focus more on their beauty.

today when sq has an opening, the number of local women that show up to apply for the cabin crew positions have decreased. now sq has to branch out to other countries to find our cabin crew. for a lot of singaporean women, being a stewardess is no longer considered to be the most glamorous thing ever.

the other difference between the old sq and the current one is that back in the 70's, sq heavily used the singapore girl image as their number one marketing tool (thanks to mr. batey). we didn't have much of a choice, because as a new airline we didn't have anything else going on, we had maybe some old 707s from msa, as long with the 737s and a couple of 747s a few years after we started. as the result, singapore airlines stewardesses become the symbol of the airline. now if you see our advertisements, we're moving away from that. we're emphasizing more on the modern fleets, in-flight entertainment, the awards the we've won, etc.

like i said to you before, yes there are differences between the old singapore girls and the modern ones. originally maybe there were only a couple of hundreds sia girls, now we have several thousands. i can assure you that it's much easier to uphold a certain standard for a couple of hundred girls, compared a couple of thousands. i've seen some 'hick ups' with the newer girls, but that's totally normal. the more they fly, the better they get. slowly but surely they're following the mold of the classic singapore girl.

these past few months there have been numerous magazine articles featuring singapore girls (they're not singapore airlines advertisements mind you), from time magazine to vogue, showing that we are still pretty darn good. we the modern singapore girls are continuing the tradition that was handed down to us. and i'm personally continuing this tradition with pride. singapore girl, we're still a great way to fly  Smile.
Ladies & Gentlemen, we will now demonstrate the use of the safety equipment on this aircraft...
 
SQ772
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:20 am

AsianFA - Ryanair!!! had clarified my query on your behalf.

SingaporeGirl - Looking at recent recruitment ads in the local papers, it appears that SQ has decided to raise the bar for new cabin crew recruits, and are now looking for girls with at least A level education.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that many of the non-A level recruits were previously perceived to be, well, not so eloquent and the raised bar is aimed at stemming the 'myth' that many of the SQ crew are "air-heads"? True?
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:57 am

What in god's name where you doing in ROK? That's one of the freakest places in Queensland. Only Gladston and Mt Isa could possibly be worse.

I was there on a military exercise with the Singapore Armed Forces. I thought it was indeed the end of the world for me when I was told about the Rockhampton trip... But truth be told, I enjoyed myself immensely! The locals there has to be the friendliest people I have ever met! In fact, I actually went back there for a holiday on my own expense. These trips were all covered in reports, go dig into the archives!

I actually went to Gladstone. It is not bad! But I wouldn't want to live there though!  Big grin

now if you see our advertisements, we're moving away from that. we're emphasizing more on the modern fleets, in-flight entertainment, the awards the we've won, etc.

Don't worry Singaporegirl, SIA will NEVER move away from featuring the SIA Girl as she is always the iconic feature on any print ads. It was what got them started, actually. I wrote a paper (an 8k word essay) on this subject when I was in school and Ian Batey was one of my references. Featuring the modern fleets, IFEs and awards was a route taken back in the mid-80s as well as the early 90s. This would happen whenever something new was introduced into the airline. Eg...

- 3 Tens (A310)
- BIG TOP
- Mega Top

Also the trend in the late 70s and the early 80s for a new airline was to feature the route map on the ads, just to show how far the wings are spread.

Through all these different ads, the SIA Girl, no matter how small she is, would always appear at the corner. Thus, you will always have a "da-jie" in the ads, you don't have to worry.

SingaporeGirl - Looking at recent recruitment ads in the local papers, it appears that SQ has decided to raise the bar for new cabin crew recruits, and are now looking for girls with at least A level education.

It is true to a certain extend. However, if you do not have those qualifications, and you can prove that you won't act like a ticklish bimbo, speak properly, and act with poise, you will still be accepted. I guess they are just raising the bar to keep the really bad ones out. FLASHBACK! C O C O .... C O C O .......

Fly away
Ryan
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AsianFA
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:42 pm

Notice how the pics of SIA Girls r getting ever so small in the print ads..plastered in one obscured corner..while they promote their IFEs...their long haul flights....and even those of you who are fortunate enough to get the SIA calendars...feature places they fly to..with the stewardesses in it...but then we can hardly see the girls...because they are so far away from the camera.LOL.I wonder why?
Of course theres a difference between the 70s/80s and now...duh....flying was a priviledge in those days.And i was one of the lucky ones to experience it.In Singapore....being a SIA Girl nowadays is like being in a factory...look how they are churning them out...they even call their training center a school.In those days..they only recruited perhaps once a year...and probably for a small amount...thats how they maintained their standard.Its a pity but then again all businesses have to expand..and standards drop drastically.But standards should at least be maintained at an certain level.And raising the qualifications aint going to do it.
Lets compare the reputation nowadays of flight attendants in Singapore..and say Japan.In Japan..to join JAL or ANA as a cabin crew is an achievement in itself.The status of a cabin crew is regarded very highly there.Just tell any Japanese youre a crew..and their face will light up in awe and envy.Even in Europe and Australia..their is a certain status...they are considered professionals.Unfortunately..its not the same in Singapore.When someone tells u that they are cabin crew...whats the first thing that pops in your mind??Flying waitresses?or even worse......something that is unmentionable in here.
I know you are proud of being a Singapore Girl....and love to wear that kebabya..but how many of the crew can say that?Its just another job to them...perhaps an easy and cheap way to see the world..but thats about it.
More of my 2 cents worth.....and the bi*ch*ng goes on.Heheh....

 
singaporegirl
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:12 pm

asian fa. it seems that you came from some sort of privileged background of some sort, you're flying around in first and raffles as a young man. but now in your late 30s/40s you're "only" a flight attendant? something is not adding up  Wink/being sarcastic. are you angry because your "only" a flight attendant or something?

and about being a cabin crew abroad, you can honestly believe that being a ba, kl, af, qf crew is considered as a chic profession? then how come magazines such as french vogue, or british tattler wrote about us, instead of their own national carrier's cabin crew? here are a couple of the example of articles featuring us (sorry, the second one is in bahasa, i speak both mandarin and malay):

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/gsingaporegirls/flash.htm
http://www.kompas.com/utama/news/0209/03/085302.htm

you are correct to a point about some sq crew see this only as a job, instead of as a pride. most of these girls are malaysian born. for them is it an easier way to see the world. and they also don't really understand the concept of being a singapore girl for some reason, even though we all have the same training. but believe you me, there are a lot of singapore born sia girls that truly love their job. my mum today still very proud when she's introducing me to her friends, she always says, oh my daughter is a singapore girl! and for a lot of singaporeans, especially those that are abroad, they always say that whenever they see us sia girls and our aeroplane, that we're a sight for a sore eye. it brings warm thoughts about home i suppose when they see us abroad.

as you can see that i'm truly proud of my career choice. heck, i think everyone should love their job. there are a lot of management issues that we have today at sia. but instead of focusing on the negatives, i try to concentrate more on the positives. it's a nicer way of living. you ought to try it.  Big grin
Ladies & Gentlemen, we will now demonstrate the use of the safety equipment on this aircraft...
 
SQ772
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:36 pm

And the cat fight starts...

It's a breath of fresh air to be finally able to hear the views of an SQ crew who truly believes and loves her work. I once knew a crew named Ivy on my final flight as a staff on SQ. I could sense the passion and pride when I chatted with her in the galley during the flight.

It's rare and highly admireable to stay positive amidst all the negativity that is going on the company. AsianFA, you should learn a thing or two from Singaporegirl...  Smile

There's always a better way to fly...
 
AsianFA
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 6:55 pm

Singapore Girl..u hit the nail on the head....we are ONLY a flight attendant..and nothing else...nothing special like u make it out to be.And what ever gave u the impression i was angry??I am just STATING my opinion.In actual fact..yes i do come from a priviledge family....but the fact of the matter is I LOVE FLYING.So i do it for the love of it.......not because i need the money....or the pride.Unlike you....i am in it for a different purpose.And thank you very much...my life is as positive as it can get....every1 has issues...dont tell me you are positive in everything u say and do??And have you not complained or voice out your opinion about anything before??If you say that you never....then thats a load of....
And why do foreign countries report on airlines in the east??Because they have a fascination of the exotic...because of vast array of cultures...so different from theirs.What do the Straits Times report on cabin crew??or the chinese papers for that matter?So far i cannot think of anything that has been good lately.
Of course your mum is proud of you..because you are following in her footsteps.My parents werent to thrill when i told them i wanted to become a FA....but they accepted it as my decision because they know thats what i wanted to be.But to this day..they still drop subtle hints that i should have gone a different path like my other friends children.
More of my 2 cents worth.....and the war heats up....
 
AsianFA
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:11 pm

SQ772....after all these years of flying...there are still positive sides to it.....but unfortunately..to weigh the pros and cons.....the cons will tip the scales in its favour.However....like everyone in this part of the world i am living it positively everyday in other aspects.
So why do i keep doing it??Simply because i love aeroplanes..whatever the make..Boeing Airbus to me they are a marvel of engineering.To me stepping into a 747...777...A340 is still a truly awe inspiring experience..to feel the power...the immenseness.They can keep the kebaya...the job..the so called "glamourous life"..to me..its all about flying..and the aircrafts.
 
singaporegirl
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:31 pm

well i'm sorry to tell you this, but for me this is more than just a job. i'm not trying to glamorize our career, but there is something special about being a singapore girl. i'm definitely not in it for the money... i mean what money? loll.

"we are ONLY a flight attendant..and nothing else...nothing special like u make it out to be "

you see, being a flight attendant IS special. if you don't see it as special, why do it? you'll end up like those old and grumpy flight attendant of delta or something (remember when we code shared with dl and had their crew onboard as well... my gosh those people were a grumpy bunch!).

for me personally it makes it even more special, because even though i was born in singapore, i grew up abroad (dad was in hotel business). when we first moved back to singapore (i was in my late teens) i didn't know what it meant to be a singaporean. at that time i was much more comfortable living in north america. as a matter of fact at that time i loathed the idea of living in singapore.

but the moment i became a singapore girl, all the sudden the pride of being singaporean emerged. being a singapore girl is part of our national identity. for me at least. when people come to the galley as ask about singapore, i can now educate them about my home land. and it's absolutely brilliant when you are proud of what you are.

i never said that i never complained about anything, especially about being a cabin crew. for me one of the darkest days being a stewardess was from the asian economic crisis to the sars period. we were so short on crew most of the times, and pax were simply cruel to us, simply because it was so darn difficult to provide impeccable service when there weren't enough crew on board. don't get me started with the air rage freaks that we have on board. also, being a cabin crew has been sort of strenuous to my marriage. and i can't say that i'm pleased with the management issues that we're having nowadays. i can totally focus on those bad things, but why? i'd get all riled up and that's simply a lousy way to live concentrating on bad things.

so again i'm sorry that you don't think being a flight attendant is special. it is very, very special. you want to look at us as flying waitresses? fine, go right ahead. but i don't see it that way. i have the passion for what i do. once that passion is gone then i'd quit and work for four seasons or ritz carlton or something, just like my dad  Wink/being sarcastic.
Ladies & Gentlemen, we will now demonstrate the use of the safety equipment on this aircraft...
 
mas a330
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:07 pm

Wei, chill larh....

I'm sure many are proud of what they do. I know a couple of MH FAs and they are proud of who they are, their company, and they do it because they love to do it. I'm sure its the same for Singaporegirl. There is nothing wrong with being proud of doing her job.

Its the same case as in football, for example, to wear your country's colours proudly as you step on the field. Many young boys dream of one day playing for the national team.

I myself and proud of my national carrier. To see my flag carrier win awards and such makes me proud to be Malaysian.

fly with pride.
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 10:05 pm

you'll end up like those old and grumpy flight attendant of delta or something (remember when we code shared with dl and had their crew onboard as well... my gosh those people were a grumpy bunch!).

It didn't help that during the code share, the benefits for the DL FAs provided by SQ weren't exactly the best out there...
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paulc
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RE: Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics)

Thu Aug 05, 2004 11:48 pm

Good report about Gulf Air.

I have 2 flights with SIA in September and I hope they are better than my last ones - I found the legroom on a 744 to be very poor for a 13hr flight.

English First, British Second, european Never!

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