The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Singapore Airlines: Above The Rest …
November 7, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment

I fly alot. A hell of a lot and I am lucky that in most cases, it’s with either Singapore Airlines or Virgin Atlantic.

I love these airlines … truly love them … because it doesn’t matter what class you fly in, they genuinely give a damn about your comfort.

Anyway, in the last week I was exposed to a massive contrast of customer experience – first flying in economy with Singapore Airlines on their new A380 and then business class with Qantas via a 747.

Now I must admit I was somewhat apprehensive flying in a brand new plane – especially one put together by the French, ha – however it was a fantastic experience, with alot of the credit going to Singapore Airlines new interior!

SIA were the first airline to introduce ‘ON DEMAND’ entertainment on their planes – and whilst some airlines still haven’t caught up – SIA have jumped ahead again by offering an economy entertainment package that rivals many airlines Business Class offering.

Have a look at this …

Singapore Airlines Economy

Wider screen television with an increased number of entertainment channels plus USB and Firewire inputs in every seat.

And why would you want these additional inputs?

Inflight Technology Of Singapore Airlines Economy

Because that way you can write, create or finalise any work presentation [as you can see I was doing] without having to open up or even take your laptop along for the journey.

OK, so it’s not exactly perfect for doing major work [the keyboard is small plus the system doesn’t use MICROSOFT software] however it’s a nice touch and you could always use the USB/Firewire to watch a pre-loaded film of your choice rather than one of SIA’s offering.

[The micro keyboard is on the reverse of the entertainment controller. Makes far more sense given it used to be a phone. Seriously, how many times would that have probably been used eh? Probably as much time as the inflight Duty Free service, ha!]

Singapore Airlines Vanity Mirror

The food tray also features a mirror so female passengers can doll themselves up before landing and men can see how much food they’ve got stuck in their teeth.


When you take all this into account – alongside SIA’s fantastic customer service – you can see why so many people feel SIA is the greatest airline in the World as well as why it is the most profitable.

Seriously, if it was a person, I’d would SIA for Singaporean Prime Minister! Well that is if I could vote and the Singaporean political system wasn’t a dictatorship in disguise, ha!

Now compare this to Qantas.

I swear this is not me having a whinge about Australia … I think I’ve said enough times how much I love the country and how I call it home … however despite a massive investment in their cabin/inflight experience, the experience I had was very poor indeed.

Sure they had nice seats, good food and a fair entertainment system – the problem was the attitude of the staff.

The best way I can demonstrate what I mean is to tell you how SIA cabin staff behave.

It doesn’t matter what class you are flying in, when they interact with passengers [be it boarding, feeding or disembarking] their focus is entirely on the individual they are dealing with. All inter-personal conversation is kept to a minimum until they have fulfilled their passenger obligations and are in their own private area.

Now compare that to Qantas. [Who I only flew because all the other airlines was packed]

Throughout the flight, the staff spent more time talking to eachother than even acknowledging their passengers existence.

Even when they were serving the food, they continued their inane conversations …  only to slyly glance to their left/right to make sure the passenger had got their food.

If you slept through your meal it was “TOUGH LUCK” and if you asked for a drink, it would take an age till you got it … you really got the feeling you were being an annoyance to them which isn’t good, regardless what class of flight you’re in.

The slogan Qantas use is THE SPIRIT OF AUSTRALIA … if I didn’t know better, I’d think it meant Aussies are a bunch of rude, lazy bastards who think anyone from another country is ‘below them’.

Hmmmmmn …  🙂

20 Comments so far
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I’ve got mixed feelings about this post. Naturally it is pleasing to read a passenger talk about a competitor in a less than favourable light, but the fact of the matter is you still flew with Qantas over us or even a sister airline which places a rather serious frown on my face and forces me to ask why.

Think carefully about your answer Mr Campbell.

Comment by Lee Hill

yes campbell, think very carefully about your answer

Comment by andy@cynic

Hello Lee … how the hell are you?

I have a very good answer actually … an answer that won’t affect the client/agency relationship … an answer that puts the emphasis of blame on you, not me … an answer that demonstrates what we’re doing for your airline business …


And don’t give me this “you should of chosen a OneWorld airline” … 🙂

Comment by Rob

thatll do. come on lee, lets see you get your knickers in a twist now 🙂

Comment by andy@cynic

Brilliant bit of client creeping Robert, though as transparent as a greenhouse 🙂

Comment by Pete

we are a bunch of rude lazy bastards. and we think that anyone from another country is below us. and maybe we like it that way 🙂

Comment by lauren

Howdy Rob, thanks for your email. Yes I’m still alive! I’m enjoying my role at the moment, working hard, but also taking a few holidays.

I agree with your comparison of Singapore Airlines & Qantas. I was chatting about Singapore Airlines, Qantas and Emirates Airlines while flying back from Bahrain the other day. It was my first Emirates Airlines flight and I wouldn’t be in a hurry to go back. Seats were dirty and service was not impressive. I’m a big fan of Singapore Airlines though and have booked my trip home for Xmas on them! Get stuck with a stopover, but get to change to the A380.

To me this is the same as when you phone a business, and the receptionist couldn’t be more uninterested or unhelpful if she tried, but when you finally manage to get through to the sales staff they are falling over themselves for your business. Unless the message is consistent it is often lost. Interaction with passengers on a flight is a relatively small piece of the puzzle training and investment wise, but makes a huge difference.

I also would never fly Malaysian Airlines Syd to Dubai again, or anywhere really.

Comment by Jade

I took a tram this morning. It was very comfortable.

Good morning one and all.

Comment by Marcus

I think it does vary a lot from plane to plane as well as company.

I heard Air Mauritius had awful service but frankly I thought they were brilliant.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Thanks for continuing to make me look a complete lucky shit Marcus … though compared to the weekend George just had [a weekend he took great pleasure in recalling to a dumbstruck Andy and me] … I’m strictly third division!

Comment by Rob

Oh and I have some news – unexpected news – but sad news all the same. Will write a post about it soon.

Comment by Rob

I drove to work, wind buffeting my little heap this way and that, watching the sunrise. The Today Programme was great.
Not so good when I arrived.
Morning all

Comment by NP

But you are lucky. We are all lucky. I got a seat in the Tram, which means I’m super-duper lucky.

Comment by Marcus Brown

You are excused.

Comment by Lee Hill

I’d like to pay a big compliment to EVA air who I flew with on my last flight to Asia. Incredible service and easily the hottest flight attendants I’ve ever flown with.

Comment by Charles Frith

Good to know about the important things I suppose Charles?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

He’s talking about the men you realise

Comment by John

Does that matter?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

marriage going wrong already mortimer?

Comment by andy@cynic

Wrong end of stick Andy… does it matter if Charles enjoys male attendants?

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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