Singapore Airlines and Silk Air / incompetent staff and hence poor service

Singapore, Singapore
Contact information:

Booking reference 6elhiq
Travel date 15-16th dec 2016
Flight mi473

It is always a disappointment to try and book a singapore airlines flight and only get a silk air ticket. The service is often regrettable but on this occasion we experienced ineptness, rudeness and a total lack of care for us that demanded a complaint, and then some explanation from singapore airlines.

Rarely have I ever felt threatened on an air flight and fearful for the safety of passengers. Not so much myself but my wife, particularly the lady next to me and certainly the poor lady across the aisle from the drunken man in front of us, who was hounded throughout the entire flight.

When raising our concerns the flight staff’s resolution was to move us, the people complaining, rather than address the belligerent, rude, drunken, restless fool in seat 6d. This man was not slightly under the influence but seriously drunk and getting worse from the alcohol already in his system. He reeked of it. The more we tried to get something done the more we were patronised by the staff. The silk air staff did not want to have to deal with anything and this was evident by the fact that after some time they disappeared entirely for the rest of the flight leaving us to deal with the problem and not even responding to the call button. This man could have been seriously ill but nobody checked on him or us. The lead flight attendant was particularly annoyed at us for asking her to do something about this potentially explosive situation but promised she would monitor it. This was an outright lie. What was infuriating was that once the flight was airborne they admitted that they knew he was totally under the influence but still allowed him on board. Thank you very much silk air. This is pure negligence.

As soon as this person was on board he was loud and rude and bothering other passengers. Once he eventually sat down he straight away inclined his chair into the face of the lady next to us and the flight attendants commenced ignoring his actions from this point. We had to ask for him to be asked to put his seat into the take-off position, more than once.

Following this, he:
• yells at us, calling us “i###ts!” and “a##holes!”
• tells us he can do as he wishes and again reclined his seat.
• got very aggressive when asked a third time to put his, yet again, fully reclined seat back in the upright position for take-off per the airline rules which the staff were conveniently ignoring for this particular guest.

Then, during the flight, he was:
• continuously and violently changing his seat position.
• regularly pushing the seat in front of him and letting his table drop and then shoving it back.
• swaying to a point where he almost fell off his chair several times.
• muttering profanities aimed at us and then mumbling along to himself.
• turning around and staring angrily at us.
• throwing his pillow around.
• drumming seats and singing loudly in bursts.
• loudly snorting and sniffing and wiping his grossness on the seats.
• bothering the lady across the aisle who was obviously also seriously concerned.
• annoying other passengers trying to sleep.
• flicking water onto people including children.
• grossly ogling the serving attendant, when she bent over, like some pervert, and
• at one point put his half-finished coke can on the serving tray which the serving staff had not realised, until we told them, which could have been served to other passengers.

We had no chance of sleep for fear of our safety and to ensure that nothing happened to the lady next to us directly behind this man or the one sitting across from him. The airline attendants were well aware of our discomfort, but not once did they check on us. When they walked past they could not storm past fast enough. Furthermore, this man was surrounded by mothers with children as he was in the second row to the front behind the partition to business class.

Up to the point of the end of the food service I have never witnessed such skilful ignoring of a situation by flight attendants. The overhead compartment opposite this man must have been checked twenty times to avoid facing us or him as they went past pretending to be too busy. When handing out the hand wipes they ignored the fact his seat was inclined to the full extent when everyone else was complying with the rules. Then as we point this out we are the ones made to feel we are causing inconvenience.

At one point the man seated in front of him who was with his wife and young child stood up and faced the man for it must have been half an hour. Obviously concerned and tired of having the back of his seat belted this was what he had to resort to although meekly not saying anything because he had his family there to protect. Nobody checked on him either.

His friends next to him were also drunk, but quieter, although his direct neighbour was encouraging him to be obnoxious. These other two passed out so hard they could not wake them for their food let alone to put their chairs up so that we could eat. Not that the staff was concerned about our comfort and not that we were able to eat. Despite feeling ill from the disgusting behaviour and stench I was not prepared to be hemmed in by the table in case swift action was needed. My wife simply did not have the room to open hers.

During the night at around 1.10am this man puts on his call light, not for the first time, but in a restless stupor. This was walked past at least three times by staff. He was in no state to be on a plane and the staff knew this yet there was no concern for his health, or ours. He could easily have been ill or choking on his own vomit but I guess the staff would leave this to us as well.

Finally this fool went to sleep or more accurately passed out. Unfortunately though it was a fitful sleep but better than anything any of us behind him got and not for long at all.

I reiterate that the lead (Senior) flight attendant after hearing us, promising to check on us and monitor the situation did not once come back from business class after that discussion. At least not to see us. Not any one of them did. Furthermore, the attendant who admitted to allowing the drunk on the plane, upon exiting, after no food and no sleep and full anxiety for the nightmare 4 hour flight, smiled at us and said “see, he wasn’t that bad. ”

What sort of training are these people getting before employment with silk air? Is there any psychological screening process?

Then on the next leg to brisbane (Sq245) we were looking forward to the superior service of singapore airlines but things did not get that much better. Although we were surrounded by a better class of citizen, this plane was antiquated and the space where we were up the back was ridiculous. Seats were so crammed in that you had to physically wedge yourself between the rows to get to your seat. The entertainment system was so old that we could not read the words on the screen and in fact I could not get low enough to see my screen when the person in front reclined. My wife could not adjust the brightness enough to see her screen.

To top it off, when the meals came around, the main meal, we were offered only carrot cake and nothing else. Having had enough by this time I complained and they managed to find alternate meals for us. Not the regular menu meals. My wife could not discern what hers was but we ate anyway as we thought it would be better than cake and we had not eaten on the previous flight. The lounge also had poor options at the early hours of this horrendous morning.

Upon arriving in brisbane my wife fell extremely ill and after a day and a visit from the doctor had to be hospitalised and we are certain that it was the meal from singapore airlines. She had serious poisoning and needed to be put on a drip.

I have been a gold krisflyer for many years now and although I have noticed a steady decline in quality as new planes and places age, the service has always been good on singapore airlines and I expect better. But silk air has never been good and is getting even worse. They struggle to keep up with the simple duties and hence cannot cope with any new or difficult situation. It is a discredit to singapore to even be associated with this budget d-class operation. But it has never been this bad. If this treatment is what people on your awards programs get then this is simply not good enough.

All your planes that I fly on these days are full to the brim and fares have not dropped, so the revenue is maximised, there has even been an increased number of flights to brisbane and other cities. Please don’t let the service deteriorate to a point where singapore, once ahead of the game, are now sadly lagging other providers. Please do something about silk air standards for the sake of your own reputation and to keep long-term customers like myself from finding alternatives.

I look forward to a reasonable response.

Jan 15, 2017

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