Singapore Airlines / incompetent inflight crew

Hong Kong Review updated:

I was a passenger on board the above flight seated at Row 73 C. Occupying the First Row in the 4 mid-row seats (Row 71 or Row 72, I am not sure of the exact Row number) was an expat family with 2 young children.

During the entire flight, I noticed that the children to be quite active and restless. However, the worst was to come as the flight was starting its descent whereupon the children started screaming their heads off and the parents did not appear to be in control of the situation. The children became extremely distressed and frantic and needless to say, the noise from their tantrum was unbearable to the rest of the passengers seated in the Upper Deck.

Not once, did any of the Inflight Crew come forward to try and remedy, let alone abate, the situation.

This is most unacceptable. Such apathetic attitudes would correspondingly raise concerns as to whether or not the Crew would be competent if a serious safety or security issue should arise during a flight. There were two senior stewardesses (in the green uniform) covering the Upper Deck and a host of other Inflight Crew members. I would have expected that leading stewardesses should have well acquired the necessary skills to handle such a situation, which to my knowledge and experiences of flying, is the most basic common problem that is likely to occur on any given flight.

It was blindingly evident that the children were unable to cope with the change in air pressure during descent. All that was required was to issue each child with a lollipop or something similar on which they could suck so as to dispel the build-up of pressure in their ears. Invariably, the parents themselves shoulder the majority of the accountability; knowing and anticipating their children’s difficulties, they should have consulted with their family pediatrician for suitable remedies prior to taking the flight.

The situation was further hampered when the Inflight Crew turned off the inflight entertainment movies whilst the tantrums were ongoing. Had the inflight entertainment remained active, the passengers could have tuned in to some music or some other audio visual distraction in an effort to abate the noise from the children.

At disembarkation, there was a leading stewardess sporting a plastic fixed smile on her face, standing at the aircraft doorway seeing off the passengers. When I mentioned that something should have been done about screaming children on a flight, she ignored me and looked away.

This experience has simply reinforced my impression of the Singapore Girl icon as “nice to look at but a total loss in crisis management”. Notwithstanding the Singapore Girl icon reflecting upon the image of the Airline Company itself, the entire Inflight Crew consisting of male and female staff were totally hopeless in this crisis situation. Inevitably, an airline is only as good as its crew.

I had to surf the internet to obtain the postal address of Singapore Airlines and whilst doing so, I noted there were an alarming number of passenger complaints about Singapore Airlines, which surprised me. This, coupled with what I witnessed on flight SQ 856, throws the Airlines image in a whole new light.

Perhaps the time has come for SIA Management to seriously take stock of and review its Inflight Service Training Manuals.

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  • Al
      Dec 02, 2009

    You should write in to the management and have them investigate about this. That will prompt some action.

    Well, this is also why Cathay Pacific is named the best airline.

    +1 Votes
  • Oo
      Dec 04, 2009

    Firstly, if you have been a regular traveller you will realise that using of headphones is not allow during take-off and landing period due to safety concerns. As they may delay your reaction to emergency thus the entertainment systems are always off during this crucial period. This regulation is applicable to Singapore Airlines but im not sure is it the same for other airlines.

    Secondly, during the descent period passengers including all cabin crew have to be seated for landing and strap in. So during such situation, as much as the crew will like to help the parents, they are not allow to move away from their seats. I have been a loyal customers to Singapore Airlines for many years and whenever such situations arises, the cabin crew were always there to assist and lend a helping hand. You have to understand that cabin crew have their safety regulations to adhere to.

    Alot of times parents brought their infants and children on flight without knowing what is their responsibilites. They expect the cabin crew to be their helpers or nannies which almost all the times the cabin crew are happy to do so. So in situation like this i think its the parents responsibility to pacify their child instead. And anyway crying is good for the child to dispel the air blockage in their ears.

    Especially on short flights and on Hongkong flights, I always see how the cabin crew managed to provide a full service with such tight flight time with so much effort and yet with grace. Singapore Airlines crew always work harder than the crew in the other airline if you had noticed. And being a singaporean myself, i must say i pity the crew when i see my fellow countrymen giving them a hard time. So i hope you should give credit to their hard work instead of condemn the airline due to one such situation.

    I won't say they are always the best. To err is human, once awhile they made mistakes but what about the hundred or thousand times that they make it right and provide you with one of the most enjoyable and best service. Have you ever tell them how much you appreciate their service and compliment them on it. So the next time when you try to be a difficult passenger, pause for a second and think - they are just another human beings who work for a living and not deserved to be mistreated.

    0 Votes
  • We
      Feb 02, 2010

    true about the fact that we should appreciate their good services but this is a complaint board. And the truth about life is that people always tend to remember the bad things and complaint about it more than the positive experiences.

    looking at the writer's situation, she simply meant that the children needed to be entertained in order to stay calm. She did feedback to the staff at the end of the flight but it was obviously brushed off. Should the staff had the empathy and responsiveness, she should have handled the feedback well instead of ignoring it totally.

    Overall, the writer has not mentioned about the good things they have done but she has not mentioned that she did not appreciate any either. She was just focusing on this problem that she thinks that she should raise. This problem sounds very convincing to me as it is definitely supposed to be part of the basic training practices. Such procedures are even taught in games.

    0 Votes

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