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11/29/2011

Reputation does not mean reality



My new job requires me to travelling frequently and my latest trip led me to Shanghai then Xiamen before returning to Singapore.


The flight that my company book is under the flagship fo Singapore airline. However, because Singapore Airline does not fly to places such as Shen Zhen and Xiamen, the passengers are travelled on Silkair but with SIA ticket.


Before going further, what exactly do you expect on SIA flights? I would say a first class service from the crew, Video On Demand, ready blanket and pillow, snacks, full service of meal (appertiser, main course, desert, biscuit and cheese, with Magnum as after math).


With Silk Air I wouldn't expect SIA standard of service but should at least meeting certain standard. But my experience on the Xiamen's flight shocks me (to some extend).


First of all, its a flight from Xiamen to Singapore! There is a cabin full of Chinese nationals. Yet of the 4 crews assigned for the flight, 2 are non-Mandarin speaker. The poor guy sitting behind me asked for a cup of Chinese tea at the start of the flight and it took the stewardess 2 over hours to bring him one, simply because she could not understand mandarin and did not bother to get the Chinese speaking stewardess to translate for her. The guy was so frustrated until I told her what he wanted.


In the mid of the flight, there was air turbulence, the pilot asked everyone to go back to their seat and buckle up, fair. But it seemed like the pilot conveniently forgotten to swithc off the warning sign when the coast was clear, so passengers were forced to sit in their seat for over 1 1/2 hours. Every time some one stood up to go to the loo, they were asked to sit down. In the end, the passengers got fedup and refused to follow the instruction any more, ignoring the seat belt sign and queue for the toilet.


Seriously, I have never seen such popular toilets on flight. At all time, there were at least 10 people on queue and noone wanted to move even when the next air turbulence happened. the air stewardess could not even get their trolly through to serve food. the queue only ended when the landing announcement was made.


The crews were not working in harmony neither, during food serving, one stewardess tried to ask for help by using the service button, but was ignored by the other stewardess most of the time. meal service was a dragging process.


Food is certainly bad with only a main meal and fruits, I lost my appertite as the noodles were over cooked and felt a little soggy.


Of course, what expected would be no VID and those online games that you could play when you are on true SIA flight.


By buying a ticket from SIA and getting such service, it certainly feels like being cheated by the airline, even when the price is truly that of Silk air. I have travelled on other airlines before such as air India, Dragon Air, Southern China Airline and most recently Eastern China Airline, none of them with bad service as close as silk Air. If SIA is truly concern about its reputation, it better reconsider using Silkair for some of its routes.

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