Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1456. Feedback to SIA

August 20, 2014

To: saa_feedback@singaporeair.com.sg

Flight details: SQ 997, RGN/SIN, 19.8.14
Crew: CS: Mani. FS: Tim. FSS: Joanna.  FSS:Oruphiche

Dear Feedback Manager

1. You have a good loyal cabin crew, FS Tim, who bothered to request me to provide feedback on how SIA can improve its services, from one passenger's point of view. So I write today before the hectic life of a veterinary surgeon and living in high-cost Singapore overwhelms me.

CS Mani had given me a feedback form which I had rated the services. This was the first time I got a feedback form to fill in. I had one from Cathay Pacific once. 

2. I spoke to FS Tim when he was serving lunch and since he asked me what drink I preferred, I said I would like the hot spicy can of tomato sauce. He had not heard of such an item but another SIA steward recommended me on one flight to Europe. He offered to make me one but I declined. On some long haul flights, I do speak to the cabin crew to know more about their work and they had been most friendly.  

3. The cabin crew's name tag in gold letters on black background effectively made their names invisible and this may be good as passengers can't complain about poor services. I had to ask FS Tim his name as I could not read his name tag.  .

4.1 Inflight service. The SIA has a culture of providing happy inflight services with a smile. Communicating with passengers will be good but this is not for every cabin crew as it depends on time and personality.

I remember one older cabin crew who recommended my wife and I the spicy tomato juice on a flight to Europe when we asked for tomato juice. That was most memorable and I got an image of him. He was ex-military and had worked in an interesting arms sales job in the middle east.

4.2  Food quality. My wife and I loved flying SIA in the earlier years and still has SIA as No.1 choice. Food was one attraction. Cathay Pacific and Emirates have caught up on the quality while SIA has had declined in quality in general. For example, on this flight SQ 997 from Yangon, the fish with potatoes, carrots, long beans and 2 pieces of "turkey" was of poor quality. The "turkey" pieces were not edible. The fish was in small portion and had a faint "fishy" smell.

SIA used to have good quality food in the earlier years (some 20 years ago) and we always looked forward to the food on our flights to the USA with our children.. 

4.3 I don't travel much and so my feedback may not be useful. Around 3 trips per year in the last few years.

4.4 Ticket prices. Nowadays, my wife's favourite tour operator (EU Holidays) seem to package European tours with Emirates and other airlines saying SIA is too expensive, amongst other reasons.

4.5. Budget Airlines competition.  I tried Tiger Air to Yangon. It is cheaper but the legroom is practically non-existent. I note that SQ 997 on Airbus 300 has more legroom.

4.6. Competition from Emirate Airlines. Emirate Airlines appears to be financially stronger than SIA and has improved its inflight food based on my flight last year as compared to 3 years ago.

Its Boeing 707 aircraft to Europe, during my 2013 packaged tour travel is newer. Its inflight entertainment screen services appear to be updated and hence easier to use. It has an international cabin crew that provides efficient, good inflight services and speaks English well. From my few conversations with the crew, Emirates has attracted good jobless graduates from Portugal and other European countries.

It is good that SIA has most of its cabin crew Singaporean as that is its unique selling proposition. It is very hard to beat a well-funded competitor who do not bother with the bottom line for the earlier years. This situation is common in every business including my veterinary business.

4.7  I propose a "mystery shopper" to fly on SIA and other airlines and find out what the services are and what improvements can be made. What are the deficiencies of services in other airlines? This report should be read by the top management. Not just in the "feedback unit" files.

4.8. Social media marketing. This is a big area which I think SIA is conservative. I seldom visit your website as it is probably just dated and is only for booking.

4.9 Email Promotional fares to prospective customers. I don't know  whether this is permitted under the new laws.

4.10 In-flight reading. Good to have a variety of newspapers like Financial times, Business Times, Straits times. How about the tabloid New Paper catering to the common man?

4.11 Publication of feedback from customers in the monthly inflight magazine if it still exists in the printed form.

4.12. Online competition on writing travel stories. I believe it is offered but it should be linked to the SIA webpage if it is not done. I have not been to your website for ages, after the bad publicity of its poor technical performance in the past year.

4.13  Paintings from local artists and books from local authors for sale. Maybe this should be available as other airlines will not sell such items. Painting on local tourist spots and people at affordable prices and be portable.

4.14  Dented "tail fin". I saw one plane somewhere in Europe and took an image. It had a dented "tail fin" and it should be repaired before allowing it to fly. Very rarely do airlines have dented "tail fin".

I hope the above feedback will be useful.

I had written "The business of horse racing" some years ago. It may be useful. Pl see link at:

Best wishes to FS Tim and thank you to the staff for providing excellent services to a passenger of Seat 48 H.

Dr Sing Kong Yuen




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