At work today, my supervisor kindly reminded us that the school holidays has started. I let out a slight groan. He jokingly said that most of us are not afraid to work with a full load, but are terrified of dealing with Singaporean customers.
Indeed, the prospect of having 200 odd Singapore-lang asking for the sky, while in the sky, sends shivers down my back. Adults ask, sorry, demand for newspapers; children who talk to me like I'm the maid at home; teenagers who only stare at the in-seat video and don't respond when you speak to them; tour groups behaving like they own the whole plane. Basically Singaporeans being themselves, la.
Many times I shake my head in disgust, while hiding in the galley. I've also seen other passengers looking on in amusement when they come across our fellow countrymen behaving as if they owned an international airline. I always hear or read about how Singaporeans prefer to fly Thai, ANA, JAL, MAS etc for "they are friendlier, smile more and go further". Well, if I were to swap places with the attendants of those other airlines, I'd bet they would come away bruised and battered too.
Here are some tips that I've come up with after a decade of service in the sky;
- Pack light. If you can't lift your cabin bag overhead, chances are the petite stewardess will have trouble with it too. And give a hand, we're not the baggage handlers.
- BYO. We don't have a newspaper for every single passenger on board. 80cents at the airport newstand will not burn a hole in your pocket. Share if required. You are familiar with the concept of sharing, right?
- What's that? When someone speaks to you, remove headsets from ear. It's only polite. Plus we don't have to repeat the menu to you, many times over.
- Use the attendant call light. Snapping fingers at crew will not earn you brownie points. And once is enough, we cannot magically appear in front of you.
- Choices: One meal without rice/chicken/noodles will not kill you. Order a special meal if your diet requires that you can "only eat chicken, with rice...and carrots".
- Special drinks. Have whatever is on the cart (juices, sodas, wines, beers) during the tray distribution. We can serve that special cup of warm milk (arrgh!) only probably 5-10 min later. You're better hydrated with the pre-cupped water anyways.
- Patience. You are not the only one on the plane. You will most definately have to wait for your requests to arrive. We are not magicians, nor are we speed demons.
- Smile. I smile at you, you smile at me. The world is a better place for it.
- Washroom. Flush, please.
- Children giveaways. Notice it's called CHILDREN giveaways??
- And NO. We do not do upgrades, not in a million years. It's policy, like how you can never get more opposition into parliament.
Happy holidays, everyone!!