Four years ago Singapore Airlines ran an ad campaign “The Lengths We Go To” where you can see a Singapore Airlines flight attendant traveling in search of the perfect tea to serve you inflight, attending a Bollywood film festival to select movies for inflight entertainment, and more to find ways to make you feel at home.
And the thing is even though flight attendants aren’t exactly doing it, you could imagine it, it’s almost a credible claim.
Attention to detail? Singapore Airlines built a model A380 out of manila envelopes and the seats even work. They send the signal that no detail is too small to care about to get the experience right.
It’s hard to imagine US airlines making these same claims.
Still there’s so much bad about air travel these days, and so many incidents to complain about, that it’s worth pointing out when airlines go the extra mile for passengers.
A passenger took to Facebook Monday to share that he dropped a SIM card in his business class seat on SQ860 Singapore to Hong Kong recently.
The SIM card dropped down into “the tiny gap between the storage compartment and the side of the business-class seat (where the armrest is). I looked down and could see the card resting peacefully on the carpet below.”
He asked a flight attendant for something long and thin he could use to fish it out. A crew member instead came over to help.
He disappeared and came back with a creative McGuyer-style hack: two ice prongs straightened and taped together. I felt guilty that two prongs had to be sacrificed, but Mr. foo insisted on not only on his ingenuity, but that he would put his DIY tool in action himself.
That was the start of what was many, many minutes of chief steward turned part treasure hunter, part fisherman, 100% awesome. Not once. Not twice. But multiple sessions. And in his full uniform, suit jacket and all. I pleaded with him to let me try. After all, it was my own fault and I had time to kill. Mr. Foo would take a break
He spent half the flight working on the SIM card. Not to worry, there were empty seats in the cabin for the passenger to use in the meanwhile.
They didn’t get the SIM before landing. So the cabin crew radioed gound staff who came onboard once the plane reached the gate. The passenger went to baggage claim, while Singapore staff texted photos of progress as engineers “literally dismantled parts of the seat” to get his SIM card.
I once left a camera behind on a Bali – Singapore flight. I didn’t realize until I made it to the train to change terminals. I returned to the gate and there were no staff there to help. So I went to the lounge and told them my story, the camera was recovered, I was updated in the lounge and told it would be waiting for me on the jetbridge of my connecting flight. And it was.
To be sure other airlines go to great lengths for customers, and I wouldn’t argue Singapore does it every time. But it struck me here that when an airline goes to real lengths for its customers that should be applauded at least as much as when they’re criticized for not focusing on their customers.