Monday, 16 March 2009


I may have only been transiting through Singapore, but i had a great time! And i lost my bag on the way...Qantas delivered me half an hour late, so i stepped off (first) from the A380 at 8.28. I got met by a lady on a golf buggy who drove like a demented lunatic through the busiest, longest airport terminal i have ever seen. We started at gate C30ish, and finished at F60. And every letter had 60 gates. And with all those gates you can imagine how many people were around - and we just ploughed down the carpet honking at people and hoping they were going to move... brilliant fun and everyone should give it a go!And then on Silkair, with the tiniest little hosties in their nice little green silk dresses... and one of them wondered up to me in my seat and said in perfect English "Good morning Mr Stewart, can i get you a drink." They could teach those Qantas / BA / American hosties a thing or two in customer service. Throughout the flight every time a hostie walked past, even ones i hadnt seen before, smiled and used my name. Excellent customer service - and i know i'm quick enough to knock it when its bad, so a big thumbs up from me is worth ten from you!And then the crowning glory... bureaucracy had not told them i was veggie. Qantas knew it a few hours earlier, but it hadnt transferred... so two of them put their heads together, disappeared behind the curtain, and came back with a vegetarian pot noodle! Where the hell did they find that at 37,000 feet??? Considering most hosties wander off and bring me back something with fish and purser spit in it i was very impressed. And warm crunchy garlic bread, and a rye bread roll... and the Qantas breakfast had been two slices of cold bread (on the menu it clearly said "toast" and they forgot tea and coffee entirely...)



So, my new favourite airline, Silkair. My best flight ever? Well, until we landed...We stopped on a taxiway in the middle of nowhere, although there was a marshall waving the old lollipops so we were clearly expected. The only building i could see was the international cargo centre. And then we got a PA which said that everyone had to stay seated while the VIPs got off, as we were at the VIP terminal. Thinking this was for me i rose to get my bag, but was gently lowered back into my seat. And from the back of the aircraft about 20 women in very colourful local dress accompanied by a dozen kids and 300 bags of shopping came barging through. They got off, and a tug then reversed us about 200 yards until we found a lonely air bridge that had been waiting for us. And one of my little hosties then grabbed every economy passenger who had chanced their arm, and marched them back to their seats! At last, something i have wanted to see for years.So Silkair, i love ya!And oh yeah, the A380. Well its a big plane really. For a moment back there i was excited, but up close, and from the inside, i might as well have been on the 777. Plane. Yawn.And because Qantas were late i am now in the priviledged position of being separated from my bag for the 3rd time in 7 weeks. If anyone knows what the record for a calendar year is do please let me know. But again, the mad woman driving me around the airport told me to go to Lost and Found at Bandar and they would collect it from the next flight. Expecting European standards of appalling disinterest and rudeness (yes, thats you TAP and Alitalia) i wandered up to the lost and found desk as commanded, to be waved in by a happy smily chap (with a wild hacking cough) who greeted me with "Mr Stewart?". He filled in the paperwork for me, walked me through customs to find my pickup, explained to him what was going on and that i needed to wait 2 hours, and then recommended the best cafe and where to meet the driver later. I can not stress how well the locals down here have dealt with a problem not of their making, and reinforced all my beliefs that European aviation is doomed - and dont even get me onto European society!Need to talk to the missus and see if we can move to Singapore, just so i can fly Silkair more often.

No comments: