In their current positions on the ground, former cabin crew members continue to provide passengers with high service standards, and to enhance the Singapore Airlines experience.
For Syarah Amira Md Ismail (below), flying has always been a natural thing for her. The 27-year-old had joined the company as a cabin crew member upon graduating from university, following in the footsteps of her late father. When asked about her most memorable flight, she recalls a fond memory of serving onboard the same flight as her father once.
After flying for two and a half years, the opportunity to come on ground arose and Syarah took the chance. She took up her current ground position in December 2015, and now works as a Cabin Crew Executive in the Standards and Service Performance department. As part of her role, she produces videos and newsletters to update cabin crew on the latest developments. According to Syarah, her past experience as a former crew member is an added advantage.
“We may need to review inflight standard operating procedures, for example, and this is where things such as an understanding of the different types of aircraft come into play.”
To her, the Airline holds a special place in her heart, and she is grateful for the many opportunities it had provided her.
SEE ALSO: Cabin crew: Carrying on the legacy
This sentiment is also echoed by Lulu Tan, 33 (above). Similar to Syarah, she had joined the company as a cabin crew after graduating. After flying for five years, she then progressed to a trainer role in the cabin crew division.
“I taught trainees soft skills, such as taking care of elderly passengers and mothers with infants,” she says. Her flying experience made her a natural candidate to nurture aspiring cabin crew, and she is now an assistant manager in the Brand & Marketing Department.
Though her current job is not directly linked to cabin crew duties, the skills and experience gained on the job are applicable. Lulu handles the events and sponsorships portfolio now and her role requires her to have strong people skills. She has managed high profile events including the 2017 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX and the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She also plans events for special flights as well.
Although no longer flying as a cabin crew member, Joanne Toh, 37 (below), still takes care of the needs of passengers on board flights. Joanne, who heads the operations team in the Airline’s Inflight Services division, is responsible for ensuring that things such as amenities and newspapers have been uplifted onto the aircraft before each flight.
She points out that teamwork, nurtured when “high up in the air with only one another to rely on”, has been instrumental in her work.
“Once, I was really sick and couldn’t fly back. The crew that departed told the crew coming in to take care of me,” Joanne recalls. “I try to build the same bond within my teams now too. Without team effort, we wouldn’t be able to complete our projects smoothly and hit our goals.”
Having developed good communication and interpersonal skills from her experience as a cabin crew member, Joanne is highly capable of working with people of various backgrounds.
Lulu agrees: “I often hold discussions and negotiations with partners and vendors. The soft skills that I learned while flying, such as how to read body language, have been very useful.”
Coming on ground has allowed the ladies to have greater control over their time. “I’m able to indulge in my personal interests, such as dance and rock climbing, more consistently,” says Syarah, who also serves as co-advisor of Singapore Airlines’ staff beach volleyball group.
For Joanne, who has two children aged three and five, having understanding bosses and family-friendly policies definitely help her strike a balance between excelling at work and at home.
“Whenever I put on the cabin crew uniform in the past, I felt a sense of pride; I would do my best to deliver the best service,” Syarah recalls. “It’s no different now.”
SEE ALSO: Balancing motherhood and a flying career
While all three ladies have their feet on the ground now, their top priority is the same as it was when they were in the air: to uphold the exemplary service of the Airline.
Their greatest takeaway from their experiences as cabin crew members? All three of them shared the same answer – their flying experience had moulded them into the people they are today, and they would not exchange anything for that experience of a lifetime.
– TEXT BY THERESE TAY
ART DIRECTION: NG SAY LEE
PHOTOGRAPHY: FRENCHESCAR LIM, ASSISTED BY SHERMAN SEE-THO
HAIR & MAKEUP: ADELINE SIOW
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.