I remember vividly – after checking in at Hong Kong international airport, I was roaming around, hoping to do some last minute shopping at the transit area before I boarded the plane back to Singapore.
When I was about to pay for my purchase, I searched high and low in my bag for my wallet, which was nowhere to be found. I then ran to my husband, who was carrying my one-year-old child outside the boutique, and asked whether he had seen my wallet. He gave me a straight “No!”
My husband told me to quickly make a report and the information counter directed us to the flight concierge who would be able to assist us. I tried hard to retrace my footsteps, and remembered that I had wanted to buy some Hong Kong egg tarts at a restaurant for my parents back in Singapore and I had taken out my wallet to pay for it.
The flight concierge quickly contacted the restaurant and the staff there mentioned that they had found the exact colour wallet that I was looking for in a luggage trolley outside their premises. After some verification, they were quite certain that I was indeed the owner of the wallet.
However, it was already time for boarding and my flight was taking off in 45 minutes. The concierge shared that in order for something to be brought into the transit area, a lot of documentation needed to be cleared and it would take at least an hour to be delivered to me. I shared that I needed my wallet badly because of important documents I had inside, but also needed to board the plane as I had a baby with me too, hoping they could expedite the process. The flight concierge reassured me that he would get my wallet back to me as soon as possible, but that I had to head to the boarding gate first as it were closing in 15 minutes. On top of that, I still needed to board the skytrain to get there!
I heeded his advice and rushed all the way to my boarding gate. The adrenaline was rushing and we could only hope that they would be able to deliver my wallet to me before the plane took off. When we reached the boarding gate, the SQ ground staff were waiting for us, as we were the last three passengers . No explanation was needed as they were already in the know about our situation.
Instead of hurrying us, the Singapore Airlines ground staff calmed us down and even asked us to take a seat while they checked us in with our boarding passes. We were really worried at first but upon seeing how patient and concerned they were, we were gratified.
The clock was ticking and the plane was taking off in 15 minutes. The ground staff suggested for both my husband and my child to board the plane first while I waited outside with them. But being ‘kiasi’ Singaporeans, we insisted on waiting together as a family at the boarding gate.
All along, the ground staff were talking to the other corresponding party through their walkie-talkies constantly, updating us on the situation along the way. I was truly impressed with the entire process and how service-oriented they were.
Five minutes before takeoff, I saw a ground staff in kebaya uniform running towards our boarding gate. She was perspiring profusely and her hair was in a mess, but I guess her main objective was to get the wallet delivered to me on time before the flight took off. I ran towards her and from the look on my face, it was probably obvious that I was the owner of that wallet.
I was utterly touched and heartened that in spite of my carelessness, all these ground staff members gave their best to ensure that I received my wallet in time, and for my family and me to board the plane safely back to Singapore. When we boarded the plane, the inflight cabin crew were all waiting patiently with big smiles on their faces to serve us.
There are no words to describe how grateful and blessed I am to retrieve my wallet. I am also very proud of our Singapore Airlines that has trained all their staff to deliver top-notch service that was exemplary. Thank you, Singapore Airlines!
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.