I was in Thailand and had a domestic flight to Bangkok to connect to my Singapore Airlines flight back to Singapore. The domestic flight was late and knowing that it would be a tight connection, I did an online check-in using the app, then I called the Singapore Airlines office in Singapore to tell them I had a tight connection due to my late inbound flight.
The lady in Singapore said she would notify the ground staff in Bangkok. This was the last flight from Bangkok to Singapore and the next morning I was due to go on a long anticipated family holiday, so it was critical that I caught this flight.
The domestic flight landed 35 minutes before the Singapore Airlines flight was due to take off. Within a minute of turning on my mobile phone, Bangkok ground staff called me and asked me where I was. I told them I had just landed. They said they would hold the flight as long as possible, but to please hurry.
Unfortunately, the flight did not park at a gate and we had to board a bus to the terminal, using up even more precious time. As soon as I got to the domestic terminal, I ran as hard as I could to the international area. I got another call asking for a location update and I told them I was coming up the escalators in International. A ground staff met me at the top of the escalator with boarding pass in hand and rushed me through to immigration. I got through security and immigration and ran to the gate accompanied by two additional ground staff stationed along the route, reporting on their radios to the gate of my whereabouts.
Finally, I made it to the gate exactly 10 minutes before departure. The flight attendants had a stack of cool towels waiting for me at my seat, along with a glass of champagne. This incident illustrated so many of the things which make Singapore Airlines great. Firstly, they followed-up on what they said they would do when I first called the Singapore Airlines office in Singapore – they alerted ground staff in Bangkok. Secondly, the ground staff in Bangkok had boarding passes ready and an agent waiting at the top of the escalators, and then they stationed staff along the route to the gate to verify my progress so they didn’t prematurely close the gate. Thirdly, the flight attendants on board were informed of a later passenger and had thoughtfully prepared the towels and a glass of champagne for me.
There are other good airlines, but there is no airline that can compete with Singapore Airlines on its level of service, quality of cabin comfort, modernity of fleet and general high service levels. If you could design a perfect airline, Singapore Airlines would be it.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.