Complaining about your cloud-soft, simpering-service Pointy End experience looks gross at the best of times. Complaining about it, then, in the midst of a crisis, is like putting on industrial earmuffs, burying your head in the sand and repeatedly playing “We Are The Champions” at top volume.
In all seriousness, today we reached a level of absurdity that would make a French intellectual burn his beret, make Charlie Sheen call it a night at 9pm and cause even the most optimistic among us abandon the notion that, deep down, people are good.
A Singapore Airlines business class passenger has just taken to Facebook with a rant so infuriating it makes these Manhattan Prosecco Sippers (who were recently spotted chilling with the protests as a backdrop) look firmly in touch with reality.
The awkward thing is though, he makes some good points.
Posted on Singapore Airlines’ official Facebook page on the 2nd of July, the complaint begins: “This flight was daylight robbery. SQ324 20 June 2020.”
“Singapore Airlines should be ashamed of itself for charging so much for a flight that was worth very little. Just like all restaurants which were forced to do take out service at a discount during phase 1, SQ should be charging 30% less for its business flights.”
“Why?” he then asks, before listing all his complaints, the main one being the lack of champagne.
“No champagne aboard business cabin. How then is my cabin different from economy? You have one red wine, one white wine, tiger beer onboard for business flights. I suppose this is what is also available for economy flights.”
“I don’t understand how having champagne would endanger safe distancing in the cabin.”
While this is potentially a legitimate complaint, his next remarks go off the deep end, as he rips into industry-standard social distancing practices and makes allegations we find hard to believe: “no drink service before the meal. I understand that sq is trying to reduce contact between cabin staff and passengers. Then why charge regular prices?”
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“I understand sq wants to do a one tray service. So reduce your prices for business class. Why can’t there be a graciousness in the new normal?”
“You mean that business ticket prices do not justify an additional drink? Your cabin staff did not even offer an extra drink. I had to ask for it.”
“I don’t think this is worth a regular business flight price,” he continues. “Worse still, despite not serving us, I noticed whenever I went to the toilet, that there was no safe distancing amongst cabin crew; they were chatting, having personal fun.”
“Then there is a double standard that they are afraid to serve.”
“The only friendly cabin staff was the senior stewardess from japan. She was warm and personable despite safe distancing and wearing a mask, a visor, etc. the other staff from singapore were sullen as they served but enjoyed themselves in the kitchen,” he continues.
“I think this is really uncalled for and a lie that sq is having to serve in this way because of safe distancing.”
Finally, he comes to the conclusion that Singapore Airlines should, “not be so greedy for money.”
“I will definitely not pay for another business class flight until we are told this will be different during the new normal.”
“If there is a new normal, Singapore Airlines is not thinking hard enough to realign its service… what is business class service under the new normal? How can you continue to differentiate it from economy class? It’s not just about your wine and food being more expensive.”
“I think that given all this, Singapore Airlines should deduct 30% of its regular business prices.”
“I don’t want to quibble about the inflight entertainment being from March… or no towel service etc. I understand that the airlines is only restarting. But this does not excuse any of the above points that I have elucidated,” he added, before going into one final tirade about the “special goodbye” and lounge situation.
“Worst of all, no special goodbye by the chief steward for loyal customers. What’s happened to basic manners on a business flight?”
“I have other concerns about the lounge – no first class for solitaire pps. this is tolerable but no champagne again in the business lounge. This is ridiculous. It’s inequitable cost-cutting and fleecing of your loyal customers. Charging the same price for a much reduced service from check in (no first class check in available), to lounge, to onboard.”
“What is business service during the new normal? And how dare you charge the same prices for this present quality of service?”
While the man’s entitled tone makes us want to puke, some of the questions he raises are important ones that the industry, over the next three years, as travel restrictions clamp then loosen (much like the economy and Bart Simpson’s hairline) will have to answer.
As part of the ‘new normal’ business class will have to change and carriers will have to cut costs to keep themselves afloat. To what degree passengers are impacted by this will vary airline to airline, potentially shifting loyalty dynamics.
Champagne for thought.