What do SIA flight attendants really do?

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Thursday, Jan 11, 2018
Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

"Coffee or tea … ?" Contrary to the common misconception, flight attendants do more than just serve you beverages and food during your flight.

According to Singapore Airlines Flight Operations Division safety training assistant manager Celine Kwah, being a flight attendant is a full-fledged career that requires detailed product, service, safety, and technical knowledge and training in many areas.

Kwah was speaking to a group of media members visiting the Singapore Airlines Flight Training Centre near Changi Airport, where we were given the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes and how vital a flight attendant is on a flight.

The training centre had many galleries displaying models of in-flight products like tableware, wine products, and premium items for the different cabin classes on SIA: (First Class) Suites, Business, Premium Economy, and Economy Class. There were also aircraft cabin simulators fitted with specialised training equipment where flight attendants are trained for the different aircraft types.

We were first taken to a mock airplane with seating areas for the different cabin classes. Here, we saw the flight attendants preparing for "mealtime".

Source : The Star/Asia News Network

According to Singapore Airlines Flight Operations Division safety training assistant manager Celine Kwah, being a flight attendant is a full-fledged career that requires detailed product, service, safety, and technical knowledge and training in many areas.

Besides being trained in social and business etiquette, you've probably noticed that Singapore Airlines flight attendants have an impeccable appearance.

From the top of their heads to the tip of their toes, they are immaculately dressed and styled, and they also carry themselves well. There's a good reason for that - they are trained in grooming and deportment.

Kwah was speaking to a group of media members visiting the Singapore Airlines Flight Training Centre near Changi Airport, where we were given the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes and how vital a flight attendant is on a flight.

Besides serving the food, flight attendants are taught how to plate it (yes, like a sous chef). They also need to know which tableware goes with which dish or beverage, and even which wine complements which meal.

Technical knowledge is important, especially in an emergency situation. Different passenger aircrafts have different types of doors, for example. Some heavier doors require two persons to open.

The flight attendants on board your flight have all been trained to do this, as well as to deploy the inflatable slide and life raft, and get all passengers safely off the plane.

When asked how female flight attendants do all that in their uniform, Kwah smiled and replied that there are hidden pleats in their sarongs which enable them to move easily. They are also taught how to roll up their sarong properly, should the airplane plunge into water.

Plate like a sous chef

Meals in First Class Suites are served on specially-designed Wedgwood fine china and Lalique crystal glassware. Meals from Japan, Korea, India, China and Singapore are served on specially-crafted tableware that complement the dishes, while meals in Business Class are served on specially-designed Narumi bone china.

Besides serving the food, flight attendants are taught how to plate it (yes, like a sous chef). They also need to know which tableware goes with which dish or beverage, and even which wine complements which meal.

In addition to product knowledge, flight attendants are required to have service knowledge. They learn the proper way to serve a passenger, proper etiquette when dealing with royalty, and even how to calm unruly passengers who might be a threat to the safety and well-being of other passengers on board.

Perfectly dressed and styled

Besides being trained in social and business etiquette, you've probably noticed that Singapore Airlines flight attendants have an impeccable appearance. From the top of their heads to the tip of their toes, they are immaculately dressed and styled, and they also carry themselves well. There's a good reason for that - they are trained in grooming and deportment.

For the female flight attendants, this includes how to put on makeup, how to style their hair in an updo (bobs, buns, or french twists), and also how to sit, stand, walk, climb stairs and move around in their uniform, which is a kebaya.

The male flight attendants also need to know enough about makeup in order to let their female colleagues know if their eyeliner is smudged or blusher is too strong.

Technical and safety expertise

Technical knowledge is important, especially in an emergency situation. Different passenger aircrafts have different types of doors, for example. Some heavier doors require two persons to open.

The flight attendants on board your flight have all been trained to do this, as well as to deploy the inflatable slide and life raft, and get all passengers safely off the plane.

When asked how female flight attendants do all that in their uniform, Kwah smiled and replied that there are hidden pleats in their sarongs which enable them to move easily. They are also taught how to roll up their sarong properly, should the airplane plunge into water.

During the visit, two flight attendants demonstrated how to go down the inflatable slide and get into the life raft.

We also got to see the training pool where they learn to move efficiently in the water, perform rescues and CPR. To simulate open waters, waves are created by machine.

Flight attendants are trained to handle life vests, oxygen masks, fire extinguisher and other technical stuff on board the airplane.

They are trained to be team players who work together to ensure the safety and comfort of everyone.

In good hands

"When you board a Singapore Airlines flight, you can be sure that you're in good hands because your cabin crew has been trained and equipped to handle any situation that might arise during a flight. They can handle emergencies, rescue operations and perform CPR, as well as liaise with people from all walks of life," Kwah explained.

"Their job is tough and physically demanding. The hours are long and the days away from home are many. But it is well worth it," she added.

Source : The Straits Times, Reuters

Singapore Airlines (SIA) picked up its first Airbus 380 that features brand new seats, in-flight entertainment screens and other cabin products.

The product upgrades are the first for SIA's superjumbo since the airline started flying the double-decker jet 10 years ago.

The reconfigured cabin in the superjumbo has an increased emphasis on premium economy. 

Of the 471 seats, there are six ultra-first class suites, 78 in business class, 44 in the premium economy cabin and 343 economy seats.

SIA's current A-380s have up to 441 seats each, with 36 premium economy seats and 333 economy class seats.

SIA, which will receive another four new A-380s by the middle of next year, will be progressively retrofitting 14 existing A-380s to ensure a similar product across the fleet.

The upgrading works being done by Airbus will be completed by the end of 2020.

SIA's new A-380 will be deployed first on the Singapore-Sydney route next Monday.

The aircraft departed at 2pm yesterday for Changi Airport from Blagnac Airport in Toulouse, France.

It had almost 100 passengers on board, including SIA and Airbus staff and partners, as well as journalists,

Before the flight could take off, the aircraft had to pass two rounds of checks by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) officials.

On top of the new A-380s that SIA will be collecting in the coming months, the airline also has 48 more A350-900s on order.

The A-380 product upgrades and the introduction of new, more efficient aircraft are part of SIA's strategy to grow market share and boost earnings.

A private bedroom suite inside the new Airbus A380 aircraft.

A private bedroom suite inside the new Airbus A380 aircraft.

Economy class seats in the new A380.

The galley area of the new A380.

Singapore Airlines A380 new Premium Economy.

Singapore Airlines A380 new Premium Economy.

Singapore Airlines A380 new Economy seats.

SIA cabin crew greeting guests at the Singapore Airlines A380 Delivery Ceremony at Airbus Delivery Centre at Toulouse, France, on Dec 13, 2017.

Singapore Airlines cabin crew, at the Singapore Airlines A380 Delivery Ceremony at Airbus Delivery Centre at Toulouse, France, on Dec 13, 2017.

Singapore Airlines cabin crew, at the Singapore Airlines A380 Delivery Ceremony at Airbus Delivery Centre at Toulouse, France, on Dec 13, 2017.

Singapore Airlines pilots and cabin crew, at the Singapore Airlines A380 Delivery Ceremony at Airbus Delivery Centre at Toulouse, France, on Dec 13, 2017.

Singapore Airlines pilots and cabin crew with the new plane.

Singapore Airlines cabin crew boarding the new plane.

Exterior of the new plane.

Airbus Delivery Centre at Toulouse, France.

Exterior of the new plane.

SIA and Airbus also jointly run a pilot training centre in Singapore.

Pilots wave from the cockpit of a new Airbus A380 aircraft for Singapore Airlines before taking off.

Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders and Executive Vice President of Commercial at Singapore Airlines Mak Swee Wah (R) attend a ceremony during the delivery of the new Airbus A380 aircraft to Singapore Airlines at the French headquarters of aircraft company Airbus in Colomiers near Toulouse, France.

Engine of an A380 inside Airbus Facility Centre at Toulouse, France.

Nose of an A380 inside Airbus Facility Centre.

Nose of an A380 inside Airbus Facility Centre.

Member of the media taking selfies in front of the wheels of the Singapore Airlines New A380.

Exterior painting of the new plane in progress.

Wheels of the new A380.

Exterior painting being done on a new A380 for SIA.

Exterior painting being done on a new A380 for SIA.

An engine of the new Airbus A380 aircraft.

Outbrain