SINGAPORE - A Singapore Airlines (SIA) air stewardess was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room on Tuesday (Jan 31, US time), several hours before she was to depart from the city on the return leg of a long-haul flight, according to a source.
Penang-born Vanessa Yeap, 38, was a leading stewardess on a flight from Singapore to San Francisco with a stopover at Hong Kong, according to a cabin crew member who wished to remain anonymous.
According to the source, who was not on the same flight, Ms Yeap said she was not feeling well when cabin crew arrived in San Francisco - likely about two days before the return flight.
The return flight from San Francisco was scheduled for about 1am on Wednesday (Feb 1) which meant the crew had to check out from the hotel at about 10pm to 11pm on Tuesday (Jan 31).
When Ms Yeap did not appear at the lobby, colleagues went up to check and found her dead in her room. They tried to resuscitate her but could not revive her.
In a statement to The Straits Times on Thursday, SIA said: "We can confirm with regret that one of our female cabin crew was found deceased in her hotel room in San Francisco on Feb 1, 2017 (Singapore time). Our immediate priority is to provide the necessary assistance to the family of the crew member. As the case is under the investigation of the local authorities, we are unable to share any further details.
"The member of crew operated to SFO on flight SQ2/28 January and was due to have operated out from SFO on SQ1/1 February."
The Straits Times understands that Ms Yeap had been with the airline for 16 years. She was single, but was planning to get married.
Ms Yeap's elder brother, who works in the sales industry, said "My loving sister, we love you and cherish you forever. We know you are in good hands with the lord in heaven now."
He is now on his way to San Francisco to claim the body.
Additional reporting by Karamjit Kaur
This article was first published on Feb 2, 2017. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.