Customer Service – It’s The Little Things…

It’s been more than a month since my husband and I jet set to his home town, and two weeks since I got back, so without further ado, it is time to recount my latest sojourn. And what better way to start than at the beginning, our flight from Brisbane to Singapore?

Those who know me well know that I hold Singapore Airlines in the highest regard. In my opinion, they live up to the ethos of customer service perfectly.

It’s the small things they provide, I guess. Call me silly, but I find them distributing warm face towels to refresh oneself something rather special; something that to date, I have never come across from any other airlines. And not only did they give this once, right before the plane took off, but twice. Because we took the red-eye flight, flying at 11.45PM and getting into Singapore in the early morning (by early morning, I meant 5.35AM) of the next day, they gave us the warm face towels prior to the breakfast service as well.

Just like any other trip we’ve previously taken, my husband (and most of the times myself) settled ourselves with watching a movie before (hopefully) catching some shut-eye. This time, I didn’t join him, but throughout the duration of the Chinese kung fu movie my husband watched, one male flight attendant kept swapping his half-drunk glass of water with the new one  before my husband even had to ask for it.

No Matter How Well You’ve Planned

… sometimes, things just don’t go according to plan.

For months prior to getting on the plane, my husband and I had planned on the best way for us to spend the 5 hours we have in transit in Singapore. First in order, a much-needed shower to refresh us from the loo-oong flight. Neither of us is an early riser and keeping awake before 6 in the morning, unless it was for a fishing trip or staring at a barrel of a gun, was an effort-and-a-half!.

Second on the agenda was to put our names down to do the 2-hour Colonial or Cultural tour Singapore airport offered – free-of-charge. The last time we stopped over in Singapore and dropped our carry-on luggages at the collection point, we were stuck behind two families, with each of the six to eight kids having at least three to four carry bags. By the time we reached the tour desk, it was 4.02PM, and the last tour just left… at 4PM!

Now… I have researched the information provided on the Changi International Airport website about these tours extensively. It said that you could choose to either go on the Colonial or Cultural tour, and that the tour departs every 2 hours from 9AM until 4PM. Sweet! My husband and I would go on the Colonial tour departing at 9AM.

A few things should have been made clearer in that website, like the fact that there was only one tour allocated per the 2 hours. So, when I walked up to the tour desk to register, I was told that I could only do the Cultural tour at 9AM, because the Colonial tour wasn’t scheduled until 11AM.

We were a bit disappointed, but not to worry – a two-hour tour outside Changi airport was better than nothing at all. I presented our boarding passes, only to have it handed back a second later. “Sorry, Ma’am, but you can only do the tour if your plane is scheduled to take off at 1PM or after.” Oh, so close! We missed the mark by about half an hour.

They say that if you ever get stranded on an airport, Singapore airport is one of the better airports to be stranded in. All I can say to that is,”Amen!” There are so many things in here to keep you occupied for people of all ages. They have so many gardens you can visit, and duty free shops. They even have Harrods – albeit one-tenth (if not one-hundredth) times smaller than the original store. They have an array of restaurants, offering all types of cuisines and seats strategically situated so that you could marvel in the beauty of those giant steel birds taking off and landing whilst you munch/drink your way through your meals.

Stay tuned for the next instalment, where I’ll share about the next leg of our journey from Singapore to Philippines, with our adventure beginning as soon as we touched down at Ninos Aquinas International Airport.