It’s irrefutable that Singapore Airlines (SIA) is one of the best airlines in the world.
A few complaints may occasionally arise, like the one about them using paper service ware. But SIA’s customer service? Excellent, of course! Unless…
One student was not happy with SIA, not on one but two consecutive occasions.
Isabella Beale, 23, claims she was rudely singled out for sitting at the emergency escape row seats reserved by another family member while she and her family were travelling to and from Europe in January of this year.
What’s the problem with her sitting there?
Well, SIA states throughout the booking process that passengers who are pregnant, under 15, carrying babies, or require “special assistance” are not permitted to seat in rows near emergency exits.
By the way, this is what she looks like:
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So it makes sense that she’s not supposed to be seated there. But here’s where things get heated.
Talking to ABC News, Beale shared that on the flight from Australia, a stewardess had suddenly approached her in a panicked manner and commanded in a loud voice for her to “Get out, get out of that seat now,”.
Shocked, Beale was confused because she had not seat directly beside the emergency exit. While trying to clarify the situation with the stewardess, Beale couldn’t help but feel more embarrassed and helpless as everyone began “looking at us” and “overheard the conversation”.
Tenfold Worse the Second Time
The second occasion happened on her return flight to Australia. Before flying, she had consulted with the check-in staff, who verified and reissued her ticket, which was still in the exit row.
Close to takeoff, a stewardess approached her again and “without speaking politely”, asked her to move. This time, more staff gets involved, with two stewardesses, two ground personnel and passengers in the entire aircraft “watching this entire interaction”.
The manager even continuously repeated in front of the entire flight “the problem’s obvious,” while pointing at her missing limb.
That’s definitely not five-star service behaviour.
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In response to ABC News, an SIA spokesperson expressed regret for the incident.
They asserted that SIA “takes claims of discrimination seriously” and does not tolerate discrimination or harassment.
They acknowledged lapses were made in the check-in and boarding process. The crew’s hurried and unprofessional conduct was perhaps due to the time restriction for takeoff, but regardless, the personnel involved will receive further customer training.
Beale has also posted on her Instagram reaffirming that again, such service was unacceptable.
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SIA definitely fumbled this time, but I’m sure they’ll bounce back better next time (if not, we’ll get another viral complaint story).
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