Some (hopefully most!) of you may remember the best flight attendant I’ve ever had, Wong Chin/Janesis, who worked my Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to Tokyo Narita back in April. As it turned out it wasn’t the first time we had been on the same flight, and we’ve been in contact ever since (and I’ll even be flying with her again very soon!).
With Singapore Airlines having recently released just about all of their first class award space at once, I suspect more than a few of you will have the pleasure of flying with her over the coming months. Reader Harrison flew with her earlier in the week from Moscow to Houston, and here’s what he had to say:
Let’s face it, traveling is stressful. Those of us who are on the road constantly know this better than anyone. Airlines see this as a business opportunity and have tossed us some perks that reduce some of the stress of travel in exchange for our loyalty. On some days, just about everything can go right: your upgrade clears, you breeze past security via the priority lane, and you board smack dab on time. And then, when you enter the aircraft, you’re greeted by a surly crew. And it goes downhill from there. A good cabin crew can make or break a travel experience. Here in the United States, the cabin crews of the major airlines are a mixed bag: some are great and others are downright rude. In Asia, many airlines are known for their great cabin crews.
I have had the great fortune to be able to fly 3 flights on one of the world’s best airlines, Singapore Airlines, in First Class in the past week. My itinerary consisted of flights from Hong Kong to Singapore to Moscow to Houston. Singapore to Moscow to Houston is marketed as a direct flight (SQ 62) with a stopover (Moscow). Although the crews on the Hong Kong to Singapore and the Singapore to Moscow segments were good, it was my last crew that was truly memorable.
The flight started out like any other SQ F flight: greeted at the door and escorted to seat. As I was settling in, the Leading Stewardess came and introduced herself as Janesis and offered me a beverage and a selection of reading materials. After my beverage was delivered, she came around again to offer pajamas, slippers, socks, and an amenity kit. Here’s the difference from my previous flight: the aforementioned items were unwrapped before they were presented. Again, not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it’s nice not to be sitting with a bunch of plastic wrap, even if it is for just a few minutes.
After take-off, I decided to get some work done and grabbed my folio and binder out of my carry-on. I was perfectly fine using my binder as a hard surface to write on. But when Janesis came through the cabin, she noticed this and immediately offered to extend my tray table so I would be “more comfortable”. Later on when I was enjoying my main course, she quietly started making my bed in an empty seat (only 3 passengers that day) so I could get some rest immediately after my meal. The same thing was done for the passenger seated behind me in 2F.
I was able to get a few hours of solid sleep. When I returned to my seat, I found a U.S. immigration card, a deck of playing cards, 2 postcards, and a pen neatly arranged on my “shelf” complete with a nice flower. Within 10 minutes of waking up, Janesis came by to offer me something to drink. I ordered a jasmine tea, which was constantly refilled without being asked, I assume the crew didn’t want to disturb by asking me, as I was working. Later on after I went to the lavatory, I returned to find my bed in 1D remade complete with another bottle of water. Additionally, my headphones and other items I haphazardly scattered around had been straighten up and my tea was refilled. I couldn’t have been in the lavatory more than 2 minutes. With 3 hours of flight to go I decided to take a look at what was on offer on the IFE system. One of the other crewmembers came by to ask if I wanted something a little more fun to drink as I was finished working.
It was then when it struck me: it’s the little things that make a great flight. Janesis and her colleague were extremely attentive, personable, and were very good at anticipating passengers’ needs. Don’t get me wrong, the other SQ F crews were good, but this crew took it to a whole new level. In addition to those above, other memorable touches included the dry ice show with dessert for both the lunch service and pre-arrival light meal.
As we began our descent at the Louisiana/Texas border, Janesis came by to chat with each passenger. When she got to me, she asked if I would mind filling out a customer survey. Of course, I answered yes and proceeded heap praise upon her and colleagues. This was without a shadow of doubt the best flight of my trip, which included the 3 SQ F segments and 1 CX F segment, and possibly the best flight I’ve ever been on. Janesis was humble and said they try to please. Offhandedly, she mentioned another passenger who was very pleased with her service on a recent Singapore to Tokyo flight. That statement clicked for me, even in my Dom soaked state. So I asked if this passenger’s name was Ben. She laughed and said, “ Yes, how did you know?” I laughed and said, “So you’re the famous Wong Chin.” She then explained that she did not have her English name tag on that flight, thus that’s why she was identified as Wong Chin. We laughed and shared a good chat about Ben’s blog. Don’t worry Ben, we only said nice things.
I can assure you that Wong Chin is as good as Ben advertised. If you’re lucky (pun intended) enough to have her on one of your upcoming SQ F flights, you will be in for one the best flights of your life. Wong Chin and In Flight Supervisor Ivy, if you’re reading this, thanks again to the entire crew for the most memorable and wonderful flight. I hope to see you again when I take my next trip to Asia in December.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Harrison, and it makes me quite excited about my next flight with Janesis! You can find Harrison’s full trip report here (though it’s still a work in progress).