Singapore Airlines, Yet Another Discount Airline

Singapore Airlines has a great reputation as "the airline to fly to Asia"; however, although they do offer a little bit more in-flight service than one typically sees elsewhere, the overall experience is that of a discount airline.

Web Service / Buying a Ticket

My experience attempting to purchase a Singapore Airlines ticket is dismal: the website is substandard and since the telephone call centre agents only have access to the same website they cannot provide anything more than the website offers.  Rated solely on their website, Singapore Airlines gets a failing grade: an F-, if that is possible.

Their computer system is not able to sell a trip from Singapore to Delhi to Manila to Singapore; rather, they can only sell round trips from Singapore to Delhi and Singapore to Manila.  This costs more than the circle route, and takes a lot longer to book.  I spent over 4 hours booking tickets for Jean, Judah, and me; and it cost me more money than it should have.  In addition, I had to personally visit a Singapore Airlines office and sign an affidavit guaranteeing that I authorised Jean and Judah to fly on tickets that I had purchased with my Visa card.  Singapore Airlines is a second rate player when it comes to selling tickets.

The Onboard Experience

If you can convince Singapore Airlines to sell you a ticket and let you board the aircraft, they do offer more service on the aircraft than a US airline: they serve a decent meal.  That said, while the meal is an upgrade to a US airline experience, it's a very minimal upgrade.  For example, the food is good and they do offer a glass of wine with your meal; but, if you want a second glass of wine you have to chase them... they structure their service to do their best to limit your consumption to a single glass of wine.

Another onboard annoyance is the lack of paper hand towels to dry your hands after washing your hands in the lavatory.  Kleenex tissues are provided (to blow your nose), but not hand towels.

When it comes time to exit the aircraft, if you are seated in economy then flight attendants stand in the isle and block economy passengers from leaving until the business class cabin is absolutely empty; no matter how slowly a business class passenger chooses to proceed.  There is no reason for such behaviour other than Singapore Airlines emphasising to its economy customers that they are only flying economy and are not entitled to service. I am all for giving first class and business class passengers a first opportunity to exit; but, if those passengers want to exit slowly then they need to step aside and allow economy passengers to leave the aircraft.  Again, another strike against Singapore Airlines and their petty and shameful treatment of its paying customers.

Other Idiotic Service Issues

Singapore Airlines allows you to check in 48 hours prior to flight time; however, once you print your boarding pass you are not allowed to change your seat assignment.  This is stupid and petty, and is simply a way to screw their customers... it's very sad.

When buying a ticket for someone else, you must personally visit a Singapore Airlines office to sign an affidavit guaranteeing that you are legitimately buying a ticket on their behalf... very sad.

The Singapore Airlines is not able to sell tickets for anything other than simple return flights in and out of Singapore.  Again, very sad.  Singapore Airlines is a second rate airline focused on their bottom-line and not interested in offering service to their passengers


At heart, Singapore Airlines is a discount airline.  They offer a marginally upgraded onboard experience as a marketing ploy.  If you have any other airline choices available to you, take them and avoid Singapore Airlines.

ęCopyright 2012, Christopher & Jean Rath
Telephone: 613-824-4584
Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
Last updated: 2015/02/14 @ 21:33:56 ( )