Showing posts from February, 2008

The VItal Link

Singapore Airlines is my personal favourite and one of those unique corporates which has worked magic in delivering both world class customer service and financial outcomes to its shareholders.

Last night, I had the opportunity to once again experience its service as a passenger, on both a short haul and longer haul flight sector. In all these past years, its ground crew at departure lounges had always impressed me as being top notch in ensuring an orderly entry of passengers to its aircraft, whether for full capacity of travelling passengers, to ensure compliance with requirements of foreign airports or under extreme customer handling pressure during festive and holiday periods. So it was interesting to observe the handling of two full flights on entry to the 915pm Penang to Singapore flight on 23 February and the 1230am Singapore to Sydney flight on 24 February.

Before the longer flight, the microphone facilities at Boarding Gate B5 in Changi Airport's impressive and recently op…

The Amazing Race

Call it a challenge, term it as self-imposed or think of the whole experience as letting go in holiday mood, but to me it was more an amazing race back in my home island of Penang. There were new things to discover, long forgotten dimensions encountered again and an unrelenting pace. Mix it with high humidity in the afternoons, late nights out and meeting various people. At times, things never change and on other occasions, I realize things have. There were pit stops met, quiet moments of reflection, spectacular views seen and quick decisions required.

It commenced with the prevalence of fried rice served on the plane. Changing seats at will with my elderly second cousin, we realized too late that each of us were served each other’s requested preferred meals. After arrival at the international airport, I could not resist immediately partaking in its unofficial hawker dish – stir-fried rice noodles ala Penang (1) – even before reaching home. Three middle-aged cousins were visiting whe…

Welcoming In The New

It has been only the second time since 1989 that I have spent the start of the Lunar New Year in Australia, and also the second time in my life that I had to work on that special day. Never had I seen and heard so much rainfall in this festive season. This festival has always been associated by me with the heat of summery temperatures, but the start of a new zodiac cycle currently has also coincided with the possible breaking of the drought in eastern Australia.

Whilst most television screens in both East and South-east Asia go agog with a Chinese theme this past week, it has been interesting to note the screening of the finale of Survivor China on Australian TV to coincide with the weekend. The festive day is also marked by a significant parade down Sydney's main CBD thoroughfares from Hyde Park to Chinatown. Last night I was attending a dinner and function near the Queen Vic Building - amongst the 176 guests, it was good to see some familiar faces dining and dancing. Food choic…