German aviation vlogger Josh Cahill has received a fair bit of “intense” hate from netizens for his criticism of Singapore Airlines (SIA) during a flight from London Heathrow Airport to Changi Airport on 7 January 2020, on economy class. According to news reports on SCMP and Today, Cahill also received a death threat by an account holder that alleged to be an SIA staff member.
In a statement to Marketing, an SIA spokesperson said that when the team reached out to Cahill, the vlogger responded by saying that the “details of the threat had been forwarded to the police”. Without the details or any additional information, the national carrier said it is unable to confirm if those who allegedly made the threats are its staff.
“Should SIA be contacted by the police, we will assist them in their investigations. If Cahill’s allegations are found to be true, we will ensure that the appropriate action will be taken. As an airline that is committed to service excellence, SIA takes all feedback seriously and requires our staff to treat our customers with professionalism and respect,” the statement read.
According to Cahill, despite touted as the “best trained and friendliest crew in the world”, the SIA cabin crew turned out to be the “biggest letdown”. In his video, he said the crew practiced a zero engagement policy. “They had that guilt in their eyes when they were socialising with the passengers, and hoping that they won’t be caught by their cabin managers or so. It wasn’t a very personalised service and it is always nice to get to know your passenger,” he added.
He then explained that steward/stewardesses will “rush through” the aisle, and seemed like they had a long to-do list with no time to interact with the passengers. For Cahill, getting to know the cabin crew marks as the highlight of all his trips and shared examples of such experience with Malaysia Airlines.
He said that SIA cabin crew are brand ambassadors for Singapore, but their “robotic” behaviour led to his disappointment. In his flight review, Cahill was also unhappy about SIA’s entertainment system. While it was “great”, he added that it was “nowhere near” the offerings of British Airways and Qatar which offer over five thousand more options. This was shortly after he said he could get on Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways for half the price he paid for a Economy Class seat with SIA.
[Get top insights on brand strategy, content creation and emerging trends from a stellar lineup of expert speakers at Southeast Asia’s leading Content 360 conference on 23-24 April 2019.]
SIA has constantly been recognised as one of the top performing airline in the world by several studies and organisations. Most recently, according to YouGov, the national carrier ranked as the second strongest brand advocate amongst Singaporean consumers. YouGov analysed SIA’s current and former customers, as well as the highest proportion of people recommending airline to a family member or friend.
Meanwhile, Cahill had also placed Malaysia Airlines (MAB) under the spotlight after recounting his “terrible” experience on its new Airbus A350 from Kuala Lumpur to London. He said that his first impression of the crew was that they were “extremely unfriendly” and unsmiling, and also shared that the cabin crew “could not be bothered” to fix his in-flight entertainment set, despite him alerting them that it would not start up. MAB then responded to Cahill’s allegations of being “bullied” by the airline crew, saying that it prides itself on the quality of its service and regrets if the passenger felt standards were below expectations during the flight.