Why the Singapore Girl is a National Treasure

There is perhaps a no more endearing sight in the aviation world than seeing a kebaya-clad Singapore Girl working hard on your flight to Singapore. These Singapore Airlines stewardesses are considered a national treasure and are probably the main identity of the airline itself.

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I have had more flights with Singapore Airlines than I can remember, and never – NEVER – have I ever stepped off the aircraft disappointed, or indeed anything less than 100% pleased. There is a reason why Singapore Airlines is my favourite airline in the world. Yet while some cutbacks are being made, and while Singapore Airlines’ very high service standards MAY be slipping slightly in this harsh economic climate, one thing you can always rely on (apart from the best pilots in the world) is the humble and self-sacrificing reputation of its Singapore Girls.

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Many have told me that Singapore Girls are quite shy and “robotic” but I feel this is unfair for two reasons: firstly, it is a cultural thing that Singaporean people (and South East Asians in general) are very reserved and quiet, and prefer to be seen rather than heard; and secondly, in my own experiences with Singapore Airlines, I can attest that virtually all cabin crew members I’ve encountered were in jovial spirits and often happy to pose for photographs before boarding or inflight! I think the Singapore Girls just know they are a big selling point for their employers and as such don’t mind if they get a bit of peaceful attention when at work.

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What has always fascinated me about the Singapore Girls is the different colours of the kebaya that they wear. It seems this colour-coding is referring to their rank. I believe the red kebaya is the highest rank, and you don’t see this stewardess in the cabin much (certainly not the economy class cabins, anyway). The stewardess with the green kebaya is like a team leader within the cabin, whereas the blue kebaya denotes the worker bees who serve you meals and distribute menus/headsets/drinks/blankets etc.. Of course, as well as the Singapore Girls, you will also find what could be described as a “Singapore Boy” and – just like their female colleagues – these males are also trained to the highest standards so you can be sure of being in safe hands for the flight, regardless of the price of your ticket!

Singapore Airlines A380 lower deck economy cabin
Singapore Airlines A380 lower deck economy cabin during meal service

However, it is the Singapore Girl that gives Singapore Airlines its identity; an identity that helps maintain the airline’s lofty reputation. Very few airlines in the industry have a cabin crew as renowned as Singapore Airlines, and the refined passion and complete professionalism of the Singapore Girls will add value to any passenger’s flight. They are quite simply a golden asset to Singapore Airlines, and a precious treasure to their tiny nation. Majulah Singapura!

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