Singapore Girl 1The “Girl” is more likely a woman, but that aside, no one can deny the status of Singapore Airline’s unrivaled record as one of the World’s Top Three Airlines” for more than a decade. Despite challenges from the new collection of Five-star airlines based in the Middle East, Singapore consistently ranked # 1 or # 2 in every industry poll of on-board services.

How do they do it so consistently? At SIA, it might surprise careful observers of flight attendant demeanor, that SIA cabin crew are not selected solely on the basis of appearance. They must have at least a polytechnic full diploma and undergo extensive interviews during a grueling three-round process. Included in these stages of interview is a “uniform test” as well as a test that measures each applicant’s “confidence in the water”. They must also demonstrate adept skills at “Tea Party” service.

Singapore Airlines actually signs on about 500 new hires each year for cabin work out of more than 16,000 applications. The annual attrition rate, including those let go, is about 10%. Those who make it undergo a training program lasting 15 weeks, longer, as far as we know, than any other worldwide airline. In addition to all of the safety and service aspects of training, Singapore’s cabin crew and is taught emotional skills designed to help them deal with the  consequences of serving unusually demanding customers who board their flight anticipating excellence.