Despite having filled only less than 70% of their seats the last couple of month SQ continues their cast system. You might ask why cast system? Right. Myself and some of my friends (even Solitaire members) feel the same way.
1st Class: You are most welcome
Business Class: You are very welcome
Economy Class: Unfortunately we need to welcome you as well
Let me give you some examples why we sometimes get this feeling. But first of all I have to exclude the cabin crew and ground staff. They really do a great job and their service most of the time is extraordinary!
It's the decision makers I'm accusing of arrogance and ignorance. These SQ high fliers are making decisions which do make people "only" flying economy uncomfortable.
First of all besides being one of the most expensive airlines SQ's economy seats have been some of the narrowest in EC.
Last year's change to business class only on their Non Stop flights to NY and LA was another sign of their preference towards "better" class people. What they already might regret due to the economic downturn, when they had to lower the frequency of flights from 7 to 3 days a week.
SQ is so lucky being located in Singapore or Asia in general because it would be so more difficult if they were in US or Europe because not all companies allow their staff to fly business, not even senior executives, which is so different to the mostly spoilt Singaporeans or Expats which only accept EC if the flight is less than 4 hours (for some 6hrs).
SQ has DOUBLED the necessary miles for upgrades to BC on long haul flights e.g. to US on new planes! Not increased just a bit, DOUBLED! I feel they actually don't want "normal" passengers to be able to set foot into their "holy grail" Raffles Class, so they set the goal so high that it becomes almost impossible to upgrade.
Again everything is paved for members of the "better" cast because they earn double or triple the miles anyway and are able to easily upgrade on their private trips. My humble opinion is, if they were able to sack the points for EC they would do it in the first place, however as long as people can earn miles with other carriers it would not really be in SQ"s favor to do so. They still somehow need the EC crowd to fill some seats.
I could go on and on and on.
Let me mention one thing: How often have you seen an advertisement to promote economy class? Most of the campaigns are all about First or Raffles Class (which are great, no doubt) but hardly any for EC. Only recently with companies scaling down on business flights there are some ads for EC in the new planes or the promotional fares which always pop up especially in bad times as during SARS, Bird Flu or H1N1SQ, they suddenly need to fill their half empty planes. Last, to me the Mc-Donald success shows how important it is attracting young kids to a brand to be able to keep them as returning customers even when they're adults.
How does this relate to SQ you'll ask? Young kids, students, junior staff, etc. may not be able to fly BC today, but convincing them that the brand not only appreciates business from the more expensive classes, might be the returning customers tomorrow!
And as we can see one survey lately where Changi airport was overtaken by two others in ranking:
Competition is trying hard, they don't sleep either!/>