The “Singapore Girl!”; the most iconic figure of the aviation world.
These graceful goddesses of the skies have become synonymous with luxury and world class service.
Where do they come from? How does one become a Singapore Girl?
Welcome to Eventful Globe, your guide to eventful events all around the globe! Here we are in Singapore, Inside SIA.
For the first time ever, Singapore Airlines has opened the doors of its training facilities to the general public.
This event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and was only offered for 4 days. If you didn’t grab a slot on this sold-out event, don’t fret! We’ll give you everything you want to know about the experience!
Within these walls are the training courses that every Singapore Girl must master: service, safety, and style.
Certainly, this training center doesn’t just groom Singapore Girls. Male stewards and pilots are also raised here.
For an extra fee, one could have lived out their flying fantasies and tried their hand at the flight simulators used to train SIA’s pilots!
Having dreamt of being a Singapore Girl, my visit was like a peek into my fantasy world. Allow me to show you the eye-opening tour I took!
SAFETY SLIDE & POOL
We’ll start with the most essential role for any Singapore Girl (or any other crew member): safety!
This looks like a really fun slide. I was hoping to test it out but guests were not allowed to play–I mean–practice using the slides as they can cause injury if not used carefully.
This is no bouncy castle slide. These slides convert into rafts that can also be floating tents that all crew members are trained to pitch.
If you look closely, you’ll see two sections, each with a slide– one for the 777 and one for the A380. Elsewhere in the safety facility, they have mock ups of each and every plane in SQ’s fleet, plus mock ups for every plane in the Silk Air and Scoot fleets (airlines owned by the SIA group). Check out our video above for the full list!
In an emergency, the graceful Singapore Girl knots up her skirt like the teh tarik man and jumps into dangerous waters to do all that is necessary to keep her guests safe.
Biennially, a Singapore Girl needs to jump into these turbulent waters and pass her swimming test in order to fly.
It would have been fun to see a live demonstration but we’ll just have to use our imagination.
Mockups aren’t used only during safety training. In a separate part of the facility are mockups of the interiors of every aircraft and cabin class in the fleet. There, trainees take turns to practice serving other trainees roleplaying as customers.
We found these mockups to be fascinatingly detailed– everything is designed to match the size and layout of what you’d find onboard, right down to the curved walls of the plane and posh amenities inside a first class suite.
They even painted them on the outside to match the Singapore Airlines livery! I always love SIA’s attention to detail.
We were offered the regular inflight snack (a local favourite–kachang puteh) and Q&A session with an SQ girl inside their business class on their 787 Dreamliner.
We also had the opportunity to see the flight simulators in which SQ pilots train. I’ve never seen a commercial simulator operating before, much less several, operating side-by-side!
For SGD535, one could become an SQ pilot for the day and take a 75 minute turn in the simulator. I would have love to have tried that but didn’t have the budget for it. In any case, I am pretending to be a stewardess, so I should leave the piloting to someone else.
“Why do SQ Girls have 2 types of footwear?”, someone asked.
The sandals are traditional footwear to match the sarong kebaya. However, for safety, air stewardesses wear these “safety shoes” for takeoffs and landings.
How do ordinary Singaporean girls like me, become Singapore Girls–extraordinary? They go through extensive etiquette training in this very room, which could easily be mistaken for a dance studio. It’s no wonder that Singapore Girls float through the aisles like dancers. Here, they are taught how to stand, sit, walk, and even climb stairs. In this replica where I try my best to live up to SIA’s standards, I’ve realised it’s not easy to move modestly in this skirt and to look as effortlessly beautiful as every Singapore Girl always does.
How do Singapore Girls look flawless? They are trained by Lancome’s Makeup Artists who teach them how to put on their makeup in a way that complements their facial features and their uniform.
For less than 100SGD, visitors could attend a grooming workshop that reveals the secrets of achieving the Singapore Girl look.
DID YOU KNOW? If a Singapore Girl is having a serious outbreak that can’t be concealed, she’d be grounded until her face is presentable.
The SIA Training Center has everything needed to train a well-rounded and refined crew member, including wine-tasting classes!
Crew members interested in obtaining a sommelier certification can do so under SIA’s training. Every flight has at least one sommelier; you can identify the sommelier on your flight by the crest.
As an optional add-on, guests were treated to a wine appreciation class conducted by an air sommelier.
Our tour also included an overview of the history of Singapore Airlines. The timeline highlighted SIA’s milestones and the exhibition featured some memorable artifacts including the trishaw that ushered one of 20 Singapore Girls who took part in Singapore’s 50th National Day Parade. Indeed, the Singapore Girl is a national icon that exemplifies Singapore’s excellence and elegance.
We learned plenty more fun trivia in this part of the tour:
Did you know that Singapore Airlines was the only non-European airline to jointly operate the concorde? These supersonic flights operated for 3 years from London to Singapore, cutting the flight time nearly in half.
At the conclusion of our tour, we saw an interesting showcase highlighting some of SIA’s sustainability initiatives as well as their goals for how to thrive in a post-pandemic world.
In a move to make good use of their decommissioned brown sarong kebaya, guests were taught how to fold roses with them.
We also had the opportunity to learn balloon twisting. And watch some edutaining clips. All these fringe activities and our meals were free.
We paid extra for SIA’s Signature Satay because we couldn’t get enough of it from Restaurant A380. At about 10SGD, it was way more than you’d pay at a Hawker Center, but MUCH more affordable than a business class ticket, which is usually the price of admission to obtain this satay, which I think is the best in Singapore, JB, and some say Batam.
We also visited SIA’s KrisShop where they had everything you needed to recreate the experience of being on SIA! We could even bring home a bar cart that has flown more miles than many Singapore Girls.
Completing the fringe activities granted us an extra souvenir that we added to our goodie bag.
With that, we took a final photo with my idols before saying goodbye to SIA’s Training Facility,
Adapting to the restrictions of the COVID-19, SIA has been offering special programs to residents of Singapore. If you haven’t already, check out our review of SIA’s Restaurant A380 — a sold-out event that turned their massive double decker jets into 5-star restaurants.
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