If you’re going to try to sneak into business class, Singapore Airlines is not the airline to do it on.
Woman Tries To Sneak Into Business Class On My Singapore Airlines Flight
We had just finished dinner and the lights were still on. The seat across the aisle from me, in the rear business class cabin, was empty. All of a sudden a woman darted up from behind the curtain, jumped into the seat, laid her head on the center console, and closed her eyes.
There were not any flight attendants in the cabin at the time, but moments later a flight attendant emerged from the galley, noticed the woman, and summoned the chief purser, Mr. Singh. He looked at the woman, then directed the chief stewardess (red sarong kebaya), Ms. Ng, to remove her from the cabin.
First, the woman was verbally addressed. She pretended to sleep. Then she was gently tapped on the shoulder. She still pretended to sleep. Finally, she was gently shaken and sat up. She began to cry and complain that there was not enough room in economy class and that she needed to sleep.
Very politely but very firmly, a flight attendant escorted her back behind the curtain.
In case you were wondering, the woman appeared to be Singaporean based upon her English accent.
Obviously, trying to sneak into business class is one of the oldest games in the book (I once tried it when I was a teenager) and part of me cannot fault for her at least trying.
But the whole pretend to be in a deep sleep trick? Come on, this is Singapore Airlines.
It has been many years since I’ve seen a passenger attempt to sneak into a premium cabin (unless you count the kid on my SriLankan Airlines flight). While her antics were hilarious, I simply cannot imagine this ever really working in a business class cabin worth sneaking into.
Have you ever seen someone try to sneak into business class? Were they successful?
That was clearly a cry for help. I hope Singapore Airlines had her escorted to a psychiatric hospital triage. Perhaps a bottle of champagne provided while being returned to behind the curtains can act as a therapeutic intervention.
I snuck in to coach a few weeks ago.
I never seen anyone sneak into business class but I once boarded an Air France flight in Bangkok to Paris and found someone in my seat. I requested he vacate the seat – he had boarded the flight in Hanoi – and he told me to fuck off. I remonstrated and the Head Purser turned up and told him to move. He refused so airport security was called and he was forcibly removed and was not seen reboarding the flight. Gawd knows what haapened to the cheeky bastard.
That was really a shameless individual. Good for you.
Years ago – early 2000s – I was in my Lufthansa business class seat on some long haul or another (used to travel a lot between Asia and Europe in those days). Some young gal came up and demanded I vacate her seat. I calmly showed her my boarding pass – same seat number. She got all testy. Let’s figure it out I said and suggested we get the attendant to sort it out. She grabbed my boarding pass and ran to complain
After a couple minutes, the attendant came up and politely asked me to accompany her. I grabbed my stuff, suffered the victorious look from little missy and was promptly shown to my 1st class seat. The attendant made a point of telling me that there was an available seat in 1st as we walked away. I assume little girl heard and wept all the way while I scarfed about 1/4 lb of oscietra caviar
LOL. I think thee was a Seinfeld episode on this as well. Fear of being caught, guilt suppression, egotism, self- justification … it would be a fun psychological study to understand her mental gymnastics.
Yes, this is not an original story. It was stolen from Seinfeld.
Wait, she literally began crying? How packed was economy on that flight?
Yep, she started crying. Flight was pretty full.
You sure it wasn’t Elaine Benes??
Yes! It was Elaine Benes from Seinfeld!
What is an “English dialect”?
Did you mean “accent”?
English is an official language of Singapore. The dialect spoken is Singapore English. It sounds like you assume it is just some crazy Asian language speaking place and they run around with broken English accents.
Who said that? Certainly not me. I love the Singaporean accent more than the American accent…
Accent, dialect. You get what I mean.
Singaporean English has a definite accent. Channel News Asia is a Singapore news channel that can be watched online for free. The broadcasters, many from Singapore, have a variety of American, Canadian, English, Australian, and Singaporean accents. TV presenter Angela Lim has a strong Singaporean accent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwJjZnYxWCE
But why assume she is Singaporean when there are so many foreigners of Asian origins who live in Singapore? She could be from vancouver but now lives in toa payoh, no?
I’m sure you have heard it called “Singlish” and I think it is adorable. That’s said even coach is nice on Singapore Air or as we call it SQ. It’s usually better to make good friends with the attendants in the red sarong. Not that you actually need to if you are well behaved business class customer. I have not yet flown on a better airline.
I had this happen on my Lufthansa FRA-LAX flight 2 years ago. I was in the rear of business class and moved from the center section to the windows after meal service to sleep (get more space). When I woke up I was surprised to find someone had suck from economy and was attempting to sleep in my seat. The flight attendants helped correct the issue but the passenger was confused on why they couldn’t ‘upgrade’ themselves given business class wasn’t full. 🙂
Matthew, judging by her expensive bag and matching red leather clothes, it looks like the lady concerned wasn’t exactly struggling financially.
It sounds like a case of ‘Kiasu’, a sense of selfish entitlement and is a genuine Singaporean ‘thing’
Oh and a great article from the LA Times
this article was quite poorly and reductively written, based on cherry picked soundbites (as are most Western articles on anything to do with Asia, be it cultural phenomena or actual news). a not insignificant aspect of kiasu is collective kiasuness – when you “jio” (a cross between invite and incite) each other for good “lobangs” (good opportunities basically), or defend each other fiercely.
this can apply to one’s family unit (which has a much wider definition than the Western conception), friends, or society (relating to the former, my british friends are baffled by why we call every stranger “aunty”, “uncle”, “grandmother”, etc, and why i’m doted upon and lavished with free food as a “little sister” by these random strangers; iirc, singapore and taiwan were the top 2 countries where society ranked as one of people’s main sources of meaning in life in a recent pew research study).
as a singaporean moving to the UK, i found westerners shockingly individualistic in terms of their life goals and lifestyle… there are loads of ugly (but hilarious – often becoming running jokes) manifestations of kiasu like this, especially given our rapid modernisation and hence eroding of kampong (village/tribe) spirit… but the communal Asian culture still largely remains and in many other instances it represents the delightful contradiction of selfishness to be selfless – for a much wider definition of “self” (encompassing many other people) than the West is generally familiar with. that’s why we love kiasu lol.
(also, kiasu means we were the first asian country to get Pfizer by a long shot. we had put our names out, shelled out and networked for like a million vaccines beforehand. the reason everyone was dead concerned and relieved? our large elderly population.)
It’s a Singaporean accent and not a “English” accent. Educate yourself, colonizer!
I meant the accent of her English. It wasn’t an English (UK) accent…
Must be one of those SJW / leftist that keep blaming others…
Otherwise, why call the author a “colonizer”?
Yes, anyone who know the history of Singapore wouldn’t accuse such in this instance. Savior from “Imperial domination” maybe…
Happened to me few years back, Boarded last as a nonrev in business, and a guy I saw earlier lingering at the gate for long time, was sitting on my seat. Upon explaining the situation to the purser, he was escorted back to economy.
Same happened to me on TK shorthaul last week FCO-IST.
I’ve see this many times and I just shake my head as I know the outcome. What I find most interesting is people boarding by the front door so they have to walk by business class. They know they are seating in coach but they take their time to check every seat number with the one with their boarding pass in the hope it will match. :))) Seriously, when you have seat 99z how can you expect it will be around 2A?
I’ve made this comment as a running joke to my friends for many years. It’s something I noticed on the very first flight I made in J class, and over the years, it has continued. They look at every business class seat and then check their boarding pass. And you just want to yell at them…
“As if that’s your seat!! You paid $70 for your airfare. Your seat is way, way, way in the back of the cabin. So keep the boarding pass in your bag and keep on walking……”
I once had an OpUp at the gate in HKG on CX to Bus from Econ. I sat in my seat and got comfy only to be told a pilot needed it. I was escorted through the packed cabin to my original seat, sat down and five minutes later was moved by a FA back to my Bus class seat! I was pretty cranky.
I did this a few years back in the US. Nearly last to board, there was no one in the last 1st class row, but it seemed everyone was standing in the aisle in coach. So instead of standing around, I cleared the aisle and sat in 1st class. The FA didn’t see or say anything and I declined the food & alcohol. On a different flight that I had upgraded, I asked what the consequence could be and I was told they call ahead and have police waiting to charge for theft. Yes, the FA carefully perused my 1st class boarding pass.
Nothing will top the Chinese guy who tried to sneak into business class on my Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to Beijing. Twice! After being caught and ejected the first time, he decided to try again about 10 minutes later! Ridiculous considering the crew was the same and of course had not yet had sufficient time to forget his face from his first attempt.
White privilege, nothing more and nothing less.
OMG – what a comment from you ! Easy comment – so stupid, guess you are the original racist ?
the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
How about Black Privilege…
Shut the f*** up you roach
Funniest attempted seat poaching I had was an Alaska Airlines flight, I think OAK-OGG in First Class (domestic recliners). My daughter and I had boarding passes for something like 2D and 2F and we walked on the plane and there was an older Asian couple (not Singaporean, possibly Chinese) sitting in our seats enjoying some lovely pre-departure alcoholic beverages. I immediately showed the FA our BP’s and pointed out that someone was in our seats. The FA who also looked Chinese checked the couples BP’s and no surprise they were in the wrong seats. They tried to pass it off as a simple mistake in reading their boarding passes, “oh, sorry, we thought it said row 2 but looking closer it is row 22”. Like, “we’re old and we don’t know what we are doing”.
The FA was crack-up. Instead of chastising them she joked with them that they made a lucky mistake since they got free drinks out of it (and then she sent them on their way to the back with their drinks). The FA was so funny in her treatment of the couple I had to laugh. I wish I came across more FA’s like her. She was a gem.
On an older business config of Air France on a 747′ I had a seat next to me empty. After the meal and a few hours into flight I went to sleep, placing my glasses on the seat next to me. A few hours later I woke up and a guy was curiously sitting there. I was searching for my glasses and remembered they were on the “supposedly” empty seat. He had sat on them, and broke them. I had him get up and he got mad at me, “for being so stupid to put my glasses on the seat next to me.” I mentioned that this was not a train and the seat had been empty. The flight attendant came over to see what the ruckus was about and discovered the guy had snuck up from economy and grabbed the seat. The guy never apologized and just swore at me in French as he was escorted back to his original seat. Meanwhile I was now without glasses, which made for a rather unsightly remainder of the flight.
I imagine in the old days of 2-3-2 cabin jumping was harder to enforce. I bet people did it routinely and actually got away with it.
I thought this was a death penalty offense in Singapore, along with possession of chewing gum.
…at least she left her Durian at home….
Hope this is a joke. Otherwise you are either ill informed or living in the stone age.
Do they put something in the water in Singapore that eradicates sense of humor? Because that would explain a lot.
The penalty for chewing gum should be a stiff fine the first time and getting your teeth pulled out the second…
Not exactly the same story but I’ve actually gotten my mother in law upfront without paying. On a 5 star airline.
We (family of 4) were traveling J class. Meanwhile my mother in law was seated in economy. I politely asked the flight manager If I can sit in economy and the person in economy can sit in J instead. He obviously said that’s not possible but continued to ask why would I want to sit in economy while I’ve paid for J. I explained that it’s my mother in law and my wife is traveling with me seated next to me and I kinda smiled and said … It’s not going to go down well once we reach home .. he laughed as well and goes… That’s going to be a problem isn’t it… Im like “Yep big problem.!” Next thing he asked me what’s my mother in law’s name and seat number. Moments later I see him carrying my mother in laws hand carry and she following him to business class seat.
To this day. My wife and mom in law wonder how I pulled it off and what I said.
They think since I’m a frequent flyer and the airline doesn’t want to loose me as customer,.. my request was accepted.
How dare that working class peasant do such a thing !?!
She’s carrying an $8,000 handbag. Boggles the mind she won’t pay for business but feel entitled to it.
How can you tell what handbag it is just from the side picture?
It looks Hermes.
Maybe it’s a knockoff.
Or, after spending 8 grand on a purse she could no longer afford business class :).
I did it once, by accident.
Back in the late 80’s I was flying Korean air from Japan to the US. I had a layover at Inchon and when I boarded my second leg the flight crew inadvertently read my previous boarding pass as they were stapled together. I was escorted to the second level of a 747 and had a wonderful flight, even got to sleep a bit.
Flying Singapore airlines years ago before COVID 19
We were being served then there was a turbulence so service suspended.
When resumed they skipped us, we had to remind the flight attendants twice to get a drink. No more Singapore airlines.
Silk air , Singapore airlines sister is even worse
Book the seat 6 months in advance when we were checking in they told us our seats cancelled WTF talked to the one in charge, turned out they gave our seats to tour group. No more SilkAir.
Business class on any airline is well served. They know if an empty seat is occupied. This never succeeds. The racist tone of the article is disgusting.
Not sure whats e intention of the whole article except to say u r well off to be in the business class?
Ask urself if there is a need to write it other than the whole purpose to shame an act from someone who is an asian?
I mention she was Singaporean because usually it is the Americans who try to pull this stunt…
Alex Chew, do you actually live in Asia ? I’d give up if I were you.
This article serves no purpose other than making you sound like an elitist prick.
Oh please. Try reading my other 8,000 articles.
Well said Bob.
Maybe its a fake, but that looks like an Hermes Lindy bag to me – minimum USD7K.
Woman suddenly plonked herself with no hand luggage but a SIA pillow next to me in front row PE just before take off. Crew noticed because she wasn’t on their list and asked her name. She told them a crew member had told her she could take the seat. They told her she must go back to her original seat. She then asked for a free upgrade. They told her no she must go back to her seat but because just before takeoff told her to stay in seat until seatbelt sign off. Then she immediately fell asleep during takeoff mmm yeah? Crew then tapped her to “wake” her and assisted her to move.
Nice try but they keep tabs on everyone! Once I decided to stretch my legs and roam the length of aircraft. As I headed to the back staircase, I was amazed to be addressed by name at the rear galley and asked if I would like to try the snacks available on display.
Few years ago on a Moscow flight,a passenger moved from 32k to 26A,business class,he got sussed you know why?because he kept demanding for champagne and more food,he says he wasn’t served lunch,then the crew checked the list,asked for his plane ticket,he says he had none so they asked for his passport which he cannot say he don’t have,then he says he have it but it is not with him.it is in the back with his wife so he went to the back to get his passport, then the crew found out,he is travelling alone…no wife and original seat is 32k…hurray ..he has to sit there for the entire flight…whenever he moves the crew monitors.we all know where the empty seats of business and first are you know….
The couples’ using their age(s) to explain their confusion reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Uncle Leo is caught shoplifting at a book store…at least the flight attendant didn’t get on the PA and say ,”swarm,swarm swarm”…
‘slightly amused’ would be more suitable for the heading, ‘Hilarious’ is too far a stretch and dramatic, I can’t imagine the author laughing out loud at the scene.
I did when she turned on the waterworks.
Happened to me on a Seattle to Hkg flight….business class seat next to me was empty upon take off and a few minutes later a lady suddenly appreared comingbfrom the economy section and sat on the empty seat and pretended to sleep. About 10min later a FA noticed her and tried to wake her up but to no avail….FA went to the forward section and reappeared with a companion..I guess a senior purser and woke up the lady and escorted her to the back section. One can guess the lady was not a happy person for the rest of that long flight. LOL
What’s your point of highlighting that she’s Singaporean and she speaks with a local accent?
I answered that question above.
I was working a long haul flight one night, and while making a routine cabin check in the dim business class cabin, my flying partner noticed a male passenger asleep under a blanket in a window seat who had not been there before. She tapped him on the shoulder and he turned to her and pointed to the epaulets on his shoulder…he was one of the pilots on his rest break ( which of course was allowed) !! Too funny !!
As a retired international f/a do folks not realize we have a list of fc/bc passengers along with their seat numbers and frequency flyer status? The last thing we want is to have to serve anyone that is not suppose to be there? Heck, often times we didn’t even upgrade folks that we were told to by gate agents, particularly company employees. Less work is the best.
Many years ago I observed this as a non-rev. After take-off a man came up from coach and sat in the aisle opposite me. Of course the (male) FA noticed and politely asked him if he was assigned the F class cabin and could he please show his boarding pass (back when we didn’t have cell phones and had paper boarding passes). Now is when things get childish – he (the passenger) says “I lost it”. FA – asks his name but gets a blank stare and an insistence that this IS his seat. When told he would have to go back to his seat in the coach cabin the guy still just sat there, would not budge and basically ignored the FA. FA – “if you don’t get your …… back to your seat in coach, there is going to be a problem”. The culprit got up, took all his stuff with him and skulked back to coach. Case closed. I looked at the FA and said “Great job, I love it !”. Can you imagine that dialogue happening today ?
Dude, I think typical singaporean that I know of are very law-abiding either at home or travelling abroad. There’s, however, a certain group of people in Asia where they have been well-known for behaving in a disorderly/less classy manner when abroad. Those people are often a by-product of countries who ignore the international rule of law. Unfortunately, migration has resulted in many of them in Singapore.
On a TK flight to Hanoi, I was a tour leader of 30 pax. I was at the checkin counter as the agent was controlling my group’s visas from the list I had. One TP pilot came to checkin to board. Agent told him that he was upgraded to Biz but not his wife. He declined the upgrade. I playfully asked the agent if I could have the seat in Turkish as I showed my eco boarding pass with Elite Plus written on it. He just looked at it but didn’t reply. He changed the pilot’s seat to eco and continued to check-in more passengers.
After some time all my group had boarded. Then he took my boarding pass without saying a word and crossed out the eco seat and wrote a biz seat on it. He just smiled. I said a silent thank you and boarded.
Those silent upgrades are the best….
Amazed at how a completely useless article turns into racists rants and jingoism in the comments section. The blog has basically become a more bougie version of nextdoor. Amped up entitlement, one-upsmanship ( oh you think that’s bad, let me tell you what happened to me on a cargo flight to Tibet), and just general douchebaggery with Mary an article that falls under the original premise of the blog.
You’re not reading carefully enough, Jack.
She is a high flyer
But due to Covid her company decides to downsize
It will be economy for now
She just could not adapt
My family was flying in august fron Sao Paulo to Lisbon in busisess when a young man sat on a business-class seat and started to videocall his girlfriend before the flight and got a glass of champangne, too. But after 10-12 minutes the real seatholder appeared and the stuard got in action. The passenger showed the ticket from the inbound connection flight and predended that he had choosen the wrong one. Then he had to leave. But the show might had been good enough to inpress his girlfriend. At least funny and particularry smart.
Another forsaken apologetic comment by Mr Klint. Pleased to see it turned against you
She must have been watching an episode of Seimfele” in which Elaine Benes sneaks into 1st class as the economy seat because the economy seat was uncomfortable. as she had the middle seat. Plus, Jerry (Seinfeld) was in the premium class enjoying all of the amenities.
I have not seen that. I did see a couple go into the bathroom (the woman went in and then a couple of minutes later the guy went in) presumably to join the mile high club. They were in there quite a while. They didn’t even try to hide it when they came out they were together.
On which airline?
My son worked for American and we had non-revved to SLC for a funeral memorial service. The day we were headed back a Delta flight cancelled with 300+ people ahead of us and Delta put almost all of them on American flights. We spent the day at the airport and by evening we were certain that we weren’t getting back. My wife was an ICU nurse and had to get back to work so we spent about $600 a ticket to secure coach tickets to move us up on the list from standby non-rev to a standby paid ticket. When we checked in we didn’t have assigned seats but after everyone boarded and we thought we wouldn’t make the last flight of the day, the agent called us over and handed us two first class seat boarding passes. She smiled and said have a nice flight home. I was pretty sure the gate agents were tired of talking to us as each flight filled and left. I guess we were nice enough to them because we always did that when we non-reved, and that the karma came back to us. I’m pretty sure they had to use a lot of discretion to pull that off.
Fun to read this article. Hahaha….
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
What is the problem letting her in? It was empty. It shouldnt be a thing… and she got the courage. Sometimes we need to let things happen naturally. How picky.
As a gentleman you should have offered her your seat. It would only be polite.
Um, no way.
Back in the 1990’s flying GulfAir to LHR on a crowded flight I found someone else in my eco seat. They had the same issued seat on their boarding pass. The purser was harried and said “just find a seat and sit in it”, so I shot up to first and had one of the best flights ever!