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Onboard the Singapore Airlines A380: The Iconic Singapore Girl

January 20, 2012 at 5:14 PM | by | ()

The Jaunted Singapore A380 Series:

1. The Grand Tour
2. The Singapore Girls
3. Eating (and drinking) all the way to Singapore
4. Everything you ever wanted to know about Business Class
5. Design details

This is how you usually spot The Singapore Girl: whizzing through an airport in a swirl of color, turning heads with her poise, polite smile and designer luggage. And then, just like that, The Singapore Girl has vanished beyond the security check and you're left wondering...who is she? where is she off to next? how does she keep her figure?

Naturally there are answers to all these questions, some of which we've discovered over the last few days in Singapore, both from flying for 20+ hours with them on the inaugural Singapore Airlines A380 flight on the route JFK - FRA - SIN and from visiting the official SIA Training Facility near Changi Airport.

Spoiler alert: The Singapore Girl keeps her figure thanks to "extracurricular activities..."

First let us clear up some possible confusion. A Singapore Girl is the real name for a Singapore Airlines flight attendant; it's not an informal term or anything. Furthermore, a girl does not have to be Singaporean to become a Singapore Girl, she must only become part of the SIA in-flight crew to earn the title. That said, the title of Singapore Girl is not an easy thing to earn. Training at SIA is almost twice the industry standard, lasting 3.5 months and covering everything from emergency procedures to how to gracefully glide-walk down the aircraft aisle.

There are some 6,000 trained Singapore Airlines crew currently jetting around the world, and all must endure the rigorous training and re-training and wine tasting and grooming classes. Just as a Singapore Girl is required to pass classes in water ditching and customer service, so must she also ace the preparation and plating of in-flight meals, and "deportment," or etiquette class. Watch out, stealers of airline cutlery—the Singapore Girls are trained on how to delicately deal with passengers who go about "souveniring" everything not bolted down.

As far as their private lives, Singapore Girls may chose to further participate within the SIA community through extracurriculars. Singapore Airlines has a trained martial arts club, including black belts, who mostly practice taekwondo. There's a club for almost every major sport including cycling and—so cool—dragonboat racing. Next time you envy the petite waist on a Singapore Girl, now you'll know that it's likely kept so trim thanks to hours spent rowing dragonboats or kicking butt with a karate chop.

Fun Facts:
· The distinctive, patterned uniform of The Singapore Girl is called the sarong kebaya, and the field color of the pattern indicates rank, just as the male flight crew tie colors do.
· The sarong kebaya has been the uniform on SIA since 1972 and was designed by Pierre Balmain.
· The Singapore Girl is directed on the best makeup look for her complexion, and Lancôme is the preferred cosmetic brand.
· There are only three approved nail polish colors (also Lancôme), and just as many approved hairstyles.
· Singapore Girls working First or Suites class on flights check the lavatories both before and after every passenger. They've got a lot to do!
· Singapore crew are directed to avoid tea and coffee while working and instead constantly drink water to remain fresh and hydrated.
· During an emergency slide evacuation, the Singapore Girls must hike up their long skirts and are trained on how to fold it into a miniskirt.

So who's ready to submit their application?

Monday: Binging on in-flight food.

Disclosure: Flights and some accommodation are as a guest of Singapore Airlines. Regardless, all photos and opinions presented are utterly and completely our very own.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]

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