I've been looking at SQ shares recently. Just curious how their business works out in the future.
But something happened also recently which made me doubt their recovery and growth.
My wife has a couple of high membership statuses for hotel and airlines.
Cos we've been flying around past few years.
Membership statuses are very important for hotels and airlines to retain their repeat customers.
Cos... You see, if we have a high membership for XYZ hotel, we get free upgrades to bigger rooms.
So, why would I even bother to stay at AAA hotel where I get no free upgrade? End up I will pay for a small room, whereas at XYZ hotel group, I can pay for a regular room but get a bigger room.
There's small perks for airlines as well. Like free airport lounge, more baggage space, small perks, there's usually no free upgrade of seats.
So membership programs are very important for hotels and airlines cos it locks in customers. Once I get a high level at XYZ, I'll unlikely ever stay at AAA group cos... what's the point?
Hotels and airlines also know this.
So if I have a high status at XYZ hotel, I send a screenshot of my status to AAA hotel, I can ask them to match the status to an equivalent high level.
This helps the hotel chain, cos... well, now I will give AAA hotel chain a chance right?
Else I'll just keep staying at XYZ hotel chains all the time. Won't even give AAA a chance to steal the business.
So most of the time, when my wife sends a request for a status match, she gets it. Cos... no significant loss to the hotel chain or airline chain. If after a year we don't stay/fly enough with whatever company, they will just remove our status.
Recently, my wife has been sending out status match requests again. Cos... why not right?
Now's a good time, cos hotels and airlines are facing reduced demand and they should want to get frequent fliers to try out their hotel chains or airlines.
So my wife sent a request to SQ, Singapore Airlines.
She requested for a Gold status, cos that's what we have on Air France.
She requested again for Silver status.
So when I heard about it... I'm like... HUH...
Ok so that's how SQ works. Now, I'm not complaining. Cos, no love lost. There are plenty of airlines to fly on. We hardly fly on SQ anyway cos it's not value for money regardless of status level.
However, this incident made me think about how SQ is running their business.
During this period, I would think that ANY hotel or airline would want to attract new customers.
Giving a status match to a frequent flier during this period, gives the hotel or airline a chance that the frequent flier will try out their services in future when things start to normalize.
I mean... the market for travel and hospitality is SH!T now. I would have thought any of them would want to try to get more prospective clients when things get better.
It's not like my wife doesn't have any frequent flier status and just wants to get a status with no evidence that she flies frequently. And yet SQ didn't want to give her even a Silver status.
And so I wonder about SQ and their customer service and their future in flying.
Cos such incidences are telling about a business and how they appreciate their customers.
I can understand if they want to be a "premium" brand and not want to give status match on normal days when business is good. But HELLO??? This is hardly the time for this I think. Especially for SQ (More on this below).
Another incident which I read about, was that when COVID started out, many airlines were offering free date changes and refunds via flight vouchers.
Whereas SQ was significantly behind the curve when it came to this. Many customers had to kick up a big fuss before SQ was willing to be more accommodating.
This abysmal level of service compared with maybe something like what Emirates does, where they provide insurance for fliers who get infected with COVID while on their flights.
I mean... this is what will make customers want to fly with you AND continue to fly with you.
The thing about SQ and Singapore is that... SQ flies only OUT of Singapore.
For almost ALL other countries, there is domestic travel. And that's still alive.
In US, the airlines are flying quite regularly. Same for France and other countries.
BUT, in Singapore, SQ can only fly OUT of Singapore. There is NO domestic travel. And that's tough for any airlines. Cos there's almost no revenue stream.
So for SQ, it's gonna be tough. Within the US, there's no restriction on flying cos it's within the same country.
For Singapore, countries can deny flights to and from Singapore, or Singapore can deny flights to and from other countries. So SQ is heavily impacted by such policies.
Whereas for domestic flights, there are less of such restrictions.
Anyway... just wanted to share my personal experience and some thoughts on my/our experience with SQ.
Reminds me of a post I did last time.
Spending goodwill, where the future generation spends the goodwill earned by the previous generation.
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