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Singapore Airshow was good, however service quality showed distinct lack of planning

Got trade tickets to catch the Singapore Airshow, courtesy of W.H. Tks for the tickets!

The exhibition was quite well done, from the scale as well as design of the booths, definitely eye-catching. The static air craft display outside was just as awesome, judging from both the number of aircrafts as well as the types that were available for viewing. Had a great time, tks to G.G, viewing the Air Show itself, with good seats on the balcony level of one big exhibitor. Definitely beats standing on the ground level in the blazing sun, trying to stare skywards.

Check out some of the photos – the rest can be found at my Flickr site at http://flickr.com/photos/inspirethereal/.
Lotsa country flags adorn the main entrance

One of ST Engineering’s booth displays – very nice!

Bell Helicopter

A380

Black Knights soaring into the sky

USAF aero-batics

Have to comment about the scripts the commentators were using though, especially for the Black Knights. Someone needs to train the guy not to read the script literally. That means, when there is a comma or a period, the commentator does not need to literally pause, take a breath and continue reading. It really takes the emotion out of the words. Also, it does not help describing an act that the jets are doing, say…”that was a double barrel over the top flip executed..”, and drone it out monotonously like he is making a sandwich or something equally mundane. Excite the audience, they are paying a minimum of $10 to get to blardy Changi South anyway, let them feel they are getting the thrill of the day.

Back to my gripe on why the service sucked, it really wasn’t until I was literally leaving the place that I felt upset. On the whole, the show experience was actually quite good. BUT, the problem comes when you have any number between 200-500 people leaving the place at the same time, heading to the same shuttle/taxi/limousine/carpark area and you find that there are maybe 3-4 ushers (I actually only saw 1) and perhaps 1-2 Cisco officers around trying to manage the crowd.

Gripe #1

Usher is trying his best to control taxi queue. Begins to move and open poles that were previously closed. No sense of informing the crowd, in the end, people cut into the queue because he wasn’t clear with instructions. Tells the people whose queue got cut, “sorry, I can’t do anything.”. So those who got cut had to wait for another maybe 10 cabs before it got to their turn when they were initially waiting only for 1-2 cabs. I was one of them, I asked the usher to tell the queue cutters off, but he didn’t.

My take is that his instructions were not to engage in conversation with anyone, IN CASE, he really makes a mistake and someone blows up. Well, someone did blow up and he ignored me. He is an authority figure at the taxi queue. If he doesn’t tell the queue cutters off, does he expect ME to do it instead? Lack of planning for this scenario leads to exhibition visitors getting upset. Regardless of the good time I had at the exhibition, I don’t think so much of it now that my close to final memory of the place is negative.

Gripe #2

Got into the cab, and the cab is heading towards the exit. Big jam occurs. Murphy’s law you think? Actually, not Murphy, more bad planning in action.

The Airbus 380 is taxing down the exit road! Wow! How good can the planning get? I am in a cab where I am already paying a $8 location surcharge and the meter is jumping 20cents every other minute and they have a 380 slowly making it’s way past us. Look, let me be honest here. I am a paying customer, but I do not like getting suckered by another $4 when planning could have made this incident not happen.

Wondering what’s happening, why the jam?

Ah, it’s the A380 blocking the exit

An exit by virtue of function will be heavily utilised. Why punish those who are paying for cabs or the limousines by not using alternative landing spots? Okay maybe that was the only route the 380 could take, logistics, weight etc. Why not plan for the taxi exit to be someplace else, maybe drive through the private carpark to reach an area not affected by the A380 movement?

Looking back at the Airshow experience, I am of the impression that it was a good effort but not enough to make me feel it was anything special, especially since central coordinated planning seemed to be a majorly lacking. Perhaps once the visitor has left the grounds, it means that they are no longer important?

This is one visitor that will rather take the chance on HK hosting a better Airshow than all these Singaporean chaps with no brains.

2 Comments»

  Joel wrote @

Dude, is this like the first time you’re attending an airshow? Tell me, which airshow will you get to see an A380 up close taxi-ing down the very same road you’ll be riding over later? True, the service can improve (I had to queue to enter, and queue again to exit), but otherwise, it’s been a superb experience!

  inspirethereal wrote @

Joel:

No dispute that the Air Show itself was good, my points above reflected that view. The choreography, lineup etc was good during Friday’s show,

My gripes remain with the perceived lack of central coordination and planning outside of the exhibition and the static display. Regardless of the frequency of a spectacle, it doesn’t pay for an organiser to have any visitor go through a negative experience when they are at a show/event.

Some visitors will go for to only see the Air Show, others perhaps to see the private jets or other exhibits and some others will go for the entire experience. No view point is wrong but the SG show lost my vote when I left with a negative experience.

Yes, it’s subjective. Yes, it’s something that they had to risk. I am not asking them to compensate me but rather, all feedback might lead to better coordination the second time round. Fingers crossed for them.


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