SINGAPORE: A recent social media post depicting a Singapore Airlines (SIA) stewardess feeding a five-year-old passenger in the business class cabin has sparked a flurry of mixed reactions from netizens.
The video, shared by passenger Michael Rutherford, garnered both praise for SIA’s exceptional service and criticism for what some perceive as a lack of responsibility on the part of the child’s parent.
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The incident occurred on a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo, with Mr Rutherford and his son occupying business class seats. The video, now viewed by nearly half a million people and accompanied by over 7,900 comments, shows an SIA stewardess attentively feeding Mr Rutherford’s son as the boy watches content on a tablet.
The father said on Instagram: “What would you do if this happened to you? We’re having the greatest flight ever and this just made it even more perfect.”
Opinions among netizens are divided. While some applauded the airline’s dedication to customer service, others argue that feeding a child is the responsibility of parents and flight attendants should not assume such roles.
Critics expressed sentiments such as “That is absolutely ridiculous. That kid is way too old for that c***” and “Flight attendants are not babysitters. They are there for the safety of the passengers.”
In response to the backlash, Mr Rutherford clarified that he was not seated beside his son but in front of him. He explained that the stewardess, having noticed the situation, voluntarily offered to sit next to the child and assist with feeding.
“She gave him extremely tender care,” Mr Rutherford asserted. In an interview with Channel 8, he also expressed disappointment that a positive experience was misconstrued negatively.
He praised the overall service of Singapore Airlines, emphasizing the crew’s attentiveness and making them feel like the sole passengers on board.
Singapore Airlines responded to the controversy through a spokesperson, highlighting that their cabin crew undergoes comprehensive training to cater to diverse passenger needs, including children’s. The training equips staff to understand and address customer requirements effectively.
“We are pleased that our flight attendants were able to anticipate and attend to this customer’s needs this time,” the spokesperson said.