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Former SQ Stewardess Explains S$4.5K Salary

A Facebook post by Malaysian website Leesharing has gone viral. According to the article, a recent Singapore Airlines recruitment campaign advertised that a Malaysian SQ stewardess can earn a salary of around S$4.5K monthly.

“When I started flying, it was advertised at about S$3K, and then [in 2016], the exchange rate was about 2.5,” Jessica, a Malaysian former SQ stewardess, shares. She was a flight stewardess with SQ for 2.5 years.

S$1 will get you about RM3.05 currently, which makes this package extremely attractive to potential flight stewardesses.

“However, my first pay cheque came [up] to about S$4K,” Jessica explains. She breaks down how the salary is calculated.

Salary mechanics

All new stewardesses get about S$1.3K as a base salary. Everything else is earned through hourly rates on flights and layover allowances.

“[During] a typical month, you get about 6-8 flights,” Jessica explains. The flights include long-haul (Europe), medium-haul (Australia) and turnaround flights, which are usually to Southeast Asian airports and bring you back to Singapore within 24 hours.  

Let’s make this clearer for you:

Base salary: S$1.3K
+ hourly rate: S$9.50 x number of hours on the plane
+ layover allowance: dependent on location
= total pay

As advertised, a typical month gets you about S$4.5K.

Layover allowances

Layover allowances differ between cities. From what Jessica remembers, the most attractive ones are London (S$490) and Sydney (S$250).

Upon arriving at the destination after a long-haul flight, she usually slept in for most of the day. Depending on how much she wanted to shop, she often spent about S$60-S$90. After which, she bagged the balance as savings.

“Flights to India and Japan have the least attractive layover allowance,” Jessica explains.

Providing another example, a turnaround flight to Jakarta happens within a day. The pay is calculated as such:

Hourly rate: 4 hours x S$9.50 = S$38
+ layover allowance = S$90
Total pay = S$128

Days off

“You can get quite a lot of days off, so if you have no life, you [will] have a lot of free time,” Jessica shares.

How are days off calculated?

Flights above 9 hours (long-haul) entitle you to a 48-hour layover (i.e. 2 days off on the ground and in Singapore).

Flights between 5-9 hours (medium-haul) entitle you to a 24-hour layover (i.e. 1 day off on the ground and in Singapore).

Turnarounds of 1-4.5 hours (short-haul) entitle you to the following day off in Singapore.

Pay increase

Two years after a probation of about 6 months, your hourly rate increases to about S$12.80 per hour. However, Jessica recounts that after her pay increase, she received a lot more flights with unattractive layover allowances.

It was that, amongst other challenges of the job, that she decided to call it quits after 2.5 years at the airline. She does describe the remuneration to be “very attractive”.

Jessica also shares some tips to help potential candidates make the cut during the SQ stewardess interview.

Also read:

Singaporean Cabin Crew Secrets: What I Wish I Knew Before Signing Up

Tips on passing the interview

1. Dress for the job you want

“You are not going for a hostess job, don’t wear a mini skirt,” Jessica warns. She remembers seeing candidates who showed up in skirts that sat above their knees paired with black stockings and the receptionist gave them a glance like they were just wasting everyone’s time.

2. Impress the interviewers, who are usually experienced crew members

“People think the ladies interviewing them are HR managers, but they are actually crew members who will be your supervisors if you pass,” she explains. “Be extremely polite, greet them and make sure you leave the impression that you can do the job.”

3. Be confident in your answers but don’t come across as cocky

Since it’s a service job, Jessica repeatedly emphasises the importance of being humble. She mentions that during the debate rounds of her interview, some candidates talked over others like they knew everything—a bad idea.

4. Speak clearly and with poise

Think about it: if you get the job,you will need to be able to communicate with passengers from all nationalities. It’s crucial to articulate your words well, so that passengers will be able to understand you.

5. Imitate being the best SQ girl you can be

During the first round, the interviewers might ask you to “introduce a local food to a foreigner”. These types of questions are to test your ability to speak, introduce and communicate, all important aspects of the job.

During the final rounds, they might ask more personal questions like,“Why do you want this job and what are your previous experiences?” Your answers should assure them that you can be a good crew member, despite difficult passengers.

It’s really as simple as that.

Former SQ Stewardess Breaks Down Newly Advertised $4.5K Salary

The remuneration for being a SQ flight stewardess is attractive, even for Singaporeans.

The reason is that the job can be challenging at times. Difficult supervisors and belligerent passengers are part of the job, while the upside is a nice pay cheque and plenty of days off.

If you decide to take on the SQ dream, we hope this article was helpful in making a more informed decision.   

Also read:

SQ Steward Interview: Why I Think Other Candidates Were Eliminated

Cover image: Source