Dear SQ, please don’t force me to listen to my favorite music.

Dear Singapore Airlines,

I love you. Really I do. Out of all two international airlines I’ve flown, your by far the best. I’m only flying cattle class, in your planes cattle can only be a reference to those Japanese cows that live a hand-fed, daily massaged life.

It’s the little things you do so well that make the difference: the hot towel immediately on takeoff, recognising that just getting to the airport can be a hard day. The frequent – it feels like every ten minutes, but is probably more like once an hour – offers of a juice or water. I don’t do booze on flights, but the couple beside me do, and your staff have kept them supplied with beer and Baileys until they stopped whining (the couple, not the staff – as far as I can tell, bringing a constant stream of booze for this couple fulfilled the childhood dreams of the staff, judging by the looks on their faces)

I do apologise – turns out they weren’t sated, just resting – but once again the hostess bringing the booze seem thrilled to be of service. It’s little things like that that make me return every weekend to my favorite local cafe, and will keep me returning to your airline.

You get the big things right too – last time I flew SQ, I had the absolute pleasure of riding in an A380 from SIN to SYD. Being first to fly that plane, something you’re rightfully proud of, is just a small demonstration of your comittment to remaining one of the world’s leading airlines.

Right now I’m treating myself to a runthrough of my Living End albums on my iPod. This is a real treat – their early work remains some of my favourite music of all time, and I don’t get to listen to it often enough.

As nice as this is, it’s not what I had in mind when I boarded your aircraft. You see, you’re famous for your entairnment system, and again, rightly so. The games leave a bit to be desired, but your movie and TV selection is second to none. It’s not just the number of programs – it’s the variety! Hollywood, Bollywood, European and Chinese – you have a vast range of programming from all over the world. The first thing I did on boading the plane was to peruse your entertainment guide and plan my next 8 hours of relaxation.

So why am I listening to my own music? Because your entairnment system has failed me. It’s been off for over half the flight. It was off for over 90 minutes at the start of the flight. Eventually it came up, but minus the Video On Demand. Even so, I managed to watch some of Gomorrah on broadcast channel 13 – but before the movie ended, the system rebooted again.

After a considerable time with no entertainment the system came back. This time I decided to go for something shorter, so I started on some of the TV documentaries. I managed a show about gardens in India, and most of another show, before the system crashed entirely. Still about 2 hours from Singapore, and my only entertainment is provided by the music I provided my self, and writing you this rant.

I’m not going to pretend this means I won’t be back: an SQ flight with no entertainment still beats most carriers. I just want to let you know that flight SQ232 today was almost the perfect flight – it was only your entertainment system that let you down.

I look forward to flying SQ again soon – my next three segments are already booked, the last one once again on your A380, the first mere minutes after I get off this flight – and look forward on particular to being reminded just how good your system can be when it’s working.

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