SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) steward has been lauded by a passenger for his "unnecessarily - almost ridiculously high level of professionalism, service and dedication" on board a flight from Singapore to Hong Kong.
The passenger, Mr Gary Leung, wrote on SIA's Facebook page on Tuesday (Sep 26) that he was switching the SIM cards in his mobile phone while on board flight SQ860 on Jun 25.
While doing so, he dropped his nano SIM card, a prepaid card from Singapore. The card slipped into the small gap between the storage compartment and the side of the business-class seat, and fell onto the carpet below.
Mr Leung said he tried to retrieve it himself but could not find a tool long and thin enough to slide the SIM card out from the narrow space.
The card was important as it was needed to access his One Time Password (OTP) for banks and government agencies in Singapore, he explained. To replace it, he would have to go back to Singapore in person - which he would not be until October.
After the passenger sought assistance from flight attendants, chief steward Foo Wen Huee scoured the plane for a retrieval tool, before fashioning one himself out of two straightened ice prongs taped together. He then insisted on attempting to retrieve the card personally, Mr Leung wrote.
"That was the start of what was many, many minutes of chief steward turned part treasure hunter, part fisherman, 100 per cent awesome. Not once. Not twice. But multiple sessions. And in his full uniform, suit jacket and all," Mr Leung wrote.
"Mr Foo was so determined to help me, he spent what felt like more than half the flight time trying to resolve the issue – and even broke into a sweat!"
As the plane prepared for landing and the SIM card still had not been found, Mr Foo contacted the ground staff to go to the plane once it had reached the gate.
The engineers dismantled part of the seat in an attempt to retrieve the SIM card - a process Mr Foo documented in photos he sent to Mr Leung via WhatsApp.
"If this isn't service, I don't know what is," Mr Leung said.
While the SIM card was never found, Mr Leung said he wanted to show how appreciative he was of Mr Foo, the flight crew and ground staff of the airline.
"To Mr Foo and all the other employees, it was just another day on their jobs. To me, it was a lifelong memory that reaffirms my loyalty to this airline," he wrote.
Mr Leung's post struck a chord with readers, with about 8,600 reactions and 660 shares as of Wednesday morning.
SIA also replied to the post, saying that it was "truly heartened" that Mr Leung had taken the time to share his compliments.
"We are grateful as well for your continued loyalty and support, and we look forward to the next time when we can welcome you onboard again," the national carrier said.