Broken English or hidden meaning?

At the check in counter at the airport, I asked whether I could move up to the earlier flight. She attendant said, "That flight is very full. It is better for you not to change flight." Either a flight is full or it is not. It can't be " very full". And what did she mean by it was "better" for me not to change flight? It sounded like there were seat but just not for me.

I know that it was possible for the flight to be full because I took that flight on another occasion and it was full, so I didn't pursue the matter. I would arrive in time for my meeting.

My point here isn't to criticize anybody's English. The English we use in Singapore can be confusing not only for foreigners but for Singaporeans as well!


Anonymous said...

That is typical Sillypore!

SIA's revenue has slumped, may be because of such attitude?

Ivy said...

I agree it's not the best way to explain it and perhaps I've acclimatized in the last 4 years I've lived here, but it's quite apparent to me that she's talking about the level of comfort and not the capacity.

David said...


One has to know more about that particualr attendant.

Being part of a Filipino family now, I have become familiar with the manner of speaking that often uses terms somewhat long winded ways to deliver a gentle no, maybe or the here is what I really like response.

On two domestic flights we, (an I) recieved pleasant surprises. Our flight from Orlando was overbooked, taking a voluntary bump to a later flight, only 2.5 hrs later, my wife and I were given $800.00 USD vouchers good on any Delta flight for one year.

When arriving at the airport during the return leg of my recent business trip, I used a kiosk for check in, after scanning my itinerary the kiosk popped a dialogue box asking if I would be interested in lookinf for any available earlier flights. Selecting Yes, the kiosk found one seat on a flight leaving in 40 min, rather than 2 hours later as our scheduled flgth was.

Sometimes peoples language use can confuse, other times computers can either make things easir or much more complicated when poorly programmed.

Better luck during your next airline adventure!