Letter from 41,000 feet: Crying over Satay and The Father
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Monday, 15th November 2021

I NEVER thought I’d feel emotional at the sight of satay but I am told that at 41,000 feet, cabin pressure does something to your senses so you cry more easily over movies (The Father is best watched when alone) and, in this case, familiar skewers of chicken coated with spicy peanut sauce.

It’s my first flight since March 2020 and the ritual of flying with Singapore Airlines felt oddly surreal yet familiar, almost like a homecoming of sorts.

As with most things, it’s the waiting and preparation that is most fraught with anxiety. Making sure you get all the paperwork in place because everyone has told you how different it all is now as well as everything you’ve read – download apps, print everything (in case), that unnecessarily long wait for the PCR departure test (call me for tips) and an attestation form required by SIA to declare your negative PCR test.

After that, your unused but highly trained “traveller” muscle kicks in. On check-in, I am asked for my vaccination certificate, attestation form, US visa and US address. The airport is depressingly quiet.

At the lounge, which is reassuringly fuller than I expected, it’s all digital now – order food via QR code, no open buffet, as little contact between you and staff as possible.

Onboard too, you get free wifi for two hours and you can view the inflight menu, shop and do stuff all online. Covid has forced airlines into the digital world.

Read the full story here

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