Is Upgrading Your Flight Truly Worth It?

As you make your way through the business class cabin to your seat in coach, it’s hard not to feel a twinge of envy. The plush seats, extra legroom, and attentive service are undeniably tempting.

But is upgrading your flight really worth the cost? Let’s explore the details.


Economy Service on International Flights

In economy, you can expect a meal or snack, though the quality is often just average. Most airlines offer juice and wine during meal service. Your seat will have standard legroom, a small pillow, and a light blanket (i.e., items upon request). However, you might need to pay extra for headphones.

Premium Economy Service on International Flights

Premium economy offers all the benefits of standard economy with a few added perks. You’ll enjoy about three extra inches of legroom, complimentary earbuds, dedicated overhead storage, early boarding, and a small amenity kit with earplugs and a sleeping mask on long-haul flights.

Business Class on International Flights

Business class enhances comfort with more legroom, greater seat recline, and a footrest. You’ll benefit from expedited check-in, early boarding, dedicated overhead bins, and a more private cabin. The dining experience is elevated with more frequent food, snack, and drink service. You’ll also receive a premium amenity kit, higher-quality pillow, thicker blanket, and noise-canceling headphones.

First Class or Premium Service on International Flights

Expect lay-flat seats, a larger entertainment system with noise-canceling headphones, lounge access, expedited check-in and boarding, and extra overhead bin space. The premium amenity kit may include pajamas, and you’ll be treated to a welcome cocktail, premium wines, and gourmet meals served on fancy plates. Some flights even feature suites with doors for added privacy.



The length of your flight is a critical factor. For flights under 7-8 hours, the upgrade might not be worth it. However, for longer flights to USA, Africa, New Zealand, or Europe, the enhanced comfort can significantly improve your travel experience.

#2: COST

Cost is a major consideration. Upgrading from economy to premium economy on a flight might cost an extra SGD 135 to SGD 270, which can be a worthwhile investment for the added comfort. However, upgrading to first class can add SGD 2,700 to SGD 5,400 to your ticket price, translating to SGD 337.50 to SGD 675 per flight hour. Assess if the additional legroom and perks are worth the hefty price.

Consider upgrading only the longest leg of your journey to save money. Airlines often offer upgrade deals after booking, which can be significantly cheaper than the original first-class ticket price.


For families traveling with children on long flights, an upgrade can make a world of difference. The additional space and comfort can help everyone get some rest, making it easier to hit the ground running when you reach your destination.


If flying makes you anxious, upgrading can help alleviate some of that stress. The more spacious and comfortable environment, with less crowding and noise, can make the experience more relaxing, even if the actual flight isn’t any safer in a premium cabin.

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Upgrading often comes with increased baggage allowances. Some airlines allow up to 20 lbs more luggage for premium passengers, which can save you from expensive overweight fees. If you tend to overpack or shop a lot on your trips, this added benefit can be very useful.


Frequent flyers can benefit from airline rewards programs that offer free or discounted upgrades. Take advantage of these programs!


Premium passengers can often skip the long lines at check-in and security, which can save a significant amount of time. This is especially valuable if you’re on a tight schedule or have a business meeting right after your flight.


Whether upgrading your flight is worth it depends on various factors, including flight duration, cost, personal comfort, and travel needs.

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For long-haul flights, the increased comfort and additional perks can make a substantial difference. However, for shorter trips, the extra expense might not be justified. Assess your priorities and travel preferences to make the best decision for your journey.

Sources: 1 & 2



Transition of Leadership in Singapore Signals a New Era Ahead

Long-time Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently announced his decision to step down and pass the baton to his designated successor, Lawrence Wong, on May 15. This transition comes ahead of an impending election slated for next year.

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Wong has long been recognized as the prime minister-in-waiting, a position he assumed in April 2022 after the previously appointed successor withdrew unexpectedly. This disruption in the meticulously planned leadership succession, customary in Singapore, has been carefully navigated to ensure continuity.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wong emerged prominently as the co-head of the government’s COVID-19 task force. His adept management of the crisis, which included implementing movement restrictions and overseeing contact-tracing efforts, garnered widespread acclaim. He not only succeeded in containing infections and minimizing fatalities but also excelled in communicating government policies transparently to the public.

Having served as Lee’s principal private secretary from 2005 to 2008, Wong subsequently held key ministerial positions in education, national development, finance, and eventually ascended to the role of deputy prime minister in 2022.

In accepting this new responsibility, Wong expressed humility and a profound sense of duty. He articulated his commitment to serving the nation wholeheartedly, pledging to be guided by the aspirations and concerns of the people.

Lee, in acknowledging the significance of the leadership transition, emphasized its importance for the nation’s progress. The Prime Minister’s Office affirmed Wong’s leadership, highlighting unanimous support from the People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs.

Wong’s call to action encourages Singaporeans to actively participate in shaping the country’s future. He invites citizens to share their ideas, aspirations, and concerns, emphasizing the collaborative effort needed to build a brighter tomorrow for all.

Addressing the financial concerns of Singaporeans remains a key priority for the incoming leadership. Recent surveys indicate significant apprehension among citizens regarding their financial security, with factors such as rising household expenses and inflation weighing heavily on their minds. Issues such as soaring rental costs and the anticipated increase in Goods and Services Tax (GST) further underscore the need for proactive measures to alleviate financial burdens and ensure economic resilience.

As Wong assumes office, he commits to addressing these challenges head-on, working tirelessly to build a prosperous and inclusive Singapore.

Sources: 1,2, & 3


Cost-Cutting Measures Taken By SIA To Alleviate The Effects of COVID-19

The tourism industry has taken a significant hit due to the global travel restrictions and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the Singapore government temporarily suspended the operations of Terminal 4 to adapt to the decline of flights.

The national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) was heavily affected by the pandemic too. It is currently operating at 7% of its scheduled capacity. The drastic drop of the travel demands led to a net loss of S$1.12 billion in SIA’s first quarter. This is why the SIA Group had to employ cost-cutting measures aimed at mitigating the harsh financial effects of the current circumstance.

The following are some of the SIA’s cost-cutting measures.


Having leave without pay is something that is seen in different fields including the tourism industry. More than 6,000 SIA Group staff have taken up varying days of no-pay leave amidst the collapse in air travel. This number accounts for more than a fifth of the 27,000 staff under the SIA Group. You see, the SIA Group includes SilkAir and Scoot.

Pilots, cabin crew, and ground staff members have taken no-pay leaves with a minimum of seven days. These people who are on no-pay leave or are on furlough are allowed to look for other sources of income and employment outside of the company, provided that they are non-work pass holders.


SIA is on a mission to negotiate adjustments with aircraft manufacturers. They have been and will continue to negotiate on existing orders and payment schemes to reduce near-term cash outflows. This strategy is something that many businesses are adopting.


To reduce the lay-offs and to help the SIA Group to survive during this time, all the staff have taken cuts from their salaries. Managers and people with higher ranks have taken cuts ranging between 12 to 35 percent (%), with its Chief Executive Officer taking the highest cut of 35%. While all the other staff have taken a cut of about 10% on their basic salary.


In its continuous search to reduce its operational costs, SIA has offered its cabin crew early release or retirement options. Cabin crew members who successfully apply for the scheme will receive benefits and payouts. The trainee crew will not be eligible. Eligible applicants have until August 2020 to apply. Each application will be considered on its merits. The results of the application will be released by mid-September 2020.

Cabin crew members will reap different benefits based on their employment status. For instance, crew members who are still serving their bond as of August 1 will be granted a waiver of any outstanding bond repayment if they successfully apply to leave early. On the other hand, crew members in the last year of their contract as of August 1 who successfully apply to leave early, will reap a pro-rated gratuity without having to complete the current contract.

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Experts have said that these various measures will help the SIA Group, but not to the extent that it can avoid eventual job cuts. This is due to the decrease in travel demands and the increase in current manpower. Moreover, a quick recovery is nowhere in sight as the International Air Transport Association stated that it will be until 2024 before the travel demand returns to the last year’s level.

Sources: 1 & 2



A Helpful Guide To Business Recovery

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a significant toll on many businesses and individuals all over the world. It is as if we are living an alternate universe where our global economy gradually collapses and we are left to make sacrifices in order to survive. The pandemic has negatively affected many lives and has caused business closures from different industries. These are the hard realities that we face now.

As time goes by, we see glimpses of hope at the end of the dark tunnel. Singapore’s Phase 2 has made steady progress towards reopening the country to more business activities such as nail salons, bookstores, fitness studios, tuition centers, and more. We moved into the next stage while successfully keeping the community transmissions low.

Despite this, businesses must reopen with caution. It is crucial to prepare for gradual business recovery with adequate planning. Here are some things that you may consider as you open your doors to others.


One of the biggest mistakes that you may make is to eagerly start full on day one. This can incur unnecessary costs (i.e., includes wages and utility expenses) and can increase the risks of closure. View the situation with realistic lenses. Many consumers are slimming down their budgets in order to make ends meet. If the demand is low, you must adjust to the situation by operating your business with minimum capacity.

What is the bare setup you need to complete your monthly business cycles? Stick to that. This bare setup includes your essential staff, minimum inventory, and main products or services. As you reawaken your ecosystem, it will gradually grow in time. Your only goal on day one is to restart.


Everyone will expect a different level of business productivity during the recovery period. It is unreasonable for others to require you the same amount of outcome as you achieved a year before. This leeway is not excuse for you to lose your communication channels with your loyal clients and stakeholders. Assure them that you are taking active steps into restarting the business.

Make personalized calls to these important people. Be honest and genuine as you hear out their concerns and grievances. Prepare for the personalized calls by having a list of possible questions and by offering practical solutions to their possible concerns. You can regularly update them as soon as you are able to address certain challenges on your way to business recovery.


From the beginning of the Circuit Breaker period down to the present, you must calculate the profits and losses that your business incurred. Doing so, you will be able to have a numeric goal for your business to achieve in time.

Several business continuity models suggest that you must calculate the business recovery costs, audit the liquid assets and know the projected sales to paint the picture of a realistic business recovery timeline. Business recovery costs are liability that you will slowly pay off with liquid assets, then with projected sales. Going through this process will give you an idea of how long you should plan for business recovery.


Much like one’s journey to starting a family, business recovery cannot be rushed. You must plan for it with a sense of control. Use your realistic timeline to bring your business back to its healthy shape. During this recovery period, you must operate at a minimum capacity and explore other sources of income. For instance, a construction company may look into offering demolition or dismantling services.

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It is important to be aware of the relevant national rules that govern your industry. The changes in the demand for your products and services must be taken into account too. Activate the non-essential parts of your operations as your business increases its sales. Take things slow!

Sources: 1 & 2


The Fall Of Carrefour: What Really Happened?

In 2012, French hypermarket chain Carrefour has exited our shores. It pulled out due to not “being competitive enough”. You see, they believed that they could not achieve a leadership position in the medium and long term perspective in the country. Why is this so? Perhaps, they were not able to study our customer culture very well.

It is surprising to see the local downfall of a hypermarket chain who runs as the second largest mega-retailer right after Walmart in terms of revenue. Before I highlight the two factors that led to its exit, I will give you a brief background on Carrefour.

Its 1989 entrance in Taiwan began its operations in Asia. Its launching in Asia was prompted by the laws, which restricted the growth of hypermarkets and supermarkets in France. It opened its first Singapore branch in 2003. Its decision to penetrate the Asian market was further supported by its success in international ventures in Latin America.

Singaporeans were initially attracted with the combination of food and non-food items such as electronics and furniture. Yes! Your child can get lost while running around in a supermarket that housed a variety of products in one roof!

Once the enthusiasm faded, Carrefour faced tough competition from the other local players. Giant and Cold Storage were everyone’s preferred grocery while Courts and Best Denki were preferred in electronics. These stores gave Carrefour a run for its money!

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Its two outlets smacked in the city center were located in Plaza Singapura and Suntec City Mall. Imagine traveling in the middle of town just to replenish your groceries. It is quite a hassle, right? This is why it is convenient for consumers to buy groceries in stores spread across residential areas.

I am referring to Cold Storage and FairPrice. I would not want to travel far and wide just to get an item that I can buy nearby! This sentiment echoes in the hearts of many.


Aside from its location, a factor that dictated its downfall is its pricing. It is undeniable that Carrefour offers products at a higher price. To be fair, their products are reasonably premium.

Nonetheless, these products are not unique. You can purchase cheaper hotdogs in the nearby mart at your HDB complex. Do you really need to spend S$20 more for a pack of hotdog? This is why most people will prefer for cheaper substitutes to everyday products.

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“The bottom line is Singapore is not the biggest market (in Asia) and it’s very competitive. It’s not the cheapest place to do business in as well.”
-Song Seng Wun, Regional Economist, CIMB , 2012

Sources: 1 & 2