Ricardo Rodrigues' story about his unhappy experience on board SQ637 from Narita to Singapore on December 4 was given an airing in The Sunday Times today (Dec 12).
As a result, boo-n-bouquet.blogspot.com, was mentioned for reporting it. And -- as a result -- the blog saw a huge spike in the number of hits today.
Ricardo, retired regional manager for bookstore Borders, wrote to me after he was reprimanded by a crew member for using a first-class toilet in the A-380 when he was travelling on economy.
He said he was treated "like a child" for something that he just "could not hold" as he was having a stomach ache and all the economy class toilets were occupied.
The responses that I got when I told the story to my friends and family members over the weekend were mixed. Some said Ricardo should have asked for permission before he went into the first-class toilet. My counter was that he just did not have the time to do it.
Others wanted to know where to draw the line on who should be allowed to use those "higher class toilets". They said it would be difficult for the airline because there was always the risk of abuse if those toilets were opened up to those having "stomach aches".
It also has to consider the reaction of the higher-paying passengers if those from the economy class were allowed to encroach into their space wily-nily?
Well, I guess this is something the airline will have to work it out because we can be sure that such a dilemma --- to allow or not to allow? -- will confront crew members again and again.
But one thing that is not in dispute --- all my respondents were surprised that Ricardo was treated so badly, especially by an airline that is noted for being ultra friendly to its passengers.