Indian-origin scribe to globetrot to judge Finnair quality

Monday, October 4, 2010

HELSINKI - A teacher-journalist in Beirut born to a British-Indian couple is among four people to have landed an envious assignment of globetrotting on the routes of Nordic carrier Finnair for two months and give their impressions on its service quality.

Warren Singh-Bartlett, born to an English-Indian family in the subcontinent, is among more than 5,200 applicants from across the world, including 125 from India, who had responded to the “quality hunter” offer by the carrier.

“The number of people applying to be ‘quality hunters’ has exceeded our expectations. We received lots of excellent applications from all over the world,” said Jarkko Konttinen, Finnair’s vice president for global marketing.

“I hope the project will generate high-quality development ideas, which we can refine for our customers’ enjoyment. Hopefully the subject will stimulate much discussion on our ‘Rethink Quality’ website,” he said in a statement.

Singh-Bartlett currently lives in Beirut and writes for, among others, The New York Times and Aishti magazine, and makes documentaries for television. He has also worked as a teacher in Japan and a journalist in China.

He will be starting his assignment from Rovaniemi, the land of Santa Claus in northern Finland.

The other three selected for the ‘quality hunters’ programme are photojournalist Christina Lund Sorensen from Denmark, fashion journalist Ella Marshall from Britain, and financial consultant and investor Wolfgang Wagner from Germany.

They will all be writing their comments on Finnair’s blog on quality and readers who comment on their writings or vote for their favourite ‘hunter’ will enter a prize draw, with a chance to win a package for two Europe-Asia flights.

The airline said the blog, initiated in 2009, has more than half a million readers, and its Facebook page, that opened in spring 2010, has more than 23,000 friends.

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