Image: Cheryl Chou for The New Paper / Instagram

Miss Chou, 21, had a “mini photoshoot” with Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) cabin crew en route to Manila to represent the Republic at last month’s Miss Universe pageant.

Halfway through the three-hour flight, the 1.7m beauty went to the back of the aircraft and took quick snaps with the crew. SIA had sponsored her flight to Manila. She flew together with Miss Mauritius and Miss Finland.

Miss Chou told The New Paper: “They were the very first contestants I got to know in person, and they were so sweet. I felt that we developed a special bond after talking to each other on the flight.”

With nine luggage bags for her three-week stay in Manila, she had the privilege of checking in at the first-class counter and was impressed by the staff’s helpfulness. “I didn’t have to worry about holding up the line, or my bags and my national costume,” she said. “I knew that everything would be looked after well. It was a very busy day for me, but they made the whole process much easier. The flight attendants also made sure I had my privacy and was comfortable on board.”

Miss Chou also chatted with the cabin crew, who gave their encouragement and support. She added: “I’m happy and grateful for this (sponsorship).”

In a previous interview with TNP, Miss Chou mentioned that she travels around the world a lot with her mother, especially on SIA, but she cited this flight as her most memorable and “meaningful” yet. She said: “This whole experience was very exciting and it was the first time I was flying to something so important.

“Knowing that I was flying with the national carrier from my home country, it made everything more special, and I’m very thankful to everyone who was a part of it.”

This story was originally published on The New Paper.