A Singapore Airlines (SIA) air stewardess was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room on Tuesday, several hours before she was to depart from the city on the return leg of a long-haul flight.
The authorities in San Francisco are investigating the case.
Penang-born Vanessa Yeap, 38, was a senior stewardess on Flight SQ2 from Singapore to San Francisco with a stopover in Hong Kong, according to a cabin crew member who wished to remain anonymous.
According to the source, who was not on the same flight, Ms Yeap said she was not feeling well when the cabin crew arrived in San Francisco last Saturday.
The return flight to Singapore from San Francisco, SQ1, was scheduled for early morning on Wednesday, which meant that the crew had to check out of their hotel at about 10pm to 11pm on Tuesday.
According to sources, when Ms Yeap did not appear in the lobby, her colleagues went upstairs to check on her.
After several attempts to contact her, they broke into her room, where they found her dead.
They tried to resuscitate her but to no avail.
In a statement to The Straits Times yesterday, SIA confirmed that one of its female cabin crew had been found dead in her hotel room in San Francisco.
"Our immediate priority is to provide the necessary assistance to the family of the crew member. As the case is under the investigation of the local authorities, we are unable to share any further details.
"The member of crew operated to SFO (San Francisco) on Flight SQ2/28 January and was due to have operated out from SFO on SQ1/1 February."
The Straits Times understands that Ms Yeap had been with the airline for about 16 years.
Ms Yeap's elder brother, who works in the sales industry, told The Straits Times yesterday in a tribute: "My loving sister, we love you and cherish you forever. We know you are in good hands with the Lord in heaven now."
He arrived in San Francisco at around 11pm Singapore time last night.
A colleague who did not want to be named told The Straits Times: "She was a very nice and pleasant person, always very helpful. She was planning to get married. It was a tragedy, what has happened to her."
Last year, a 43-year-old flight steward with Singapore Airlines died in Johannesburg, South Africa, after reportedly hitting his head in a fall at a shopping mall.
• Additional reporting by Karamjit Kaur