SQLover From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 8 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 16988 times:
I start off scripting this report in the comfortable cocoon of The Private Room in Changi T3
A business trip to Singapore afforded me a chance to make use of the highly attractive FEZSQ RTW fares in F. Love the flexibility of these fares and the fact that they work out almost the same as J class fares from SFO to Asia make this an obvious choice!
My routing was SFO-IAH (booked seperately on CO), followed by the IAH-DME-SIN. Unfortunately, I was too tired on the inbound sectors to do a TR, so this report focuses on my return flight from SIN to SFO.
Terminal 3 & Check-in Experience :
I've flown through this Terminal umpteen times since it opened in 2008 and yet each time I am constantly pleasantly surprised by it! Only in a very small handful of international airports can you have an exceptional experience that injects spice and fantasy into the experience of flight - Changi ranks top on that list for me.
View of the Terminal 3 building
SQ uses a seperate check-in area for it's F passengers. This is a secluded section behind Row 1 in T3 with it's own dedicated immigration/passport control desk. As you come into the airport you get to pull up into the F check-in curb where porters are on hand to assist with baggage
F checkin entrance
F Check-in entrance
The check-in area resembles the lobby of a 5 star hotel with chairs and sofas to relax in as your check-in formalities are processed.
Entrance to the F Check-in area
F Check-in desks
Seperate passport control for F passengers
[Edited 2011-08-05 01:01:36]
The Private Room
Next came the lounge experience. After passing through immigration you enter the main transit hall right infront of the escalators that lead up to the SKL. That's a big plus in terms of saving walking time from the main departure control area. The SKL itself is open only to F and J class passengers (or QPPS members) and offers a relaxing environment to unwind before the flight.
SKL @ T3
The Private Room is an invitation only section of the SKL for F passengers only. I found the environment to be a club style lounge with oversized club chairs and sofa sections. I didn't find the experience too thrilling as there was nothing truly "exclusive" about it. Ofcourse, it does have it's own dining section where you can order from a set menu which is nice
Private room decor
Dining room area
Fried noodles and Chicken Rendang
No F experience is complete without the obligatory Dom
B738FlyUIA From Switzerland, joined Dec 2009, 543 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 16229 times:
Thanks for the Post and will wait for you to continue.... Hope will not take very long as find it very intersting. Only shame that you will not write about IAD - DME - SIN... would be very interesting too...)))
SQLover From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 12426 times:
Here's the continuation of my TR. Apologies in advance for the lack of photographs. SIN-HKG was a very bumpy ride so only the pre-departure cabin shots came out well. HKG-SFO was a VERY long 13 hours and 5 minutes thanks to Typhoon Muifa so was too sleepy to take many shots. Flight Experience
Scheduled Dep: 17:50
Actual Dep: 18:45
I made my way to gate A12 around 17:10 as the F boarding was slated around 17:20. Found the gate to be barely occupied - looks like most people decided to come late to the gate!!
Boarding Gate A 12
Around 17:15 an announcement was made that boarding would be delayed by around 10 minutes due to the "late arrival of aircraft" - not really sure where this 77W came from. Nonetheless boarding finally commenced 20 minutes later at 17:35. Making my way into the aircraft, I was warmly greeted by the inflight supervisor who handed my boarding pass to a junior steward and asked him to escort me to my seat - 2A. After the usual pleasantries were exchanged, I was asked if I would like some champagne as a pre-take off drink Krug was requested and brought forth within a matter of minutes.
F was full with all 8 suites taken. I was the only through passenger heading to SFO - all the others were disembarking at HKG.
Pre-take off drink - Krug
Much has been written about the new F seats on A.net so I won't bore you with the usual details. But from my personal point of view there is not a whole lot of difference between the F and J seats - yes it is wider no doubt but not very much. The other personal problem I have with the F seat is that its not very comfortable as a seat! The thigh and leg rests extend out however, it is a bit awkward to sit in the seat with the rests extended and yet be comfortable. Much rather prefer the J seats for sitting! Leg room is of course enormous and the lack of storage space on the top is compensated by a large space under the leg rest where one can set your bags down.
I quickly checked out Flight Path to get the details of the flight. Now one pet peeve for me with the new KrisWorld is that the flight path channel never actually shows your "proposed" flight path. All it shows you are 2 discs one each for origin and destination but never shows you the path that the captain is intending to take. In the older KW (available in 744's and 772's) the projected path is always shown. I find this irritating because on a long trans-pacific crossing there are numerous paths that can be taken and it's always nice to know how you are flying!
Another gripe about the new KW - it's just not as responsive as it should be. I found myself pressing buttons many more times than I need to to start a movie - sometimes key presses just don't do anything. Forwarding and rewinding on-demand are also sluggish to say the least and I found myself often having to re-forward or rewind since I missed the spot that I wanted to see. EK (which is often compared to SQ) has a much better responsive IFE product than SQ in this regard.
A variety of magazines and newspapers were offered. The leading flight stewardess then came back to confirm my BTC selection - Nasi Biryani (yumm!) and assured me that it was on-board. She also took my order for a post-take off drink and I chose some Dom this time.
The captain came on the PA around 18:00 (10 mins past our STD) and apologized for the delay as the boarding process had been delayed due to the late arrival of the aircraft. He gave a brief summary of the route as well as advising us that we would be taxiing to the north of the airfield for take-off.
Finally at 18:12 we pushed back and started our long taxi to the departure point. After about 10 minutes of taxing we came to a halt and were stationary for a good 12-15 minutes. Pilot came on again to advise that there was a long departure delay at Changi that evening and that we were number 8 for take off!
At last we lifted off from 20L at 18:45, making a gradual left turn to a north-north easterly heading over Malaysia and out into the South China Sea. I must say that this was one of the most turbulent flights I had been on. Cabin crew were asked to be seated atleast 3-4 times during the duration of the flight each disruption lasting atleast a good 15 minutes.
Meal service was as expected - nothing spectacular other than the Nasi Biryani being extremely tasty - compliments to the chef! 3 hrs 20 mins flew by and we were on our descent and landed at 22:05 - about 30 mins behind schedule.
Upon landing at HKG we were informed to "rush" through transfer security as boarding was supposed to commence by 22:30. As most of you who may have transited on SQ in HKG would know, it's a good 10-12 min brisk walk from the arrival gate (usually Gate 19) to the transfer security point. By the time I huffed and puffed through security and into the SKL near Gate 15, I was about ready for a nap! At the entrance to the SKL there was a board stating boarding would commence at 22:40! HKG is usually a good airport, but quite disappointed with SQ for not communicating their timings properly this time. Anyway, it afforded me another 10 mins extra rest at the SKL. I'm not a huge fan of the HKG SKL - much rather prefer the one at ICN for location as well as service. Just about had time for a quick drink and check some emails.
I was off Gate 19 around 22:35 and it was brimming with people already queued up. The "priority lane" had over 25 people waiting (all of the J or priority status holders). The gate agent did his usual passport + boarding pass verification. He looked at my F class boarding pass and ushered me to the front of the queue (much to the disdain of those waiting!) Boarding was called at 22:42 and I was asked to board first (nice touch!)
Again, same routine -welcomed by IFS and escorted to seat by stewardess. Dom was asked for and presented without fuss. As the drink was brought the stewardess informed that the flying time today would be a rather long 13hours and 5 mins thanks to the route we had to take to avoid Typhoon Huifa that was bellowing near Japan. I was anyway preparing for a good sleep as I was totally drained by now.
Again full load in F yesterday!
Captain came on around 23:10 and informed us of the longer flight duration due to the typhoon and also apologized for the departure delay. Our route today would be due north out of HKG into China airspace then onto Russia, Aleutians and flying over Anchorage before a southerly turn over the Gulf of Alaska to the mainland.
Push back finally occured at 23:25 and we lifted off 23:42. Unfortunately, I do not have much to offer in terms of a report in this sector as it appears that I dozed off right after take off (even while sitting down! ) and did not get up till after around 3.5 hours after take off! Stewardess said she tried to gently awake me but that I was fast asleep I was offered my supper - but was till too sleepy for a full 4 course meal and simply opted for my BTC main course of Stuffed Chicken with Cheese. Not sure if it was my appetite or the sleepiness, but I didn't find the dish too appealing. I hardly ate half of it before I requested it to be removed and my bed be made.
I was quickly offered PJ's and I changed to return to a fully made bed. Next 7+ hours was blissful sleep till I awoke around 3 hours prior to landing. I was quite hungry and asked if I could have an early breakfast. I chose the scrambled eggs with chicken sausage option. It was adequate and quite tasty.
Breakfast Main Course - Scrambled eggs, potatoes & chicken sausage
Approach and landing at SFO were uneventful and touch down was at 21:47 local time.
Overall this was a satisfactory flight in F on SQ but it wasn't a "class of its own" as I have come to expect from SQ. This is my 3rd flight on SQ F and I think I am slowly getting weary of the hard product. It's lost the newness that it used to have. Wear and tear is obvious on these aircraft.
Still, this is one of the best F products in the sky today and inflight service is still superior than most airlines. So still worth a good fare like the RTW but definitely not worth the exorbitant cost of point to point F travel - just my opinion!
Hope you enjoyed. I have a couple more flights in Y coming up next month to Asia so will be sure to report on the other end of the SQ spectrum!! )