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An Epic Battle: SQ Vs CX (SIN-HKG-SIN)  
User currently offlinegroomyjl From Singapore, joined Sep 2012, 53 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 8748 times:

Hi there all,

After my previous inaugural trip report on GA, I'm ready for a 2nd one now. This time, I'll twist it a little bit by making a comparison between SQ and CX on their shuttle service between SIN and HKG.

1. FREQUENCY & FLIGHT TIMINGS
SQ operates 7x daily on the route, while CX on certain days operates up to 9x daily. CX also operates a red-eye flight out of SIN at 1am+ to reach HKG early morning at 5am. The schedule offered by CX definitely wins here as it provides greater flexibility in terms of flight timing. Ticket prices of CX are almost always cheaper than SQ, albeit by a few dollars only. Therefore, first point goes to CX. SQ (0-1) CX


2. T1 vs T3
While T1 had been fully renovated with added attraction and shops, I still think that T3 is a more premium and well rounder terminal overall. CX operates out of T1 and SQ flights to HKG depart from T3. Both CX and SQ operate from T1 in HKG, so it doesnt have any advantage over one another. It's obvious that my choice goes to SQ in this department. SQ (1-1) CX


An aerial view of CX check-in counters at T1.


3. HARDWARES
SQ, while operates lesser frequency to HKG than CX, uses the best of their aircrafts to date to HKG such as B777-300ER, new A330-300 and A380s with AVOD and bigger size PTVs. Ironically, the hardwares used by CX on this route are the total opposite. A mix of old A333, B772/3 and B744s with tiny PTV and non-AVOD are utilised by CX. I wonder if these old planes are still relevant in today's competitive airlines industry (esp CX being a 5* airlines) where every airlines is trying to upgrade or has upgraded their equipments. Thumbs down to CX. SQ (2-1) CX


Cathay's old B777-200


Singapore Airlines B777-300ER and A380's seat


4. LEGROOMS
As a 5'9"-er, I do not have any problems sitting on both SQ and CX seats. Both airlines offer "above the standard" legrooms on all flights. However, I'd choose SQ for better comfort. CX seats are just not as well padded and comfortable as SQ's and I read somewhere that the new economy class seats are not any better, either. SQ (3-1) CX

vs.
SQ vs. CX


5. AMENITIES
Menu booklet, hot towel and snack/drink service are offered on both legs of SQ flights. CX does not offer any of those except snack/drink service on the HKG-SIN sector. I'm not sure if this is consistent on all CX flights though. SQ (4-1) CX


SINGAPORE AIRLINES


CATHAY PACIFIC


6. INFLIGHT MEALS & SERVICE
This is subjective indeed! However, based on my numerous experiences with CX in the past, I had never liked their food on board. The food tends to be on the bland side, simple and no-frills kinda feeling. Not to mention the small quantity too. Let's see how they fare this time round

>> TO HKG

I definitely appreciate the big portion of SQ meal here. The beef stew was tender and tasted almost like home-cooked meal to me


Like most people say, when you're in Asia, try the Asian food. I did choose the duck porridge and surprisingly, it was very tasty. The other option available was egg with sausage and it was very good too apparently.

>> TO SIN

SQ meals have never failed me. I can almost be sure that I won't go starving everytime I fly with Singapore Airlines. The chicken flavoured rice was fluffy and full of flavours. I tend to think that HKG catering makes better food than SIN though.


Now, this is the real surprise! Notice that small Haagen Daz tub there? Hehe... I was pleasantly surprised that CX pulled out this outstanding meal service on the returning flight to SIN. Not only the meal was tasty and plentiful, but the service was also superb. If I may say this, the attentive service and professionalism from CX crew surpassed my experience with those on SQ. But I'm just referring to this particular flight sector and it may not represent CX as a whole. I just love this "black beans with black pepper chicken" meal. Absolutely delicious

Tough decision in this department. I'd say both SQ and CX did equally well, with CX having a slight advantage because of the ice-cream...LOL. SQ (4-2) CX


7. INFLIGHT SHOPPING
Both airlines have a great selection of products carried on board and they also allow pre-ordering of items to be delivered on your flights. However, purchases on SQ's KrisShop do not qualify for frequent flyer points (i.e. KrisFlyer), while they do on CX's Asia Miles programme. Pre-ordering condition on SQ requires a minimum of 3 days placement before departure flight when CX only requires a minimum of 2 days. CX also carries a wide selection of diecast planes in their shopping list, which is definitely a big bonus for a serious collector like me . CX is the clear winner. SQ (4-3) CX


My new "babies" ...LOL


8. CONCLUSION
With a score line of 4-3 in favour of SQ, the winner stands clear in this competition. To be honest, had I not flown with SQ previously, I would have been loyal to CX too, simply because of the equally great onboard service, cheaper fares, and more flight frequency.

Now, what say you? Let's start the poll running. Thanks for reading again!

Regards
Jim

My previous trip reports:
Short Escapades with Garuda Indonesia


[Edited 2012-09-18 23:15:47]

[Edited 2012-09-18 23:36:14]

[Edited 2012-09-18 23:39:53]

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBritMidFokker From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2012, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 8578 times:

Hi Jim,

Great comparison report! I travel regularly between HKG & SIN and totally agree with you here. SQ tend to be slightly more expensive but in my opinion are worth the extra. If my itinerary allows, I always get the SQ856/SQ861 on the A380       .

I was on CX714 last month, the red eye HKG-SIN. The whole experience was a step down from what SQ offer, but the flight times are ideal. It was operated by B-HNL, I was V excited to be on the first 777 ever built!

I look forward to more reports from you soon.

Cheers

BritMidFokker


User currently offlinegroomyjl From Singapore, joined Sep 2012, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8363 times:

Hi BritMidFokker (a.k.a. BMF),

Quoting BritMidFokker (Reply 1):
SQ tend to be slightly more expensive but in my opinion are worth the extra. If my itinerary allows, I always get the SQ856/SQ861 on the A380 .

Can't agree more with you. Despite all the technical problems that lingered around A380s in the early days, I still think they're great planes to fly with. And of course, you cant really fault SQ for their remarkable service.

It's surprising to know though that as a HK-based traveller, you actually prefer SQ to CX  Wow!!! I spoke to some HK friends and relatives.... and I can tell ya that they swear by their national carrier...lol

Anyway, thanks for dropping by and more trip reports will definitely arrive

Cheers
Jim


User currently offlineDocpepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1971 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8126 times:

Agree with your obvservations. I took CX in Y and J and SQ in Y and J from SIN to HKG and vv, CX Y is clearly inferior to SQ Y. The food especially is far more elaborate on SQ than in CX.

Apparently in J CX is very good though for longhaul.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7532 times:

Hi Jim,

nice comparison - I agree SQ is ahead, but CX is not far behind IMO. I have had excellent flights with excellent crews on CX - it's the personal touch on CX which I have often missed on SQ.

Quoting groomyjl (Thread starter):
I wonder if these old planes are still relevant in today's competitive airlines industry (esp CX being a 5* airlines) where every airlines is trying to upgrade or has upgraded their equipments. Thumbs down to CX. SQ (2-1) CX

It's perfectly fine if these plane are mostly used on sectors under 3 or 4 hours.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegroomyjl From Singapore, joined Sep 2012, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 7246 times:

Hi Docpepz,

Sorry to say, but CX J was not good at all for me. I flew with them from MEL-HKG a couple of years ago. Maybe they have improved too now....but if they were to use the old planes for long haul, i'd rather say "no"

Regards
Jim


User currently offlinegroomyjl From Singapore, joined Sep 2012, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7221 times:

Hi PH,

Glad to hear from you again.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
I have had excellent flights with excellent crews on CX - it's the personal touch on CX which I have often missed on SQ.

Well, I kinda agree with you on the personal touch thingy on CX...BUT it wasn't consistent. I had an OK flight only from SIN-HKG where the crew were mostly doing their basic job....forget abt personal touch whatsoever. And considering that the load was barely 30% full, that was rather disappointing. I had expected more from them. However, on the return flight from HKG-SIN where the load was 100% full to the brim, the opposite prevailed. The crew delivered top notch "service from the heart" (as the slogan says) which truly exceeded my expectation.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Quoting groomyjl (Thread starter):
I wonder if these old planes are still relevant in today's competitive airlines industry (esp CX being a 5* airlines) where every airlines is trying to upgrade or has upgraded their equipments. Thumbs down to CX. SQ (2-1) CX

It's perfectly fine if these planes are mostly used on sectors under 3 or 4 hours.

But if competitors around you are already using state of the art aircrafts, it makes CX and its regional wing of KA look stagnant in their dinosaur era. Just my opinion

Cheers
Jim


User currently offlinedavidCA From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 74 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7123 times:

Nice report, and you present it in an interesting way. Both products look great. You're really spoiled in that part of the world! Asia and South America seem now to be the only continents where LCC competition hasn't brought a dramatic lowering of standards by the established airlines.

User currently offlinegroomyjl From Singapore, joined Sep 2012, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6950 times:

Hi davidCA,

Hahaha...yes, indeed we're spoilt for better choices in this part of Asia. I'll be travelling to North America in Dec to sample the airlines from your side of the world. Let's see how it'll turn out later  

Thanks for reading my TR


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