SQ's first class product has been discussed and talked about many times from outside sources with mixed reviews, the majority of which have described it as an outstanding product and the best first class there is out there. Having read those reviews and feedback really caught my attention and eventually convinced my conscious to allocate some spare time to experience the service myself. Of course in order to experience such products does not come easy nor cheap. SQ charges an average of 8,000 USD and up for their long haul services. With 8,000 USD or more in the US, one can easily purchase a descent used car of descent quality. Such an investment one can posses for many years until it breaks down or until you decide to re-sell. But with an investment in a first class product, one can only posses it for a number of hours depending on the flight duration. Therefore, with that in consideration, I have delayed my attempt to experience this service. However after hearing many talks regarding descent F class fares ex-BKK and being quoted a descent fare for one from a local TA of only $4,800 USD for a roundtrip BKK-LHR via SIN, the time has come to finally put an end to the wait and procrastination. My long desire was about to become a reality. It's not only about the anxiety of experiencing SQ F that has produce such excitement, but the opportunity to experience and then compare it to CX's F product was truly a golden moment. CX is the only carrier where, prior to taking this trip, was my only first class encounter in an airline.
So after conducting an arduous training session for my company in Bangkok, I hoped on a cab from my hotel and headed to the airport at around 12:30pm shortly after consuming my lunch at the lobby. It was a very hazy, hot, and humid afternoon in Bangkok and has been the norm throughout the week. But of course with this being a tropical, can one ask for an alternative in the weather condition? The traffic from the inner city to the airport was congested throughout. The situation was made worse by the fact that the air conditioner on the vehicle was not running as was noted by our driver. At last after a long and sweltering taxi ride, we finally arrived at the airport at around 2pm.
At the curbside of Terminal 2,we tipped the driver after he helped us offload our luggages and made our way inside the terminal building towards Isle 10 where the SQ counters were located. First class lines were virtually empty and the agent, whom BTW is a TG staff assigned to handle the SQ counters, inspected our passports and printed our red-coloured boarding passes for the BKK-SIN and SIN-LHR segments. At the same time, she also weighed and tagged our luggages with a print our sticker labeling LHR as our final destination via SIN.
It was a rather mild afternoon as far as passenger volume is concern at BKK, so after our check-in process was completed we had a short time queuing at the immigration. The only wait we encountered was waiting behind a bevy of Japanese tourist heading back home from their tour. Once through immigration and into the airside, we immediately made our way into the SKL lounge located between piers 3 and 4. Just like in SIN, SQ has separate Business and First Class lounges in BKK and of course being F passengers, we entered the one labeled as so. What I enjoy about SQ's lounge access procedure is the need to only present your F or J boarding pass for admittance if you are a premium passenger flying with them while other airlines need to print a lounge pass. Anyways back to the lounge itself, I didn't find the facility to be truly fascinating nor special. Sure the place was clean, but I find the area to be rather small and tightly packed while food offerings were rather poor in terms of variety and quality. Sodas, crackers, cookies, and some left over dim sums from the morning were some of the choices spotted. It's a good thing I had a descent lunch at my hotel prior to leaving for the airport.
So while I was killing time inside, I decided to pick a copy of the day's Bangkok Post to catch up on the latest happenings. Reading the paper was all I did the during the remainder of the time in the lounge. By 3:15 pm, we had enough of the crowded lounge, gathered our carry-ons, and headed towards pier 5 where the 747-400 scheduled to operate our flight was parked at gate 55. The waiting area surrounding gate 55 was moderately quiet and remained so when they began the boarding call for the flight. There were several people getting ready to line up, but by judging the situation in the area, I was beginning to realize that the loads for this flight will not be packed to the capacity. As first class passengers of course, we were among the very first group to board.
Saturday February 11, 2006
SQ 67: First Class, Seat 4D
Departs: Bangkok (BKK)
Arrives: Singapore (SIN)
Departure Gate: 55
Arrival Gate: F56
Scheduled Departure Time: 4:10 pm
Actual Departure Time: 4:09 pm
Scheduled Arrival Time: 7:35 pm
Actual Arrival Time: 7:41 pm
A quick walk through the aerobridge landed us inside the Megatop, where as directed by one of the FAs, we made a left walk towards the F cabin and eventually found my seat, 4D, with the skysuite draped in connolly leather and burrwood ready to welcome a passenger's presence. After we placed away our carry-ons and seated ourselves comfortably on the skysuite, FA Katie approached us, addressed us by our names, and asked if we were interested in taking part for the the pre-take off drinks which included a selection of Krug or Dom for champagne purposes, capuccinos, red wine, etc. Having heard many high recommendations for the from previous travellers, we elected to sample the Dom to kick off our first ever F class experience onboard an SQ metal.
As we waited for Katie to bring us back our Dom, I noticed that there were only one other passenger besides the two of us in the F cabin. He was a man dressed in business attire suit while already punching in datas into his laptop as we were observing. Less than 2 minutes later, Katie came back with our glass of Champange and politely notified us that they are beginning the video safety presentation on the screen. Doors closed early at approximately 3:53pm and push back from the gate followed 8 minutes afterwards. After a quick taxi onto 21R, the engines began screaming to utilize its full power down the lenght of the runway and gently lifted onto the afternoon Thailand sky.
50 minutes into this short flight, seat belt signs were swtiched off and our crews immediately sprung into action for the meal service preparation.
Seared maine day boat sea scallop served with avocado tartare and beet root glace
Brillat Savarin tournedos steak with mushroom sauce, garlic-celeriac flan and new potatoes
Thai style fried rice noodles with scallops, prawns and beancurd served with raw beansprout and peanut
Fish souffle and kiew wan style dried curry chicken served with vegetable omelette and steamed rice
Chicken "Blanquette" with paprika, baby carrots, wild mushrooms and crystalised baby turnip
A selection of fresh fruit
From the Bakery
Oven fresh rolls
with a choice of extra virgin olive oil or butter
Freshly brewed coffee
Espresso or cappuccino
Selection of tea
After setting our tables in a white cloth with two glasses placed on the right top (one for water & one for champagne), along with a small plate placed on the left and utensils on the right, FA Katie greeted us again to take our orders and we decided to go with the Pad Thai from the menu option along with a cup of Espresso. I've always craved for this Thai-style fried glass noodle and have had plenty of them from various Thai restaurants throughout the world so I was interested how SQ's would rank with the others that I have tasted before. It also shouldn't hurt that the meal is an ex-BKK catering.
Before our main dish came out, we go started with our appetizer which, as described on the menu above, was scallop served with avocado which Katie brought back to us along with our cup of ordered Espresso. Both our appetizer and our Pad Thai dishes were served in a double stacked white plate with blue/white stripes on the edge for the bottom and a solid blue rounding on the edge for the top. The presentation as well as quality of the meals served for this brief 2 hour 25 minute flight was impressive, tasty, and filling. The Pad Thai was certainly one of the better ones I ever had.
After meals were taken care off and all the hardwares/chinas cleared in front of us, we had already begun our descent into SIN with 30 minutes remaining in the flight time. There were cloud covers below us as we decreased in elevation which resulted in a bumpy landing during the final stages. At approximately 7:40 pm SGT, we touched down on 02L on a soggy, wet Singapore evening. Lightnings were flashing and thunders were roaring in the dark night sky as we taxied towards gate F56 at Changi's T2.
We were among the first to disembark the aircraft just as we were also among the first to board. As we left the aircraft towards the aerobridge, we bid farewell to the wonderrful who kicked off our first ever experience SQ F class in the utmost upbeat and professional manner one can ask for in a F cabin. With our next flight to LHR about to last around 14 hours, it was a much welcomed optimism and prelude.
After exiting the aerobridge and into the terminal airside facility, we walked out of the wing which houses gates F30-42, climbed up the escalator to the 3rd level, and made our way into the SKL First Class lounge. Just as was the case in BKK, all we need to do was present our boarding passes to the agent desk in the front to gain access. We took advantage of the lounge visit to shower as well as lay down in the sleeping areas as both features were non-existent at the SKL in BKK. Our bodies were still sticky from the humid air in BKK during the taxi ride to the airport; therefore, we wanted to refreshen ourselves before taking the long 14 hour flight to Heathrow more than three hours from now. The lighting inside the SKL was much better than I had anticipated. It was much brighter than what others have described as a relatively dark illumination. Food choices were of course much better than what was available at the BKK facility. However, we were still filled up from the meal on our last flight that we decided to skip the eating anything and focus on showering and laying down instead. We laid down and rested at the sleeping areas for about one and a half hour after showering and getting redressed.
At 10:30 pm we retrieved all of our belongings, walked out of the SKL, back down the escalator and headed the opposite direction from where we came up from our previous flight, past the children's play area at level 2, and headed straight to Gate E22 where our next flight was going to depart from. It was indeed a very busy night at T2 with a good chunk of SQ's Europe, Australia/NZ, and several Japan/Korea flights departing around this time frame at night. The crowd at the scene became greater when we reached the waiting area around Gate E22 and was obvious after one of the gate agent explained to one passenger that our flight was overbooked and oversold in all classes, 5 minutes after waiting in front of the gate, the agent commenced the boarding announcement for SQ322. Just as was the case in BKK, First Class passengers were among the first allowed to board along with families with children and special needs. However despite the priority boarding, it was a rather long queue due to a full F cabin and we were among the last of the bunch to line up with the group.
Saturday February 11, 2006
SQ 322: First Class, Seat 3D
Departs: Singapore (SIN)
Arrives: London Heathrow (LHR)
Departure Gate: E22
Arrival Gate: 36
Scheduled Departure Time: 23:20 pm
Actual Departure Time: 23:28 pm
Scheduled Arrival Time: 5:25 am February 12, 2006
Actual Arrival Time: 5:05 am February 12, 2006
Anyhow, we finally made it to the aerobridge entrance where the gate agent smiled, slipped our boarding passes through the machine slot, and wished us a pleasant journey! Upon marching through the aerobridge and into the Megatop, chief stewartd Alex, welcomed us onboard, greeted us by our names after taking a glance at our boarding pass stub, directed us to our seat, and hung our coats at the closet located in front of the cabin. This time I was seated at 3D, a seat located directly from the seat I had on the previous segment. On the previous flight I never attempted to convert the skysuite into a sleeping position due to the nature of the abbreviated flight and I was neither interested in lying down either. However this 14 hour SIN-LHR journey would a completely different story. One of the main objectives for having choosen this overnight flight in F is for the comfort of sleeping in between the two meal services; therefore, converting the seat to a flat position was something new for us and we had to call upon one of the FAs to demonstrate the conversion procedure. It just happened that chief steward Alex was beside me assisting another F passenger with his carry-on. So after he was done helping helping out that passenger, I called upon him to demonstrate the seat conversion as well as any other additional features that I should be familiar with. Without any hesitation or doubts, he more than willingly went through every single details that the skysuite has to offer from the laptop power, to the angles of the foot rest, the lighting, the conversion from upright seating to flat position vice versa, etc. As I mentioned earlier, the flight was fully booked in all classes and all F class seats were occupied. Despite the crowded atmosphere in the F cabin, the FAs were all cheerful and working patiently to meet the request and concerns of all passengers. Another passenger also requested a lecture on the skysuite operation and the FA who assisted her also went through the indepth details just like the way Susan accommodated us. A hard working and dedicated crew indeed so far.
After each passenger including ourselves have settled down into our seats, the FAs began distributing a dark grey Givenchy sleeper suit; a bag containing socks eyeshades, and other toiletries; and a Bulgari Kit Bag to everyone which included a shaver, a bottle of cologne, lotion, etc. Upon receiving their suits, I witnessed the anxiety of four passengers rushing immediately towards the washroom to try them on. I myself on the other hand will wait until the first meal service has concluded. At the same time, several FAs also began taking pre-takeoff drink orders. To no surprise, it was chief steward Alex who took our order (for both the pretake-off drink and the supper main course) and also asked for our request through the addressing of our nams. I went with the Dom on the last flight as I stated earlier, so I decided to sample the Krug instead this time around as both were also offered for this flight.
Meanwhile the rain and the lightning outside itensified and looking out through a nearby window, it was indeed a hard downpour. As we were fitting ourselves comfortably in our seats and buckling our seatbelts, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard, inform us that pushback would begin in 5 minutes, and due to wind patters, we would be taking a slightly different flight path than the normal routing. A path that will fly us above Singapore-Malaysia-Andaman Sea-Bangladesh-India-Nepal-Tibet-Kazakhastan-Russia-Easter Europe-Germany-Netherlands-North Sea-London for about 13 hours and 50 minutes. He also updated the forcast in London to be mostly cloudy with a 50% chance of showers at a temperature of 4C.
As the rained continued to fall on the outside we eventually pushed back at 11:23 pm and made our way to runway 20C for the departure rotation. Very heavy traffic indeed at Changi during this hour in the rain as from a distant window, I can see several aircrafts lining up and waiting for their opportunity to depart. When the signal was clear and were given the green light, we made a powerful dash along 20C before rotating into the lightning and thunderous Singapore skyline. Climbing into the layers of different elevation, our 744 gradually thrusted its way out of the dark thick clouds and into the night sky. Cabin lights in full watts still brighly lighting the interior cabin as we are now flying above the western Malaysian coast.
Just over hour into the flight with the cabin still brightly lit and everyone still awake, the crews began initiating the supper service preparation for those who wanted to eat early and for most of us including myself, we wanted the first meal to occur during the
Chilled malossol caviar
With melba toast and condiments
Oriental hors d'oeuvre
Lobster, abalone and crabmeat with salad cream
Cream of leek and potato with sautéed morel mushrooms
Cod fillet with olive oil and citrus sauce, baby carrots,
Asparagus, ginger and coriander potatoes
Braised soya duck, egg, beancurd and peanut served with sweet pickled vegetable, choice of yam rice or porridge
Daging masak merah
Stewed beef in chilli and spices with cabbage in coconut milk, green beans sambal and steamed rice
Selection of cheese with garnishes
A selection of fresh fruit
Warm apple tart with macadamia ice cream and berries salad
From the bakery
Oven fresh rolls
with a choice of extra virgin olive oil or butter
Freshly brewed coffee
Espresso or cappuccino
Selection of tea
Similar to the case on the last flight, the meals were prepared on top of a white cloth with two glasses and two salt shakers placed on the front edge along with culteries placed along the ride side. Main courses and appetizers placed on a double stacked white plate with blue edges. And yes, I am pleased to report that SQ has indeed brought back metal culteries for its flights to the UK. The starter for this supper service began with a plate of seafood draped in salad cream which consisted of lobster, abalone and crab and as far as the main course is concerned. I opted for the beef stew served with rice along with a cup of Oolong Tea to warm up our bodies. "Daging Masak Merah" if translated means "Meat Cooked Red". The striking fragrant of the dish as well as the added spiciness to complement it made it one of the best Southeast Asian dishes I have ever had onboard a flight. There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to Southeast Asian cuisine, SQ tops CX. In addition to the quality, I thought the preparation, presentation, quantity of the meals were all superb. The seafood appetizer as well as the tart desert did not disappoint as well.
It was about three hours into the flight by the time the crews finished clearing everyone's dishes and trashes. The flight was flying above eastern India and approaching the Himalaya Mountains near Nepal. By this time many passengers began to fall into their snooze while the FAs were beginning to dim the cabin lights to allow for the extra sleep comfort and we soon would follow as well. As I walked toward the lavatories to change into my Givenchy sleeper suite, I ran into leading steward Alex once again and took this advantage to inform him that I would like our breakfast to be served 2 hours prior to landing. A nod and a smile from him acknowledging my request were presented. Shortly after coming back from the lavatories, I converted the skysuite into a flat sleeping position, turned off the PTV monitor in front of me, and began laying down for extensive hours of sleeping. A solid 7.5 hours of sleep was more than enough for a person like myself who normally has trouble sleeping onboard planes and was exactly what I got. The skysuite was a marvelous bed in the sky. The appearance, layout and comfort would be diffcult to be matched by any other carrier. In past travel experiences, I have never been able to sleep as comfortable nor as long as I was able to do so than I did on this flight.
By the time I woke up, we were flying above the Russian Airspace just a few miles outside of a Moscow suburb with 3 hours left in the flight duration. This was when I dediced to head near the lavatories to change back to my original clothes. As I was stretching my arms and legs after exiting the lavatory, I became involved in brief conversation with a fellow F passenger who happened to also be streching out after the long sleep. He was a sales representative executive for an engineering firm in Christchurch, NZ on his way to London to introduce several new products to the company's current client.
Breakfast was served 30 minutes later after returning to my seat as promised by Alex.
A choice of apple, tomato and freshly squeezed orange
A selection of fresh fruit
Choice of cereals or yoghurt
Cornflakes with milk or Birchermuesli
Plain or fruit yoghurt
Rice porridge cooked with sliced pork, pork meatball and topped with Chinese cruellers
Mixed grill of veal, turkey and chicken sausage in herb jus with roasted tomato, button mushrooms and mesclun
Fresh eggs with grilled ham or pork sausage, slow vine ripened tomato and sauteed mushrooms
From the bakery
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter, jam, marmalade or honey
Freshly brewed coffee
Espresso or cappuccino
Selection of tea
It was approximately 3 AM GMT when I was about to consume the breakfast meal; therefore, I wasn't particularly in the mood for anything fancy or filling because I would most likely have to eat again at around 8 AM to adjust to the local time. So I went a bowl of cereals to get started as well as the sausage entree from the main course along with a cup of coffee. As we were taking our time consuming the meals, chief steward Alex checked back on us twice to see if we require anything additional. Other than one coffee cup refill, we did not require any further addition to our meals. Did not hold much high expectations for a breakfast service, but nonetheless I was impressed with SQ's delivery and execution of such meals. Everything was prepared and laid out just the way they were on the Supper service of this flight and the light meal service of the BKK-SIN flight.
With breakfast out of the way and the crews busy cleaning up everyone's table, the captain came on the announcement to greet us a good morning and inform the descent into LHR has begun. Soon the seatbelt signs lit up as we were flying above Holland and we were approximately one hour away from landing. Sky outside was still dark of course and will remain so for a few more hours. Final phase of the landing was indeed a bumpy one with all the massive thick clouds hovering around the North Sea. At 5:05 am GMT, our 744 gently touched its rubber wheels on 27R. The weather at the moment, well.....was typical English, cold, cloudy, foggy, with light drizze at a temperature of 3C. After slowing down considerably and exiting the runway towards T3, the captain came back on the PA welcoming us to London and delivered a news I did not want to hear "Ladies and Gentlemen, our arrival gate would be Gate number 36".
My goodness........another visit to Heathrow and another long mile hike down to immigration & baggage? Anyhow soon after we docked at Gate 36, everyone lifted themselves from their seats and reached for their belongings. Upon exiting the cabin we waived goodby to each one of the crews whom in my opinion, were one of the hardest working and most dedicated crews I have ever encountered in any flight I have been in. Simply spectacular. At the end to put the icing on the cake, it was our chief steward Alex whom stood at the very end to exchange farewells before stepping out into the aerobridge. We shook hands with him for the last time and thanked him for all the work he did for us during the 14 hour journey.
The glory of our SQ F class journey has concluded for the time being and now we are left to endure the marathon walk to get our passports scanned and retrieve our luggages in an outdated and disgraceful infrastructure know as Heathrow Terminal 3. Exiting through the aerobridge through Gate 36, we entered into an area know as an enclosed area that requires an additional boarding pass check to enter if you are a departing passenger. This area houses Gate 35, 36, 40 and 42 which is connected by a narrow walkway from the main branch out containing gates 23-34. After a walk through that narrow hallway, we spotted a VS A346 parked at Gate 33 (Don't exactly know where it arrived from). Other than that Gates 31, 28, 29, 26, 27, 24, 25, 26 were all unoccupied as we walked pass through them. Why the hell BAA has to repeatedly dump SQ at the far end gates when the remaining gates closer to immigration are virtually unused during the time frame remains a frustrated mystery on my part. Nonetheless I was not one bit pleased with the situation at this airport and have never been for quite some time. Took us 15 minutes to walk down to immigration from Gate 36 under poor illumination from ceiling light on this dark cold morning hour. With the combination of an outdated structure during an unruly morning hour where broken travelators remain unfixed as they were when I last visited in May 2005, the place felt more like an abandoned haunted home than an airport. What a shame to land and be greeted into the UK. Ugghh!
Situation didn't improve much once we lined up at immigration as there was only one line opened for foreign visitors. Luckily being a F class passenger, we were among the first to disembark the aircraft. Therefore, we were among the first six to line up. But I only can imagine the rest of our fellow passengers who vacated the aircraft on the latter. Upon our turn to be screened, the lady who was operating the single foreign line queue seemed like she only got 2 hours of sleep the previous night. Took our passports, stamped them, and waved us through without uttering a single word nor a change in facial expression. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, afterall, it's barely a little over 5:40 am. Regardless, it was not a pleasant sight either way.
Thinking the worse was over, I couldn't have been more wrong. Upon reaching the baggage belt areas post immigration counters, there were no indications anywhere of where our luggages are going to come out. Monitors throughout were blanked and when I asked the man at the baggage inquiry belt across from belt 3 & 4, his mere response was "Wait and see". I wasn't only one getting restless with the situation as I can see the frustration over the facial expression and body languages of our fellow flight passengers. A 20 minute wait had to be endured before one of the carousels started spinning. Even then, there was still no indication of which flight the bags were coming out from as the monitors remained blanked. Fortuantelly, the first bag that came out had a tag indicating SQ322. So to everyone's relief, we assumed that this was belt assigned for our flight and it indeed was. By the time we picked up our luggages and exited into the greeting lobby it was already 6:45 am. Skies outside remained dark and outside air remained windy. It was indeed a very quiet early morning as far as as passenger traffic is concered at T3, but took 1 hour 40 minutes for us to go from plane to curb. A definite dismal entry into the UK.
Now that this trip has concluded, SQ becomes the second carrier in which I have experienced all their level of classes. The only other carrier in which I have done so is of course CX. This being my first ever experience with SQ's F class product, I have nothing other than praises to rate these two flights I have just taken. They are simply the best and most comfortable flights I have ever been on. The 7.5 hour sleep on SIN-LHR was never a reality in all of the numerous long haul flights I have taken regardless of class. Meal presentation, quantiy, and quality were nothing short of spectacular. And last but not least, the crews were simply unbelivable with their work ethic and dedication. I couldn't have asked for a better working bunch than what these men and women delivered.
Now comes the comparison between SQ F and CX F:
1) Cabin Crew: Even
It is very difficult for me to say who has the upper hand in this category. On the previous 3 F class segments I had with CX, the crews were fantastic and were as hard working, friendly, and dedicated as the ones I got from SQ on these two flights. It would be unfair for me to pick one over the other as I enjoyed them both equally.
2) Meals: Advantage SQ
This category comes down to quality and choices. IMO, the quality of the array of different cuisines were more consistent on SQ than CX. For CX, I have no doubt in my mind that their Chinese cuisine is among the best out there. But on my last two F flights with CX, I didn't find their Western Cuisine nor their Southeast asian cuisine (i.e. satay, curry) very impressive. On the other hand, I have been impressed with the Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Western Cuisine offered by SQ. Even though I did not take advantage of this offering, SQ's "Book the Cook" option IMO offers an added variety and flexibility than CX's. Until CX can come up with a similar feature and slightly improve their Western & Southeast Asian cuisine, SQ is going to beat them.
3) Seating: Advantage SQ
As I stated in my report earlier. I was able to sleep comfortably for a near 7.5 hours on the long haul sector to LHR. This is by far the most number of hours I have been able to sleep on any flights I have taken and I definately attribute a good portion of the factor to the skysuite offered by SQ. Not to say that I didn't get a good sleep onboard CX's flat beds, but I my experience indicates that CX's flat beds are not as soft nor as cush as SQ's skysuite. Overall outlook and design of SQ's skysuite is also more impressive than CX's F seat.
4) IFE: Advantage SQ
As I have stated many time in the past, this is one category where SQ holds a major and distant advantage over CX and the situation is no different at the F class level. Music, Movies, Games, etc choices were more plentiful onboard SQ than CX. Resolution pixels on SQ's PTV is also much better than CX's in terms of clarity.
5) F Class Lounges at home base: Advantage CX
In my first ever visit to the F class section of the SKL in SIN, though to a certain extent was impressed, I did not find the facility to be as airy nor as brightly lit as the F class section of the Wing or Pier at HKIA.
Overall: Advantage SQ
I have rated both carriers' F product according to those five different categories. The final tally shows SQ holding an advantage in 3 categories, CX holding an advantage in one while one category ended in a tie. Those numbers were the final factor to dermine who has the overall upper hand in F class. With SQ holding a higher number in the tally, my conclusion comes down to the fact that SQ has a better all around F class product than CX.
There were many talks and reports before that SQ F class is simply the best out there and unless I experience anything much better than what I saw from these two flights I had just taken, I cannot regard those talks and reports as flukes.
As a native HKer and as a more frequent flyer of CX than SQ, I have to hold an honest opinion on which is the better overall carrier. In this situation of SQ vs. CX, SQ has emerged as the winner over CX in the category of First Class as they are also the winner over CX in the category of Business and Economy class.
Thank you for your time and I bid everyone adieu from London for the time being.