crdaus
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TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:45 pm

This is the second in a series of Trip Reports detailing my flight experiences on a trip to Europe from Australia in July, 2007. My first report SYD-BKK is here New QF 1st Lounge & BA10 SYD-BKK 1st Class (by Crdaus Aug 30 2007 in Trip Reports).

This report covers my experience flying SQ 1st class from BKK-SIN.

As mentioned in my previous report, we were travelling on a special BA 1st class companion fare. Unfortunately, due to my late decision to fly with BA rather than one of the other five airlines for which I was holding confirmed bookings, the required ‘A’ class seats were not available on all sectors, namely BKK-LHR, so we had to fly to SIN to join BA16 to LHR. But this was not such a hardship because it gave me the opportunity to experience 1st class service on SQ, something I haven’t done for many years.

In addition, we had the opportunity to check-out the TG 1st class lounge at BKK before departure.

We arrived at BKK airport by chauffer driven limousine, compliments of The Peninsula where we had been staying, in plenty of time for the flight scheduled at 16:50 on Wednesday 4th July. After check-in we were directed through security to the TG First Class lounge.

The lounge is long and has some natural light from high windows along one wall, but this tends to make it rather warm inside:



As can be seen from the above pics, the lounge was almost empty the day we were there.

The lounge is organised with a bar at either end and food buffets in between. A number of traditionally dressed Thai girls are in attendance to serve food and drinks. While you can browse the buffets, there is no self service – you simply point out what you want and they bring it to your seat.

We chose a selection of snacks including warm spinach quiche and a savoury puff pastry of some description, and a wrapped finger sandwich of tuna:



Later, we topped up with club sandwiches:



Notice the nicely chilled champagne – vintage Moet, I think it was.

It seemed in no time we were being paged to board. But first a visit to the bathroom:



Then down the long corridor of the lounge to the exit:



Our boarding gate was across and downstairs from the exit to the Thai 1st Class lounge, so we didn’t have far to walk. You can see our SQ 777 waiting for us:




SQ979, BKK-SIN, a 777-300, scheduled departure 16:50, scheduled arrival 20:15, flight time 2:25, seat 1E and 1F.

Here is the food menu and wine list sneaked, with difficulty, from the leather bound folders they come in:





Dom Perignon 1999 and macadamia and cashews on boarding:



View on runway prior to takeoff from 1F:



Views of Bangkok from 1F while aircraft is climbing:




Cabin service begins:



As can be seen from the above pic, the cabin was almost empty. In fact there were only 6 out of a possible 18 seats occupied.


For appetiser, a crab meat tian with tomato and waldorf salad was served:



This was very disappointing. There was almost no crabmeat in the dish. In any case, the waldorf salad and fresh tomato slices completely over powered in volume and flavour what little crabmeat there was. The garlic bread was like rubber!

For mains, my companion ordered the Hor mok pla – a thai style minced fish with coconut cream and spices served with seasonal greens and fried rice:



Verdict: apparently tasteless.

I chose the Beef fillet served with maitre d’hotel butter, green beans, crimini mushroom, potato cake and crispy bacon:



This was very tasty indeed and the steak perfectly cooked. I have come to the conclusion that beef works better than fish for in flight meals.

The generous slice of fresh mango was the highlight of the meal:




Conclusion: while I was not expecting much for a relatively brief flight I was a bit disappointed in SQ, even at A$760 per person. No wonder the almost empty cabin. The food could have been better. That crabmeat tian is a mistake. They are insulting passengers by serving it and it is not at the standard of everything else – e.g. the French champagne (Krug was also on offer along with the vintage Dom). I liked the aircraft, but then the 777 is a favourite of mine. The 1st class configuration, while old style, is comfortable enough although I am not sure I would be happy flying this aircraft from Australia which is where it is used for day time flights. After this experience, I was pleased I had stayed with Oneworld for the bulk of my trip bookings. As a fierce competitor of the Oneworld airlines, I think SQ will need to do more to break the loyalty bond of frequent travellers. However, I was pleasantly surprised and very satisfied with the standards of the TG 1st class lounge at BKK and as a result am inclined to try TG flight service soon.
 
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OA260
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:34 pm

Nice TR and photos. Food and lounge looks great. Also food onboard was impressive. I like you am a bit dissapointed by the seats !!!

Thanks for sharing

OA260
 
Door5Right
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 8:52 pm

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
Hor mok pla

That looks delicious!
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Ryanair!!!
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:37 pm

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
This was very tasty indeed and the steak perfectly cooked. I have come to the conclusion that beef works better than fish for in flight meals.

I beg to differ... I just got off the flight from HKG on the SQ new Business Class on the 777-300ER and I had the Chilean Bass. It tasted exquisitely DIVINE!

Anyway the 777-300 is not a true representation of SQ can really offer in their premium classes. Strange why would they want to deploy this aircraft to MEL and some SYD flights because I would think some high yield passengers originate from these 2 cities.
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SR 103
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:38 am

Excellent report, with some great pictures.

The food looks quite good, especially the steak. I however do agree with your comments, Singapore does need to step up its product a little bit on the 773.

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
After this experience, I was pleased I had stayed with Oneworld for the bulk of my trip bookings.

While Cathay Pacific is my all time favorite, I would actually recommend trying Skyteam if you are up for something different. Malaysian and Korean Air are excellent and come very close to offering a similar product to Cathay Pacific.

SR 103
 
SIN7
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:16 am

Thanks for the TR and giving us a peek of TG lounge

BKK new airport with those steel structures across the windows sure must be irritating us at airliners.

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
macadamia and cashews on boarding

Lovely.

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
This was very disappointing. There was almost no crabmeat in the dish. In any case, the waldorf salad and fresh tomato slices completely over powered in volume and flavour what little crabmeat there was.

Sounds good on print but looks terrible. There's too many tomato slices.
The crab tain must be from processed crab meat. Thailand exports these to supermarkets. It's very reasonable, but it lacks taste. There are some brands from USA. It coast about 3x more than the Thai brands. It sure taste much better. Thai Catering must have used their Thai product.

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
ordered the Hor mok pla -- a thai style minced fish with coconut cream and spices served with seasonal greens and fried rice:


Hmmm, tasteless?? Thai Catering usually do it quite well. But maybe they have toned the spices down to suit more non-Asian and non-Thai pax. Anyways, this is a very budget EYCL dish ex-BKK (once in a while catering from ex-SIN would also feature this). The presentation for P class is in the banana cup. In EY, it's a block of the minced fish dish (it's something like a frittata,with minced fish, spices, and coconut, no potatoes) with fried rice (white rice or coconut rice) and veg.

BKK is a regional sector and the menu changes very frequently especially for the J and P class. SQ Chefs may just go once for menu presentation and leaves all catering issues to SQ BKK officers.

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
Beef fillet served with maitre d'hotel butter, green beans, crimini mushroom, potato cake and crispy bacon

Any meal with bacon is gonna be good. One of George Blanc's beef dish for SQ also features bacon, and it's awfully good.
 
Bofredrik
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:09 am

Not much to complain about on such a short flight!
Come over to Europe and you will DREAM about that
meal after a few flights...  Smile
 
crdaus
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics

Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:14 am

Quoting Bofredrik (Reply 6):
Come over to Europe and you will DREAM about that
meal after a few flights

Well, actually I did come over to Europe on this trip, including Copenhagen and Stockholm. I am currently writing reviews of the flight sectors subsequent to this one: SIN-LHR-TXL, TXL-CPH, ARN-BCN, and BCN-LHR-BKK-SYD. I was very impressed with Air Berlin and Spanair who favourably compare I have to say!
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:53 am

Quoting Crdaus (Reply 7):
I was very impressed with Air Berlin and Spanair who favourably compare I have to say!

I am sure some SQ-die hards will flip at this comment! Hahaha...
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SQ772
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics

Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:33 pm

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 8):
I am sure some SQ-die hards will flip at this comment! Hahaha...

Well, SQ-die hard that I am, I actually do believe that there are some European jewels out there waiting to be discovered. I flew LH recently, FRA-TIP-FRA, and was pleasantly surprised that service on both sectors were very friendly and professional. The crew serving YCL were young, extremely well-groomed, polite, patient, efficient, hardworking and ... comparable to many leading Asian carriers. A full meal was served on the 3 hour flight as well.
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ba319-131
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:09 am

Good report, nice reading.

I must say the meal service for this class looks pretty poor, I'd be pretty unimpressed to have paid a full fare and got this as an offering, I thought SQ were better than this.

Regards

Mark
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christao17
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Mon Sep 10, 2007 2:09 pm

Quoting SIN7 (Reply 5):
BKK new airport with those steel structures across the windows sure must be irritating us at airliners.

It is a nightmare in so many ways.
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
Ryanair!!!
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:42 pm

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10):
Good report, nice reading.

I must say the meal service for this class looks pretty poor, I'd be pretty unimpressed to have paid a full fare and got this as an offering, I thought SQ were better than this.

Regards

Mark

Let's not forget that this is a regional flight after all. For a 2-hour duration, think about what you would get served in First Class if you were flying in Europe or USA!? Ok, the food might have been substandard in quality. There might have been a momentary lapse in QC inside the flight kitchen. BUT... could it be a case of having gotten an inch, you want another?

PLUS, the 777 that SQ uses on the BKK sectors are the ones used around the region, so the seats are also definitely slightly not up to par with their flagship 777-300ER. There are certain flights that utilise the 747-400 for this 2 hour flight which features the Sky Suite and the Spacebed, so you get the full works in terms of cabin amenities.

In all seriousness, it is only a 2 hour flight so sometimes we need to be more realistic in our expectations.
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N178UA
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:43 pm

G'day Crdaus

Thanks for your great effort posting TR one after another.

I am just a slacker that read others but don't bother to post my own (but I am trying to post a few soon, include a A380 SQ First Suite on 26 Oct SYD-SIN)

A couple of points, after I have flown SQ978 SIN-BKK in F on 5 September

1. I really dislike the old F seats (and J seats) on SQ 777-300/777-200regional 3 class. They fly long 6+ hr flight to PEK, MEL, PVG, NRT via BKK and 5hr to DEL/BOM etc. Being a 6"1 person, my leg hangs in the air when in full recline , upward position....a big let down. I sat in 1F window seat as well.

2. On my SIN-BKK flight, on the catering, I feel SQ did a great job for 2hr flight. Compartively speaking, better than TG (which doesn't have First on SIN-BKK route) and all other carriers flying between SIN-BKK route.

See my meals below

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Russia07/IMG_7306.JPG

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Russia07/IMG_7309.JPG


I think if this is QF or BA, I won't be sure they will serve Krug or Dom on a 2hr flight (to NZ ?) , not sure what meal you get (thinking a Meat Pie or Foccacia?) SQ also serve good meal and drinks in even 1hr 30mins flight on First Class to Jakarta !

I just read your SYD-BKK First BA report. I am very disappointed to see they serve few slice of smoke salmon for First Starter. At least SQ still have the Caviar. (Even TG cut theirs now!) If you fly out of SIN to BKK, you can use book the cook for Bangkok flights. Get the infamous Lobster Thermidor Big grin

I will post few of my trip report shortly.

Good Trip Report.

Cheers

Sam

[Edited 2007-09-15 14:47:50]
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
crdaus
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Sun Sep 16, 2007 2:37 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 13):
I just read your SYD-BKK First BA report. I am very disappointed to see they serve few slice of smoke salmon for First Starter. At least SQ still have the Caviar. (Even TG cut theirs now!) If you fly out of SIN to BKK, you can use book the cook for Bangkok flights. Get the infamous Lobster Thermidor

Thanks Sam for your feedback. You are right about the champagne from SQ. I didn't realise about "book the cook" being available - the SQ web site didn't list it. But, I didn't miss the Lobster Thermidor because I ended up having it on the next leg with BA: SIN-LHR (trip report to be posted soon).
 
Lufthansa747
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:22 pm

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
vintage Moet

NV Moet in TG F lounge.

Quoting Crdaus (Reply 14):
I didn't realise about "book the cook" being available - the SQ web site didn't list it

BTC not available ex-BKK.

I don't understand why SQ doesn't serve proper dessert on the BKK flights, just fruit is rather cheap. BKK-SIN meals tend to be substandard compared to SIN-BKK (perhaps because I always order the BTC lobster for that...).
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N178UA
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:43 pm

Hi Crdaus!

Lobster Thermidor can be booked on TG First Class and SQ First Class book the cook on every F flight (except KL ) out of SIN.  Big grin

They give you not just one , but two Lobster (more than BA) (or is it Twin Lobster )  Wink
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B747forever
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:55 pm

Really nice TR.

The pics are really good.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.
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Ulysse
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RE: TG BKK 1st Lounge & BKK-SIN SQ 1st Class (pics)

Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:35 am

Nice Trip report, thank's for sharing

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
Conclusion: while I was not expecting much for a relatively brief flight I was a bit disappointed in SQ,

I once flew on SQ First Class SIN-CDG, and I was also quite disappointed by the product. The catering was not exceptional and the seat not really comfy in the sleeping position. The new Business Class product is however amazing and the service perfect, as it is always the case with SQ flights.
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