Skip these two sections if you just want to see the flights
This is my first attempt at doing a trip report after reading many great reports on here as a guest. Also, my report may be somewhat limited by only having a iPhone 4 as a camera. I don't pretend to be good at taking photos (especially in the focus department). Constructive feedback is appreciated.
I am a pilot in Australia holding a PPL, and long time aviation enthusiast. In 1999 – 2002 I spent a lot of time travelling between Australia, Europe and Africa and became very familiar with flying on MH (MH16 and 17) and KL (KL 587 and 588) in business class.
The business class I remember:
Photo © Alexander K.
Photo © George Polfliet
Flying in a commercial aircraft has since taken a back seat making only a few trips in Y. I returned to C last year onboard Thai Airways from MEL – BKK and now the bug has bitten again.
About this series of flights
Skip this section if you are not interested in the booking stage
With life being pretty stressful in Melbourne, the time came to have a getaway. I was wanting to return to Bangkok again and a few airlines presented themselves with Thai being the leader in terms of direct flights and cost effectiveness in C. I also flew with them last year and had a great experience (although their business class wasn’t quite how I remembered the golden days of the early 2000s on MH) so all the boxes were nearly ticked. Then the chance came to use someone’s almost-expiring KrisFlyer miles. With a slight mileage top-up, there would be enough to fly Melbourne to Bangkok in C, with a few benefits. Firstly, the A380 which I hadn’t yet flown on, secondly the amazing business class seat unlike anything I’d ever experienced, thirdly trying out one of the most prestigious airlines in the world (I had flown them three times a long time a go) and lastly, experiencing the world-leading Changi airport and getting another sector.
The outbound flights were locked in, but there was a problem- with the ‘Saver’ miles level, SQ doesn’t let you experience C in the 77W or in the 380. This meant flying on an outdated product, probably at night. However, some quick research revealed that after 6th March 2012 all the mileage costs would increase, but saver 77W or 380 flights would be allowed. I took a gamble with the possibility of these flights still being unavailable and paying even more for the flights. And so I waited...
Once March came I went onto the SQ booking engine daily to see if the flights were released. On the 5th of March, a joyous moment. Playing around with dates made SQ 228 and SQ 970 available on the 6th April. Before SQ could change its mind I snapped this up.
This left the return sector, which I assumed would be on Thai. You can only book with Thai directly if not flying from Australia (or be prepared to pay 50% more). I was happy with the day flight from Bangkok and was just about to book when I quickly checked the price on MH. I was shocked to find a deal cheaper than Economy on most airlines, and again it meant another sector and the chance to go through KLIA. And of course, it meant I could first-hand compare SQ and MH. A bit of playing around with dates to get a day flight at the cheap rate and MH 789 and MH 129 were booked.
Flights were set and I was impressed with the advance seat selection easily available for both airlines online (as I haven’t flown much for years you will soon see that I get excited about backdated innovations in business class service).
The planned route with thanks to Great Circle Mapper:
Obviously the change from SQ to MH is in Bangkok.
APRIL 6 2012- DEPARTURE DAY
The reality probably hadn’t fully sunk in that I was about to experience 4 countries (including Australia), 3 airports (including MEL), 4 sectors, 4 aircraft types (2 new types for me) and 2 five star (review on one pending) airlines, but the mood was excited about what was ahead.
Not wanting to miss any of the action, I was dropped off at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport Terminal 2 at about 11:40am.
The old-style FIDS on arrival in the terminal which later advised that gates close 10 minutes before depatepxs (sic). Not always perfect.
I thought check-in would open four hours prior to departure but this wasn’t the case as it was all closed up and empty. I walked the departure hall, arrivals hall and Qantas domestic terminal to kill time.
At 12:15pm, things were finally being setup with SQ signs being assembled and displayed.
(I thought Raffles Class no longer existed?)
The Economy passengers had a side of counters to themselves, with Suites and Business passengers on the other side. The carpets and decorative flowers at the premium check-in desks were setup, while all the staff were having a team pep talk with what appeared to be the station manager.
A member of staff who saw me loitering asked if I was waiting for Singapore Airlines. I said yes, she then said “Economy?” (It’s always interesting how staff assume younger people are always travelling Economy). When I said Business I was told to line up and wait as check-in would be open in a few moments. Some slight reconfigurations of the queuing ropes were necessary to facilitate this (it all seemed a little disorganised, but maybe all check-in is like this in the early stages).
Finally the check-in agent appeared, a few other C passengers had assembled behind me and I was invited to move forward and start check-in. But there was a problem. There was massive confusion over the actual check-in desks they were meant to use, and I was told to wait. A few phone calls and minutes later and the agent finally began checking me in. But there was another issue- the screens above the check-in counters which indicate which desk is for which class were wrong, and the agent got up and went around to the front of the desk to check for herself. It said I was checking in at the desk for Suites. With all the belts going to the same place behind the desks, does this really matter? I was told to wait a few more minutes and a few phone calls later (with plenty of Y class passengers being checked in on the other side) and finally they got the signs working and everyone was happy.
Despite the chaos, the agent was very friendly and I was understanding of their issues. She checked my bags through to BKK. I also got my boarding pass for the next sector. I got my express lane pass for immigration and was directed to the Silver Kris lounge (not really hard to find as all the airline lounges are together).
By 12:40pm I was proceeding through security and immigration. There was no line in the express lane and no pending issues with me crossing the border. According to my iPhone clock, within 6 minutes I had cleared all formalities, power-walked through the mandatory duty-free and was in the main area for departure gates.
I went straight to Gate 11 to see the aircraft I would be on. A QF A380 in VH-OQF was right next door.
And my ride to SIN, 9V-SKH
At this point I proceeded to the lounge, and was admitted to the ‘Business’ side on the right as one of the first for SQ228 at 1pm.
Not sure why SQ insist on having their own lounge here, it must be an expensive venture. It was adequate, not the best lounge I’ve seen but not the worst. The Air New Zealand lounge I experienced last year was better and offered great views of the tarmac.
I had some Singapore noodles, cheese, biscuits and sandwiches along with a couple of drinks.
I even enjoyed the Nespresso coffee which seems to be a fixture at most Australian self-serve places now- it’s easy to see why with the insert-the-pod-of-your-choice-and-get-great-coffee simplicity.
WiFi was available and appreciated, why would they not secure it with a password (I could pick the WiFi up from upstairs and even when seated on the aircraft)?
The business centre featured a few computers, internet was slow but again adequate. The lounge features no external views with is a letdown, but overall MEL is reasonable for spotters (much better than SIN and BKK). I headed out at about 2:25pm to capture the action. I was hoping to try out the Air New Zealand lounge (apparently you can enter under Star Alliance) but it was closed, as was the United lounge.
I headed to the departure gate, with things getting ready. The flight attendants and pilots were boarding at this point.
With not much else to see I went back to the lounge which was filling. The boarding pass said boarding from 14:45, but I knew that this is always exaggerated. At about 3pm I headed to the gate. Things were still being setup and finalised, then passengers with infants were approached individually and asked to board. An announcement was made saying boarding would start in 10 minutes. In a laid-back fashion one of the staff at the gate nodded and gestured for me to board before any announcement.
Boarding pass scanned and I was headed down the jetway at 3:05pm.
Date: 6th April 2012
Route: MEL (YMML) –SIN (WSSS)
Aircraft: Airbus A380-841
Photo © Eugene YR
Photo © Raymond Ngu
Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
First flight was 10/12/2008. The aircraft is 3.3 years old. It was delivered to Singapore Airlines on 25/08/2009. This is my first time on an A380.
Scheduled / Actual Departure (gate): 15:45/15:44 UTC+10
Scheduled /Actual Arrival (gate): 21:45/21:50 UTC+8
Flight Time (gate to gate): 08h06m
A friendly flight steward was waiting at the door, and, upon seeing my boarding pass, greeted me by name. Upon learning that I was in business class, the flight stewardess blocking access to this cabin moved aside and showed me to my seat. I was helped with stowing my luggage and then shown where the safety card, magazines and a bottle of water were located.
My seat, 14A
The view from my seat
Photos I had seen of this cabin made me think it looked cramped, but it was different in real life. First of all, the seat is very wide and feels very spacious laterally. The shells for each seat that I thought made the cabin look camped create a great sense of privacy. I thought the width was perfect- there is a hard leather cushion that gives you somewhere to rest your arm and you can choose where you want to put it. Legroom under the seat is excellent, but the ottoman was a little too close for a taller person like me, and I wonder how it would go as a bed.
Legroom shot of the ottoman
It was a shame to see the seat showing signs of wear and tear, and the seat back storage compartments seemed a little flimsy. This is only minor, as the seat storage was great (especially with the lockers along the side of the aircraft which you get on the upper deck of the 747 as well). The inflight connectivity was also appreciated, as I could charge my iPhone.
I was offered a welcome drink, and again addressed by name which for me makes a big difference towards the feeling of the service onboard. I choose the apple spritzer.
I was then offered a selection of newspapers, then some magazines.
My magazines and newspapers
I couldn’t resist using the phone to Shazam the music playing the cabin, and it was Cumulus by Kevin Kendle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu_dyTwMCFg. Now whenever I play it I think of sitting in the A380, which means it will probably be on regular rotation in my music library.
A comfortable seat, a decent view, some premium magazines, nice music being piped through the cabin, apple spritzer and life doesn’t get much better. Gradually, the forward cabin of 22 seats began to fill, and we were piped a video about the business class seat (I assume all classes were shown a video relevant to them). Unfortunately about 30 seconds in, the captain came on the P/A drawing the film to an abrupt close. He spoke of the flight time (7h 35m), the fact that a change was coming to Melbourne meaning that the climb out could be bumpy, advice about following the flight on KrisWorld and more. Very informative and much appreciated.
We pre-ordered drinks for after takeoff, which some airlines don’t do and I decided to go with a scotch and coke. The response was “Is Chivas OK?”- a rhetorical question as at home it is way too good to mix with Coke.
We pushed back and the safety video began to play- it went a little bit like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5xgDpZrnWk. The best safety video I have seen lately is Thai, and this did not compare unfortunately, but it gave out the essential information. We taxied down to Runway 34 and without delay lifted off (no pictures of the takeoff as I turned the phone off).
I was under the impression that the A380 had a tail camera, but I couldn’t find this on KrisWorld and assume Singapore Airlines has disabled it. At about 5000ft (according to KrisWorld) the cabin staff were released, and at 10,000 feet and at 4:10pm, the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off. Impressions of my first A380 takeoff- the aircraft is very quiet as has been said, but I was still surprised at just how quiet is was. The aircraft was slow to pick up speed but the takeoff roll wasn’t long and it felt we rotated quite slow.
The KrisWorld interactive system was switched on, and I started watching a feature on the end of the Singapore Airlines 747. A sign of wear and tear was that moving the headset in any way resulted in a loud crackling noise through the right side, which was OK as long as I didn’t move. Another point about the seats was that the recline and footrest feature would cut in and out rather than reclining in one smooth motion. Recline was adequate, footrest pointless for someone of my height. The drinks were soon promptly served from a tray (almost all trolley-free service here, something not seen on Thai).
Scotch and Coke, with an ad for the 747 playing on the TV as part of the feature I was watching
Heading above the clouds
I was then offered some nuts, pretty hard to say no. I notice that they no longer serve the nuts from the yellow foil packets.
A flight attendant came around offering what one may call ‘amenity kits’. But they were really just slippers with an eye shade in a small blue drawstring bag. A nice bag, but a little subpar relative to what I have seen on other airlines.
Levelled out, which means it’s dinner time
It’s strange having dinner at 5pm Australian time or 3pm Singapore time, but I guess there is no other name that works at this time of the day.
My row before dinner
Orders were taken, and now it’s time to refer to the menu.
When my order was taken, the pan fried chicken by Matthew Moran was highly recommended. Having watched him on TV, and already leaning towards that I said yes to the chicken.
The tray was set at 4:57pm, which is nearly an hour in to the flight. Water was poured, and I was then offered a selection of white or red wine. Preferring red, but not being much of a wine connoisseur, I said red, and was then shown two bottles, the Chateau La Garde 2007 and the Tatachilla 2008. As the label was more appearing on the Chateau, and the name was easier to say I went with this (how else do you choose?).
The table was a great size and was height-adjustable. Great feature, but one knock and the table would fall down to sit on your knees anyway.
My table set
This is the first time the meal was served without a trolley for me, which was much more personal. First came the starter of Middle eastern salmon.
I don’t often eat salmon, but this was delicious.
The KrisWorld controller during the meal
The bread basket came around and I had some garlic bread. As the flight attendant placed it with tongs on my plate it rolled off onto the table linen- shock horror. Major apologising before he gave me an extra piece of garlic bread to make up for it. A little dry but still tasty.
Water and wine top-ups were regular, and it was main time.
The chicken was well-cooked, the smoked potato puree was surprisingly full of flavour and, despite me usually disliking mushrooms, these were delicious. Just what one would want in a main meal.
Meanwhile over what seemed to be Lake Eyre...
Finally it was the ‘finale’- I was offered the crème brulee but setted for the coconut ice cream with mango.
Clouds thickening outside
The cheese trolley came around and I had to go with a sample of all the cheese.
On Thai, they just had pre-plated cheese, but having the flight attendant carving the cheese in front of you was a nice touch.
Now the real ‘finale’, a nice cup of coffee with a dash of milk, and pralines.
It was already 6:08pm,which meant that we had been flying for two hours...time was really flying. With the meal service over I decided to get up, just as I did the fasten seatbelt sign flicked on with a warning of turbulence, so I sat back and watched the IFE.
The mood lighting was briefly activated, but was only on for about 5 minutes out of the whole flight. Guessing this is meant to be a sunset.
We had already climbed to FL380, with FL400 being the final cruising altitude for the flight later on.
With the seatbelt sign off, I went to the stairs for a look. Photos aren’t great but with the A380 being around for years now (it’s all brand new for me) these have been seen.
The bathroom was shaped like the fuselage
The Hollywood-style mirror
Top of the stairs, some airlines have bars here
I used this time to head down to Economy class on the upper deck which didn’t seem too bad.
We headed into IFR conditions outside and the seatbelt sign was back on. Here we are passing through the tail end of it
The was lightening flashing which was stunning but I couldn’t capture it on camera. There was an interesting moment with the darkened cabin, IFR conditions outside (with the sun setting), aircraft shuddering and me listening to the ‘chillout’ music channel, where the music had taken a dramatic turn. Being a pilot, I’m not a nervous flyer but the mood had suddenly turned to foreboding. To change the mood, I put on some light comedy.
Before watching I was warned that the comedy may contain ‘aircraft situations’.
‘Come Fly With Me’- WARNING may contain aircraft situations
The sunset was prolonged due to flying west.
The crew regularly came around taking drink orders, it’s great when the crew don’t retreat the galley but continue providing great service.
About the business class seat, could find a video for Economy or Suites so I guess each class was offered its respective video.
One thing about the IFE was that there were ads in a few places that you had to fast-forward though. Is this appropriate for a business class cabin?
About two hours out, all times given from here on are in Singapore time
At 8:20pm table was set for the refreshment.
It was either more chicken like dinner, or noodles, so I choose the noodles
The pork was tasty, more pork pieces would have been appreciated but overall it was pretty good.
During the meal
More coffee was offered, which I had. One interesting thing was that the handset had a ‘Time to SIN’ feature which was often different to what was shown on the IFE. At one point it was an hour difference, sometimes just a few minutes. At this point, we are 0:29 minutes out for WSSS. Time check, 9:17pm.
The first officer came on to announce that weather was pleasant for Singpaore, and to thank us for flying Singapore Airlines, a member of Star Alliance. “Cabin crew prepare the cabin for landing”
Packing up- iPhone charging but not for much longer
I turned off the iPhone, and placed some of the collected ‘goodies’ into my cabin bag, stowing it again in the overhead locker. As we were to approach Runway 20, we headed past Changi on the east and turned back. We made a smooth landing on Runway 20R pretty much right on time at 9:45pm. The A380 really decelerates hard which is I guess necessary for all the momentum to stop. It was the end of a great flight.
We taxied to gate B8 at terminal 3.
Packing up on the ground
The coffee machine on the way out
What some may call a ‘feature wall’
A small delay for the door to open, but we were soon on our way
It was 9:56pm, and I had some time to kill until my next flight of SQ970, departing at 7:10am. I had booked a transit hotel in terminal 1, so I headed over there. The Skytrain was right next to the gate. As there was renovations, I got 2 free hours to make up for the building noise (of which there wasn’t any). I setup a wakeup call for 5:30am with boarding at 6:40am.
My room in Terminal 1
Before turning in, I couldn’t go past a quick visit to the lounge for a nightcap...just one of the benefits of living at an airport. For a few moments I thought of the movie 'The Terminal'. I got on the Skytrain and headed over to Terminal 2.
My boarding pass for the next flight (issued in MEL)
Being 10:30pm at night, the lounge was deserted. I like the entry, where the staff are behind a podium and walk towards you as you enter to check your boarding pass. I was directed to the left, which is business class. I also walked past the gold lounge.
All quiet at this hour- but still extensive food and drink available
From sushi to squid noodles, this lounge had it covered. It was spacious, but why can’t we have a nice external window? As it was approaching 1am back in Australia, it was time to turn in for the night.
IMPRESSIONS OF SQ 228
Check-in: Disorganised but we got there.
Departure: The express lane was great and I was through in minutes. The security staff at MEL were friendly enough.
Lounge: Average but ticked all the boxes.
Onboard: Seat was great, a little worn and some elements flimsy but on the whole the design was perfect and the lateral space much appreciated. Some have critised SQ flight attendants in the past for being too robotic, but I really enjoyed their service. Apart from the SQ logo not facing towards me on the glasses it was perfect.
IFE: Expected a touch screen, KrisWorld could have been a little more responsive and ads not appropriate in Business Class, but otherwise a wide selection of material which meant there was always something to watch. A380 tail cam would have been nice, or if it was there it should be easier to access as I couldn’t find it.
Food and Beverages: The food was pretty good, cheese plate great. Hard to complain about the Chevais Regal and Coke.
Arrival: Landed on-time, and Changi is a really good airport to pass through.
I wouldn’t hesitate to get on this flight in the future and to fly with SQ if the right opportunity presented itself.
I woke from a disturbed jetlagged sleep- probably only got about 4 hours. My iPhone burst into life and I got up. The wake-up call went off eight minutes later, and I checked out at 5:45am which was straight forward as the three reception staff were more interested in something humorous on a computer monitor. The airport was dead at this hour, I headed back to the terminal 2 lounge but followed the signs to Terminal 2 instead of the Terminal 2 Skytrain. I was walking the distance but it was interesting.
5:47am at Changi
My gate wasn’t on my boarding pass as it was issued back in MEL, but as I was walking past I happened to spot it.
About 50 minutes prior to boarding
Back to the very-familiar lounge which was still dead. Pineapple juice, orange juice and some Singapore noodles and I was wide awake and ready to go. The boarding time was 6:40am- I assumed they were exaggerating like at Melbourne, so left the lounge at 6:35am and headed to the gate, with the FIDS saying ‘LAST CALL’. At the gate, it appeared boarding had already commenced. I cleared security, and just as I was about to enter the jetway an announcement came on thanking the passengers for waiting, and inviting all remaining rows to board. Very efficient boarding indeed. It was hard to view the aircraft but a glimpse at the landing gear indicated that it was 772 9V-SRL.
Date: 7th April 2012
Route: SIN (WSSS) – BKK (VTBS)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-212ER
First flight was 20/06/2002. The aircraft is 9.8 years old. It was delivered to Singapore Airlines on 02/07/2002. The aircraft is not retrofitted.
Photo © Daniel Tang
Photo © Micklin
Photo © Johannes Klinghardt
Scheduled / Actual Departure (gate): 07:10/07:39 UTC+8
Scheduled /Actual Arrival (gate): 08:35/08:41 UTC+7
Flight Time (air time): 1h 55min
Flight Time (gate to gate): 02h02m
I turned away from the crowd and headed for Door A, where a friendly male flight attendant was waiting. Addressed by name, and a female attendant promptly showed me to my seat of 14K. As Business Class on Singapore Airlines starts at row 11, and there was only a row 11 in the middle of the aircraft, and for some reason they don’t have row 13 (superstition?) I was second from the front.
I was first surprised that it was the old-style seating as I was look forward to the new seat. Further after-flight research revealed that there is still lots of retrofitting to do. However, the recliner seats brought back lots memories of the good old days of flying and the seats are more than adequate for a 2 hour hop.
View from my seat
The cabin was quiet. Instead of being told to pick from a tray, I was asked what drink I would like. It was a little early for anything other than orange juice at this point.
The legroom shot, I couldn’t fully extend my legs but it would have been enough for 12 hours, let alone 2.
Blankets and pillows were on the seats and a hot towel service was conducted which is always appreciated. I lost count of how many hot towels I used between MEL and BKK.
I finished the welcome drink (which was served in a smaller glass to the drink in flight for some reason, why not have a universal glass?) and the flight attendant came over, I assumed to collect the glass but instead it was “Mr... would you like some more orange juice?” Hard to say no. There was a wait on the ground for some reason, and no acknowledgement or reasoning was made for the delay. I later found out that we left nearly 30 minutes late, but more time in a business class seat was fine by me. Post-takeoff drink orders were taken and I went for more OJ.
Another announcement from the captain, it seems that Singapore Airlines has made these standard procedure- the captain talks before leaving, then the first officer talks at top of descent.
We taxied out to the runway and joined the morning traffic jam waiting at 20C. It was a reasonable wait that I wasn’t used to flying out of quiet MEL, but we were soon on our way on climb to FL400. The takeoff seemed a lot shorter and acceleration faster since being on the A380 but this is to be expected.
The post-takeoff drink was promptly served
Cabin as we climb out with curtains closed
As we levelled out it must be time for another meal, so I turned to the menu in my seat pocket.
The orders were taken and in anticipation of enjoying a few rice noodles in Bangkok I had to be with the American-style breakfast.
Rather than setting the table, they just brought a tray which everything set which I thought was a sensible idea that worked on the smaller tray table. The fresh fruit was then placed in front of me. No carts to see here.
One of the things I love in Business Class is having 2-3 drinks at once constantly being topped up, so I could take a sip of water, sip of OJ then a sip of coffee and repeat.
I would love one of those salt and pepper shakers at home. Next came the main meal off the eggs with Hollandaise sauce, bacon, ham, roasted tomato and roesti potatoes.
It’s better than the breakfasts I have had in hotels in the ground, so more than adequate for a 2 hour hop in Asia.
The bread basket came around regularly, and I had a Danish pasty, croissant and wholemeal roll. The water bottle and juice also came around and my drinks were constantly being topped up.
My tray was packed away, but they continued to offer more coffee going back to the galley for top-ups. I sat back with the IFE on.
I put the window shades down for viewing, and the flight attendant noticed this and put the window shades down in the vacant seat behind me. It was like on SQ 228 when the cabin lights were dimmed and the flight attendants came around turning on the reading lights for passengers- it was these little touches that really set SQ apart from the competition while other staff would be chatting in the galley at this point.
The A380 business class seat showed wear and tear, but these seats, despite being much older looked brand new (if they were still in fashion today). Either maintenance is better, they are designed better or made from better materials than the A380.
The IFE system was the same KrisWorld as the A380 less the productivity and connectivity features that I didn’t use. Was it acceptable on a two hour flight when most don’t have seem to have AVOD?
Using the crew storage
Meanwhile we were making great progress over the Gulf of Thailand. It was already 8:40am. From here all times are Bangkok time.
The standard 777 overhead panel
Ground speed nearly 900 km/h abeam Phom Penh.
All too soon it was time to get the cabin ready for landing. I asked to borrow a pen for the arrival card and was given an express pass and SQ-branded pen.
Doing the paperwork
I headed to the bathroom and entered the galley with the flight attendants promptly showing me the way. Forgot to get a picture but it’s a standard 777 bathroom.
Back to the seat, and we are heading through the clouds.
And crossing the Thai coast
The aircraft was packed up and the first officer warned us that the approach would be bumpy. The turning manoeuvres and power being increased and decreased felt like a visual approach. Landing was on 01R. We were thanked for flying Singapore Airlines, a member of Star Alliance. This marked the end of my time aboard SQ.
We pulled into the gate only a few minutes behind schedule and left. I thanked the crew and headed into the terminal building.
FIDS at BKK
Time-check: 8:44am. How quickly could I clear the arrival formalities?
I jumped the line and was the only person at Express lane. So much so that one desk was open and it was for diplomats and officials. The immigration attendant said wait over there, so I stopped short of an empty desk and waited. A few immigration staff were hanging around but seemed to be doing their own thing...
A few minutes later an officer appeared at a side door, saw me and sprinted over “sorry...sorry”. Previous encounters with Thai immigration officers showed no personality whatsoever, so this was a change. My passport was stamped and I was allowed through in a matter of seconds.
8:55am- 14 minutes since arrival at the gate and here I am
My Star Alliance ‘priority’ bag was one of the first to appear and I went to the green channel. It seems here that they are more worried about things like alcohol and tobacco, whereas in Australia it’s about food and plant material. At the green channel, the customs people were just standing around a monitor looking at something very interesting, with passengers just walking straight through.
Once landside, I went looking for my pre-arranged hotel transfer. This was interesting as there were lots of meeting points and no free WIFI to find out from my confirmation email as to which point I was to go to. I walked the length and found my name, probably faster than expected as the person overseeing things said I had to wait for my vehicle to arrive. Finally my driver arrived and we power-walked to the car which was parked in a no standing zone. I was then transferred to the hotel and taken to the executive floor for check-in.
Views of the city
Assorted goodies from the flights
IMPRESSIONS OF SQ 970
Check-in: Was back in Melbourne, see above
Departure: Changi Airport great, arrived at boarding time of 6:40am and was allowed straight onto the aircraft without waiting. What could be better?
Lounge: Views of the apron would be nice but food, drinks, staff, computers and seating was of a high standard.
Onboard: Expected a newer interior, but seats fine for a 2 hour flight. Due to light load staff ratio was nearly 1:1 in Business Class, always addressed by name.
IFE: Same as A380, please get rid of the ads. Otherwise good for a 2 hour flight.
Food and Beverages: Great breakfast, impossible to have bad orange juice. Can’t complain about coffee.
Arrival: Delay made up for inflight, landing smooth. Immigration should be manned at all times at BKK. Star Alliance Priority tag was respected. Overall efficient and smooth.
After two recent flights with SQ, I would say that overall, the flights were stress-free and the service excellent. Hard product and soft product came together for some enjoyable flights.
Part 2 is MH. When I think of MH, I remember some great times in the air on their 777-200 aircraft. The Golden Lounge at KUL, the signature satay and lots of guava juice come to mind. MH promises the world’s best cabin staff, but doesn’t really promote hard product. Will the MH cabin staff be better than SQ? The standard has been set, and I’m looking forward to finding out how the two really compare today.
Part 2 coming soon...
[Edited 2012-04-08 04:20:03]