Just a quick trip report from Hong Kong to Singapore on SQ’s next generation Economy product, which I have not reviewed yet, though I have been on it for quite a few times.
It is, to date, my favourite product, and I don’t think my opinions of it will change anytime soon, though I am jumping ship to chase the OneWorld Emerald status.
I have been a loyal Star Alliance Gold member for the past three years and that afforded me Business Class check-in in Hong Kong’s airport. I was through with check-in in no time, at all, seeing that I was the only one using the Business Class check-in counters. Three bags in the hold and 46 kg (50kg Star Gold allowance in Economy) lighter, I am off to London.
I opted to use the Singapore Airlines lounge, which is the best Star Alliance lounge in Hong Kong without the shadow of a doubt.
When I got to the lounge, the flight was 20 minutes to boarding, and the flight would be boarding at gate 28, meaning a 10-minute walk. So, I did not explore the food options, though there was the customary made-to-order noodles, hot food selections, cold plate selections, and ice cream. I opted for Champagne instead, which was the good old Piper Heidsieck – not bad, not bad.
Soon enough I joined the masses of passengers marching to the boarding gate. I departed on a Wednesday but the airport, like a weekend or during holidays, was jampacked with people, for no particular reason.
View of the Boeing 777-300ER that would take me to Singapore (and later to London). Connecting to SQ306, I could always take the later SQ871 service (departing 1 hour 5 minutes later), but I am not a fan with the old cabin in the Boeing 777-200, so I always took the SQ865 service.
As ever, with Singapore Airlines, boarding starts way too early, but fine for me.
One of the reasons why I am going to ditch Singapore Airlines and its Star Alliance partners is the lack of recognition of elite status, evident especially during boarding. Hong Kong is probably the only port that has Star Gold members boarding with Business Class passengers. Even so, it was because the lane was shared with Premium Economy passengers.
I get it, from the point of view of a Business Class passenger, it is a nuisance if one has to queue up for boarding because of elite members, but equally, elite members like myself (I score at least 50,000 miles a year with Star Alliance), would feel left out. Results? I am giving up on you, Singapore Airlines!
View from my seat:
The TV is now 11.1-inch, and is among the largest one in the industry for economy class. Very intuitive in design and I really like the touch screen (I think touch screen should be available in Business Class as well)
A screen on the remote, as well: unlike CX where such a remote only features in Business, SQ is more generous!
To be honest, I prefer the old inflight map, but this new one does not hurt!
Quite a stuffed pillow and a big one, too, as big as the table. Very comfortable. Thumbs up to Singapore Airlines for providing both pillows and blankets on a short flight, unlike Cathay, where these items are only available upon request
Singapore Airlines must be among the few airlines around the world that still offer hot towels before take off for its Economy Class passengers
The same applies for the menu…
I cannot remember how many times I have watched this video… Not the most frequent flyer myself, but I am fairly loyal when it comes to flying
Once we have taken off, I watched a British dark comedy: The Lady in the Van. The SQ’s inflight entertainment offers more than 1,000 entertainment options, and it is fair to say that you will find it quite hard to be bored
Sunset over the South China Sea
Post take-off nuts
And rum with coke…
My dinner option: Braised Beef with Roasted Garlic Thyme Sauce
Slight complaint is that they have now cut the cheese option from economy class (though I have seen it in some flights from London)
Ice cream was excellent, though!
The rest of the flight was rather uneventful. I asked for a can of pineapple juice to keep myself hydrated during the flight. This pineapple juice is among one of my favourite drinks on a plane (I am easily satisfied!)
We landed into Singapore 20 minutes ahead of schedule and I proceeded to do some shopping in Terminal 3 with my SG$20 voucher.
In sum, Singapore Airlines is the best airline I have ever flown with, in economy and in business. It delivers: excellent catering, excellent service and wonderful hardware. The seat is very comfortable and the 4 hours easily lapse. Although the real test is the next 13-hour sector which I will report on very soon, this was a good start, as usual from my past experiences (and they have been plenty).