Carrying on from part 1, I got off from a very decent Cathay regional flight to Singapore with just over an hour to spare. I quickly dropped by the Qantas Singapore Lounge, which was as stunning. I will review it when I report on my return trip as I did not have long to spend here this time round. I arrived shortly after the major departures for Qantas so the lounge was reasonably empty (with only a Perth service left near midnight)
I tried some Australian white, which was stunning as always, and had some fruits.
But soon enough, it was time to head over to boarding. The gate was open rather early, but I chose to leave only 15 minutes prior to the gate close time as the coming flight would clock nearly 14 hours – no need to spend more time on a plane!
When I arrived at gate C22, the gate was packed with people, especially given a full flight in all cabins and that Singapore Airport processes their security at gate. With just under 300 passengers, boarding would be quite quick (not the security, though!)
Fast track was set up for elite and premium passengers, but my observation showed that queuing up for the non-fast track would result in less queuing, presumably because all non-status passengers had cleared security much earlier without lounge access. Curiously, unlike in Hong Kong, Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) passengers are not afforded fast track.
Once I cleared security, the flight was closing. I only had time for a quick snap of my chariot before scanning my BP for departure
I was one of the very last passengers to board and I was seated in the last row of the Club World cabin 16A. British Airways’ 777-300ER is configured to have 14 First Class seats between door 1 and door 2, 56 Business Class seats (across 7 rows of 8 seats in 2-4-2 configuration) in the second cabin (Cathay has 53 in their premium-heavy 777-300ERs spread across a mini-cabin and a large cabin), 44 World Traveller Plus and 185 World Traveller seats. Row 16 is the last row of the Club World cabin and the window seats in the Club World cabin face backwards. It is also the closest to the toilets as all Club World toilets are located at the end of the cabin, but given the privacy screens, the window seats are not affected by people using the toilets at all.
The menu and the washbag were given out. At the time of writing, BA has just announced a partnership with the White Company to provide for the new amenity kits – should be a step up from this shoe bag, which while novel when I first got it, is not something ‘Business-Class-like’
Pushback and safety demonstration were on the dot on time
Long taxi to active runway
Took off just before 11 pm
Hot towel offered shortly after taking off
First round of drinks arrived about 35 minutes post-take-off. I had the Champagne de Castelnau Brut Rose Brut NV and a water.
This is the cramped cabin and the dinner service
Starter of dinner: Salmon tartare with horseradish crème fraiche. This is by far the only good dish out of all the food served on this flight
Moroccan-spiced chicken breast with roasted sweet potato, aubergine and courgette
Seared seabass with red pepper sauce, creamy polenta and sautéed vegetables
Gnocchi with cherry tomato and Caciocavallo cheese sauce – very bland and potentially undercooked
Chilled main course salad f grilled king prawn, papaya and Thai chilli dressing
Dessert was bad: Tipsy cake with caramelised pineapple and vanilla cream
Meal service concluded about 2 hours into the flight, which was quite reasonable. By this point, I ordered a decaf tea before I go to sleep.
I had a good night sleep and slept right until they turned the lights on for breakfast service. The Club World bed has not failed me so far – it is by far the least hard bed I have been on and the privacy afforded me a good night’s sleep.
An energising fruit smoothie with fresh seasonal fruit – generally decent as you really cannot go wrong with these food
Omelette with pork sausage, back bacon, Lyonnaise potatoes and roasted tomato – let’s just say, improvements needed
A hot towel was offered to round off the meal service
By this point, we are well into descent
We landed about 10 minutes behind schedule, due to the extra long duration of the flight. We flew just as much as the block time
Parked next to the A380 from Hong Kong (see my review from last year)
Overall, this is a solid showing from BA, although much worse than SQ. The catering is the weakest spot on this flight: it is really a shame to see BA not stepping up on one of its more premium routes – nearly everyone in the Club cabin is an Emerald (evident from the additional greeting from the CSD). The lack of Asian options in both dinner and breakfast despite departing from Singapore is disappointing, and the wine selection was downright bad, bar the bubbles. The hard product is in dire need of a refresh, but I have had good night’s sleeps on the flatbed, so I am not going to complain. I arrived very refreshed. Going forward, I am looking forward to the new dining concept in Club World, as well as the enhanced bedding, pillows and amenity kits. Service was decent at best, but acceptable given a crowded flight with lots of elites (my last flight as a lowly Sapphire!)