[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines (SQ978) / (SQ981) – Economy Class, SIN-BKK, (4 Jun 15) / BKK-SIN (7 Jun 15)

Introduction

I booked my tickets through the Singapore Airlines website about 3 months before my travel to Bangkok. Singapore Airlines offers cheap airfare from time to time. Booking via the website is a breeze. The booking is easy and allows one to choose their seats after payment has been made. At the time of booking, SQ scheduled 777 for both legs of the flight. However a month before the scheduled flight, I received an email from SQ stating that they will be using A330 for both legs of the journey. Checking in using the SQ mobile app is easy as well. One is allowed to choose the seats even after checking in. Internet check-in is opened 48 hours prior to the scheduled flight.

330-300 taking me to Bangkok
Peeking into Changi Airport
Flying above the clouds

On The Ground

SQ978

SQ uses Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 for flights leaving for and arriving from Bangkok. SQ uses Rows 1 to 6 of the terminal to handle all the flights leaving Singapore. For online check-ins, the airline uses check-in row 3. The check-in rows are situated to the left of the terminal building and is not difficult to locate. Rows 1 and 2 are reserved for premium class passengers. The queue for online check-ins is very light, I only have to wait for 5 mins to check in my luggage and be handed with my boarding pass. The staff handling the check in is very friendly and efficient. I was promptly handed my boarding pass within 5 mins and the staff gave me brief instructions such as what time to be at the boarding gate and directions for the boarding gate. Passengers can check in their luggage 48 hours before departures for flights out of Singapore. At the airside, the airport resembles shopping mall, with loads of shopping outlets and activities such as movie screenings, gardens and even a rooftop pool and gym, the wait time for boarding passed by easily.

Changi Airport Terminal 2
Check-in queue for internet check-ins
Reminder to all passengers
Internetcheck-inn counters
Changi Airport Terminal 2
Shopping in Changi Airport airside
Some entertainment area after immigration
The bird that is flying me to Bangkok
Boarding the aircraft
Walking towards the aircraft
Boarding

SQ981

SQ check in counters is located in the middle of Suvarnabhumi Airport in row K. There is no queue at the airport for internet check-ins. As with my outbound leg to BKK, the ground staff at Suvarnabhumi was very friendly and efficient in handing my check in. I was given my boarding pass in 5 mins as well. The staff also gave instructions on which gate to board and by what time I need to be at the boarding gate. However, directions were not given on where the gate is located. Passengers who are not familiar with Suvarnabhumi Airport are advised to arrive at the airport terminal early to cater time for immigration clearance. There are several duty free shops at the airside for passengers to kill time with, however, these shops mainly offer the same stuff and I found it boring after awhile.

Arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport
Inside Suvarnabhumi Airport 
SQ check-in counters are located in Row K
No queue at check-in
Dedicated counter for Internet Check ins
SQ Check in counters in Suvarnabhumi Airport
After immigration area in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Thai folk lore statue in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Some duty free shopping in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Cafe and eateries at airside
Approaching boarding gate 
Boarding gate in Suvarnabhumi Airport
At boarding gate
Boarding gate
Aerobridge towards the aircraft

The Cabin

SQ changed to A330-300 for both legs of the journey. The aircraft is configured to take up to 285 passengers, with 30 in Business Class and 255 in Economy Class. The Economy Class is further segmented in 2 sections, the forward and the aft section. The forward section of the Economy Class is decked in Blue and Brown seats while the aft section is mainly decked out in brown seats. Seating configurations in Economy Class on A330-300 is 2-4-2. I took the forward section for my outbound flight to BKK and the aft section for my inbound leg. The brightly lighted cabin does not feel cramp and the natural tone of colour used by SQ makes it feel comfortable.

Cabin lighting makes the cabin feels clean and bright
Brightly lighted cabin 
Inside Economy Class Cabin
Peeking into Business Class Cabin
Forward cabin decked out in light brown and blue fabrics
Aft cabin decked out in brown fabric
Bulk head display
Cabin ambience

The lavatory onboard is rather cramp, however it is sufficient for one to do one’s business in. There are toothbrushes and combs as well as sanitary napkins provided in the lavatories, which is lacking in some of the airlines these days. SQ also provides mouth wash, hand lotion and eau-de-toilette on top of hand soap. Most airlines (such as KLM) only provided hand soap in its Economy Class lavatories. The lavatory is well-lited with make-up room lightings mounted on the mirror. One feature I like about the lavatory is the paddle for the bin cover, which is a more hygienic arrangement.

Toilet bowl
Sink
Mirrors with Hollywood style make-up lighting
Amenities in the lavatory
Mouth wash, hand lotion and eau-de-toilette is provided in the lavatory
Paddle to step on to open the cover for trash bin 
Trash bin cover

The Seat

SQ has the most generous space amongst the airlines even in Economy Class. The Economy seats measures 32″ for its seat pitch and 19″ wide, providing ample leg room without feeling too cramped up in the cabin and passenger seating at the aisle seat does not necessary have to get out of his or her seat for passenger siding by the window. The fabric laden seats recline at 115°, which is very comfortable for resting. The seat slides forward during the reclining motion, passengers seating behind the seat does not feel too much space being intruded. As with most Economy Class seats, the reclining button is located on the armrest. The seat comes with a dual fold tray table, with a small vanity mirror mounted on it.

Seating in Economy Class
Double folded tray table with vanity mirror in every seat
Excellent leg room

There is a USB charging port located on beside the IFE screen, together with the audio-visual jacks, allowing passengers to charge their mobile devices. There is a small knob beside the IFE screen for passengers to hang their jackets. The cup holder is located beside the IFE with a small pocket for passenger to stow small items. The seat pocket is compartmentalised into 2 packets with the front pocket having 3 sections. The usual inflight magazines are stored in the inner section of the seat pocket, allowing passengers to put their smaller items in the outer pocket.

Seat recline button
Audio-visual jack and USB charging outlet
Hanger and cup holder
Seat pockets
Contents in the seat pocket
Safety instructions can be found in the seat pocket

The head rest can be adjusted to match the head level of the passenger occupying it. It is also foldable to provide more comfort. Pillow and Givenchy fleece blanket are distributed on the seats before boarding passengers. The pillow provided by SQ seem larger than other airlines in the Economy Class, however I find the blanket a tad too thin.

Pillow and Givenchy fleece blanket is provided in every seat

In-Flight Entertainment

The personal screen in Economy Class cabins measures 10″, which is larger than most other airlines offers. However the personal screen is not touch screen, which does not matter to me. The controller provided is responsive enough. There is a row of LED lights mounted on the bottom part of the screen, providing more lighting to passengers if required. The IFE has numerous programmes, ranging from movies to TV programmes. There is even a preview section for in-flight movies that will be screened in the month to come. Games are also available as part of the IFE system provided by SQ.

IFE controller
Keyboard behind the IFE controller
10″ personal TV screen
LED light on the base of the TV screen
SQ provides plug in earphones which feels cheap

Meal Service

SQ978

Unlike my previous experience with SQ (it has been awhile since I last flown on SQ), menus are not distributed. Passengers will only know of what is served during meal service. On this leg, we were given options of Chicken with Stir-Fried noodles or Fish & Potato. The chicken meal does not look appetising, while the fish meal tasted rather fresh. The portion of food is sufficient to fill one’s stomach.

Chicken with stir fried noodles
Fish & potato
Meal service

SQ981

On this leg of the flight meal options were Fish & Potatoes and Chicken Nasi Briyani. I opted for the chicken meal on this leg and it is very tasty. The flavourful Nasi Briyani is much better than some of the those found in Singapore. As SIN – BKK route is a short route, ice-cream were not provided, dessert was sponge cake for both legs.

Dinner service
The yummy Nasi Briyani

Service

The service onboard for both legs were impeccable. The ever friendly Singapore Girl and flight attendants welcomed passengers with a warmth and genuine smile at the door when boarding. Even in Economy Class, the flight attendants were friendly and tries their best to accommodate to requests. The flight attendants were always seen smiling to the passengers, be it during meal service or other times. On my outbound leg, I witnessed the flight attendants paying particular attention to a family with 2 kids. They ensured that the kids are well taken care of, occasionally popping by to check if these young passengers are comfortable on the short 2 hour flight. My seat wasn’t provided with earphones, when requested for, the flight attendants apologise for the oversight (although it is definitely not their fault, but the Singapore Girl apologised for the inconvenience). I requested for some soda prior to the meal service, the soda was delivered almost immediately and I did not have to wait till meal run for some water. The flight attendants even checked if I had enjoyed the food, which is rarely seen in Economy Class.

Pursuers greeting passengers
Pursuers distributing pre-flight warm towels

Overall

Overall, the flight is comfortable and enjoyable. The seats are comfortable and the entertainment is plentiful to make the flight feel short. The food is acceptable but most importantly the genuine service by the flight attendants makes the flight pleasurable.

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