[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines (SQ948) / (SQ949) – Economy Class, SIN-DPS, (29 Jan 16) / DPS-SIN (1 Feb 16)

SQ uses A330-300 on their SIN-DPS route

On The Ground

SIN-DPS

SQ uses both terminal 2 and 3 in Singapore Changi Airport for its outbound flights to anywhere else in the world. SQ uses Terminal 2 for regional flights and Terminal for outbound flights to anywhere else in the world. The flight bound for Bali departs from Terminal 2. There are several dedicated rows for SQ in the terminal, mainly rows 1 – 4. Row 3 is dedicated to passengers whom has checked in online flying to anywhere in the region. As we had done our check in online, this row is where we drop our luggage. There are 2 sections to this section, one for drop off of luggage for passengers who prefers to print their own boarding pass and tag their luggage at the machines outside the queue in the row. The other section is for passengers who prefer to have a ground staff checking their luggage in. We opted for the assistance in checking in. As the queue were pretty short, we got checked in pretty swiftly be the ground staff.
Curbside at Changi Airport Terminal 2
Passengers checked in online will need to approach Row 3 to drop off their baggage
Self-service kiosk for printing of boarding pass before dropping off baggage at the counters behind
Pretty empty check-in counters for passengers whom checked in online

Changi Airport airside is like a shopping mall. There are no lack of shopping from luxury brands to the more affordable range brands. There are several gardens around the airport spread across 3 terminals as well as cinemas and rest areas. Most of the rest areas are facing the tarmac for passengers to rest and do some plane watch while waiting for their flights.

 

Shopping in Changi Airport
Duty free shopping
SQ departs from gate F54
Entrance to the waiting room

DPS-SIN

The new Denpasar International Airport was opened in 2013. The terminal building still looks new despite being about 3 years old. To gain access into the terminal building, security personnel matched the tickets of passengers with their passport. SQ uses half of Row C (C5 to C12) for their passengers flying out of DPS. 3 counters are dedicated to Business Class passengers and 2 counter are dedicated to passengers whom have done their check in online. As we were early for our flight, there is no one in the queue and we did not have to wait for our turn. The ground staff at the counter acknowledges our online check in and process our check in very quickly and briefed us on our boarding time and gate number.

 

Denpasar Airport new terminal
Curtsied of Denpasar Airport
Denpasar Airport
Denpasar Airport
Inside Denpasar Airport terminal
Flight information
Very empty check-in counter at row C
Internet check-in counter
Once cleared immigration, passengers are made to walk through duty free shop before arriving at a part of the airside where one can find duty free shopping. There are some luxury brand shops and mostly shops selling overpriced Balinese souvenirs. There are limited eateries around in the airside of the terminal.I particularly liked the queue system of Economy Class in DPS airport. Passengers are grouped by row numbers and there are lanes for passengers to queue up according to the group they are assigned to. This makes boarding very efficient and boarding queue seem shorter.
Passengers will have to go through this duty free shop before reaching airside of the terminal
Walking through the duty free shop
More shopping when one exits the duty free shop
Lounge for premium passengers
More shops. Compared to the old Denpasar airport, which is dark and poorly lighted, the new airport is bright and clean
More shopping at the airside
There is a Hard Rock Cafe near the boarding gates
I like the way SQ organise the queues in Denpasar Airport, making boarding feels faster
Economy Class passengers are organised in groups for more efficient boarding
The bird that is going to fly us home
Heading to the aircraft
Through the aerobridge
Pursuers waiting to welcome passengers onboard

The Cabin

SQ uses A330-300 for both legs of the flight plying between SIN and DPS. The aircraft is configured to take up 30 passengers in Business Class and 255 in Economy Class. The Economy class is further divided into 2 sections, each with its own colour theme. The forward section of Economy Class has a brighter theme, attributed to the use of turquoise colour in the seat with light brown. The aft section of Economy Class is decked in beige and dark orange seats.  The forward gives passengers a lighter and brighter feel, while the aft section gives passengers a more warm and cosy feel. Economy Class is configured with 2-4-2 seating arrangement.
Forward Economy Class cabin
Aft Economy Class cabin
Cabin ambience lighting
Seat belt sign and overhead reading light
Peeking into Business Class
Aircraft safety card
The lavatory in Economy Class is rather standard. As with most airlines, the lavatory in Economy Class tend to be a tad cramp. The lavatory onboard both SQ948 and SQ949 have the standard fixtures. I particularly like the step level which opens the trash bin cover by the sink. I thought this is a nice touch. The lavatory is well lighted with what the airline terms as “Hollywood-style” mirror. SQ provide more standard amenities in its Economy Class lavatory. Amenities such as handsoap, mouth wash, hand moisturiser and eau de toilette are available onboard SQ Economy Class lavatories. These amenities are more that what most airlines offer in their lavatories. On top of these amenities, sanitary pads, combs, toothbrushes are also available in the Economy Class lavatories. Most airlines these days do not provide toothbrushes onboard, I am glad SQ still provides these additional amenities.
Toilet Bowl
Hand cream and Eau de toilette
Mouthwash
Basin
Step pedal to open the trash bin cover
Well stocked toilet paper
Additional amenities which is not seen in most airlines these days
Lavatory compartment
“Hollywood-styled” mirrors
Hook on the door of lavatory

The Seat

The seat in Economy Class is comfortable,  with a generous seat pitch of 32″ and a width of 19″. There are a total of 255 seats in the Economy Class split into 2 sections. A small cup holder and a compartment is found behind each seat, providing more storage space for its passengers. The seat also has an AV jack, a USB port and an outlet for one to plug in their iPod to enjoy music from their personal lifestyle device. The seat pocket is rather generous, with 2 large pockets and 1 small pocket providing ample space for passengers to store their stuff. The legroom is great for Economy Class, and I have sufficient leg room for stretching. The seat also has a sliding bi-fold tray table which provided space for passengers sitting in the window to gain access to the aisle without disturbing passenger sitting at the aisle too much. There is also a vanity mirror on the tray table. The headphone jack is located on the armrest, above a power socket for passengers to charge their lifestyle gadget.

Comfortable Economy Class seats. Large size pillow and Givenchy fleece blankets are already placed on the seats
AV input and iPod as well as USB outlets are found on the right of the TV screen
Cup holder and a small hook as coat hanger found on the left side of the TV

 

Bi-fold tray table gives passengers a sense of space
Tray table fully extended
Vanity mirror on the back of the bi-fold table
Seat recline button found on the armrest of the seat
Headphone jack and power socket are found on the armrest of each seat
Excellent legroom in Economy Class
3 tier seat pockets with sufficient room to store items. I particularly like the small pocket which can be used to stored smaller items like passports, mobile phones
Seat pocket with inflight reading materials
Contents in the seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

Passengers are treated with a 10.6″ Personal TV screen in every seat in the Economy Class, however these TVs are not touchscreen which is not a problem as the AVOD controller is rather responsive. KrisWorld is SQ’s entertainment system, which has tons of options to keep passengers entertained, ranging from the latest release of movies to TV shows to games. There is also a row of LED reading lights under each personal TV screen, which can be tilted to expose the reading lights. The AVOD controller is stowed underneath the personal TV screen. One side of the controller controls the menu for KrisWorld allowing passengers to select their preferred entertainment. The call button and reading light switches are also located on this side of the controller. On the back side of the controller, one can find a keyboard, directional joystick as well as 4 buttons which is used for playing games on KrisWorld. SQ distributes earplugs which passengers are free to bring them back. The quality of the earplugs are rather bad, nonetheless it is good enough to be used onboard.

LED reading light under the PTV
10.6″ Personal TV, which is one of the largest in the industry
IFE controller is stowed under the PTV
Backside of the IFE controller
Earplugs

Meal

As with most other airlines that has a relatively short flight time, time is critical for the pursuers especially on a near full flight. The pursuers sprung into action as soon as the seat belt sign has been turned off. They went around preparing for food like clockwork, hoping to beat the time and get the food to all the passengers within the short flight time.

SIN-DPS

I guess the safest meat to serve in this region has got to be chicken and fish. The options for this flight we had was pan seared fish or curry chicken. I had the curry chicken. The chicken tasted tender and the spice in the curry wasn’t too overpowering. When eaten with the rice, the curry is very delicious. My only qualm is there is too little of the delicious curry for the bed of rice. My friend opted for the fish. I was told the fish tasted fresh and the seasoning on the fish is just perfect. Also on the menu was a salad for starter (nothing fantastic, the dressing was “normal”) and chocolate mousse for desert. I find the chocolate mousse to be a tad too sweet for my liking. The pursuer went around serving coffee and tea after all the passengers got their food. Pursuers also went around serving drinks.

Dinner is served
Curry chicken with brinjal
Fish with potato

DPS-SIN

The options for this leg of the flight is again restricted to chicken and fish. Both my friend and I opted for the chicken. The chicken was dressed in spicy rendang sauce served with rice over a bed of long beans, carrots and cauliflower. The rendang chicken is a little dry, but the level of the spicy is just nice, perfect for passengers who are not used to taking spicy food. Both starters and desert are the same as the previous flight.

I was given 2 buns and 2 desert by the friendly pursuers
Chicken Rendang for dinner

Service

SIN-DPS

The service onboard this flight feels very standard of SQ. The standard warm towels are being passed to passengers shortly after take off. Somehow the pursuer working at our aisle felt a little fake in her service. Her smile is rather plastic and she some how gave me the impression that she is not sincere in her service. I requested playing cards and a can of coke from her during the flight, but these requests were not being taken note. At first I thought she might be having a bad day, however I did witness her warmth when dealing with a Caucasian passenger. Not once, but 3 times I saw her going up to the Caucasian passenger initiating conversation and checked if he was comfortable during the flight and if he needed anything like a drink during the flight. I was taken aback by such discriminating service by her. Having said that, the pursuers serving the other aisle seem friendlier and warmer. I saw they going around asking passengers if they needed anything with a very warm and sincere smile.

The pursuer on the right was serving our aisle
These pursuers on the other aisle seem friendlier in their service
Going around doing their job

DPS-SIN

The service onboard this leg is much much better than my outbound flight. From the moment we stepped onboard the flight, the pursuers asked if we needed help with our carry ons, to the dinner service, when the pursuers asked if the food was alright and if we needed to top up our drinks. The pursuers tried their very best to accommodate to our request. We requested to change seat prior to taking off and were assisted by the pursuers in securing our new seats. The pursuers have warm personality and occasionally popping by to ask if we needed more drinks. They were seen joking with my friends and other passengers during their free time. We were also given extra deserts by the pursuers as my friend complemented that they liked the desert. The pursuers felt sincere in their service onboard SQ949.

Overall

SQ provided very comfortable flight on their seats even in Economy Class. The cabin decor felt warm and cosy and the amenities found in the lavatories are a notch above their competitors. The pillow found on the seat is large for Economy Class and the fleece blanket gives Economy Class passengers a feeling of premium. Passengers will be spoilt for choices in the entertainment system, especially on a large screen (larger than most other airlines of the same class). The food is great onboard and very delicious. However the service was mixed, giving me a feeling that luck plays a huge part in determining if we got good service, depending on who served our aisle.
Sunset onboard SQ

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