Singapore Airlines’ check-in counters occupy the entire Row K in Bangkok Airport, located in the middle of the airport terminal. There were four check-in queues at the airport for Singapore Airlines: Business Class, KrisFlyer Elite Gold/Premium Economy, Economy Class and one for passengers who have completed internet check-in. There was no queue at the time of our arrival and since my friend has attained Elite Gold Status with Singapore Airlines, we checked in using the counter dedicated for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members. The ground staff at the check-in counter did not look particularly friendly. She also took her time to process our check-in and she left it to use to figure out the boarding gate and boarding time. The whole check-in process took around 20mins. Singapore Airlines has a dedicated SilverKris Lounge in Bangkok Airport, which is conveniently located opposite the gate our aircraft is scheduled to depart. As a KrisFlyer Elite Gold member, my friend is eligible to use the lounge. However, as we are near the boarding time, we did not visit the lounge.
Singapore Airlines deployed its A330-300 aircraft to service this Bangkok to Singapore route. The A330-300 is a tad old and the cabins look a little tired. However, it serves its function of bringing us safely from Bangkok to Singapore.
Singapore Airlines A330-300 has a total of 285 seats spreading across two cabin classes, with 30 seats in Business Class and 255 seats in Economy Class. The Economy Class is further segregated into two sections, I am seated in the forward section of the Economy Class. The Economy Class cabin has a 2-4-2 configuration with the seats in the middle two columns decked in light brown fabrics and the other four seats on either side in turquoise fabric. The orange lighting used during boarding, coupled with the choice of colours for its Economy Class cabin seats, makes one feel a sense of comfort in the cabin.
The Economy Class cabin lavatories onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 are located between the two Economy Class cabins and at the aft of the aircraft. The lavatory is no bigger than that in other aircraft operated by Singapore Airlines. The lavatory is well stocked with amenities compared to other airlines. Unlike other aircraft types Singapore Airlines is operating, only hand lotion (there is no Eau de toilette) is made available in the lavatories. However, passengers can find other amenities such as toothbrushes, combs and mouth wash. Some other airlines at most only provide hand lotion on top of the handsoap. The tap onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 are not senor-activated, rather one would have to press the button on the tap to get water flowing.
The seats in Economy Class on Singapore Airlines A330-300 are cloaked in turquoise and light brown fabrics. I find the seats onboard this aircraft to be slightly thicker than those in the newer aircraft operated by Singapore Airlines, these thickly padded seats were very comfortable to sit in. Each seat has a pitch of 32″ and is 19″ wide, offering good legroom for its Economy Class passengers during this 2-hour flight. Pillows and blankets are not offered on this flight between Bangkok and Singapore, instead only blankets will be provided upon request from the flight attendant.
I like the inclusion of cup holders in these Economy Class seats, situated on the left of the TV screen, allowing me to stow my drink away without deploying the tray table. There is a coat hook above the cup holder which I never use whenever I fly with Singapore Airlines, I am not too sure if anyone would find this small coat hook to be of any use at all. To the right of the TV screen is where the AV inputs and a USB port are located. These AV inputs of yesteryear show the age of the aircraft with most lifestyle devices using USB ports. I did not try out the USB port and not too sure if it is capable of charging mobile phones. Should one needs to charge their lifestyle devices, there is a universal power outlet on the armrest. The one in my seat has a sticky tape stuck to the top part of the outlet, showing much wear and tear in the aircraft. I like the design of the tray table on this A330-300 Economy Class seats as they can be folded into half (and come with a small vanity mirror) when it is not used for work or meal. This feature makes space onboard the Economy Class seats feel bigger. When fully deployed, the tray table is large enough for passengers to place the meal trays on and still have some space at the sides to put canned drinks.
The seat pocket is large enough to swallow a tablet or a 13″ laptop with ease. There are several compartments in the seat pocket allowing passengers to store smaller items into it. The small pockets which are very useful to place my passport or my mobile phone. The seat pocket contains in-flight literature like Singapore Airlines magazine, duty-free catalogue and programmes that are available on KrisWorld. Each Economy Class seat has a reading light above the seat, which can be controlled via the IFE controller. However, like most aircraft, the Singapore Airlines A330-300 does not have an air vent.
The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 seems to be dated. The IFE still functions very well, with a minor lag when scrolling through the menu items. The 10.6″ personal TV screen does not come touchscreen function and looks a tad smaller than those found in newer aircraft such as the B787-10. The TV monitor can be tilted slightly for a better viewing angle depending on how much one reclines on the Economy Class seat. The IFE controller is stored below the TV screen with the main controls on the IFE on the front side. These controls allow passengers to interact with the KrisWorld menu and adjust the volumes as well as the reading light. The call button is found on the front side of the IFE controller. A qwerty keyboard is found in the back of the controller together with buttons for passengers who want to play games on KrisWorld. The IFE menu is very easy to navigate through and I had no problems locating the movies I wanted to watch during the flight. KrisWorld, Singapore Airlines’ IFE, is loaded with over 1800 on-demand entertainment options segregated into movies, TV shows, music albums, and games. The Movie menu, where one can find the latest Hollywood blockbuster to oldies, is the only IFE menu I accessed during my flights with Singapore Airlines. I was able to complete an entire movie during the 2-hour flight from Bangkok to Singapore. Earphones for the IFE system on Singapore Airlines are available for Economy Class passengers to pick up in the aerobridge before they board the aircraft. The earphones are reasonably comfortable and provide good sound quality.
Meal service commenced about 30 mins into the flight time. My friend and I were not given the options from the in-flight menu. As soon as the seat belt sign was turned off, one of the flight attendants came to us and informed us that Singapore Airlines noted our allergies and took the liberty to help us order a special dietary meal that does not contain our allergens. For this flight, we were served Pork in Black Pepper sauce. The black pepper sauce tasted great and is not too overpowering. We could still taste the tender pork. For desserts, we had Thai dessert – Pandan Jelly, which tasted great and not too sweet. The special dietary meal that we were served was great. The beverage was served at the same time the meals are being served, and coffee/tea service is not offered for this flight. Flight attendants will be happy to provide drinks after the meal service.
The flight attendants lived up to the good service, signature of Singapore Airlines, on this Bangkok to Singapore flight. The cabin crews were very friendly and wore smiles on their faces all the time despite a full flight (I can imagine how hectic it would be to serve 255 passengers with a meal within a short 2-hour flight). Flight attendants were seen greeting passengers not just at the door, but throughout the cabin as I walked towards my seat. They were also seen helping passengers storing carry-on baggage in the overhead bin. Flight attendants patrolled the cabin prior to take-off to ensure passengers all get a set of the earphone to enjoy the IFE system. I was taken by surprise when the flight attendant came to inform us that since we did not make special requests for meals, in view of our allergies, Singapore Airlines took the initiative to arrange the meal for us that does not contain our allergens. As our meal was presented to us before the meal service, we were not offered drinks. However, there was a small hiccup during the meal service. The flight attendant noticed that we have gotten our meal and skipped us without offering a drink. I highlighted this to another flight attendant, the situation was rectified immediately. The flight attendant immediately serves us drinks and even checked with us if we want more drinks after the meal service.
Despite the ageing aircraft, Singapore Airlines A330-300 is still very comfortable to fly in. The seats are very comfortable, thanks to the thick padding and the very generous legroom. The IFE, despite a little lag, still functions very well, keeping us entertained with the extensive library of movies, TV shows and music. The meal was delicious and the pork was tender. Despite being a full flight and their second shift, the flight attendants still wore smiles on their faces and ensured that passengers were well taken care of. They were seen patrolling the cabin diligently to take care of passengers’ requests and ensure the cabin is clean for passengers. Overall this is a pleasant flight with Singapore Airlines.