At the Airport
Singapore Airlines recently shifted its South East Asian departure flights from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 back to Terminal 2. The terminal partially re-opened after some refurbishment to only a handful of airlines flying out of Singapore. Passengers flying on Singapore Airlines can use the self-check-in kiosks in the centre of the terminal or the check-in counters in Changi Airport Terminal 2 in Rows 7 to 9. In addition, KrisFlyer Elite Gold members and passengers flying in Premium Economy Class can opt to use the in-person check-in at Row 8. The warm and friendly ground staff greeted us at the check-in counter and efficiently processed our check-in. Soon, we found ourselves whizzing through the automated immigration gates and walking at the airside of the Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 building.
KrisFlyer Gold Lounge
One of the perks for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members is the use of the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. There are KrisFlyer Gold Lounges in both Terminals 2 and 3. As we had errands to run in Terminal 3, we used the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge at Terminal 3 instead. The KrisFlyer Gold Lounge in Terminal 3, also recently re-opened after some renovation, is spacious and airy, thanks to the high ceilings and glass panels that allow lots of natural light in. There is a good mix of seating for passengers to relax and for dining. The crowd was thin at the time of our visit to the lounge, and we had no trouble selecting the seat we wanted. Although the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is not located next to the windows, we could still do some plane spotting and watch planes landing or taking off. The catering in KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is not as extensive as those in the SilverKris Lounge, serving Business Class passengers. The lounge mainly serves up local and Asian cuisines during breakfast timing, alongside some pre-wrapped sandwiches. Despite the limited food selection, we found Singapore Airlines’ signature Laksa in the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge.
Singapore Airlines mainly deploys A350-900 and B787-10 to ply between Singapore and Bangkok. Although we were initially booked on Singapore Airlines A350-900 aircraft, Singapore Airlines changed the aircraft type to B787-10 about two months before our flight.
Singapore Airlines medium haul B787-10 has 337 onboard, spreading across two cabin classes, 36 seats in the foremost Business Class and 301 in the aft two Economy Class cabins. The Economy Class cabin is further segregated into two sections, with 150 seats in the forward cabin and 151 in the aft cabin. Singapore Airlines uses three colours: brown, grey, and turquoise, for its Economy Class seats. In addition, the use of mood lighting for different moments of the flight, such as white lighting during boarding and disembarking and purple/orange lighting during the morning flight time, allows passengers to relax during the flight.
There are several lavatories dotted across the two sections of the Economy Class. Passengers in the forward section can use the front Economy Class lavatories and those between the two Economy Class cabins. Those sitting in the rear area of the Economy Class can opt to use the lavatories in the middle of the aircraft or those at the rearmost section of the plane. The lavatory onboard is not exactly the largest, but it is very functional. The mirrors in the lavatory make the space appears larger than it is. The hardworking cabin crews on Singapore Airlines constantly kept the lavatory very clean for the duration of the fight. I like the touch-free features, such as the sensor-activated tap and the toilet flush to the step-activated trash bin cover, which provided convenience to passengers and were extremely important in this endemic period. Singapore Airlines is one of the few airlines worldwide that still provides toothbrushes in their lavatories other than the standard hand soap.
Economy Class seats on Singapore Airlines B787-10 are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration. Each seat has a 32″ seat pitch and measures 17″ wide with a 5″ recline. Despite the very thin-looking Economy Class seats on Singapore Airlines, which do not seem to provide much cushioning, these seats are very comfortable for the short two-hour flight. In addition, the four-way adjustable headrest contributes to the comfort afforded by these Economy Class seats.
Other than the seat recline button on the armrest, the controls for the ambience of the Economy Class seats, such as the reading light control and the call attendant buttons, are found under the IFE screen. I like this design as the usage is very initiative, and there is no need to struggle with the controls on the IFE controller. There is also a sizable tray table on every seat. The bi-fold designed tray table, fitted with a small mirror, allows passengers to have it down to plan smaller items during flight without obstructing too much space for moving in and out of the seats. A standalone cup holder is fitted under the IFE screen, allowing passengers to stow their cups of drinks without needing to deploy the tray table. Furthermore, the seat pockets on Singapore Airlines are designed to allow passengers to maximise the usage of these pockets and also make it easier for passengers to locate the items they placed inside the pockets. There is even a small pocket underneath the IFE screen, perfect for stowing my mobile phone, and smaller knickknacks like the IFE earplugs.
An 11.1″ touchscreen TV is fitted in every Economy Class seat providing entertainment for every passenger on an otherwise mundane flight. There are many entertainment options on Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld, ranging from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to TV shows. The intuitive menu options on KrisWorld are very well organised, making scrolling through them a breeze. Singapore Airlines provides earplugs for every passenger, though some might not find stuffing things in their ears comfortable. There isn’t any IFE controller fitted on the latest B787-10, luckily, the touchscreen function on the IFE screen is very responsive to control and for passengers to scroll through the vast library of entertainment options. Singapore Airlines also provides complementary wifi for its KrisFlyer members (regardless of status) and passengers flying in Business Class or higher cabins. The wifi onboard is very stable but can only handle chats, email browsing and uploading to social media.
We were given two options for breakfast today – Singapore Fried Carrot Cake with Prawns and Scrambled Eggs with Chicken Sausage. I chose the Fried Carrot Cake for breakfast. I am not a fan of the take-out box design used in regional Economy Class, as it made the portion feel small and was challenging to eat from. Singapore Airlines only served its Economy Class passengers a yoghurt. The bread roll that used to come with its Economy Class meal was not served on this flight. Singapore Airlines was generous with the prawns served with the fried carrot cake. The meal was delicious and full of flavours. My friend opted for the Scrambled Eggs and found the eggs to be a tad dry and the sausage bland.
Service onboard Singapore Airlines was impeccable, as always. We were greeted by the warm and friendly cabin crews. The cabin crew felt smiling under their masks and were forever ready to help passengers get comfortable for the flight. Singapore Airlines took note of my allergies and promptly came to me, introduced the menu for the flight, and assured me that there were no ingredients in the options that would trigger my allergies. They promptly took my orders and served me the meal before the main service. The cabin crew worked tirelessly to serve all the passengers and attended to their requests despite being a full flight. Despite the clear delineation of the duties of each flight attendant, cabin crews were ready to step in to help their colleagues should one be away from their station (during meal service) to top up food or handle other passenger requests not available on the food cart. The flight attendants’ felt happy in their job, which also translates to caring for their passengers.
Singapore Airlines has excellent hardware and service for this short flight from Singapore to Bangkok. The Economy Class seats on their B787-10 are comfortable, and the excellent IFE product provided great entertainment to passengers. The service was impeccable on this flight, despite a full flight, having to manage 301 Economy Class passengers within a short 1.5 hrs, the cabin crew worked efficiently and were always ready to assist passengers. The entire team worked like clockwork and were ready to step in to assist each other in the interest of ensuring passengers were well taken care of. Overall, I had an excellent flight experience with Singapore Airlines.