[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A350-900 (SQ711) – Business Class, BKK – SIN (17 May 22)

At the Airport

Check-in

Singapore Airlines check-in counters occupy row K in Suvarnabhumi Airport, situated in the centre part of the departure hall of the airport terminal. Most of the counters are dedicated to Economy class passengers and one for KirsFlyer Elite Gold members. Singapore Airlines dedicated two counters for its Business Class Passengers, located nearer the immigration gates. Queues for the respective classes of passengers are well-demarcated, and ground staff are seen standing by, ready to assist passengers to the correct queue. There was no queue at the Business Class counter. We were quickly greeted by very friendly ground staff at the Business Class queue, which led us to an empty counter and reminded us that we should have our digital Singapore Arrival Card submitted before we boarded the flight. The staff at the check-in counter quickly took over checking us in. She processed our check-in with much efficiency that it took her less than 5 mins to complete our check-in. Business Class passengers can use the Fast-Track lane in Row A, where Thai Airways check-in counters are located. There was no one in the queue, and all the immigration counters were open. We cleared immigration in less than 5 mins.

Singapore Airlines passengers check-in at Row K in Suvarnabhumi Airport
Singapore Airlines Business Class passengers can use the empty fast track immigration clearance channel.

Thai Airways Orchid Lounge

Singapore Airlines has a SilverKris Lounge for its Business Class and KirsFlyer Elite Gold passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Unfortunately, the Lounge was closed when we took our flight due to the pandemic. We were invited to use any of the airlines’ lounges under the Star Alliance network. We opted for the Thai Airways Orchid Lounge as it was the nearest to our boarding gate. The lounge staff warmly welcomed us at the Royal Orchid Lounge. Thai Airways has several lounges across Suvarnabhumi Airport. We used the Thai Airways Orchid Lounge at Concourse E, which is fairly small compared to the lounge at Concourse C. Despite the smaller scale, the facilities in this lounge rival that of its larger counterpart. There are plentiful seats in the lounge for passengers to relax and take a bite before our flight. Most of the seats are meant to relax and furnished with a side table, and some seats are furnished with a small table that provides a more comfortable dining position. The lounge is also equipped with two shower rooms for passengers to freshen themselves before their flight. I spotted a couple of closed meeting rooms due to low demand or as part of the pandemic measures. Food is served in a buffet style, mainly consisting of Thai food. The food at the lounge was mediocre at best: the Tom Yum prawn soup tasted blend; the beef was tough. The only tasty food was the fried prawn cake and the fried rice. Thai Airways Orchid Lounge also stocked up some finger food such as pastry and peanuts. There are both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks fully stocked at this lounge for passengers.

View of the apron from Royal Orchid Lounge

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines has three versions of the A350-900 aircraft. However, the airline uses the 2-class non-ULR variant for this leg of the flight.

The Cabin

The Singapore Airlines aircraft used for this BKK-SIN segment is fitted with 40 regional Business Class seats and 263 Economy Class seats. Business Class onboard this version of Singapore Airlines A350-900 is arranged in a large forward section and a smaller aft section. In addition, the Singapore Airlines regional Business Class cabin is decked in an earthy brown scheme. With the appropriate use of cabin lighting during boarding, the Business Class cabin exudes a comfortable and cosy feel. Seats in Singapore Airlines regional Business classes are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving all Business Class passengers direct aisle access.

Singapore Airlines regional Business Class cabin

The lavatories are located in the forward and the centre of the two Business Class cabins. The brown backsplash at the basin and the downlights give the lavatory a premium feel. I like how Singapore Airlines attempts to reduce touchpoints in the fixtures in the lavatories with the installation of a motion-activated tap and a step for the trash. And all these are installed even before the pandemic. The lavatories are the right size and do not give one a claustrophobic feel. The lavatory is stocked with amenities such as toothbrushes, facial mists, hand lotion, and cologne that are not found in Economy Class cabins. However, the razors are not topped up, perhaps due to the short flight time.

The Seat

The Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seats have a seat pitch of 60″ and 28″ wide and offer excellent legroom. The choice of leather in the seats in Singapore Airlines’ regional Business Class feels very premium and comfortable. A thick blanket and an oversized pillow are placed on the seat. Resting on the thick and fluffy pillow made me fall asleep despite the short 2-hour flight time. As this is a short flight, no mattress toppers are made available. Other than the three main modes – takeoff/landing, lounging, and flatbed mode, the seats are so customisable that passengers in the Singapore Airlines Business Class seats would find an angle that one would find comfortable. I find the fully flat 180 deg bed mode uncomfortable but found comfort in the seat at a slight elevation in its bed mode. The cocoon designed seats ensure passengers get maximum privacy, even for those sitting next to the aisle.

Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seat
Legroom is excellent in Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seats.

The touchscreen seat controls are fitted in a very convenient part of the seat, allowing passengers to adjust to the seats and find the optimal angle that maximises their comfort. In addition, there are some standard options in the controls providing passengers with the convenience of getting to these modes at the touch of a button. There is a small cabinet at the side of the seat where the noise-cancelling headphones are placed for passengers to store smaller items. Here, passengers can also charge their mobile devices via the two USB outlets or the power outlet. The cocktail table next to the seat serves the dual purpose of placing a drink cup and a space for passengers to stow their items.

Seat control and IFE controller
There seem to be some defects with my seat.

A solid wooden table is stowed underneath the PTV., which is large enough to provide a decent space for passengers to work on their laptops. I like the flexibility of folding the table into half its size when passengers do not require the entire table, making getting in and out of the seat easier. The ottoman under the PTV in the regional Business Class seat provided extra comfort for passengers to rest their legs on. There is a space under the ottoman for shoes or bags. Speaking of storage for baggage, each passenger in Business Class gets an entire overhead bin space to themselves. A coat hook is strategically placed next to the PTV for passengers to hang their coats. I used this hook to hang the mango sticky rice I bought at the airport before boarding. I find the placement of the seat pocket under the coat hook to be a tad difficult to reach. Otherwise, this would be an additional space for passengers to stow smaller items. Due to the pandemic, the seat pocket contents were reduced to the safety card and an airsick bag.

In-Flight Entertainment

The Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seats are fitted with a large 18″ touchscreen personal TV. The touchscreen functions on the PTV are very responsive and are an alternate way for passengers to choose from the wide range of entertainment options from Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld. KrisWorld is loaded with movies, TV shows, music and games to keep passengers entertained even on a long flight. Business Class passengers are provided with noise-cancelling headphones, which effectively block out all sounds. The padded ear cups provided additional comfort when wearing. The IFE controller is stowed under the seat controls. The touchscreen mobile phone-like IFE controller is very easy to use, and the touchscreen function is equally responsive. One can display the flight map on the IFE controller while watching a movie on the PTV at the same time. In addition, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members can link their Singapore Airlines app to the IFE onboard. However, the onboard wifi must be switched on by the pilot (which is done so only after the aircraft reaches cruising altitude).

Singapore Airlines regional Business Class is equipped with an 18″ PTV
The touchscreen IFE controller resembles a mobile phone and is intuitive to use

Meal

Due to the pandemic, pre-departure drinks and snacks are not offered as part of the service in Business Class. After the seat belt signs were turned off in-flight, we were only served plain water. Singapore Airlines does not offer their signature “book the cook” service, nor was the famous satay service made available for this flight departing Bangkok. We were given three options to pre-book our meals – fish, chicken or seafood up to 24 hours before the flight. As we had pre-booked our meal, we were served first before the rest of the Business Class passengers got their food. Food was served at one go as this is a short flight, with fewer drinks and bread options. I chose the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet was well presented on porcelain plates, and the artichoke puree served by the side tasted delicious. The fish is cooked to perfection and still retains its moisture. The appetiser – Smoked Duck Breast, is tasty and not too tough. I did not like the Lemon Cheesecake, not that it is not delicious, just my personal preference. It is a pity that the bread came last after I had finished my meal. But I still enjoyed Singapore Airlines’ signature garlic bread.

I opted for the Pan Seared Snapper Fillet.

Service

Service in Singapore Airlines felt cold in the Business Class. Besides the standard greeting by the door and “your seat is down this aisle” during boarding, I feel service is no different from that in Economy Class. Bread during meal time took forever to come, served by a male pursuer with a touch and go service, who gave me the impression that he was rushing off somewhere. The absence of pre-departure drinks and snacks in Business Class signals cost-cutting measures in the guise of the pandemic. Even during meal service, despite pre-ordering our meal and being served first, there was no attempt to check if we required any drinks; we were being skipped!

Despite the coldness in service, Deniece (I hope I get her name correctly) shines out as the most personable pursuer. She introduced herself to every passenger under her charge and remembered our first names. She was seen patrolling the cabin and checking in with me if I needed anything whenever she walked past my seat and when I was not dozing off. Instead of going for her well-deserved break after the hectic meal service, Deniece would take the initiative to strike up a conversation with me when I was waiting for the loo. Service by Deniece felt personal, which is a stark difference from the rest of the crew onboard this flight.

Meal service

Afterthought

Singapore Airlines’ regional Business Class product is comfortable and provides various seating options, including a flatbed mode. Not many airlines provide 180 deg flatbed for their regional or short-haul flights. Kudos to Singapore Airlines for doing so. The seat provides passengers with privacy, thanks to its cocoon design. The seat I was in showed some signs of wear and tear, such as the armrest wouldn’t fold down as it was designed to. The large PTV makes watching the endless entertainment options offered by KrisWorld a pleasant experience. The food catering for this leg was delicious, and the fish retained its moisture. The service overall was a tad disappointing. The rest of the pursuers seem not to care about Business Class passengers other than those in their area of responsibility. I do find warmth and sincerity in the service rendered by Deniece. The way she welcomes passengers on the flight memorises and addresses passengers under her charge by their last name and notes passengers’ food allergies. I had a pleasant flight, thanks to Deniece.

Suvarnabhumi Airport airside

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A350-900 (SQ708) – Premium Economy Seat, SIN – BKK (13 May 22)

At the Airport

Check-in

All Singapore Airlines have operated out of Changi Airport Terminal 3 since the pandemic due to the closure of Terminal 2. As both my friend and I are KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, we can use the check-in counter in row 8, dedicated to Premium Economy Class Passengers and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members flying to all destinations served by the airlines. Despite the short queue at the counter, the movement of the queue was a little slow due to document checks before boarding. The document checks for Thailand were very straightforward, and we only had to show the ground staff our Thailand Pass. Our check-in was processed quickly, and we were headed to the customs within minutes.

SilverKris Lounge

As KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, we were invited to use the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. However, as the lounge was closed for renovation during our visit, we used the SilverKris Lounge instead, located next to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. The newly renovated SilverKris Lounge can be separated into two distinct areas. The area next to the entrance has more natural light and serves mainly as an area for passengers to lounge and relax, furnished with numerous armchairs. Further, into the lounge, the other area serves more as a dining area and is furnished mainly with dining tables. Food is served buffet-style in the dining area, furnished with a brown and earthy tone. The entrance to the First Class lounge is also found in the dining area of the SilverKris Lounge. The SilverKris Lounge was very crowded during our visit to this lounge, and we had a hard time looking for empty seats.

We used the SilverKris Lounge as the KrisFlyer Elite Gold Lounge was closed for renovation.

As we took the morning flight, food options available in the SilverKris Lounge were mainly breakfast. Food choice was extensive, ranging from local to western-style breakfast. The food was constantly top-ups by the diligent lounge staff ensured there was sufficient food to cater to the overcrowded SilverKris lounge. In addition, there are plentiful drink options ranging from soft drinks to fruit juices to tea and coffee and a bar for alcoholic beverages manned by a bartender whipping up cocktails for passengers. However, despite the comfortable lounge and the endless food options, we did not have a pleasant experience at the SilverKris Lounge, mainly due to the crowd.

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines uses one of the three variants of the A350-900 aircraft for this flight. The airline uses the 3-class variant for this flight, fitted with Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seats. As Singapore Airlines do not sell Premium Economy Class for the SIN-BKK-SIN route, we were able to choose the Premium Economy Class seats by paying an additional S$41.30. Despite flying in the Premium Economy cabin, the service we received was the same as in the Economy Class (we had a near Premium Economy Class experience, such as priority check-in and lounge access due to our status with Singapore Airlines).

Singapore Airlines A350-900 safety card

The Cabin

The 3-class A350-900, Singapore Airlines aircraft, has 253 seats onboard, spreading across the three cabin classes with 42 seats in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy Class, and 187 in Economy Class. The Premium Economy Class cabin is a small section wedged between Business Class and Economy Class onboard the A350-900 aircraft. Seats in the Premium Economy Class are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration. Due to the small number of seats, the Premium Economy Class feels more cosy and private.

Premium Economy Class cabin
Seats in the Premium Economy Class are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

Passengers travelling in Premium Economy Class share the same lavatory as those in Economy Class. The nearest lavatory to the Premium Economy section is located to the rear of the forward Economy Class section. The lavatory feels a tad small but sufficient for passengers to do their business. The lavatory is sparsely stocked with hand soap, a small bottle of facial mist and some toothbrushes. I was surprised to find Business Class toothbrushes in this lavatory; not too sure if it is intended or a way for Singapore Airlines to clear their Business Class toothbrush inventory. The lavatory was not kept clean by the cabin crew, probably due to the short flight and the passenger load. The lavatory floor felt sticky, and I spotted a used toothbrush on the sink top.

The Seat

The Premium Economy Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines feel very comfortable. The grey leathered recliner seat has a pitch of 38″ and measures 19″ wide, providing me with excellent legroom. A pillow and fleece blanket was provided on each seat at boarding. There are two seat control buttons on the right armrests, one for adjusting the seat’s recline and the other for deploying the calfrest. I thought the calfrest and footrest made the ride on the Premium Economy Class even more comfortable. However, the footrest did not seem to be able to fully deploy when I stowed my carry on bag under the seat in front of mine (it id advised to stow carry one baggage in the overhead bin to be able to utilise the footrest fully). However, when reclined and with the calfrest fully deployed, the Premium Economy seat feels very comfortable. It is so cosy and comfortable that I dozed off after breakfast while watching the inflight movie.

The Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Seat
Premium Economy seat recline buttons on the inside of the right armrest

The Premium Economy Class seat tray is stowed under the left armrest, which seems fairly small. But it is sufficient for its purpose of consuming meals on and a working desk for those who want to get some work done. A couple of USB charging outlets and headphone jacks are found between the two Premium Economy seats. Singapore Airlines also fitted two power outlets at the lower part of the centre console between the two seats for passengers who want to charge their laptops or tablets. On top of the overhead reading lights, each Premium Economy Seat is also installed with another reading light next to the seat’s headrest, akin to those reading lights found in Business Class seats.

There are more in-seat storage areas in the Premium Economy Class than the Economy Class seats. We were able to stow away some small items in either of the seat pockets in the Premium Economy Seat. The netted top seat pocket is extremely useful in putting away my passport and some small items and is large enough to stow a tablet. The lower seat pocket, where in-flight literature used to be found, provided additional storage space during the flight. Between the two seats in front of us were a couple of small open shelving, which were meant to store water bottles. Since this is a short 2-hour flight, bottled water was not provided. Hence we found no other practical use for this open shelving. Despite being a relatively new product, the Premium Economy Seat that I selected started to show signs of ageing. Firstly, the recline buttons did not work well. I had to press hard to recline or bring out the calfrest. Then there is the tray table, which was slightly loose at the joints, causing the tray table to slant downwards at a gentle angle. Fortunately, this defect did not affect my meal consumption, but it did affect me when I used the table to fill in the passenger arrival card. The headphones also show signs of wear and tear where the PVC leather around the ear cups was peeling off. I highlighted these defects to the stewardess, who did not seem to bother registering my concerns.

The noise-cancelling headphones showed signs of wear and tear

In-Flight Entertainment

Each Premium Economy seat is fitted with a 13.3″ touchscreen personal TV. The touchscreen function on the monitor is so responsive that the remote control seems redundant. The numerous entertainment options – movies, television programmes, music, and games- are classified into intuitive operating menus. The IFE onboard this Singapore Airlines flight to Bangkok is loaded with the latest Hollywood blockbusters (some were still screened in cinemas), making the 2-hour flight time seem short.

Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class is fitted with a 13.3″ touchscreen TV.
The touchscreen function of the personal TV in every Premium Economy seat is very responsive.

Stowed on the seat’s left, the IFE controller resembles a portable gaming device. The touchscreen area of the IFE controller is very responsive. I was able to display the content of the movie that I was watching or the flight map on the IFE controller without disrupting the show I was watching on the TV screen. The noise-cancelling headphones provided are the same as one would receive in the Business Class. The headphones effectively block out noise, but putting them too long makes my ears feel uncomfortable.

Meal

The biggest difference in flying pre and post-pandemic (other than the need to wear a face mask) lies with the meal service. Gone were the appetisers and buns that usually come with the meal. The inflight meal was only limited to the main dish, a dessert and a cup of coffee. The meal we received in the Premium Economy Class is the same as those in Economy Class. We were given chicken sausage options with scrambled eggs or pork congee for this flight. I opted for the Chicken sausage, packaged in a paper box, it was tasty, but the potato wedges buried under the scrambled eggs tasted soggy. The portion felt a tad smaller than pre-pandemic times, and the presentation was not as appetising as before.

Service

The service rendered by the ground staff at the Singapore Airlines counter was good. We were warmly greeted by the ground staff, who processed our check-in with much efficiency after checking the document that we required to enter Thailand. We were also reminded that the gate where our flight would depart was located in Terminal 1 and was briefed on how to get to our boarding gate and the time required to travel by foot to our gate. The ground staff even gave crucial information on the latest time we should make our way to the boarding gate to make it for the flight.

The service onboard felt rushed. Like in all other airlines, we were greeted by the pursuers, who directed us to the aisle we should be walking down to get to our seat. Pursuers were patrolling the cabin diligently, conducting pre-flight checks and helping passengers stow their baggage in the overhead compartment. Once airborne, pursuers were only seen during meal service and conducting pre-landing checks. Even the meal service felt rushed. It felt that the pursuers were only interested in fulfilling their task of distributing the food. During meal service, I brought the defective tray table and the seat control button issues to the stewardess. She did not acknowledge my concerns and gave me the impression that she pretended not to hear anything. The touch-and-go service is far from the personable and warm Singapore Airlines service I was familiar with.

Meals were distributed about 30 mins into the flight

Afterthought

I thought the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy seats were very comfortable, especially with the seat reclined to the maximum angle and the calfrest fully deployed. Coupled with the pillow and the fleece blanket provided, I can see myself getting great rest quality for longer flights. However, the seat that I selected seems aged. The seat control buttons were ceased up and are hard to press, and the tray table is slanted at an angle that constantly casts doubt in my mind if the food tray will slip when I was consuming the small portion of in-flight catering. In addition, the service on board was not impressionable and felt rushed. Even when I raised the issues with my seat to the stewardess, my concerns were met with deaf ears.

Flying over Singapore

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A330-300 (SQ979) – Economy Class, BKK – SIN (18 Nov 19)

Check-in

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.

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Singapore Airlines check-in counters are located in Row K

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There was no queue at the time we arrive at the check-in counters

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Singapore Airlines has a counter dedicated for their KrisFlyer Elite Gold members

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SilverKris Lounge at Bangkok Airport is located opposite the boarding gate. Krisflyer Elite Gold members are eligible to visit this lounge as well

The Aircraft

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.

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 at Bangkok Airport. Bangkok Airport is not exactly the best place to take pictures of aircrafts

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 safety card

The Cabin

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.

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 Economy Class 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 Seat

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.¬†

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 Economy Class seats

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Legroom is excellent in the Economy Class seats

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.

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Cup holder and coat hook in the seat

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The AV input/output ports seem outdated at this day and age

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Earphone jack and power outlet

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Tray table when folded

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Tray table fully deployed

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.

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Seat pocket

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Seat pocket contents

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Overhead reading lights

In-Flight Entertainment

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.

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Each seat is fitted with a 10.6″ personal TV

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The IFE controller is stored below the TV screen

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The front of the IFE controller contains the controls for navigating through the IFE system

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There is a qwerty keyboard on the back of the IFE controller

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Older version of the IFE menu, which is still very easy to navigate

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Earphones that Singapore Airlines provides to their Economy Class passengers. There are different size earbuds to ensure a better fit for its passengers

Meal

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.

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Singapore Airlines helped my friend and I ordered a special meal in view of our allergies

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We got Black Pepper Pork with rice

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.

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Flight attendants welcoming passengers onboard

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Flight attendant preparing for meal service

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Flight attendant distributing warm towels

Afterthought

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.

 

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines B787-10 (SQ982) – Economy Class, SIN – BKK (14 Nov 19)

At the Airport

Check-in

Singapore Airlines Flights flying from Singapore to Bangkok departs from Terminal 2 of Singapore Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines occupies rows 1 to 3 in the terminal with row 1 dedicated to First and Business Class passengers. Row 2 is dedicated to passengers travelling under Group Travels. Passengers flying with Singapore Airlines on Economy Class uses row 3 to check-in, where most of the counters are designated for passengers who have performed self-service printing of boarding passes and tagging their out luggage from the kiosks available. Only two counters are open for passengers who require assistance with their check-in. As the counters service all destinations operated by Singapore Airlines, there was a queue at the internet check-in baggage drop off counter. However, my friend has attained Gold Elite status with Singapore Airlines, we were able to check-in at one of the two counters for KrisFlyer Elite Gold members in Row 1 and we only waited for less than 5 mins.

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Passengers flying on Singapore Airlines Economy class uses Row 3 in Singapore Changi Airport

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Counters serving KrisFlyer Elite Gold members are located in Row 2

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Counters serving KrisFlyer Elite Gold members

KrisFlyer Gold Lounge

As a KrisFLyer Gold member, my friend can bring one guest with him into the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is located on level 3 of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, just before the entrance to SilverKris Lounge. The KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is decked in an earthy tone that gives a feeling of classiness and makes passengers feel relaxed. The fact that the lounge was not busy with passengers adds to the sensation of relaxation in the lounge. KrisFlyer Gold Lounge is not as big as the SilverKris Lounge next door and the food selection is somewhat limited, however, they are tasty and is sufficient to fill one’s stomach. There is a fridge with beverage selection next to the main buffet area, stocked with soft drinks and juices.

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Entrance to KrisFlyer Gold Lounge

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Seating area in KrisFlyer Gold Lounge

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Main buffet areaThe Aircraft

Singapore Airlines operates several aircraft types between Singapore and Bangkok. For this flight, we flew with Singapore Airlines B787-10 which is one of the newest aircraft in the Singapore Airlines fleet.

The Cabin

Singapore Airlines B787-10 has a two-class configuration, capable of carrying up to 337 passengers with 36 Business Class seats and 301 Economy Class seats. Economy Class is split into two sections. All seats in Economy Class are arranged in the 3-3-3 configuration. The seats in the Economy Class cabin are generally decked in light grey fabric with some seats in light blue. The use of purple and orange mood lighting used during boarding makes the cabin looks bright and refreshing.

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The Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10

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Economy Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10 looks bright and refreshing

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Mood lighting onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10

The lavatories in the Economy Class cabin are located in the mid and the aft part of the aircraft. The lavatories are no bigger than those found onboard other Singapore Airlines aircraft. The use of mirrors in the lavatory makes the lavatory looks larger than it actually is. Singapore Airlines is perhaps one of the few airlines that stocked their Economy Class cabin lavatories with amenities such as toothbrush, combs and razors on top of the handsoap. Passengers can also find hand lotion and Eau de toilette in the lavatory. Singapore Airlines installs sensor-activated tap and toilet flush making the use of the lavatory more hygienic.

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Sink in the Economy Class cabin lavatory

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Toilet in the lavatory

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I like the sensor-activated toilet flush which is more hygienic to use

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Large mirrors in the lavatory

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Mouth wash and hand lotion are available in Economy Class lavatories on top of the hand soap

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Amenities such as toothbrush, razors and combs are available in the Economy Class lavatory

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The step pedal in the Economy Class lavatory

The Seat

The seats onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10 features their new Economy Class seats. The seats in Economy Class cabins are very comfortable with a pitch of 32″ and width of 17.5″. The legroom in the seats is very good, adding more comfort for the 2-hour flight time to Bangkok. Seat recline button is found on the armrest.

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Singapore Airlines new Economy Class seats onboard B787-10

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Economy Class seat onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10

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Legroom is very generous in the Economy Class seats

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Seat recline button

Most of the seat features in the Economy Class seats can be found on the panel in front of each seat, making it look very clean and well designed. It has everything that a passenger needs for their flight. There is a small compartment below the TV screen that allows passengers to stow small items such as mobile phones or the earphones that the airlines provide for the In-Flight Entertainment System. Tray tables can be folded into half and are large for Economy Class standards, capable of allowing passengers to do some work on their laptops. The seat reading light is situated on the ceiling above the seat.

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Seat features are very clean and well designed

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Tray tables can be folded in half and have a vanity mirror

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Tray table fully deployed

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Reading light is found above each seat

There is a cup holder in every Singapore Airlines Economy Class seats making it convenient for passengers to place their cups into while not deploying the tray table. Flight attendant call buttons and switches for the reading light can be found on a small panel on the bottom left of the TV screen. The USB charging port and headphone jacks are located next to the call buttons. There is a small coat hook in each Economy Class seat. On top of the USB charging port, Singapore Airlines is thoughtful enough to install a universal power plug for every two seats for passengers to charge their lifestyle devices, conveniently located under the armrest in front of the passengers.

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Cup holder in the Economy Class seat onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10

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Call buttons, USB charging port and headphone jacks are located in the panel in front of each Economy Class seat

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Each seat has a small coat hook

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Universal power plug in front of the seat

The seat pocket is large enough for passengers to store their iPads. There are two other smaller pockets in front of the main seat pocket, which I find useful to put small items like a passport. The main seat pocket¬†contains the usual inflight magazines such as Singapore Airline’s travel magazine – SilverKris, the in-flight entertainment catalogue – KrisWorld, and the in-flight duty-free catalogue – KrisShop.

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Seat pocket with several smaller compartments in Economy Class

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Seat pocket contents

In-Flight Entertainment

Each Economy Class seat onboard Singapore Airlines B787-10 comes with an 11’1″ personal TV with touchscreen function. The touchscreen function is very responsible and is the only way passenger can control the In-Flight Entertainment system. There is no IFE controller found in the seat since IFE controls can be done on the TV. Singapore Airlines’ KrisWorld has an extensive library of entertainment options, arranged in easy to navigate menus. KrisWorld has the latest blockbuster movies from Hollywood as well as regional movie titles. Scrolling through the KrisWorld is similar to how one would scroll through on their tablet, passengers can swipe left or right to get to the type of entertainment option they desire and click on the large icon to launch the movie or TV show they want to watch.

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IFE menu

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IFE Movie menu

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IFE TV menu

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There is a library of music for passengers who opted not to watch movie

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There is a library of podcasts in the IFE System

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Earphones are placed at the entrance of the aircraft for passengers to take

Meal

Meal service commenced about 30 mins into the flight. Flight attendants went around distributing dinner together with drinks. Passengers were given the option of Char Siew Rice of Green Curry Chicken with fried rice. The Char Siew Rice I opted was very tasty and the pork meat was very tender and well marinated. The rice is a tad hard. I did not like the Quinoa and Vegetable that was served as an appetiser was less to be desired. The Mango pudding dessert is good though.

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Meal options for this flight between Singapore and Bangkok

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I had the Char Siew Pork rice set

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My friend had the Green Curry Chicken and Fried Rice set

Service

Service onboard this Singapore to Bangkok flight onboard Singapore Airlines in Economy class was good. Despite being a busy full flight, service onboard Singapore Airlines Economy Class was not compromised. Flight attendants are seen offering help to passengers with their carry-on luggage during boarding. Meal service was done with a smile. As soon as the seat belt sign was turned off, one of the flight attendants approached my friend and me to inform us that they have taken note of our food allergies and told us the options for dinner before the meal service run. After taking our preference, the flight attendant emerged from the galley with our food ahead of the rest of the passengers. When requested for a can of coke to share with my friend and the flight attendant happily hand us the coke and even asked if it is sufficient for the two of us.

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Flight attendants welcoming passengers during boarding

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Warm towels are distributed before taking off

Afterthought

Singapore Airlines new Economy Class product on the B787-10 is very good. The seats are very comfortable and the legroom is generous for Economy Class. The IFE menu is very easy to navigate via the touchscreen function on the TV and the touchscreen is very responsive. There are loads of entertainment option on KrisWorld that kept me entertained throughout the 2-hour flight to Bangkok. Interactions with the flight attendants were rather minimal as this is a full flight. Despite that, service is always done with a smile. This short flight with Singapore Airlines is quite enjoyable.

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Flying during sunset

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A350-900 (SQ609) – Business Class, ICN-SIN (6 Nov 19)

At the Airport

Check-in

The check-in counters for Singapore Airlines is located in Incheon International Airport Terminal 1. Singapore Airlines occupies the entire at Row D for its passengers to check-in. There are three queues – Business Class, Internet check-in and Economy Class, at Row D. The three queues were empty at the time of our arrival at Incheon Airport. There is no wait time before my friends and I are being served by the ground manager who processed our check-in with a smile on her face and sense of calmness. Our check-in was processed with efficiency and soon the manager gave us our boarding passes and invited us to the SilverKris Lounge together with information on the boarding gate, the boarding timing and directions to the SilverKris Lounge.

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Singapore Airlines uses the entire Row D

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There was no queue at the time of our check-in

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Three counters are dedicated to Business Class passengers in Incheon Airport