[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

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Taking a wefie at the check-in counter

SilverKris Lounge

Singapore Airlines has its own lounge at Incheon International Airport. The SilverKris lounge is located on level 3 near gate 29. The lounge is a tad difficult to find as the escalator is located behind some shops. We were warmly welcomed by the Korean ground staff at the entrance of the lounge. We headed to the main section of the SilverKris Lounge at Incheon International Airport. SilverKris Lounge employs an earthy tone in the choice of colour, which feels very cosy. The SilverKris Lounge only serves passengers flying on Singapore Airlines, which the lounge is capable of handling passengers flying on Business Class today. The lounge does not feel overcrowded and we were able to find seats of our choice. There is a section of seats in the lounge that faces the tarmac for passengers to do some plane spotting.

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The entrance of SilveKris Lounge in Incheon Airport

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Seats in SilverKris Lounge

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There are plenty of seats in SilverKris Lounge

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SilverKris Lounge has a cosy and elegant decor

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View of tarmac from SilverKris Lounge

Food in the SilverKris Lounge is served in buffet style. One can find some noodles and rice dishes as well as finger food like sandwiches and mini burgers. There are also desserts and canapes in the food area for passengers who do not feel like having too much to eat before their flight. In the centre of the main section lies a bar where staff will be happy to serve up some cocktails or liquors. Canned drinks can also be obtained from the fridge at the buffet area. The food served in the SilverKris Lounge was very tasty.

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Cooked food section

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Finger food counters in SilverKris Lounge

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Canapes, desserts and salad section

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Bar counter in SilverKris Lounge

There are shower facilities in the SilverKris Lounge, next to the toilet area. I had the opportunity to take a shower here before my flight. There is a staff readily standing by to provide towels and escort passengers who want to take a shower to an empty room. The space in the shower rooms is not too large, with a wet and dry area. Shower rooms are fitted with both a regular shower head and a rain shower head. Shower amenities are stored in large pump bottles with no indication of the brand that Singapore Airlines uses in their lounge. Hairdryers are found in each shower room.

I noticed a smaller section on the left side of the SilverKris Lounge and checked with the staff what’s inside. I was informed that this section serves mainly Singapore food such as laksa, chilli crab. This section has a Peranakan decor, mainly furnished with dining tables and chairs. This section is empty at the time of my visit, though I did not try any food from this section.

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines uses the A350-900 and B777-300ER to service between Singapore and Korea. We flew on the A350-900 for this flight between Incheon and Singapore.

The Cabin

Singapore Airlines operates the A350-900 Medium Haul aircraft between Singapore and Seoul. The medium-haul A350-900 is configured with a total of 303 seats across the two cabins on board. There are 40 Business Class seats spread across two sections with the larger 28-seat section in front and 12 seats in the rear section. Business Class seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration allowing direct aisle access to all passengers. The Business Class cabin feels very warm and cosy due to the choice of brown colour Singapore Airlines employs in its Business Class seats. I find the lightings used during boarding is perfect for Singapore Airlines Business Class cabin. The use of orange lightings along the windows adds to the sense of comfort and relax, exuding the same vibe with the colour of the seats. The use of white lightings in the centre row during boarding illuminates the cabin for passengers. And yet the choice of these lightings colours complement each other. During the flight, orange lightings were used during evening timing, as though the airline has brought the evening sunlight into the cabin. As the flight transits to night time, blue colour lightings are employed to assimilate night time. The deployment of mood lighting at different times of the flight is helping passengers to better adjust their body clock.

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Singapore Airlines A350-900 Regional Business Class cabin

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Mood lighting used during boarding

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Mood lighting used in the evening time inflight

Three lavatories are serving the 40 passengers in Business Class on Singapore Airlines A350-900, one of which is situated in front of the entire Business Class cabin while the other two are located between the two sections of Business Class cabins. The lavatories are of a decent size, no larger than that found in Economy Class cabins. The lavatories are decked out in brown leather and wooden panel finishings at the sink and the cabinet to give it a more premium feel. The lavatories are well stocked with amenities as Singapore Airlines do not provide any amenity kit for their Business Class passengers. Other than the standard handsoap and mouth wash found in Economy Class lavatories, Singapore Airlines provides UK brand Quercus hand lotion, facial mist and eau de toilette. The other amenities such as toothbrush and razors are of better quality in the Business Class cabin lavatories. Cloth napkins are also stocked in the Business Class lavatories. There is a latch beside the toilet which can be lowered to form a seat in the lavatory. Mirrors are cleverly utilised in the lavatories to make it feel bigger than it actually is.

The Seat

The seat on this Singapore Airlines A350-900 flight from Incheon to Singapore features the new Regional Business Class seats. Each seat has a pitch of 60″ and measures 28″ wide. All seats in the Business Class cabin give passengers direct aisle access and has superb privacy (depends on where one is seated). Business Class seats are clad in brown leather giving the entire cabin a premium feel. Pillow and blankets are already placed on the seats, together with the only amenities such as slippers, eyeshades and socks. The new Regional Business Class seats are arranged in a stagged manner, passengers would have to choose between better access into their seats or privacy. For seats with the side table on the aisle side, getting in and out is a tad squeezy however passengers will get better privacy in these seats. For seats with the side table away from the aisle, getting in and out is a lot easier thanks to the bigger opening for the seats, however, passengers sitting here will have less privacy.

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Singapore Airlines New Regional Business Class seats in Upright position

The new regional Business Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines A350-900 generally have three modes. Passengers would be greeted with the take-off/landing mode, the most upright position, which can be a tad uncomfortable to seat on. The lounge mode is the second mode and the positioning of the seat that I spent most of the 6½ hour flight time in. The lounge mode is somewhere in between the take-off/landing position and the flatbed position, having a slight reclination but not all the way flat. I find this mode to be very comfortable watching the movies from the Inflight Entertainment System. I spent my time eating in this mode as well. The third mode is the bed mode, where the seat is converted to a 180° flatbed. Sleeping in the flatbed mode is rather comfortable as passengers’ legs can be fully stretched into the ottoman underneath the TV. The seat in the flatbed mode allows passengers to do some tossing and turning during their sleep. However, passengers can feel a tad cramp in the narrow seats (compared to that in Singapore Airlines B777-300ER). The armrests in the seats can be adjusted downwards in flatbed mode to give passengers more space in the seats during their sleep.

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Singapore Airlines A350-900 New Regional Business Class seat in lounge mode

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Singapore Airlines A350-900 New Regional Business Class seat in flatbed mode

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Ottoman in the Business Class seat with storage space for carry-on luggage below

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Legroom is quite good onboard Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class cabin

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Adjustable armrest in Singapore Airlines New Regional Business Class seat

Each Regional Business Class Seat onboard Singapore Airlines A350-900 is equipped with a side table where passengers can place some of their things on. There is an indentation in one corner of this side table where flight attendants will place the drinking glasses on. There is a small cabinet with a sliding door on the same side as the side table. Here is where the menu and noise-cancelling headphones are placed during boarding. There is an NFC reader as well as two USB charging ports and international power outlet for passengers to charge their lifestyle devices. Storage space for passengers to stow away small items onboard Singapore Airlines A350-900 Regional Business Class is very limited as this cabinet is the only place where passengers can store small items such as mobile phones and passports, it is not big enough to store a tablet or bigger cameras. Even the older Regional Business Class seats like those on the A330-300 has more storage space (read about my previous experience here). A vanity mirror is found between the side cabinet and the seat for passengers who want to look presentable before they disembark. Seat control buttons, as well as the IFE controller, are stored on the side table is located. The seat control buttons are touch bar and will only light up when passengers touch the seat controls. The seat control touch bar allows passengers to adjust the mode of the seat, the seat lighting, on/off for the TV as well as flight attendant call button.

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Side table in each seat onboard Singapore Airlines Business Class seat

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Small cabinet for passengers to store loose items

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Cabinet door can be closed and the headphone can be hung on the hook at the side when not using

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NFC reader and in-seat charging ports

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A vanity mirror that can slide out in the seat

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Seat control panel and IFE controller

The table is hidden under the TV screen and can be deployed with a push of a button under the table. The table is folded into half and is very big when fully deployed. Underneath the ottoman below the TV screen is another compartment where passengers can place their shoes or their carry-ons. Seat pocket in the New Regional Business Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines A350-900 is found on the bulkhead in front of the seat, near to the floor of the aircraft. The placement of the seat pocket is rather unergonomic as passengers would have to unfasten their seat belt to reach the contents inside. There are several reading lights in each seat. One reading light is installed above each Business Class seats and a set of three inside the seat. The set three reading lights, catering to the different positions of the seat, have their individual switches providing much convenience for passengers using them.

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The table is stowed neatly under the TV screen in each seat

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Table fully deployed

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The seat pocket is situated in an inconvenient place in the seat

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Seat pocket contents

In-Flight Entertainment

Singapore Airlines has a great In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) System. Each Business Class seat is fitted with a large 18″ HD TV, making watching movies very comfortable as the TV does not look too small even when the seat is in the upright position. However, these TVs do not a touchscreen function. Controls on the IFE have to be done on the IFE controller. The design of the IFE controller menus is very intuitive, akin to a mobile phone. The menus on the IFE is well laid out and selection of movies from the controller is not difficult. When stowed away in its holder, the IFE controller screen has icons for easy to controls of the TV screen or for passengers to log into their KrisFlyer account where passengers can store their favourite movie titles into a personalised catalogue of entertainment. When in handheld mode, the IFE controller has large wordings and screens for passengers to scroll to look for the movie titles from the controller without having to look at the TV screen.

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Each Business Class seat is fitted with an 18″ TV

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IFE controller icons when stowed, the headphone jack is next to the seat control panel

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The IFE menu is very easy to use

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IFE controller screen looks like a mobile phone

When it comes to entertainment options, KrisWorld (Singapore Airlines’ in-flight entertainment) has an extensive library of movies, TV shows, podcasts, music and games to keep passengers of all ages entertained through the flight. The IFE options are well organised into categories, making scrolling through the options very easy. In terms of movies (which I spend most of the time watching during the flight), KrisWorld has no lack of options. From the latest blockbusters to movies that are made in the 90s to foreign films, one will be able to find something that occupies their flight time with. Singapore Airlines provides noise-cancelling headphones for their Business Class passengers. These headphones are very comfortable to wear and the noise-cancelling function is very effective in blocking out ambient noise. The noise-cancelling function is so good that I have to remove my headphones whenever the flight attendants or my friend is talking to me. To provide passengers with convenience, the volume can be adjusted from the headphone itself.

Business Class passengers are entitled to 100MB of complimentary wifi during flight. Connecting to the inflight wifi is very easy and the speed connection is good. I managed to chat with my family while in the air and post some pictures on my Instagram account as we were up in the sky.

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Business Class passengers are given complimentary 100MB wifi

Meal

Passengers flying on Singapore Airlines Business Cass can use the “Book the Cook” to pre-order meals for their flight. However, the menu from the “Book the Cook” flying out from Incheon is not as extensive as flights departing from Singapore. For this leg of the flight, I did not use “Book the Cook”. When it comes to the in-flight menu, passengers can choose from the four options of the main course. For my meal, I opted for the Hansik and my friend opted for the Seared Chicken Breast. Flight attendants came around the cabin to take orders from passengers on their preferred meal.

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Business Class Menu

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Hansik Menu

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“Normal” menu

About 1 hour into the flight, flight attendants started the meal service with Singapore Chicken and Beef Satay as a canape. Singapore Airlines is famed for its satay in its premium class cabins. Each passenger was served two beef and one chicken satay. The satay is tender and well marinated. The satay sauce that was served on the plate was not too spicy, and the sauce is very thick with peanuts. The satays are so tasty that I requested for a second serving from the flight attendants, who were happy to heat up some more for me and my friend.

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The signature satay onboard Singapore Airlines Business Class

About 2½ hours into the flight, the flight attendants went around setting the table for a meal for all passengers in Business Class cabin, followed by distribution of the meals. Meals are distributed from the kitchen to each passenger. I opted to have Hansik (Korean meal) for this flight. The Hansik started with Grilled Tuna with Yuzu dressing appetiser. The tuna was very tasty and moist and the yuzu dressing it was very well paired with was not sour. While having my appetiser, another flight attendant came around the cabin with a basket of bread for passengers to choose. I opted for the Singapore Airline’s signature Garlic bread, which was full of taste and warm. The flight attendant cleared the plate when I was done with the tuna and served up the main course – Andong Dak Jjim (Korean stewed chicken), which was served with kimchi and pickled cucumber. The stewed chicken was very tasty and tender, the sauce that the chicken was served in is very well balanced. After the main course, I had Yuzu Chocolate pudding for dessert. I did not quite like the taste of the pudding as it is a tad too sour for my liking.

My friend opted to have the “normal meal”, the appetiser and dessert he was served were different from mine. For the appetiser, my friend was served Smoked Duck Breast. The duck breast was very tender and was not dry. Out of the three choices of the main course, my friend opted for Baked Halibut with White Wine Sauce. The Halibut was moist and not flaky, the white wine sauce was very tasty. The main course came with linguine, which was not lumpy. My friend had Caramel Cake for dessert, which was a tad too sweet for my friend’s liking.

Service

The service we received on Singapore Airlines Business Class was impeccable. The flight attendants are very observant and felt that they go all out to ensure passengers have a pleasant flight. We were greeted by the flight attendants with a warm smile at the door the moment step onboard the aircraft. Flight attendants escorted us to our seat and quickly serve up the pre-departure drink. We were given options of apple or orange juice as well as champagne. I was offered an additional drink by the flight attendant the moment she saw my glass was empty. Flight attendants were seen helping passengers to stow away their carry-on baggage during boarding. Throughout the flight, we were always addressed by our surname by the flight attendants. The moment the seat belt sign was turned off, flight attendants go around the cabin serving drinks to passengers, soon after the Satay service commenced.

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We were welcomed onboard by Katherine the In-flight Manager

The meal was presented course by course and individually to all passengers from the galley instead of pushing around a trolley to serve passengers. This gave us a feel of restaurant-style service where food was brought straight from the kitchen. The observant flight attendants cleared the plates almost immediately after observing the plates are empty and checked with the passengers if we would like the next course to be served. The flight attendants will always check how we find the food while clearing the plate. Meal courses were served up moments after the plate was being cleared. The flight attendants ensure passengers flying on Singapore Airlines Business Class stay hydrated by asking if we would like any beverages throughout the flight. At one point in the flight, the thoughtful flight attendant worried that my friend might be thirsty, placed a bottle of water in my friend’s seat when she noticed my friend was deep in slumber.

My friends and I were very well taken care of onboard SQ609 by the flight attendants. It seems they pay a lot of attention to the passengers they are taking care of. The excellent service started with Ms Katherine Chua, the In-flight Manager. She’s the first person we saw standing by at the door greeting passengers with the warmest smile. Before take-off, one seat across me was having problems with the deployment of the table. Instead of allowing the passenger to discover it himself, Katherine appraised the passenger of the issue, followed by offering the passengers vouchers that he can use for duty-free shopping onboard as a form of service recovery. Katherine was seen apologising to the passenger repeatedly (even though it is not her fault) and offered solutions for the passengers during mealtime. Katherine was serving my aisle during Satay service, I commented that I was looking forward to the satay service as I have heard good things about the satays. When Katherine walked past me after finishing serving the passengers, she offered to serve me additional satays and checked with me when I wanted to have the satays. This goes to show that Katherine registers what passengers comments are and took note of them. During mealtime, I was told by another flight attendant that my main course will take a little longer to be served up as Katherine was picking out all the mushrooms in my meal due to my allergy. When the main course was served, I noticed it was Enokitake mushrooms that were in the meal. Katherine must have put in a lot of effort to remove every single piece of the small mushroom. After the meal service ended, I passed the galley to visit my friend in another seat. I witnessed Katherine invested a lot of effort decorating the tray where my other friend’s birthday cake was served. My friend was delightfully surprised when Katherine and her crew brought the cake over to my friend and sang him a birthday song up in the sky. When I saw the end-product of Katherine’s efforts, I was amazed by how beautifully the tray was decorated by Katherine. I was telling my friends that the tray was so well decorated that we can’t bear to take it apart. At one point, I requested plasters from Katherine who brought some for me and even helped me bandage my finger which was cut due to my dry skin. Katherine even brought me a bottle of the hand lotion for me to apply throughout the flight to prevent my hands from feeling dry.

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Katherine and her crew surprising my friend with a birthday cake

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Katherine carefully present the cake to my friend

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The birthday cake decorated by Katherine

Ms Rose Bae was the other flight attendant on board SQ609 taking care of passengers on my aisle. Rose portrayed a cheerful and professional persona. She was very attentive and observant throughout the flight. During beverage service, I expressed to Rose that I wanted to try some mocktails. Rose patiently went through the menu of mocktails that I can order on board with me and quickly concocted the mocktail for me. At one point Rose walked past me and saw that I was drinking coke instead, Rose checked if I did not like the drink and offered to make another mocktail for me. I assured her that I liked the drink and just wanted to have coke at that point. I opted for the Hansik meal during the flight, Rose informed me that there are mushrooms in the dish after noting that I am an allergy to mushrooms from the records in a previous flight. I told her I will be fine as long as I do not consume the mushrooms. During meal service, Rose came over to apologise for my main course being served slightly later as Katherine was picking out all the small mushrooms in the meal. Throughout the flight, Rose ensured that I did not go thirsty or hungry and offered food and drinks throughout the flight. She would always offer me drinks whenever she saw my glass is empty. Rose was seen constantly patrolling the cabin and checking if I was comfortable.

The Leading Stewardess, Judy Cho was great as well. My aisle was not serviced by Judy and my interactions with her were limited to during the duty-free rounds she made. I told Judy that I wanted to get an aircraft model for my nephew as he like planes. Judy took the time to discuss with me the suitability of the model for my 3 years old nephew and gave her honest opinion that the model was not suitable for my nephew and persuaded me not to get that for my nephew. Judy returned later with a bag full of in-flight amenities that she put together so that I can give to my nephew as souvenirs from Singapore Airlines. Judy displayed excellent listening skills and thoughtfulness and did not push for sales when it is really not suitable. This goes to show she put her passengers’ requirements at heart and is truthful in her recommendations.

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Judy presenting satay to Business Class passengers

Tze Hwa was the other flight attendant who was very attentive during the flight. He was seen serving passengers with pre-departure drinks and checked with me if I needed additional drinks when he saw my glass was empty. Tze Hwa was also seen helping passengers to stow their carry-on baggage in the overhead compartment during boarding and disembarking. He was also seen patrolling the cabin and constantly checked if passengers want more drinks. Tze Hwa was one of the crews who helped Katherine to surprise my friend with the birthday cake.

Afterthought

Singapore Airlines indeed live up to their company tagline,  A Great Way to Fly, in their Business Class service. The new Regional Business Class seats are narrower than those it replaces and has significantly lesser storage space in the seat for passengers to put away small items. The seat is capable of converting to a full flatbed, which makes sleeping comfortable. The meal was delicious and the satay indeed lives up to its reputation. There are lots of options in the IFE system to keep passengers entertained throughout the flight. What makes this flight enjoyable is the service we received on board. The flight attendants are very observant and come across as being sincere in their service offering throughout the flight. We were very well taken care of by Katherine and her crew that makes us enjoy the flight till this day.

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Flying over Korea

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Flying over sunset

[Airline Review] – Korean Air B737-800 (KE1002) – Economy Class, CJU-PUS (29 Oct 19)

Check-in

Jeju Airport has sections for both international and domestic departures. Passengers travelling on domestic routes are to use Gates 1 to 3 to check-in for their flights. Korea Air occupies counters 1 to 14 in the domestic section of the airport, located near Gate 3 in the middle of the terminal building. There are four queues for Korean Air in Jeju Aiport: one for passengers travelling on their Business Class, one for Korean Air elite status frequent flyer (Morning Calm), one for passengers who have performed online or self check-in, and another for passengers who have not completed any form of check-in. There was a small queue at the time my friends and I were at the airport, however, we did not have to wait too long as we were directed to the Morning Calm counter for our check-in. The staff at the Morning Calm counter was very friendly and kept smiles on her face throughout our interaction. She processed our luggage with speed and gave us our boarding pass together with information on the boarding gate as well as the time of boarding. All international passengers travelling on the domestic routes from Jeju are subjected to additional visa checks, resulting in a long queue at the immigration area.

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Queues for Business Class and Elite status passengers

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The queue for passengers who have completed online check-in

The Aircraft

Korean Air deploys the narrow-body B737-800 for this flight from Jeju to Busan.

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Korean Air B737-800 up close

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Korean Air B737-800 safety card

The Cabin

There are a total of 12 Business Class seats and 135 Economy Class seats on the Korean Air B737-800 jet. Economy Class seats are arranged in a 3-3 configuration. The use of orange lighting in the Economy Class cabin exudes a feeling of warmth and comfort, which is perfect for this early morning flight. Seats in Economy Class are decked out in blue fabric, which is the same as other Korean Air aircraft.

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Korean Air B737-800 Economy Class cabin

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Korean Air B737-800 Economy Class cabin

I did not have the chance to visit the Lavatory as seat belt sign remained turned on throughout the entire 1 hour flight time from Jeju to Busan was on throughout the entire flight.

The Seat

Seats in the Economy Class on Korean Air have a 33″ pitch and 17″ wide and are rather comfortable for a short 1-hour flight from Jeju to Busan. Seat reclined button is located on the side of the armrest of the seat, which allows seats to recline to a maximum of 113º. The legroom of the Economy Class seats on the B737-800 is quite good for a narrowbody aircraft. The seats look rather dated and scream of a need for refreshing.

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Business Class seats onboard Korean Air B737-800

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Seats in Economy Class onboard Korean Air B737-800 is decked in blue fabrics

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Legroom in Economy Class is quite good

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Seat recline button is found on the armrest of each seat

Each seat comes with a single-piece tray table which is large enough to place a 15″ laptop on. However, these tray tables seem redundant as no food is being served on this short domestic flight. There is a cup holder fixed on the back of the tray table, allowing passengers to place their cups without having the need to deploy the tray table. Reading lights and attendant call buttons are located on the ceiling above the seats. This is where air vent for each seat is also found.

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Tray table being stowed away

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The tray table onboard Korean Air B737-800 is quite large

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Cup holder behind the tray table

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Lights and air vents are located on the ceiling above eat seat in Economy Class

The seat pocket onboard the Korean Air B737-800 is big enough for passengers to place their tablets into. Each seat pocket comes with a small compartment inside the seat pocket, which is great for passengers to store smaller items into. The seat pockets contain the usual inflight literature and aircraft safety card.

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The seat pocket onboard Korean Air B737-800 Economy Class is quite big

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Inflight literature in the seat pocket

In-Flight Entertainment

There are no In-Flight Entertainment System installed on this Korean Air B737-800 jet. There are drop-down screens installed on the ceiling of the aircraft, mainly used for playing safety videos. These screens are not in use throughout the 1 hour flight time from Jeju to Busan. There seem to be some radio facilities installed on the armrest of each seat, but no earphones are being distributed nor are these radios being turned on. The only form of entertainment onboard this Korean Air B737-800 are the inflight magazines found in the seat pocket.

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Dropdown screens mainly used for showing of safety videos before take-off

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Some kind of radio in the armrest, but it was not turned on for this flight

Beverage Service

As soon as the aircraft reached cruising altitude, the air stewardesses went around distributing beverages. No food is being provided to passengers flying this domestic route.

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Each passenger get a cup of beverage during the flight

Service

Despite being a domestic flight, the service on Korean Air B737-800 is rather good. Pursuers are seen helping passengers locate their seats and stowing their carry-on baggage in the overhead bin. Beverage distribution is always done with a smile on the faces of the pursuers. The pursuers are also seen patrolling the cabin several times during the 1-hour flight, helping passengers clearing the used cups. At the end of the flight, the pursuers thanked the passengers for flying with Korean Air with a warm smile at the door as we deplane.

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Pursuers getting passengers during boarding

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Pursuers going around for beverage service

Afterthought

The Economy Class onboard Korean Air B737-800 is good for a short. 1-hour flight. The seats are comfortable and the legroom is good. The lack of Inflight Entertainment did not bother us as this is a short flight and time pass by very quickly onboard. Pursuers are friendly and seen to be helping passengers. For a short flight, flying on this Korean Air B737-800 does the job of transporting us from Jeju to Busan.

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Arriving at Busan

 

[Airline Review] – Korean Air A330-300 (KE1229) – Economy Class, GMP-CJU (26 Oct 19)

Check-in

Check-in counters for Korean Air is located on level 2 in Gimpo Domestic Airport. The airlines occupy counters 27 to 42 and are not difficult to locate. There are three lines at the airport for passengers: one for baggage drop for passengers who have completed online check-in or used one of the self check-in kiosks, one for Business Class passengers (the airlines termed their Business Class queue Sky Priority Prestige), and one for Economy Class passengers who have not performed any form of check-in. Since we have already done online check-in via the Korean Air mobile app, my friends and I headed for the baggage drop queue where there is hardly any queue. We were served promptly by the ground staff, who processed our baggage efficiently. The ground staff passed us our boarding passes (looks more like a receipt) and gave us details on the boarding time and departure time. Passengers with check-in baggage are required to wait at the counter for the baggage to pass through the x-ray machine before we can leave the counter.

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Check-in counters for Korean Air occupies counters 27 to 45 in Gimpo Airport

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Counters dedicated to passengers who have completed check-in

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Self check-in kiosks shared by all the airlines operating out of Gimpo Airport, including Korean Air

The Aircraft

Korean Air uses a mix of A330-300 and B737-800 to ply between Gimpo and Jeju. For our flight between Gimpo and Jeju, Korean Air uses the A330-300 aircraft.

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Korean Air A330-300 safety card

The Cabin

Korean Air A330-300 comes in two-class service: Prestige and Economy. There a total of 24 cacoon type Business Class seats that can be fully reclined into flatbed and 252 Economy Class seats segregated into two sections. The cabin is bright and the use of blue fabric on the Economy Class seats exudes a feeling of calmness. Seats in Economy Class are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration.

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Quick peek into the Business Class cabin as we walked through it

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Economy Class Cabin onboard Korean Air A330-300

Lavatories for Korean Air A330-300 Economy Class passengers are located in the mid and aft part of the aircraft. The lavatory is basic but clean, thanks to the use of white colour on the walls that makes the lavatory look bigger than its actual size. The amenities in the Economy Class lavatory onboard Korean Air A330-300 is very basic with only tissues, hand soap and paper cups.

The Seat

The Economy Class seats onboard Korean Air A330-300 Economy Class shows signs of ageing with a hint of yellowish on the seats. All Economy Class seats come with a standard 32″ pitch, however as I was sitting at the bulkhead seat, I was treated with a seat pitch of 33″. All Economy Class seats measure 18″ wide and have seat recline of 118°. As this is a short domestic flight, no pillows or blankets are available in the Economy Class seats.

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Economy Class seat onboard Korean Air A330-300

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Legroom is very good at the bulkhead seat onboard Korean Air Economy Class

As I was seated at the bulkhead, the tray table is stowed in the armrest of the seat. The bi-fold tray table is large enough to cover the entire width of the seat. Seat pockets are installed on the bulkhead with the standard inflight shopping catalogue and Korean Air’s inhouse magazine – Morning Calm. The reading light is found on the ceiling of the seat.

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Tray table for bulkhead seats are stowed in the armrest

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Tray table can be used in folded mode

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The tray table is quite large when fully deployed

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Seat recline button in the Korean Air Economy Class seat

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Reading light in Economy Class seat onboard Korean Air A330-300

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Seat pocket contents are the only entertainment we have got for the flight

In-Flight Entertainment

Each seat in the Economy Class is equipped with a 10.6″ Personal TV, as I am sitting in the bulkhead seat, the TV is stowed at the side of the seat. Deploying the TV is a breeze with a press of a button and swivel the TV to the angle for viewing. the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) controller is found on the inner side of the sit. The controller looks old school and has some very easy to use buttons. On top of controlling the IFE, the call buttons and reading light buttons are also found on the IFE controller. On the back of the controller is where one can find a qwerty keyboard and some action buttons. I find these buttons are a tad too small to be useful. Despite being fitted a Personal TV, the entertainment system is not turned on for the 70 mins flight from Gimpo to Jeju. The other only entertainment might be the inflight radio channels which we were not able to listen to as no earphones are being provided. We can only rely on the inflight magazine as the only source of “entertainment”.

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The personal TV being deployed

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IFE controller is stored inside the seat

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The front side of the tiny IFE controller

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Back of the IFE controller

Beverage Service

As this is a short flight, Korean Air does not serve any food onboard. As soon as the seat belt sign was switched off, the stewardess went around serving drinks. We were given a choice of tomato juice, orange juice, Pepsi or plain water.

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Passengers are served with a cup of drink during this flight

Service

The service onboard Korean Air is good for a 70 min domestic flight. We were warmly greeted at the door by the cabin crew. The service rendered by the cabin crew in Economy Class was good. Cabin crews were seen with smiles constantly hanging on their faces, despite being a full flight. They were also seen helping passengers from stowing their carry-ons in the overhead storage bin to offering help to parents whose child spill water on herself. They were constantly checking with the parents if they need help. The crew was also seen checking with a mother if she needs help in calming her crying baby. The cabin crew in Economy Class offered a second round of drink upon seeing our cups are empty.

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Friendly Cabin crew greeting passengers during boarding

Afterthought

Despite showing signs of ageing, the Korean Air A330-300 is sufficient for a short 70 mins domestic flight from Gimpo to Jeju. The seats are comfortable for a short-haul flight. Perhaps due to the short flight, the IFE was not turned on. The personal TV screen remained blank throughout the entire flight. The crew onboard offered good service despite being a short and full flight in the Economy Class.

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Korean Air A330-300 flying over South Korea

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Korean Air A330-300 flying over the sea heading to Jeju

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines B777-300ER (SQ612) – Business Class, SIN-ICN (26 Oct 19)

At the Airport

Check-in

SQ612 departs from Terminal 3 of Singapore Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines has a dedicated check-in counter located at Row 6 (by door 5) for passengers flying on Business Class. There aren’t any queue lines at Row 6, instead, passengers would go to any counters with the shortest queues. My friends and I was behind another couple who were being checked-in and we did not have to wait for too long before our turn to check-in. Check-in process was efficient and the ground staff processing our check-in was courteous and professional in her interaction with us. The check-in process took less than 5 mins before the ground staff handed us our boarding pass and invited us to SilverKris Lounge while we wait for our flight. She not only gave us directions to the lounge the ground staff also gave us information on our gate and how to get from the lounge to our gate as well as the boarding time at the gate. We could feel the premium class service at the check-in with the efficiency and pleasant.

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Business Class check-in counters in Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3

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My friends and I at the Business Class check-in counter

SilverKris Lounge

SilverKris Lounge is located about 3 mins walk from the immigration gate. There were ground staffs welcoming guests at the entrance of the lounge. There are two sections to SilverKris Lounge, the section for Business Class passengers is on the left after the main entrance to the lounge, where First Class or Suites passengers would use the lounge on the right. The lounge is decorated in brown earthy theme, which feels cosy and comfortable. The lounge was busy at the time we entered the lounge, the crowd toned down after 1 hour of us in the lounge as most of the passengers have already left the lounge for their flight. Despite the number of passengers using the lounge, we had no problems finding seats as the lounge has plenty of seats to handle the number of passengers. The lounge is also rather quiet for the number of passengers in the lounge at the time of our visit, this makes the lounge a great place to relax, especially for passengers with connecting flights.

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Business Class passengers flying with Singapore Airlines can use the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3

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Inside the Business Class section of SilverKris Lounge

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The lounge is busy at the time of our visit

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Earthy tone decor in the lounge makes it feels cosy and relaxing

Food is offered in buffet style, laid in four rows of marble counters, with mainly local food and some limited international cuisine. The food offered in SilverKris Lounge is rather limited with the last row dedicated to bread selection. Food is constantly topped up in the lounge and is rather tasty. Drinks can be found in the fridge by the side of the food buffet area, and also a smaller beverage section not far from the food area in SilverKris Lounge. On top of the usual beverages like soda and canned juices, local and international beer are also offered in SilverKris Lounge.

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Food is served in buffet style

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Food selection in SilverKris Lounge

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Four rows of food counters in SilverKris Lounge

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Beverage section in SilverKris Lounge

SilverKris Lounge is equipped with shower facilities found inside the toilet, which is located at the entrance to the Business Class section of the lounge. Passengers who wanted to use the shower facilities just need to walk into any shower cubicles that are not being occupied. The toilet and shower facilities are kept clean by the industrious staffs working at the lounge, who ensured that passengers have a clean toilet/shower to use at all times.

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines mainly uses their medium-haul aircraft to ply between Singapore and Incheon Airport, except for one flight where they use the long-haul aircraft. I deliberately chose to fly on SQ612 which is serviced by the B777-300ER for this route. Space onboard B777-300ER in Business Class is more generous than the A350-900 counterpart which is used for other timings, perfect for a red-eye flight.

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Singapore Airlines uses B777-300ER for this SIN-ICN route

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Our flight departs from gate B6

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Dedicated entrance for First and Business Class passengers

The Cabin

The Singapore Airlines B777-300ER is configured with four classes on board: First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy Classes. There are a total of 48 Business Class seats on the B777-300ER configured in two sections. The smaller Business Class cabin right behind the First Class configured with 12 seats and a large business Class in the back section configured with 36 seats. All Business Class seats have direct aisle access and are arranged in 1-2-1 configuration. For this flight, we chose the seats in the smaller forward Business Class cabin.

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Forward Business Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER

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Ambience lighting in the cabin

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B777-300ER safety card

There are a total of three lavatories for Business Class passengers, all located between the two Business Class sections onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER. The lavatories feel no larger than those in the Economy Class cabins. Some touches make the lavatories feels a little more premium such as leather toilet seat covers and the placement of a fake flower. The lavatories are well stocked with amenities that are usually not found in Economy Class cabins such as cloth napkins and quality shavers and dental kits. On top of these, Singapore Airlines uses Quercus brand from the UK for the facial mist, hand lotion and Eau-de-toilette in the Business Class lavatories. I liked the small touches in the design of the lavatories like the sensor tap and the step pedal for bin covers in the lavatories, which makes it more hygienic to use.

The Seat

The seat onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER Business Class is huge! All Business Class seats have direct aisle access and come with a generous 55″ pitch and measure 28″ wide. The seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER Business Class provides passengers with a great amount of privacy, thanks to the large cacoon designed seat shells. These seats feature a Lazy Z design, which has the footrest slanted to one side of the seat. The seats in Business Class cabin are capable of transforming into a full flatbed that measures 78″ pitch. There is a storage area under the ottoman large enough for me to place my carry-on backpack. On the seat waiting for passengers are a large pillow as well as amenities like slippers, socks and eyeshades. Singapore Airlines does not provide amenities kits to their Business Class passengers. To transform the seat into a full bed, passengers would have to release a latch at the back of the seat, where bed linens, blanket and additional pillows are stowed. I find the design of the seat in flatbed mode a tad uncomfortable as the leg well in flatbed mode is slanted to the side which I usually do not sleep on. It also makes tossing and turning during sleep difficult, as the design of the Lazy Z is great for passengers who usually sleep on one side. I do find the two pillows provided in each Business Class seats comfortable to sleep in as they are not too soft.

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Business Class seat onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER

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Business Class seat in takeoff/landing mode

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Business Class seat in lounging mode

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Singapore Airlines Business Class seats in Full flatbed mode

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Leg well where passengers can stretch their leg into in the Business Class seat

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Storage under the ottoman large enough for me to place my backpack

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The legroom is generous in the Business Class seat

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My friend and I in the Business Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER

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Singapore Airlines do not give out amenities kit to Business Class passengers. Business Class passengers get a pair of socks, a pair of inflight slippers and an eye mask

Seat control buttons are found on the aisle side of each seat which allows passengers to adjust the seat up to lounge mode. On the same panel of control buttons, one can adjust the overhead reading light, dimming lights in the seat, call buttons, as well as TV off buttons. The huge table is stored in the armrest on the side away from the aisle. I like the design of these table as they can be slid back and forth and moved to a position that allows passengers to leave the seat without putting away the table. The adjustable height feature for the table allows me to place the table in a comfortable height depending on which seat mode I am in.

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Seat controls and one of the two headphone jacks in the Business Class seat onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER

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The table can be pushed to an angle allowing passengers to leave the seat without putting it away

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A large table in the Business Class seat

I like the plentiful storage space (there are a total of three storage compartments) in the Business Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER. There is a small cabinet beside the TV screen where I used to store my passport and my phone.  A small cocktail table for one to place their drinks or to use as additional storage space where one can store some of their small items, There is another storage compartment on the side of the seat which is large enough to swallow an iPad while charging. There is yet another cabinet next to the table storage where one can store small items in. A small mirror is found beside the TV in every seat. All seats on Singapore Airlines B777-300ER Business Class cabin comes with an international powerpoint and some ports for passengers to charge their lifestyle devices. Two headphone jacks are found in each Business Class seats, one located above the powerpoint outlet, and another next to the seat control buttons. There are a total of three reading lights, one on the inside of the seat, one above the seat and a set of three lights that are angled to the mode of the seat located on the aisle side of the seat. The seat pocket is found under the inside armrest with the usual inflight reading materials.

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Storage space next to the TV screen onboard Singapore Airlines Business Class

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A larger storage space beside the seat that one can use to place their iPad in with charging outlets and the other headphone jack

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Storage space on the armrest

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Another set of reading lights in the seat onboard Singapore Airlines Business Class

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Seat pocket located in the inner armrest onboard Singapore Airlines Business Class

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Seat pocket contents

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The coat hook is found next to the TV screen

In-Flight Entertainment

All Business Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines B777-300ER is fitted with a massive 18″ HD Personal TV screen. These screens are not touch-sensitive which I am not complaining about as the screen is rather far from the seat, thanks to the massive legroom in the Business Cabin, which makes touchscreen impractical.  These massive screens make watching movies enjoyable as though one is in a personal movie theatre. The screens can be tilted to the angle and are still visible even when I was lying on the flatbed in the seat. Entertainment choices on the In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) System have to be made via the IFE controller, which is similar to a smartphone. The menu system on the IFE controller is intuitive, making scrolling through entertainment choices a breeze. One can use either the touchscreen function on the IFE controller or the physical buttons to operate the IFE system. Singapore Airlines offers Business Class passengers noise-cancelling headphones that are very effective in cancelling out cabin noises. The headphones are very comfortable to wear due to the thick sponges that cup one’s ears. These headphones are so effective that I had to remove the headphones whenever the stewardess spoke to me.

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Singapore Airlines B777-300ER has a massive 18″ HD Personal TV in their Business Class cabin

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All Business Class passengers are supplied with a noise-cancelling headphone on their seat

When it comes to entertainment options on the IFE System, Singapore Airlines has an extensive library of movies and TV shows to keep one entertained throughout the flight. There are also music libraries for those who prefer to listen to something as opposed to watching on the TV screen. For young passengers and those young at heart, there are games in the Singapore Airlines IFE system. On top of the extensive IFE library, all Business Class passengers get 100MB of free wifi access during the flight. Connecting to the wifi onboard is pretty easy,

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Entertainment options in the IFE onboard Singapore Airlines

Meal

Passengers are served pre-departure drinks as soon as we were settled into our seats. The pursuer came around and offered choices of juices or champagne for pre-departure drinks. They would ask if we want a second serving of drinks while waiting for the rest of the passengers to board the aircraft. As this is a red-eye flight, before departure, the stewardess would check with passengers if we would prefer meal to be served after take-off or before landing. I opted to have my meal before landing. After the seat belt sign has been turned off, the stewardess sprung into action and served passengers with warm nuts and our choice of drinks.

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Flight Steward Jason offering my friend pre-departure drink

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Warm nuts and beverages were served after the seat belt sign is turned off

Singapore Airlines has the Book the Cook service which allows First and Business Class passengers to choose from an extensive menu of local and international cuisine, some of which are created by renowned chefs. For this flight, I used the Book the Cook service and ordered Seared Nut-Crusted Veal Fillet designed by Singapore Airlines International Culinary Panel Chef Carlo Cracco. Pre-arrival meals are served about 3 hours before arrival. The stewardess came around and lay the table with tablecloths and cutleries. Food is served course by course with the fresh fruit as an appetiser followed by a basket of bread for passengers to choose from. After clearing my fruit, the main course is served. The veal served was moist and tender and does not taste like your typical airline food. I particularly like the sauce which adds a little flavour to the veal fillet. The crushed potatoes that come with the veal is also very tasty. The stewardess told me this is the first time she seen anyone ordered the veal. For passengers who did not utilise the Book the Cook service has options of breakfast choices. Coffee was served after the main course during the flight.

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Stewardess laid the table for meal service

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Passengers were served with fruit and bread before the main course

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The Seared Nut-Crusted Veal Fillet I chose from the Book the Cook Service

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My meal was finished with latte

Service

The service we received onboard Singapore Airlines SQ612 from Singapore to Seoul was top notch. I felt we were well taken care of by the pursuers during the entire flight. The hospitality they displayed is what makes flying with Singapore Airlines in their Business Class product enjoyable. Upon boarding, not only were we warmly welcomed by Shirley the Inflight Manager, but she also got another stewardess to show us to our seat. Throughout the flight, we were addressed by our last name by the pursuers. As soon as we were settled into our seats, pursuers came around distributing warm towels and pre-departure drinks. The observant steward, Jason, even offered an additional glass of drink when he saw our glass was empty. As this is a red-eye flight, pursuers checked with passengers if we would prefer meal to be served after take-off or before landing to maximise our sleep time.

Emma is the stewardess serving the row I am seated. I am amazed by her warm personality and her attention to details. Emma is always around to ensure that we were well taken care of. During the flight, my friend and I wanted to have our seat made into the flatbed mode, upon seeing us trying to do it ourselves, Emma hastens by and volunteered to make our beds for us. Not only did Emma deployed our seats into bed mode, but she also makes up the seat to resemble a real bed so that we can rest on it. I am amazed by the efficiency of Emma when she transforms our seat into a bed. As we opted to have our meal before arrival, Emma constantly patrolled the cabin to ensure those passengers who are still awake are well hydrated. During meal service, Emma noticed of my mushroom allergy and assured me that the meal I have ordered does not contain mushroom.

Before the aircraft has landed, the Chief Stewardess Jenet and Emma approached me and my friend. She explained that they noticed we had some allergies according to our passenger records. Jenet explained that Emma took the initiative to write down our allergies in Korean in a note for us to show to the restaurants that we visit during our travel in Korea so that they can avoid putting them into the food we ordered. These are the small touches that make flying with Singapore Airlines fantastic.

Shirley, the inflight manager attended to my concerns. I had some issues with the seat selection during check-in on the ground. Somehow this has been made known to Shirley. Instead of being defensive and cook up with loads of excuses, Shirley listened to my concerns empathically. She was shocked at the description of my experience and volunteered to write a report to ensure Singapore Airlines look into the concern. Shirley was also at the door greeting passengers during boarding and disembarking.

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Shirley, the inflight manager, welcoming passengers at the door

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The amazing Emma doing her rounds

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Emma set up my seat to full flatbed mode

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Taking a wefie with Chief Stewardess Jenet and Flight Stewardess Emma before disembarking

Afterthought

I am glad that I chose to fly on the timing that Singapore Airlines uses B777-300ER to Korea. The seat is very spacious and the cabin feels luxurious. I also like the plentiful storage space in each seat. In the entertainment department, the huge personal TV made me feel as though I am watching the movies in my personal cinema. I am spoilt for choice with the massive library of entertainment options ranging from movies to TV shows to games. Singapore Airlines B777-300ER has excellent hardware. What makes this flight more memorable is the impeccable service that I have received onboard. The star of the flight would have to be Emma, who is warm, hospitable and go all out to ensure that I have a comfortable flight. Her attention to details and thoughtfulness makes me want to fly with Singapore Airlines on their Business Class product again. Kudos to Emma for such a memorable flight.

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Flying over Korea

[Airline Review] – Singapore Airlines A330-300 (SQ176)/(SQ187) – Business Class, SIN – HAN (9 Aug 19) / HAN – SIN (12 Aug 19)

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 plying between Singapore and Hanoi

At the Airport

Check-in

Singapore

Singapore Airlines departs from Terminal 2 or 3 in Singapore Changi Airport, depending on the destination of the flight. Despite my flight departing from Terminal 2, my friend and I were able to check-in for my flight at Terminal 3. Singapore Airlines dedicates Row 6 in Terminal 3 for Business Class passengers and in the same row, there are two counters set aside for First Class passengers. There was a short queue at all the counters in Row 6, we were as invited by the ground staff serving First Class passengers to check-in at her counter when she saw us queuing behind one of the Business Class counters. Check-in process was swift and the ground staff was very friendly throughout our short interaction with her. The ground staff did not forget to remind us that our flight leaves from Terminal 2 and advised us to leave for the terminal early. She also invited us to the SilverKris Lounge before our flight.

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Singapore Airlines has an entire row in Terminal 3 dedicated for Business Class check-in

Hanoi

The check-in counters for Singapore Airlines at Hanoi Noi Bai Airport is located in Row E of Terminal 2 building. There are four queues for passengers flying with Singapore Airlines at Hanoi Airport: one for Business Class, one for Economy Class, one for passengers who have attained Elite Gold status with KrisFlyer and one for passengers who have completed online check-in. Two counters are dedicated for Business Class passengers where the queues are very thin. We did not have to wait for too long before being processed for check-in. The ground staff was very friendly and wasted no time in processing our check-in. He gave instructions for the departing gate and lounge invitations. At the security checkpoint, I realised there is a queue for Business Class passengers, where we did not have to wait for too long to go through the security checks.

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Two counters for Business Class passengers

Lounge

SilverKris Lounge (Terminal 2 – Singapore)

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SilverKris Lounge in Changi Airport Terminal 2

Business Class passengers are given an invitation to SilverKris Lounge while waiting to board their flights. The SilverKris Lounge in Singapore Airport Terminal 2 is located on Level 3 in the middle of the terminal, which is a fair walk from our departing gate. Business Class and First Class passengers share the same entrance to SilverKris Lounge, however, these passengers are segregated into two different sections. The staff at the entrance did not make me feel welcome to the lounge, pulling a long face and without a smile. She merely processed our boarding passes and told us to head to the left where Business Class passengers would congregate. The Business Class section of SilverKris Lounge is dressed in an earthy tone, which gives a sense of relaxation. I find the SilverKris Lounge very noisy as it was crowded with passengers at the time of our visit, making it hard for anyone to sense the relaxing vibe.

Passing the entrance to the Business Class section of SilverKris Lounge, to the left is where the food section and a small dining area. There are very limited dining tables next to the food section at the lounge, which has all been occupied when we arrived at the lounge. There is another bigger area with armchairs where passengers can lounge to relax or do some work. The food offering at the SilverKris Lounge is very limited, laid out in buffet style, there are some local dishes as well as western options being offered. Despite having two food counters only one counter contains food, while the other counter has trays laid out but no food. There is a comprehensive selection of beverages, ranging from coffee to tea to soft drinks and beers at the food section. Due to the lack of dining area, my friend and I had to consume our food in the lounging area, which proved to be uncomfortable.

Lotus Lounge (Hanoi)

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Singapore Airlines uses the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge in Hanoi Noi Bai Airport

Singapore Airlines uses the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge at Hanoi Airport. Upon entering the Lotus Lounge, we were warmly welcomed by the lounge staffs. The staffs at the entrance maintained smiles on their faces and briefly told us where to find food in the lounge. Despite serving several Airlines’ Business Class passengers, the Lotus Lounge was quiet and relaxing, a far cry from the SilverKris Lounge at Singapore Airport.

Lotus Lounge was huge with a lot of seats for passengers to lounge. There is seat facing the runway where passengers can relax and do some plane spotting. There is an area in the Lotus Lounge with quite a number of seats in the dining area, next to the food counters. The food offering in Lotus Lounge is a tad limited. Passengers can choose over some finger food or make themselves a bowl of pho while waiting for their flight. Beverage selection is also rather limited at the Lotus Lounge.

There is a section with three massage chairs where passengers can get a massage while waiting for their flight. Lotus Lounge also has shower rooms, which is located inside the toilet. The shower facilities are unmanned, passengers who want to get a shower can grab a towel set from inside the shower area and proceed into one of the cubicles for their shower. There is also a smoking room for passengers inside Lotus Lounge.

The Aircraft

Singapore Airlines uses the A330-300 to ply the route between Singapore and Hanoi. The interior of the aircraft felt old, I understand from the flight attendants that Singapore Airlines is in the process of replacing the A330-300 aircraft with B787-10.

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 up close

The Cabin

Singapore Airlines A330-300 comes with a two-class configuration. The Business Class cabin has a total of 30 seats while the Economy Class cabin has 255 seats. The white-walled Business Class cabin feels spacious and the seats are clad in beige and dark brown, making it look both comfortable and classy. The seats in Business Class cabin onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration.

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Dedicated entrance for First and Business Class passengers

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class cabin

There are two lavatories at the back of the Business Class cabin serving the passengers. The lavatory feels spacious, thanks to the clever use of mirrors in the lavatory coupled with the bright lighting and the choice of white colour for the paint in the lavatory. There are two cabinets on either side of the sink. The left cabinet is where passengers can find handkerchiefs, tissues, paper towels and paper cups to be used with the mouth wash. Beneath this cabinet is the trash can, which can be operated with a pedal near to the floor of the lavatory. The right cabinet is well stocked with amenities. Here is where combs, sanitary napkins, toothbrushes and razors are stowed. Beneath the right cabinet is bottles of amenities such as mouth wash, facial mist, hand lotion and eau de toilette. The sink in Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class is fitted with the old touch button tap. The toilet seat is clad with a leather cover, making it look more premium than those ones would find in Economy Class lavatories. There are a couple of coat hooks on the door of the lavatory.

The Seat

Singapore Airlines A330-300 features a Regional Business Class seats in the Business Class cabins. Each seat is cocooned in a shell clad in soft brown leather, which is very comfortable to sit one,  measures 60″  in pitch and  24.5″ wide. The seat controls are in the armrest of the seat, above the storage for the IFE controller. The legroom in the Business Class seats onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 is excellent, where I can fully stretch out my legs even when the seat is in an upright position. Each seat onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 is treated to three window panels. A large pillow and a soft blanket are already placed on the seat when I arrived at my seat during boarding. I find the pillow firm and very comfortable to rest my head.

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class seats

The Business Class seats are preset to four modes: an upright position for take-off/landing or for passengers who prefer to sit upright during meal times; a lounging position which I find the most comfortable for relaxing in when watching movies from the IFE; a semi flatbed mode which I find the best position for sleeping; and a full flatbed mode. The seats are angled slightly in full flatbed mode and are not 180º flat, sleeping on this mode feels as though one would slide off the bed. Apart from these preset seat positions, there are buttons that allow passengers to adjust the recline of the seat to a position that one finds most comfortable. There are two reading lights for each seat in the Singapore Airlines Business Class seats, one on the bulkhead of the seat, which can be turned on and off from the seat control panel; and one inside the seat which can be activated by pushing the light itself.

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Singapore Airlines Business Class seat in take-off/landing position

 

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I find this position to be best for watching TV

There is no lack of storage space in the Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class seats. Under the IFE TV screen, there are two huge storage bins for passengers to store small items such as phones, passports or compact cameras. However as these bins are rather shallow, it will not be able to hold bigger cameras or laptops/iPads. There are also two smaller shelves between the two seats and these shelves are capable of holding iPods or smaller phones. There is another more hidden storage bin underneath one of the armrests. This bin allows passengers to place their laptops and iPads. This is where the power outlet and two USB ports are located for passengers to charge their lifestyle devices.

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There are a lot of storage onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class seats

There are two cup holders between the two seats, which allows passengers to place their drinks without having the need to deploy the tray tables. Seat tables are hidden in between the seats. These tables can be a tad difficult to pull out as they seem to be rather heavy. The tables are large enough for passengers to place their laptop on to do some work. These tables can be slide back and forth, however, to get out of the seat, one would have to put away the table. Seat pockets where the in-flight literature such as in-flight magazine, duty-free shopping catalogue and Singapore Airline’s lifestyle magazine along with the in-flight menu, airsick bag and aircraft safety card are found in front of the seat between the two IFE TV screens. The noise-cancelling headphones are also found here when I board the aircraft. There is a divider between the two seats, providing guests with great privacy especially when one is sitting next to a stranger.

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The table is hidden in the armrest

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A large table in Business Class cabin

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Seat pocket onboard Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class

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Singapore Airlines A330-300 Safety card

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Seat pocket contents

In-Flight Entertainment

All Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class seats are fitted with a 15.4″ personal TV. Kris World is the Singapore Airline In-Flight Entertainment System. As this is a rather old product, these TVs does not have touchscreen function. Controls for the Kris World is done through the remote control, stowed on the left side of the sit. Despite being old, the IFE system is still responsive. There are numerous entertainment options on Kris World for passengers on board, ranging from movies to TV programmes to games which kept me entertained throughout the 3hr 30 min flight. Kris World is arranged in an intuitive menu that is easy to navigate through. All Business Class seats come with noise-cancelling headphones that keeps out noise effectively.

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Each Business Class seat comes with a 15.4″ Personal TV

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The KrisWorld Menu is arranged in an intuitive manner that makes navigating through the IFE very easy

The remote controller for the IFE is stored on the left seat armrest. The front side of the IFE controller has some quick access menus for flight information, movies and radio. The LCD screen on the front of the controller provides flight information. Other buttons such as volume control, screen brightness control and menu controls are also found on the front side of the remote control. On the back of the remote control are some buttons and directional dials for playing of games on the IFE. There is a qwerty keyboard also found on the back of the remote control, which does not seem to serve any function in the IFE system.

The Food

SIN -HAN

Passengers flying out of Singapore (and some other countries) have the option of using the famed “Book the Cook” service. There are several options for passengers to choose from. My friend and I used the “Book the Cook” and ordered the Classic Lobster Thermidor. Pre-departure drinks are offered as soon as we settled into our seats. The cabin crew came around and offer Champagne, Apple Juice or still water. I took the apple juice.

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I opted for apple juice as a pre-departure drink

As this is a medium-haul flight, food is served in a tray with a pre-laid table cloth. Cabin crews sprung into action and went around the cabin to serve passengers the appetiser about 30 mins after taking off.  The appetiser, Prawn Salad, was tasty. The prawn tasted fresh and the sauce is amazing. Another cabin crew came by with a basket of an assortment of bread. I opted for the Garlic Bread, which is famous on Singapore Airlines Business and First Class cabins. The Garlic Bread is flavourful with the garlic taste not too overpowering. I had four Garlic Bread throughout the meal service.

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The in-flight menu for SIN-HAN

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For the appetiser, we had Marinated Prawns with Asparagus and Mesclun

Shortly after cabin crews noticed passengers have finished our appetisers, They went around and served the main meal that we have chosen. As I am allergic to mushrooms, which mushrooms are not stated as one of the main ingredients in the “Book the Cook” menu, I did not have too much of the lobster. I tasted a small portion of the lobster (and started to get some allergic reactions), and it tasted creamy and fresh. The rice that comes together with the Classic Lobster Thermidor was fragrant.

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My “Book the Cook” Course – Classic Lobster Thermidor

The final course of the meal, Raspberry Bavarois, was served after cabin crews collected the trays from the passengers. The dessert was not too sweet and light, the taste of raspberry was just right. Cabin crews came by to take orders for coffee or tea. I ordered a cup of Latte to finish with the meal. Throughout the flight, cabin crews went around asking passengers if we want any drinks and the drinks were constantly topped up.

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For dessert, we had Raspberry Bavarois

HAN-SIN

Singapore Airlines “Book the Cook” service was not available for flights out of Hanoi. Instead, passengers can preview the in-flight menu from the Singapore Airlines App and order their main course in advanced. I used the app and ordered the Seared Salmon Trout Fillet in Tomato-Black Olive Vinaigrette, while my friend opted for the Nasi Ayam. As soon as we boarded the plane, a cabin crew offered us pre-departure drinks. I decided to try out the champagne. As I seldom drink, I regretted my choice of drink after having a slip or two. When the cabin crew came by to collect the empty glasses and learnt that I did not like the champagne, he offered me Orange Juice or water. I opted for the Orange Juice. 

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Pre-departure drinks

As with the outbound flight from Singapore, cabin crews on this leg of the flight sprung into action and served the appetiser about 30 mins into the flight.  For the appetiser, I was served the Marinated Seafood Salad which comes with papaya slaw. As my friend is allergic to prawns, he was served with potato salad instead. The prawn tasted fresh and well seasoned. The lime pepper vinaigrette complemented the prawns well. The appetiser also comes with scallops which tasted fresh as well. Another cabin crew came around with a basket of bread, the choice of bread is clear, I opted for the Garlic Bread again.

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Business Class menu for this HAN-SIN leg

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I had Marinated Seafood Salad for the appetiser

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My friend was served Potato Salad

Soon after passengers were done with our appetiser, our main course was served next. The Seared Salmon Trout Fillet, which is cooked to perfection, was well seasoned and was not dry at all. The Black Olive Vinaigrette tasted well with the salmon. I had a taste of the lentil carrot stew which the salmon fillet was placed on, but did not like the bed of black lentils. I had a taste of my friend’s Nasi Ayam, the chicken was fried to perfection and did not taste soggy. The seasoning on the chicken was good and the chicken was not dry as well.

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I had Salmon Fillet Trout for the main course

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My friend had Nasi Ayam for the main course

For desserts, we were served Strawberry Cream Cake, which did not taste too sweet. The cake was tasty and the crust at the bottom of the cake is still crunchy. The cabin crew served me some Latte for after-meal drinks as well. Shortly after the tray table is cleared, one of the cabin crews came by and offered me a Magnum ice-cream she snagged from Economy Class. I would never say no to ice-cream. Throughout the flight, the cabin crews topped up our drinks and constantly checked if we would like our drinks to be topped up.

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Strawberry Cream Cake for dessert

The Service

The service in Business Class onboard Singapore Airlines is top-notch. Cabin crews greeted us by our last names the moment we present our boarding passes during boarding. Whenever the cabin crews interact with us, they will address us by our last names, which makes us feel personalised service is provided. Cabin crews would constantly patrol the cabin after meal times to check and see if passengers require any refill of water. Call buttons are answered almost immediately where the diligent cabin crews attended to passengers needs. Cabin crews are also seen interacting with passengers and taking interest in striking up conversations. During my two flights with Singapore Airlines, I had great chats with the cabin crews.

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Cabin crew getting ready to receive passengers

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Cabin crew welcoming passengers onboard

SIN-HAN

The cabin crews on this flight nothing short of amazing. It is a pity I did not manage to get their names. They were seen helping passengers with storing their carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment, other than standing at the door to greet passengers. During boarding, cabin crews went around taking meal orders in every seat. The cabin crew came by to confirm our booking for food that we have pre-booked our meals through the “Book the Cook” service. They were seen sprung into action as soon as the seat belt sign has been turned off after taking off. The cabin crew also checked if we had any food allergies when she was serving the appetiser. When I sounded out that I am allergic to mushroom and my friend allergic to prawns, she quickly checked with the menu to confirm if there are any allergens to us. She came back with her supervisor and inform us that the Classic Lobster Thermidor contains mushrooms. The supervisor also assured me that they will help us register our allergies in their system (which I have tried to do several times prior to departure via the KrisFlyer hotline, which apparently the call centre staff did not do so). However, the mushrooms seem to have been infused into the meat of the lobster, which caused a slight swell on my lips. The cabin crew came by to check if the lobster had triggered any reactions. I casually mention to the cabin crew that I feel a little swell on my lips, she quickly came back with her supervisor to see if there is any help they can render. This goes to show the level of care the cabin crew has for their passengers. As the appetiser on this leg of the flight contains prawns, the cabin crew came back with a potato salad for my friend. When the cabin crew learnt that I did not have much during the main course, she returned to my seat with two packets of cookies in case I feel hungry. 

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Cabin crew disturbing newspapers and magazine during boarding

HAN-SIN

The cabin crews onboard this leg of the flight provided impeccable service during the flight, making flying on Singapore Airlines in Business Class cabin enjoyable. During boarding, I was hesitant to try champagne, the cabin crew encouraged me to try it out. When he subsequently found out that I do not like champagne after having a sip, he offered to bring me another beverage. The cabin crew was also seen helping passengers with their carry-on luggage during boarding and ensure passengers were comfortable during boarding. The service provided by Lay Hoon, the in-flight manager was amazing. She assured me that our allergies were registered and that the food does not contain the ingredients that we were allergic to, less the appetiser, which Lay Hoon mentioned that she has made arrangements to swap out with potato salad so that my friend can enjoy his meal. Lay Hoon also constantly checked if we liked the meal on board and even offered an additional portion of the main course after I remarked that the Nasi Ayam looks delicious. Lay Hoon brought us additional Garlic Bread when she saw how fast we consume the bread. Lay Hoon and her crew, Museika as well as Yaw Huah, were very friendly and kept smiles on their faces despite having a long day at work. They took well care of all passengers during the flight. I had the opportunity to strike up a conversation with Lay Hoon and she was amazing with her knowledge of the destination we came from and was generous to share with us the work of a cabin crew and some of the plans that Singapore Airlines have when it comes to the upgrading of equipment. Museika was seen patrolling the cabin and constantly topped up our drinks and took care of us very well to ensure we were well hydrated during the flight.

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We were very well taken care by the in-flight manager Lay Hoon

Afterthought

Flying with Singapore Airlines Business Class is an enjoyable experience. The good service started at the airport during check-in and continues into the flight. However the same cannot be said of the ground staff at KrisFlyer Lounge, who came across as grouchy and a tad rude. Despite being an old product, Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class was comfortable to fly for Singapore-Hanoi route. The Business Class seat is very comfortable to sit in during the flight. However, the fully flat bed mode was a tad too sloppy for my liking, but since it is a relatively short flight, it does not really matter. There is plenty of storage in the seat that allows us to store some of our knick-knacks. The In-Flight Entertainment system is packed with entertainment options that make us feel the 3hr 30 min flight time zooms past quicker than it seems. The thing that leaves me wanting to fly with Singapore Airlines again is the service that we have received on board. The service was exceptional and the cabin crew was not only friendly, but their caring for their passengers felt genuine. They kept their smiles throughout the entire flight and was seen helping passengers during boarding and in-flight. I am looking forward to flying with Singapore Airlines in their Business Class product again on Oct 19 when I travel to South Korea. Singapore Airlines truly stands up to its company tagline of “A great way to fly”.

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Flying over Hanoi

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Taking off from Hanoi Airport at night

 

[Airline Review] – Thai Airways A330-300 (TG408) – Economy Class, SIN-BKK (24 Jan 19)

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Thai Airways A330-300

On The Ground

Thai Airways departs from Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi Airport. The check-in counters are located in row 4 of the terminal, mainly serving passengers flying in Economy Class. Business Class passengers are invited to check-in in the SATS Premium Lounge located at the end of row 4. There are mainly two queues for Thai Airways at row 4, one shorter queue for passengers who have completed web check-in and another long queue for Economy Class passengers. As I was early at the time of my checking-in, the queue was not long. However, the counter does not seem to be ready to check-in passengers for the next flight as we waited for quite a while before being called for check-in. The check-in process was swift with the ground staff seems disinterested in engaging passengers other than quickly check us in. She did not even tell us which gate the flight will depart and what the boarding time was. TG408 was originally supposed to depart from C18 but was changed to gate C24 about 1 hour prior to boarding time. The departure gate is a far walk from the immigration counters.

The Aircraft

Thai Airways uses A330-300 to service this sector of the flight. The aircraft shows signs of ageing and extended usage.

The Cabin

The Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A330-300 has a total of 263 seats spread out in two sections. As I entered the Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A330-300, I am greeted by a sea of vibrant colours that Thai Airways use to upholster the seats in this cabin as with other types of aircraft in their fleet. The use of bright and cheerful colours of yellow, purple and blue gives one a feel of holidaying. The widebody twin-aisle cabin has its seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.

There are a few lavatories scattered across the two sections of Economy Class cabins. The lavatories are rather small and do show signs of the ageing aircraft. Unlike those on board some of the newer Thai Airways aircraft, there are no sensor activated taps on board the A330-300 aircraft. Instead, these taps utilise press buttons for both hot and cold water. Despite the ageing feel to the lavatory, the equipment is functioning well. Hand soap and cologne are the only amenities available in the Economy Class lavatory, which is slightly better than some other airlines which only supplies hand soap. Hand soap is available from the soap dispenser next to the tap.

The Seat

Seats in the A330-300 Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways has a 32″ pitch and measures 18″ wide. These seats are capable of providing a 122° recline. The seat that I was in also showed signs of ageing. The seat back feels loose and wobbly, when pressed the seat recline button, it falls back almost immediately. When I tried to set the seat back upright for meals and landing, the seat back would have to be assisted by pulling to get it set up right. Nonetheless, the seat is still comfortable for the flight from Singapore to Bangkok. The legroom in the Economy Class seats on board the Thai Airways A330-300 is rather generous, I had a fair bit amount of space from the seat in front of me. Due to the placement of the IFE system underneath the seat, I was not able to place my bag under the seat in front of me. There is a small cup holder on the back of the tray table which does not serve any purpose as it is too big to hold cans of drink or the plastic cup that Thai Airways uses.

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Standard Economy Class seats on board Thai Airways A330-300

The seat pocket in the Economy Class cabin has three tiers with the biggest pocket used to contain in-flight materials such as the aircraft safety card, in-flight catalogue and magazines. This pocket is large enough to put mobile phones and passports in, however, I would think these small items are meant to be placed in the middle seat pocket. I do find the smallest seat pocket to be a tad redundant as it is not able to contain my mobile phone. The seat pocket also showed signs of ageing as the main seat pocket has one side almost falling apart.

The tray table in the Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A330-300 is rather large. The single fold tray table is able to hold the meal tray with space available to put a can of drink and the cup without cramping the entire tray table. I tend to find the tray tables, especially those that have bi-fold functions, on the newer aircraft to be a little tight on space as compared to the one on board the Thai Airways A330-300. Coat hooks are available in the Economy Class seats, which are located on the side of the seat in front of me. The placement of these hooks is a little odd as I cannot think of a way of hooking coats without disturbing the passenger in front of me. As in the Economy Class cabins onboard all other airlines, the reading light is located on the ceiling above the seat. However, there are no air vents on the ceiling. When boarding, pillows and headphones are placed in the seat, blankets can be requested from the flight attendants who are very happy to bring me one when requested for.

 

In-Flight Entertainment

The In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system in the Economy Class cabin onboard Thai Airways A330-300 is another sign of the ageing aircraft. Each Economy Class seat is decked with a 10.5″ personal TV screen, which has no touch screen function. The TV screen looks a little blurry compared to that on board my return flight on Thai Airways A350-900  which looks a lot sharper. Selection of entertainment options would have to be done through the IFE controller which is stowed on the same armrest as the headphone jack. The IFE controller also feels a little old school, despite having a lot of redundant buttons, which the IFE system does not even use, the controller still does its job in allowing me to select the movies that I wanted to watch throughout the flight. The IFE system onboard Thai Airways A330-300 seems to lag a fair bit, as the response does not seem to be instantaneous. The standard Thai Airways Economy Class headphones are available in the seat pocket when I boarded the aircraft. The sound system on the A330-300 via these headphones does not sound as sharp as those on board the A350-900. This is perhaps due to the age of the aircraft after all the A330-300 has been in the Thai Airways fleet for almost 10 years. The IFE has no lack of entertainment options from the latest Hollywood movies to sitcoms as well as a dedicated menu for Thai movies. The IFE menu was well organised and very initiative to use. I spent my flight time watching movies from the IFE system.

Food

Meal service commenced about 45 mins after taking off. On this flight, we were given the chicken and the fish options. The chicken option is the Fried Rice with pepper chicken. My friend took this option and commented the chicken tasted bland and dry. I took the fish option, which has steamed rice with Fish in Spicy sauce. I thought the fish is a little tough and dry as well, but the flavourful spicy sauce makes up for the dryness in the fish. I only had a mouth of the yam moose cake dessert as I did not fancy the taste of yam. All meals come served with a bottle of water. A little after meal service is completed, the flight attendants went around the cabin serving tea and coffee to complete the meal.

Service

The flight attendants on this flight portrayed the Thai hospitality that is famous worldwide. They are seen smiling and serving the passengers with pride and certainly made us feel welcome on board this flight. The exemplary service starts when we were greeted with warm smiles and the Thai gesture of “wai” as soon as passengers were boarding the aircraft. The smiles extended throughout the aircraft with flight attendants scattering throughout the cabin welcoming passengers. They even helped passengers stow their carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment. During meal time, we were informed that only chicken option is available, however, I highlighted to the attendant that I am unable to consume the chicken meal due to allergies, she immediately helped me sourced the fish option promptly so that I can enjoy the meal. During beverage service, the flight attendants gladly gave me and my friend a can of coke each when requested for it. The flight attendants were seen patrolling the cabin to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers. They were seen diligently conducting their safety inspections prior to landing. Smiles were seen on the faces of the flight attendants throughout the entire flight.

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Friendly flight attendants during meal service

Afterthought

The A330-300 that was deployed for this journey by Thai Airways shows signs of ageing from the seats to the IFE to the lavatories. However, the flight was comfortable and I was kept entertained by the extensive entertainment options on the IFE system. The meal was mediocre but still able to fill my stomach during dinner service. The service rendered by the flight attendants on board this flight were excellent. They were seen servicing the passengers with smiles across their face, displaying the warm Thai hospitality. What makes for the lack in hardware is balanced by the heartware displayed by the flight attendants.

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Flying above the clouds during sunset onboard Thai Airways A330-300

 

[Airline Review] – JetStar Asia A320-200 (3K686) – Economy Class, KUL-SIN (11 Nov 18)

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Jetstar A320-200

On the Ground

Jetstar departs Kuala Lumpur from KLIA 2, the new terminal for budget carriers. Check-in counters for Jetstar are located in row Z, to the extreme right of the terminal building. As I have completed mobile check-in (which I always recommend my friends to do which can save time waiting at the airport), I headed to the counter for document verification to obtain our boarding passes. There was a small queue at the check-in counter, despite the queue, it did not take us too long to be served. Being a low-cost carrier, passengers who have luggage to be checked-in has to pay extra. The ground staff at the counter seemed friendly enough to assign to us the seat that we have requested for. However, she seems to rely on us to read the information on the boarding passes to figure out the departure gate and the time of boarding.

The Aircraft

The Cabin

Jetstar uses A320-200 to fly between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The single-aisle, single cabin aircraft has a total of 180 seats, arranged in 3-3 configuration. The cabin onboard Jetstar A320-200 is decked in white and black seats, with strips of orange on the floor as well as running along the overhead bins, consistent with the uniform colours that the crew are wearing.

There a total of three lavatories for all 180 passengers onboard, one of the lavatories is located at the front of the aircraft, while two others are located at the rear of the aircraft. As with most single-aisle aircraft, the lavatories are a tad small due to the lack of real estate space onboard the aircraft. The lavatory is brightly lighted and is kept very clean by the cabin crew. There are limited amenities in the lavatory, however, it serves the purpose it is built for.