Singapore Airlines – SQ 321– LHR– SIN
Flight time: 22:05– 18:10 [+1] (22:13-18:15 [+1] )
Duration: 13 hours 5 minutes
1st June 2016
O V E R V I E W :
Upon completing the final paper for the very last year of my life as an undergraduate, I was home bound the very next day. This was planned in advance in order to maximize my stay back home before I return to the UK for my graduation ceremony. Whilst looking for options on which flight to take, I stumbled upon a very good return fare on Singapore Airlines to KUL via SIN, at approximately £500 which was a snatch I thought. Despite it not being the cheapest option (Emirates offered return at about £450), I thought it was a good opportunity to try out SQ which is highly rated by reviewers and travelers.
Fast forward to the day of departure, I was checking in to my very first flight from the Queen’s Terminal at Heathrow. Check in at T2 is done via a self service kiosk where you have to print your boarding passes and luggage tag yourselves before heading to the bag drop counter if you’re travelling in Economy.
Some might think it is really complicated to handle everything themselves at the kiosk but the fact is that the process is really straightforward! You get everything printed in no time.
Boarding passes received and bag tagged all the way to KUL!
Time to drop off my check in luggage. No queue at all. Also, no worries if you are like me and do not know how to tag your luggage, the agent at the counter is very happy to help.
Lots of decorations within the terminal in conjunction with the celebration of Heathrow’s 70th Anniversary.
Some plane spotting perhaps? Looking at Terminal 4 at a distance. Would have gotten some incredible shots if I have a DSLR. 😦
After having dinner at one of the restaurants, headed to the boarding gate which was not announced as it was still early. However, having read a couple of trip reports on this particular flight and some research done online, I knew that it has consistently been at the B-gates of T2. Thus after a very, very long walk, I was at the gate and obtained confirmation by looking at the huge bird at the parking bay.
Had a look at some of the great selections of reading materials that are available with compliments of Singapore Airlines. Definitely useful for a long haul flight.
As you can see how early I was at the gate, and at this point most people would not have known the departing gate for this particular flight as mentioned earlier, hence the empty boarding area.
Right opposite my bird was another SQ flight to SIN which departs around 8pm, did not choose this flight as I wanted to try out SQ’s A380 (having only flew the A380 on Emirates’ and Qantas previously).
Boarded the aircraft and settled down to an empty cabin towards the rear of the plane. Found out from the check-in agent that it was going to be a light loaded flight and indeed it was! Got 3 seats to myself and could have gotten 4 seats if I moved to the middle rows but I wanted the window view.
A short tour to the washroom whilst boarding was still in progress. Well equipped with necessary amenities.
Most big airplanes and certain airlines have a water dispenser near to the washrooms that most people are not aware of. A good way of getting hydrated without bothering the cabin crew.
Leg room shot. Pretty decent I would say.
Hot towels were given out shortly after boarding was completed.
The Chief Stewardess then came around and confirmed my pre-booked seafood meal before sticking this on top of my seat as an indication to the other crews during meal service I believe.
Flight path for the night/day.
Earphones were also given out before departure. Personally I prefer over the head ones but this would suffice too.
This was followed by a menu distribution, not a regular practice by many airlines anymore unfortunately. I personally appreciate this aspect as it really enhances the flight experience I feel.
SQ is one of the few (or is it the only one?) that offers a choice from 3 options in Economy class. Unfortunately it did not apply to me as I have pre-ordered my seafood meal.
A look at the offerings for breakfast (only 2 options for this one).
Snacks that can be ordered/taken from the galley anytime when meals are not being served.
Mandatory seat pocket shot before lift off.
Take off was about 10 minutes behind schedule and an amenity kit was given out after which consists of a toothbrush with toothpaste and a pair of socks.
Shortly after, the drinks cart was rolling down the aisle as peanuts were handed out with a selections of drinks. Went for the OJ and just stared at the nuts as I could not eat them (allergic to nuts), thought about Emirates’ savoury biscuits at that moment and wondered if they introduced that because they considered people who had allergies like me and only if SIA took that into consideration too.
Got my seafood meal about an hour after the drinks and peanuts service, which was served on a large tray (you can tell by looking at how it is bigger than the fold out table). First impression, wow (WOW!). The portion was great, especially the prawn cocktail starter which was filled to the brim in the container (can you see?). Notice the metal cutlery that enhances the dining experience, the main of fish with some tomato sauce was delicious. Excellent catering indeed.
What better way to end the meal with some Banoffee ice cream and a Singapore sling (my very first one, refreshing indeed)! Browsed through the IFE system after meal service as the cabin light was dimmed but decided that I should make use of my very own ‘lie flat bed’ and sleep for the night.
Manage to get a couple of hours of rest with some occasion disturbance due to some turbulence which caused the ride to be rather bumpy, even on this superjumbo. Decided to try my luck and ask if cup noodles are served as it was not listed in the menu. Delighted to find out that there is and it is actually the same supplier as the one on Emirates!
About 2.5 hours before our scheduled arrival time, breakfast was served. This time round, in a noticeable smaller tray than the previous meal but still delicious. My seafood meal option got me a typical English breakfast without the omelette but with a portion of fish in a tomato sauce (sounds familiar eh, its similar to my supper earlier), not complaining as it was good though I wished it was something different.
Once the breakfast service was completed, I was only an hour away from Singapore just over KL. If only I can get off the plane at this point..(just joking..:P).
In a blink of an eye, my very first 13 hours long haul flight is coming to an end with the usual approach to SIN passing over Johor of Malaysia.
Touched down 5 minutes ahead of schedule and a short taxi to Terminal 3 passing by another SQ superjumbo.
Making a turn into the parking bay with this worthwhile shot of the iconic control tower at Changi featuring Crowne Plaza Hotel.
One final shot for this flight out of the window and hey its yet another SQ superjumbo that just arrived into SIN but this time in a SG50 livery that I wished I was flying on.
C O N C L U S I O N:
Having had high expectations before taking this flight on Singapore Airlines after reading reviews and reports by other passengers, I would say that overall SQ lived up to my expectations. In terms of its hard product and in particular the A380, being the launch customer of this variant, it is on the older end among the other superjumbos that are operating, nevertheless the interior of the cabin seemed to be well maintained and I liked how the seats are being designed on SQ planes where there are ample storage compartments at the back of the seat be it the ones near to the IFE or the ones near the magazine storage. In terms of the IFE, it is definitely not the most advanced available at the moment given that it has not been upgraded since they received the plane about a decade ago and there is definitely room for improvement on this aspect. The Singapore Girls (& Guys) on my flight did provide a good service throughout though on some instances it was not the case (Eg: During the sale of duty free items one of the steward just rushed through the service without walking towards the end of the rows and assumed no one else is interested). In short, I was satisfied on my very first 13 hours flight and the very first on SQ and I was already looking forward for my next SQ flight after reaching home.