Hello from Singapore, where I just arrived on SQ1 from San Francisco (via Hong Kong). I just flew the Singapore Airbus 380 for the first time in Suites Class now that Singapore allows KrisFlyer redemptions at the saver level.
Let me start with the negative, since there’s only one negative I could possibly come up with – Singapore’s “supper” meal service is horrible. Not like “oh, this is an average first class meal horrible,” but more like “I’d expect this in a mediocre business class” horrible.
This was a 14hr30min flight departing at 10:30PM, so you’d think they would have a full meal service, but they don’t.
Here’s the menu:
So you just get an appetizer, soup, and a main course. There’s no caviar, no salad, and no dessert (just fruit and cheese).
Worst of all (and this isn’t the crew’s fault), they don’t cater enough of the options. I always want to be as easy for the crew to deal with as possible, so I tell them up front that if they run out of any options I’m happy to switch. Well, there were only four passengers in Suites Class, but they still ran out of my preferred appetizer. That’s because they only load two of each appetizer, which is ridiculous.
The soup was tasteless, and the rib eye was the fattiest piece of meat I’ve ever been served. Not at all the crew’s fault, but I don’t know what Singapore is thinking.
As far as the rest of the flight goes. Wow… wow… wow… wow. What a product!
Suites Class is so incredibly elegant, spacious, and comfortable that it’s hands down my favorite first class hard product out there. Now, Singapore’s A380s lack special amenities like Emirates’ showers and bar, or Lufthansa’s massive lavatories, but the suite itself is amazing.
But it was the leading stewardess on this sector that stole the show.
Admittedly “Singapore Girls” are iconic. Their job is still as glamorous as it gets in the airline industry nowadays, and for them every flight is a “performance.” But the thing is that if a crewmember is simply putting on an act you can usually see right through it, because there’s little substance to their gestures.
On Singapore I’ve been consistently impressed by the service (though some flights are better than others), and today I flew with a leading stewardess that reminded me very much of Janesis.
From the moment I boarded I literally felt like she was taking care of me in her home. Before I even stepped foot on the plane or she saw my boarding pass she addressed me by name (probably because I was the only male, non-Asian passenger). The same goes for each of the other crew members, who addressed my by name before I even got to my seat.
The more you fly, the more you realize it’s the little touches that differentiate a good crew from a great crew. When she offered me slippers she placed them on the floor immediately in front of my feet and lifted the foot strap so I’d easily be able to slip into them. When she presented me the pajamas and amenity kit she didn’t just offer them in the plastic packaging, but unwrapped them and presented them to me artfully.
Throughout the meal service she was so personalized and friendly that I didn’t feel like she was doing her job, but rather that she was doing what she enjoys. My glasses were never less than half full, at every opportunity she asked me how everything was, and she apologized profusely about the quality of the food, which I felt horrible about since it certainly isn’t her fault.
Then it came time to sleep, and she offered to make me the famed “double bed” so that I could stretch out a bit. That was an offer I certainly couldn’t refuse, and even though it’s a much more time consuming process to make two beds and lower the center console, she did it with a smile.
When she was finished she smiled and said “for your convenience I’ve left you a cold towel and bottle of water to enjoy whenever you’re ready. Suite dreams, Mr. Lucky.”
Let me try to balance this a bit, for those of you that think I’m drinking the Singapore Kool-Aid. Singapore doesn’t consistently hit it out of the park. On half of my flights with them I’ve found the crews to be doing little more than going through the motions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since “the motions” consist of polished service with a smile. But that other half (or so) of the time I just want to hug the flight attendants and thank them for being amazing.
Singapore Airlines, you f*&#^@$ rock!
Of course a much more detailed trip report will be coming early next week, though hopefully this is a good quick summary.
I’ll share another quick summary of my Hong Kong layover and flight to Singapore shortly, because that was interesting as well…