Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Bangkok to Singapore

Introduction
ANA First Class Chicago to Tokyo Narita
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo Narita
Thai Airways First Class Tokyo Narita to Bangkok
Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge Bangkok
Singapore Airlines Business Class Bangkok to Singapore
W Sentosa Cove Singapore
Hilton Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room
Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Seoul Incheon
Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge Seoul Incheon
Singapore Airlines First Class Seoul Incheon to San Francisco


Singapore 973
Bangkok (BKK) – Singapore (SIN)
Thursday, August 15
Depart: 9:40M
Arrive: 1:05PM
Duration: 2hr25min
Aircraft: Airbus A330
Seat: 15D (Business Class)

At the door I was welcomed aboard by the inflight supervisor and directed to my center aisle seat in the second to last row of business class. This flight was operated by an Airbus A330 with Singapore’s regional business class configuration. It’s an angled flat product though feels pretty tight, with a total of five rows of 2-2-2 seating. Singapore uses the A330 mostly for flights within Asia and to secondary markets in Australia.

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Business Class cabin

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Business Class cabin

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My seat, 15D

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Seats 15D and 15F

At my seat was a pillow, and in the seat back pocket were headphones and the menu for the flight.

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Headphones, pillow, and menu

Each seat features a huge entertainment screen with an impressive selection of movies and TV shows, and the remote for it is located to the left of the seat.

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Entertainment controls

That’s also where the seat controls are located, which are intuitive.

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Seat controls

The flight was packed, and within about 15 minutes every seat in business class was full. One of the business class flight attendants came around with a tray of pre-departure beverages, and I selected a glass of apple juice.

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Pre-departure apple juice

As departure time approached the captain came on the PA to make his welcome aboard announcement, and informed us that our flight time would be two hours.

Shortly thereafter we pushed back and the safety video played. Our taxi to the runway took about 10 minutes, and once there we were number one for takeoff.

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Airshow before takeoff

Once airborne I decided to browse the entertainment selection, which was extensive, though not quite as extensive as on the A380/777.

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Entertainment selection

I eventually decided to watch a couple of episodes of “2 Broke Girls.”

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2 Broke Girls

After that I decided to watch an episode of Veep.

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Veep

As soon as we leveled off the meal service began. The menu read as follows:

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And the wine list read as follows:

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And the coffee and tea menu read as follows:

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So some people say service on Singapore is uniformly robotic. On longhaul flights I beg to differ. On shorthaul flights they’re absolutely right. There are three flight attendants working business class, plus the inflight supervisor. On regional flights the inflight supervisor actually seems to work, while on longhaul flights the inflight supervisor seems to take on a more social role.

So four flight attendants working a 30 person cabin on a two hour flight doesn’t seem unmanageable… at all.

And it’s not unmanageable, but the service is so assembly line/robotic feeling that it’s almost painful to watch. Rather than doing a round of drinks first the crew rolls the cart down right the right aisle, serves everyone their meal with a drink, then comes around the left aisle and does the same. There’s something about the service that feels so unnecessarily rushed. Couldn’t they do some drinks and nuts first, and then serve the meal afterwards?

Anyway, just minor details, but I kind of feel like a single flight attendant working  an American Airlines 16-seat first class cabin on a two hour flight provides a more relaxed and extensive service than what Singapore offers on regional flights.

For my main course I ordered the braised prawns in curry with eggplant and gnocchi. It was rather tasty, though the gnocchi were more like mashed potatoes. The dessert of mango and sticky rice was delicious, though.

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Meal service with braised prawns

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Pork neck salad and mango dessert

One flight attendant came around with the bread basket once meals were served, and I chose some garlic and pretzel bread.

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Pretzel and garlic bread

Meanwhile my seat opponent chose the miso glazed chicken.

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Seat opponent’s Miso glazed chicken

Anyway, after the meal service I walked back to the lav, which is located behind the business class cabin, in front of the coach cabin.

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Business class cabin

The lav is on the small side though nicely designed and has a drawer with amenities, given that there are no amenity kits or anything on this flight.

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Lavatory sink

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Amenity storage

We began our descent about 30 minutes prior to landing, We touched down in Singapore at 1PM sharp, and had about a five minute taxi to our gate, A5, where we parked between an A380 and A330.

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At the gate

Singapore’s regional configuration is comfortable for such a short hop, and the food was quite good as well. While the crew was friendly the service felt a bit rushed for a two hour flight.

Comments

  1. beachfan says

    Nice report.

    Happy to say service last June from DPS-SIN in J was quite individualized. Obviously depends on the crew.

  2. David says

    Veep is an excellent show…

    Does SQ have the best overall drink menu? Something for everybody: cocktails (alc and non-alc), illy coffee, good selection of teas. They even have Guiness…sorry, no Fanta.

  3. Peter says

    Pre-flight apple juice? Unprecedented!
    Were you jousting with your seat opponent? Where’s the usual love for the pretzel bread? What does neck taste like? Ummm…pork neck, that is. (And don’t say chicken.) ;-)

  4. lucky says

    @ David — Yes, I’d say so. They have a damn impressive drink menu on just about all their flights.

  5. Kai says

    The A330s actually have the same latest Krisworld system as the 77Ws/380s/340s. (Not that it matters on a 2 hour hop)

  6. badger says

    While these look like really nice, modern seats, I was struck by how bland they look. That cabin is 50 shades of beige. Reminded me of a Southwest plane back in the 80’s, or a cheap car interior. They really should have done something to liven it up a bit. Even just a contrasting color panel in the headrest would make a huge difference. They’ve got the blue pillows, they could use that same color for some accents in the seat.

  7. Katya Lw says

    Looks like you had a mediocre set of crew on this flight. I used to fly this route about once a month back in 2007 and 2008 when it was still flown mostly by regional 773s which had about 1.5 times more Biz seats compared to the A330s. And there was always a separate drink run (with packaged nuts) and the main couse was always presented separately from the appetizer. Obviously service has slipped.

  8. Joe says

    To be precise, not every seat in J on the SQ A330 has the remote control to the left; rather it is in the center console for each pair of seats. I have found that for BKK-SIN flights, the meals are served quickly and with drinks, no dilly dallying, and then if you want more drinks during or after the meal, just feel free to ask for them.

  9. Aeroman380 says

    Is there always a no-pork and no shellfish option on Asian (or any) airlines in first class? It seems that on most of your reviews there is either some sort of shellfish or pork for the appetizer. I always (order ahead)have veggie/indian/or kosher on my flights back in Y, but how does the first class cabin work on most airlines?

  10. Steven L. says

    @Aeroman380: Assuming that you didn’t think to order ahead, first class menus are no different: there is usually a vegetarian and/or chicken main (may or may not involve pasta). You may have to skip a course or two, however.

  11. Peter says

    So about the timing of that next update….?? Some of us have a plane to catch. ;-) Bring on the W!

  12. Kacee says

    That’s much nicer than the aircraft I flew on that route two years ago (a regional 777). Food looks much better, too. Looks like a good saver J redemption.

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