Review: Singapore Airlines First Class 777 Moscow To Houston

Introduction: An Arctic Summer
Review: SAS Business Class A330 Los Angeles To Stockholm
Review: SAS Lounge Stockholm Airport
Review: Hotel Continental Oslo
Review: Radisson Blu Longyearbyen Hotel
Review: SAS Lounge Oslo Airport
Review: SAS Lounge Copenhagen Airport
Review: W Hotel St. Petersburg
Review: St. Regis Moscow
Review: Business Lounge Moscow Domodedovo Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines First Class 777 Moscow To Houston


While I’ve flown Singapore Airlines many times before (including reviewing Singapore’s 777 first class between Singapore and Melbourne, Singapore’s A380 Suites Class between New York and Frankfurt, etc.), this was Ford’s first time on Singapore Airlines. Singapore has one of my favorite first class products in the world, so I was excited for Ford to experience it.

Singapore 62
Moscow (DME) – Houston (IAH)
Sunday, July 17
Depart: 9:40AM
Arrive: 2:05PM
Duration: 12hr25min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2C (First Class)

We boarded at around 9:10AM through door L2, where we were greeted and escorted to our seats in first class. This route is operated by Singapore’s oldest first class product, consisting of a total of eight seats, spread across two rows in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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Singapore Airlines 777 first class cabin

I remember back when this product was cutting edge, though nowadays it seems a bit outdated, almost.

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Singapore Airlines 777 first class cabin

I assigned us seats 2C & 2D, which are the two center seats in the second row of the cabin. In this instance, however, we were the only passengers in first class, so I suppose we could really sit wherever we wanted. While first class is awesome to begin with, it’s always an extra special treat when you have the entire cabin to yourself. It has happened maybe a dozen times in my life.

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Singapore Airlines 777 first class, seat 2C

The Singapore Airlines first class seat is really wide, almost too wide, if that’s a thing, because you can’t sit while having your arms on both armrests.

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Singapore Airlines 777 first class, seat 2A

The cabin doesn’t have any overhead bins, but rather has plenty of storage under the seats. Both my 20″ Tumi bag along with my weekender bag fit underneath my seat. Then there’s also an ottoman of sorts, which becomes part of the bed when the seat is fully reclined.

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Singapore Airlines first class legroom

If you’re in the center seats, there’s a small partition that’s always raised, in addition to a large partition that can be manually raised when inflight.

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Singapore Airlines first class privacy partition

The seat and entertainment controls were located on the left side of the seat. The seat controls were super easy to use, though that’s partly because the seat has limited recline and movement.

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Singapore Airlines first class entertainment & seat controls

Moments after settling in the inflight supervisor, Alvin, came by to welcome us aboard and wish us a pleasant flight.

Shortly thereafter the leading stewardess and leading steward came by our seats to welcome us aboard as well, and inform us that they’d be taking care of us for the 11hr35min flight to Houston.

We were asked whether we wanted something to drink before takeoff. Naturally we ordered some champagne. With the typical proud smirk, the leading stewardess said “would you prefer Dom or Krug?”

We were quite hungry at this point since we hadn’t eaten anything for breakfast or in the lounge, so also asked for some nuts, which we were promptly served with our Krug.

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Singapore Airlines pre-departure champagne

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Singapore Airlines pre-departure mixed nuts

After we were served drinks, we were also offered Bose noise canceling headphones.

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Singapore Airlines first class Bose headphones

We were then offered pajamas, an amenity kit, and the menu for the flight.

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Singapore Airlines first class pajamas, amenity kit, and menu

While I’ve always gotten Givenchy pajamas on the Singapore Airlines A380, the ones on this flight weren’t branded. They were still quite comfortable, if not a bit on the warm side.

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Singapore Airlines first class pajamas

The amenity kit contained cologne and a couple of types of cream, all from Salvatore Ferragamo.

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Singapore Airlines first class amenity kit

Singapore has a different system than most airlines, given that they give you several other amenities after takeoff, and the other ones you’d ordinarily get in the kit are available in the lavatory. Similarly, Singapore Airlines doesn’t offer amenity kits at all in business class, even though they’re a premium airline.

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Singapore Airlines first class Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries

The menu was served in a beautiful leather binder, as is the norm in Singapore first class.

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Singapore Airlines first class menu

Drink refills throughout boarding were frequent, and shortly before pushback we were offered hot towels.

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Singapore Airlines first class hot towel

At around 9:25AM the very Singaporean captain (I love the accent) came on the PA to welcome us aboard on behalf of himself, his co-captain, and his first officer, and inform us of our flight time of 11hr35min, and the mostly smooth conditions enroute.

Boarding was completed within 15 of when it started, and at 9:30AM we began our pushback. At that point the safety video screened. Singapore really needs to come up with a new safety video, in my opinion.

My eyes were of course glued outside the window for the entire taxi, given the amount of interesting traffic I’m not used to in Russia, both in terms of airlines and planes.

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Planes at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

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S7 737 at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

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Planes at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

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Planes at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

Our taxi to the departure runway took about 15 minutes, and short of the runway I also found my favorite planes at the airport — there I saw a Transaero 747 and Transaero 767. This is the Russian airline that went out of business last yearI wish I had flown them!

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Planes at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

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Former Transaero 747 at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

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Former Transaero 767 at Moscow Domodedovo Airport

At 9:45AM we were cleared for takeoff.

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Taxiing into position for takeoff

Our takeoff roll was quite long, and the views after takeoff continued to be interesting.

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View after takeoff from Moscow

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View after takeoff from Moscow

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View after takeoff from Moscow

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View after takeoff from Moscow

The seatbelt sign was turned off 10 minutes after takeoff, and at that point I changed into pajamas. Singapore Airlines has two lavatories in 777 first class, including one on the left side of the cabin, as well as one by the flight deck. The lavatories aren’t huge, though are nicely appointed.

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Singapore 777 first class lavatory

There’s a fold down table that you can use as a seat (or whatever).

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Singapore 777 first class lavatory

Then there’s a drawer with all kinds of amenities.

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Singapore 777 first class lavatory amenities

Much like in the amenity kit, toiletries in the lavatory are by Salvatore Ferragamo.

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Singapore 777 first class lavatory amenities

Once back at my seat, the cabin crew distributed slippers, eyeshades, socks, and earplugs. They don’t typically distribute these on the ground since Singapore requires that you wear shoes for takeoff and landing, so they don’t want to give you slippers but then not let you wear them.

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Singapore first class slippers, socks, eyeshades, and earplugs

Service on Singapore is so attentive, and they really do think about all the little details. For example, when they gave us the amenity kit, pajamas, slippers, etc., they asked if they could unwrap them for us, or if we preferred them wrapped.

Shortly thereafter the crew asked us when we wanted to eat. We said we were hungry, so preferred eating right away. They took our orders immediately. The lunch menu read as follows:

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And the beverage list read as follows:

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For canapés, Singapore Airlines alternates between caviar and satay on many of their flights. Am I the only one who finds it a bit backwards that on their Singapore to Moscow to Houston flight, Singapore serves caviar out of Singapore, and satay out of Moscow? 😉

Singapore is unique in serving both Dom and Krug in first class. While I have a preference for Krug based on many side-by-side tastes, I figured we’d put Ford’s preferences to the test. The flight attendants gladly obliged in setting up a tasting. Ford closed his eyes and I mixed up the glasses, and Ford preferred the Krug.

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Singapore Airlines first class Dom vs. Krug tasting

The satay was tasty, and we were even offered more once we were finished, though declined given how big Singapore’s meals are.

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Singapore first class lunch canapé — chicken and lamb satay

For his starter, Ford had the antipasto platter.

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Singapore first class lunch appetizer — antipasto platter

Meanwhile I had the beetroot stained cured salmon fillet. The preparation was interesting, though typically I’m not a fan of beetroot.

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Singapore first class lunch appetizer — beetroot stained cured salmon fillet

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Singapore first class lunch appetizer — beetroot stained cured salmon fillet

For the soup, Ford had the Oriental clear chicken broth.

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Singapore first class lunch soup — Oriental clear chicken broth

I had the pumpkin veloutte, which was rich and creamy.

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Singapore first class lunch soup — pumpkin veloutte

We also both had a salad.

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Singapore first class lunch salad — mesclun, shaved fennel salad, and cherry tomato

After several glasses of Krug (and some Dom) I eventually switched to the riesling.

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Drink switch to riesling

For his main course, Ford had the wok-fried sliced chicken.

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Singapore first class main course — wok-fried sliced chicken in black peppercorn sauce

I had the rice noodles soup, which was pretty flavorless.

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Singapore first class main course — rice noodles soup

We were so full that we decided to have dessert later on in the flight. The meal service up until this point took about 90 minutes, and the service throughout was fantastic, as you’d expect. The two flight attendants taking care of us were extremely attentive and precise, and they’d always bring out our courses at exactly the same time, etc.

While the food was plentiful, I didn’t find the food as such to be that “first class,” both in terms of the type of food, as well as in terms of the execution. I would have expected all of those dishes in business class as well. So I’m not sure if Singapore is cutting back on their catering budget, or if this is simply a function of flying out of Moscow, a station that in my experience doesn’t have very good catering

At this point we were flying over the Nordic countries, and asked to have our beds made, as we didn’t get all that much sleep the night before.

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Airshow enroute to Houston

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Airshow enroute to Houston

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Airshow enroute to Houston

One thing I don’t like about Singapore’s 777 first class seat is that you have to get up in order to turn it into a bed. The seat itself doesn’t actually recline that far. Below is a picture of how far the seat reclines — that’s it.

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Singapore 777 reclined seat

To turn the seat into a bed you have to fold the back of the seat over. While the sleeping surface is huge, the bed isn’t all that comfortable due to the lack of a mattress pad. The “pad” used is more of a sheet than anything else. Because the seat has to be folded over in order to recline, there’s also no way to slightly angle the bed upwards, for those of us who prefer sleeping with the back of our seat a bit higher.

On the plus side, Singapore provides three excellent pillows, which help with getting a good night of sleep.

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Singapore 777 first class bed

I managed to sleep for about 2.5 hours, and woke up as we were approaching Greenland. Ideally I would have liked to get more sleep, but it was better than nothing.

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Airshow enroute to Houston

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Airshow enroute to Houston

At that point I decided to “stay in bed” and work a bit on my laptop. Unfortunately Singapore’s 777s with the old first class don’t feature wifi, though I instead drafted part of this trip report in a Word document.

As usual, the views over Greenland were incredible.

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View over Greenland

After working for a bit I decided to browse the entertainment selection, which is also excellent on Singapore. Not only is there a huge variety of programming, but for many shows there’s an entire season worth of episodes, rather than just one or two. My only complaint is that they have so many ads before each program.

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Singapore KrisWorld entertainment selection

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Singapore KrisWorld entertainment selection

After I told Ford how great Zootopia is, we both watched it. I’m not sure he loved it quite as much as I did, but perhaps that’s just not possible.

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Singapore KrisWorld entertainment selection

During the movie we decided to finally have dessert. I ordered a cappuccino first, which Singapore does a great job with.

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Singapore first class cappuccino

I had the chocolate delice, which was so good.

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Singapore first class dessert — chocolate delice

Meanwhile Ford had the warm pear and almost tart. He enjoyed it as well, though the ice cream was rock hard when he was served it, which was probably our fault because we didn’t give the crew enough notice.

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Singapore first class dessert — warm pear and almond tart

Once we were done with the movie, we were already over Northern Canada.

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Airshow enroute to Houston

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Airshow enroute to Houston

At this point we watched three back-to-back episodes of The Mentalist, which is my favorite show of the “crime” genre.

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Singapore KrisWorld entertainment selection

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Singapore KrisWorld entertainment selection

I ordered another cappuccino during the service, and was offered nuts to accompany it. It might sound like a weird combo, but the honey roasted pecans tasted great with it.

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Singapore first class cappuccino and nuts

Eventually we were hungry again, so about two hours before landing we asked to have our pre-arrival meal.

The snack menu (which we didn’t order anything from) read as follows:

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And the pre-arrival meal menu read as follows:

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Once again our tables were beautifully set.

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Singapore first class pre-arrival meal table setting

For the starter we were served the warm spiced tomato soup, which was great. It was probably my favorite dish of the flight, aside from the satay and dessert. It was so flavorful, and not too rich and creamy.

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Singapore first class pre-arrival meal appetizer — warm spiced tomato soup

For his main course, Ford had the grilled beef.

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Singapore first class pre-arrival meal appetizer — grilled beef fillet with veal jus

I had the salmon, which was fine. While I know the altitude can make some dishes a bit tasteless, smothering salmon in cheese is just strange to me.

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Singapore first class pre-arrival meal main course — baked cheese-herb crusted salmon fillet

For dessert we had an excellent warm cherry streusel cake with vanilla ice cream. Mmmm…

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Singapore first class pre-arrival meal dessert — warm cherry streusel cake with vanilla ice cream

By the time the meal was done, we were 40 minutes out of Houston, almost ready for our descent.

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Airshow enroute to Houston

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Airshow enroute to Houston

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Airshow enroute to Houston

At this point I browsed the duty free catalogue and realized that they sold a ridiculously cute Hello Kitty Singapore Girl stuffed animal, which I wish I had bought. Unfortunately they were sold out at this point in the flight.

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Hello Kitty Singapore Girl in duty free magazine

About 30 minutes before arrival the captain came on the PA to provide us with updated arrival information, informing us that we should land at around 1:10PM.

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View on approach to Houston

We hit some turbulence on approach and flew past the airport, before turning back for landing.

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View on approach to Houston

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View on approach to Houston

At 1:10PM we had a smooth touchdown.

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View after touchdown from Houston

From there we had a 15 minute taxi to the gate, including past an Air New Zealand 777, which arrived from Auckland.

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Taxiing Houston Airport

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Air New Zealand 777 Houston Airport

We pulled into the far gate at the terminal at around 1:25PM.

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Arrival gate Houston Airport

We bid farewell to the crew, cleared immigration, and headed to the Amex Centurion Lounge, before our connecting flight.

Singapore 777 first class bottom line

Singapore first class will always be one of my favorite products. This flight featured Singapore’s oldest first class product out of an outstation that’s known for sub-par catering, so all things considered it wasn’t Singapore’s best showing. In other words, A380 Suites Class out of Singapore Changi will typically be a much better experience than old 777 first class out of Moscow.

That being said, the crew was fantastic, the entertainment great, and for ~57,000 KrisFlyer miles per person, this flight was an unbelievable value.

Keep in mind that this flight will soon be discontinued, and replaced with a Manchester to Houston flight. I’m excited about that flight as well.

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Comments

  1. I’m most jealous of the bottle of cologne in the amenity kit! I finished off my normal size bottle today and would love that travel size bottle! I have my travel size Aqua di Gio from Qatar Air business class and love it!

  2. Sad this route is going away. Although, SIN-DME will continue and will even get an A350 next year.

  3. What is the aircraft in the 3rd of the plane pics? 3 engines in the style of 727 or Tristar ( but isn’t either). A Russian plane?
    That SQ product has not changed in at least 7 years, maybe longer. When it was first introduced people (half) complained about the seat being too wide and that they felt they were sliding around in it: that bolster thing appeared a bit later, IIRC.
    I don’t like being the only passenger in a cabin: had it 3 or 4 times in SQ F on award tickets ( usually Christmas Day, New Years Eve).

  4. @RCB
    Could that Qatar bottle get any smaller? But nice. When SQ first introduced business class they offered 30ml bottles of Nina Ricci as part of the amenity: now it’s some fly spray junk in the lavatory only.

  5. Flew ICN-SFO last month in first, and we had the F cabin to ourselves (small 4 seat cabin). We had both satay & caviar. When we asked to do a tasting of Dom & Krug we were told the tasting was exclusive to Suites. They only catered 1 entrée of each menu item and 2 starters each. They dropped a salad so we had draw straws for the remaining one. There is a steady decline in the food quantity & quality with SQ.

  6. @ SonomaWine — Ouch! Wait, they told you that you couldn’t try Dom and Krug? Did they not cater both of them, or they just didn’t want to open both bottles?

  7. @Paolo, it is definitely small, I wish it was closer to the allowable carryon size so it was a better travel cologne. I also wish it was a spray bottle instead of splash on as I hate putting any cologne on my hands since I wear contacts and don’t want to risk getting anything in my eyes. All of this is definitely a #firstworldproblem though.

  8. @SonomaWine – wow that sounds like bad luck. I’ve flown SQ F/R a few times and they go out of their way to do anything you ask. They were more than happy to open 3 bottles of red for us to taste a bit of each even though we were the only pax drinking on the flight (they actually suggested it when we weren’t sure what wine to have with our meal).

  9. @Paolo – the aircraft is a Tupolev Tu-154. It’s a copycat of the B-727. Aeroflot retired their fleet on TU-154’s at the end of 2009.

  10. What? No Caviar? That’s outrageous.
    Really don’t understand why they put Krug and Dom together? Why not a Dom Rose as an alternative? Or a krug Rose? A lot of people like Rose Champagne.

  11. So am I correct in assuming that if I were going to Moscow and only going to travel on SQ oneway you would suggest taking the IAH-DME flight vs the return…???

  12. @ SEM — Hmmm, not sure it’s that much better out of Houston. I might do the flight from Moscow to Houston in first since it’s a daytime flight so you can enjoy it more.

  13. Thanks for the reply…I just read the comment about book the cook [forgot about that] so yes, the daytime flight home to enjoy it more and fingers crossed for better food quality w/ BTC out of DME…

  14. Book the cook is only for flights departing Singapore, Ive not seen it elsewhere. And as with everything in Singapore and on Singapore airlines you must understand Singapore is cheap.. the airline is cheap they want stuff that last longer and moving parts on a bed is not gonna last they dont want to spend money maintaining it… if you have to suffer for it too bad.. LOL if you closely examine how the function as I have u will see that is the case with everything.

  15. I wish they weren’t discontinuing it, I would love to go to Moscow, it just isn’t in the cards for a couple of years. I prefer Krug too – I was surprised. 🙂 The Ferragamo lotion in the lavs is the same the Waldorf Astoria Park City has and I don’t love it – the scent is fine, but I don’t feel it actually moisturizes.

  16. Further to the comment re: the TU-154, it is easy to tell versus the 727 and Tri-star as the wings are inverted as our most Russian built planes. The wing tip is actually lower than where it connects to the body whereas on Boeing and Airbus planes, the wings rise to the tips. Interestingly the inverted wing has been shown to be less stable in the air.

  17. Do they really “smirk” when they offer your choice of champagne? I would find that totally rude and obnoxious. I can understanding smiling, but not smirking.

    Some of that food looks really good, especially the desserts!

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Why are the FAs smug about the fact they have two kinds of expensive champagne? Is it that impressive? Couldn’t anyone do the same with. Money??? Do they pull a rabbit out of a hat and make the rabbit serve it out of its mouth? Then I would smirk.

    Also. What’s cheaper to procure? Satay or caviar? Was this the worlds best satay?

  19. Glad you had a great F flight on SQ. Your description of the trip was almost like being there too. How’d you like IAH Terminal D / E customs & immigration? I can’t wait for SQ to start IAH MAN SIN.

  20. Book the cook is not only for flights out of SIN. We used BTC for LAX-NRT, and NRT-SIN. We are still raving about the “Pan-seared pheasant with stuffed blini and vegetables” on LAX-NRT, and that was a year and a half ago. 😉

    The “Lobster Thermidor with buttered asparagus, slow-roasted vine-ripened tomato, and saffron rice” on that flight, despite our trepidation about ordering lobster on an airplane, was a close runner up.

    The “Veal loin stuffed with leek and taleggio cheese in a white wine and porcini mushroom sauce with fettuccine” on NRT-SIN was good, but didn’t come close to the other two.

    For me the really funny part was telling my wife about the trips reports on SQ Suites, and having her say “oh, come on, it’s airplane food”. Then watching her face as she tasted that wonderful Thermidor. 🙂

    Google ‘Book The Cook Singapore Airlines’, and you will find the SQ page that lists not only departure points, but also menus for FC, J and PE from each location. FC and J have 20 departure airports with BTC, but notably Moscow is not one of them. PE only has 17, but presume that’s just because not all of the departure airports have flights that feature PE.

  21. I’m sure the “typical proud smirk” is simply imagined in lucky’s alcohol-addled head. He always says this in every one of his SQ first class reviews. I think it’s extremely unlikely that cabin crew with the training SQ typically provides would actually “smirk” at a passenger. Being offered Dom and Krug probably feeds lucky’s ego more than anything else.

  22. Thanks for this awesome write up Lucky. I will be taking this flight at the end of August after spending 3 weeks traveling around Europe. I just got my passport back from DC with my Russian Visa in it. I am not surprised about the food as I have heard that Moscow catering is not that great. I am just looking forward to experiencing the great Singapore Airlines first class service and product for such a great mileage redemption.

  23. We have also flown the old first class on the 777, how does one know which planes have the ‘new’ first class? Thanks for the report, great writing as usual!

  24. @Lucky I believe they had Krug on board. The two flight attendants were superb, so can’t really figure out what was going on. What was really evident was how they scaled back the catering knowing the load was just 2. I have flown SQ F about 15 times now, and was really disappointed in the quality and lack of quantity in the catering!

  25. @JK It was the old seats. I really liked the cabin layout, but it was a bit creepy the FA could walk behind the two middle seats. However, I am one of the odd ones that prefers the 777 over the 380 suites.

  26. I flew FC on Aeroflot (OMG) as the sole flyer Moscow-Tokyo in the 70s. Unforgettable–and not in a good way. The beef was shoe leather, the rest room had a folding door, wine was dreadful, NO champagne or caviar but excellent vodka. By the way, the seats did not even recline. The only saving grace, if there was one, was that I did not for it. (at that time you flew Aeroflot out of Russia or you didn’t leave)

  27. @Blake If you have this flight booked in December you are going to run into the same problem that I am having. Namely the flight is cancelled because they are eliminating the route after October. I am working with SQ and having a hard time getting them to cooporate and reschedule my wife and I for a first class flight from the States to Moscow. Is anyone else having any luck dealing with the same issue?

  28. I once flew on an Emirates A380 out of Sydney to Dubai on Christmas Eve with only three of us in FC, all operational upgrades from J. All was great until they brought around J class menus in F class wallets. So no caviar etc. I queried that and after some discussion the F menus suddenly appeared instead. We all got our caviar but interestingly enough much of the rest of the menu was the same between F & J. So was the menu thing a genuine mistake or a try on as we were all upgraded, I’ve always wondered and I’ll never forget it.

  29. Does anyone know if satay or caviar is served from SIN-Frankfurt-JFK? It seems like neither is served based on the trip reports I’ve seen?

  30. @Louis Chiu “Why not a Dom Rose as an alternative? Or a krug Rose?” Can’t say for the Dom Rose, but Krug Rose is notably more expensive than Krug Brut, so that’s why.

  31. Choice of Krug and Dom Pérignon, that’s a treat!
    There are noticeable differences of quality of proposed Champagne, wines and spirits between companies in first class. I think the quality of the selection (or the lack thereof) ought to be noted in the reports ; some companies propose great Champagne, wines and spirits (Hennessy Paradis comes to mind, at around $1000 a bottle, no wonder it has been discontinued!), others serve good ones, but what I would call “business class wines.”

  32. @Paolo – it is a TU-154 (NATO code name “Careless”). It is similar to the 727 and Tri-star in look due to the period and technical know-how that existed at the time. Some believe that it was copied based on the 727, but the actual design of the aircraft beyond the surface was already placed in the RFQ by the Soviet Air Force in the early 60s and differed significantly than that of the 727. One notable feature about this plane: cruise speed of 610 mph. Faster than any commercial aircraft at the time and today (with the Concorde obsolete).

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