With the opportunity of flying Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER during his vacations, one of our editors is sharing his experience in an airline that is considered to be amongst the best three in the world. Here is his experience in Economy Class:
London – Singapore (ETD:09:25; ETA: 05:30 +1; Expected flight duration: 13:05)
Check-in and boarding in London:
I arrived to the “A” area of Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport at around 7:00. Passengers are required to check-in and print the tags in the automated check-in terminals available in the area. There were two staff members to help. After that it was necessary to do the bag drop in one of 3 counters available. As Star Alliance Gold (TAP Victoria) card holder I went directly to one of the exclusive check-in desks available. The staff was amazingly polite and handled everything in a breeze. They checked if I needed a visa (apparently not many Portuguese fly this route) and directed me to the fast track. All in all it took me around 15 minutes to get to the airside which was pretty good.
Singapore Airlines Lounge London Heathrow:
Terminal 2 or Queens Terminal consists of a main building and a satellite terminal 2B. Most of the long-hauls from London leave from 2B which involves a good 10/15 minutes walk. Both areas are quite nice and comfortable with a lot of natural light which is a big plus for me. After arriving to 2B I headed to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge. This is one of four Star Alliance Lounges available in the terminal being located right in front of Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, both accessible by elevator. After showing the ticket in the front desk I was directed to the Business Class Lounge (there is also a First Class one) located on the right side of the reception. Right after entering the lounge there is a food buffet with a great mix of cold and hot meals, as well as deserts and soft drinks/beers/juices and coffee machine. As it was breakfast time the cold selection was essentially wraps, cheese (lots of options), smoked cuts of meat, bread, fruit, yoghurt and cereals. The hot food comprised of sausages, bacon, eggs, roasted tomatoes and some oriental options as fried rice or noodles. Also available was a great selection of sweets as several mousses, cakes and tarts. Needless to say that I had a pretty good breakfast. There is a bar available where you can order drinks. The seating area is quite comfortable with lots of seats and tables with views of the gates (and a bit of the runway). The “pods” were particularly cool sharing the design of their business class airplane seats. Very comfortable and quiet for eating, working or relaxing. After around one hour in the lounge it’s time to head to the gate!
When arrived at gate B46, at around 8:45, for a moment I thought that there was something wrong with the schedule since there were maybe only 80/90 people in the waiting area after the boarding announcement. I was wrong – the flight apparently was just very lightly loaded. Due to this fact the boarding was made smoothly and very quickly with Business Class/Star Gold passengers boarding first trough the premium zone and economy class passengers boarding right after.
Singapore Airlines flight SQ305:
The Boeing 777-300ER was divided in four classes, being impeccably well maintained. First Class (1-2-1), Business Class (1-2-1 ), Premium Economy (2-4-2) and Economy Class (generally 3-3-3 with rows before both bathroom areas having a configuration of 2-3-2). Me and my travel companion chose the seats 48 A and C, so we got a row with 2-4-2 configuration, which is nice if you fly with another person. After boarding was completed we noticed that the economy class was only around 30% full so there was huge number of free seats which was a very nice surprise considering it’s a 13 hour flight. We took advantage of it and migrated for a 3 person row having a lot of extra room. The seats were great and the most comfortable I have ever experienced. Large legroom, including leg rest, very comfortable headrest, wide and great reclining angle and leg support.
The the front pocket has a lot of space and there is a smaller pocket which is great to store the passport, mobile phone or wallet. A good pillow and a comfy blanket were available for all passengers.
Hot towels were handed to all passengers before departure. Flight SQ305 took off from London Heathrow Airport at around 9:45, so 20 minutes after the ETD. After take off the economy class passengers were given small amenity pack and a menu with all the options of meals, beverages and snacks there were going to be offered during the flight. Quite a nice touch.
Having in mind the departure time, duration of flight and arrival time, SQ offers its guests a brunch and breakfast. In the duration of the flight passengers could request a variety of snacks at any time. Brunch was served around one hour after take off. We both chose the chicken dish and it was great (and quite spicy). Also there were a small bread, water, butter, a packet of crackers, cheese and fruit in the tray. After the lunch all passengers were offered a good chocolate ice cream.
Each seat is equipped with a big 11’’ monitor and two USB ports for powering electronic devices. The KrisWorld entertainment system had a great layout and quick and was easy to navigate. Availability of TV shows, movies, games and music was very good, with very recent releases. After exploring the IFE I decided to watch a movie and try to get some sleep in order to start the adjustment to the New Zealand time (After LHR-SIN we were going to fly SIN-AKL on Air New Zealand). As the plane was close to empty I managed to get 3 seats for myself so it was the best sleep I’ve had when flying.
Breakfast was served around 1 hour and 30 minutes before landing. I chose the eggs benedict with sausage and potatoes. Additionally passengers were also offered a fruit salad, a fruit yoghurt, coffee, tea or other beverage, bread, butter and jam.
Cabin crew service during the whole flight was truly excellent. Always welcoming, attentive, professional and informative. Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER landed in Singapore International Airport at around 05:10, so 20 minutes ahead of time.
Singapore Airlines was the second 5* airline I’ve tried (first one was Etihad) and, except the food (Etihad’s lamb biryani was the best food I’ve ever had in an airplane), the first excelled the second in all aspects and was by far the most premium feeling and comfortable flight I have ever taken in Economy. The same can be said when comparing with Air New Zealand or Air Tahiti Nui – generally well reviewed airlines which I had the opportunity to fly in the same period as SQ.