Finally, a flight report for my nth flight to Singapore. We've flown this route a number of times on different airlines from Manila (i.e., PAL, SRQ, SIA, CEB, AXM). Clearly, if I had a choice, I would choose SQ all the time. Judging from the increasing frequency of flights (three that day) and the return of the three-class configuration on at least one Singapore-Manila flight beginning this year, it seems many share my opinion.
Passengers doing a morose conga at the check-in counter.
Poor OFWs required to pay terminal fees only to be required to queue for a refund after the security check.
As is usual for departures from NAIA, it was a bit chaotic. The check-in, immigration, and security check counters were all crowded. Checking in online and in advance helped cut down the wait at check-in and the lines at immigration now have queue guides in the form of velvet rope and CEB ground staff, yet, these weren't enough to offset the general feeling that things could really be more efficiently run at Manila's airport. The relative newness of Terminal 3 and it's unfinished state only serve to emphasise this.
We availed of complimentary access to the Skyview Lounge at the fourth floor of departures - a pretty straightforward lounge with all base trappings of an airport lounge. It's very similar to the MIASCOR Lounge at Terminal ,1 but updated. It has sufficient and comfortable seating (although I thought the rad green and blue leatherette could be easier on the eyes), light and heavy snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, a meeting room, a prayer room, and showers. Very good for cattle class passengers but I suspect nothing like the spanking new SilverKris Lounge or the Cathay Pacific Lounge next door. No complains for comp usage, of course.
New SilverKris Lounge
Cathay Pacific Lounge
Skyview Lounge by Dnata of Emirates Group at NAIA Terminal 3
Boarding was supposed to start at 5:30pm but did not actually get going until 6:00pm. Push back was on point at 6:35pm but the aircraft spent a good time waiting its turn to take off. It was't until 7:20pm when we finally took off.
SQ 921 used an Airbus A330-300 registered as 9Y-STQ. Seats came in the now ubiquitous Givenchy-designed fabric alternating between green and beige. Nothing great in my opinion but definitely more soothing than the in-your-face green and blue seating at the Skyview Lounge.
Legroom was okay. Nice organizer.
Legroom was decent but narrower than the A380's and the 777's. SQ's current economy class has the narrower but more comfortable seat cushions and the IFE box built in into the seat rather than by your feet. Helpful innovations to my mind.
Singapore girl and oshibori.
The FAs all seemed eager to serve but we've had warmer service on other SIA flights. There was this chubby passenger across the aisle from me in flip flops, shorts, and a ratty shirt - clearly going for the slob look - who asked for a blanket. The FA didn't take too long to come back with the request but did not seem to pause to hand out the blanket and appeared to almost drop it on the passenger's torso. Not trying to call out the FA (I can't blame her for not spending too much time on slobs) but I think SQ markets their FAs to be more gracious.
The IFE LCD screen was one of the larger ones and the seat pocket organiser appeared well thought out. There were nifty USB and VGA outlets in addition to the inflight phone. SQ's IFE system, KrisWorld, as could be expected, offered a wide range of movies and television shows. Hard to finish a long movie on short haul but it's always nice to have options. I watched about 97% of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" only for the IFE to die on me once we landed.
Reading matter for the month. The Straits Times I picked up at the aerobridge which I did not get to read.
Catering was decent. I had a flavorful pork escalope with linguini - of course, the pasta would be mushy. The attractive lady beside me had stir fried "prawns." She let me have a pick on one to make a comparison for this report. I thought she had the better dish, but the prawns were really more shrimp.
Flavorful pork with thoroughly cooked pasta.
Well seasoned stir fried shrimp with rice.
Cattle class menu.
The flight arrived in Singapore on time at 10:00pm despite leaving Manila so late. Makes me think airlines have started adapting to the usual delays in NAIA and now declare later arrival times to manage passenger expectations.
Take-off and landing were smooth. There was this really loud squeak - like a tight gasket door being pulled apart or a huge wiper doing its work and then stopping - while we were queuing for take-off and taxiing to the gate after landing. I wonder what it was but glad it seemed it was nothing.
Hello there, Changi.
Nice to be back at super efficient Changi all dolled up for Singapore's 50th independence anniversary. Thanks SQ for a good flight.
Manila - MNL
Singapore - SIN
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