Greetings Flight Reporters and welcome to another whirlwind Asian adventure. This was an especially exciting trip for me because I was bringing along a friend who was a complete newbie to most of the experiences I had planned for this trip. New to first class on top airlines, premium lounges, and new to a couple of the cities we visited. It's always a special treat for me to share experiences that I I value with someone else that I think will value them as well. To see things again through the newness of someone else's eyes. The reports of our travel will be broken down as follows:
After two days of eating our way through Singapore is was time to retreat. (I'll add some food porn at the end illustrating our trail of gluttony!) We hired a taxi and directed the driver to the SQ T3 First Class check in.
After engaging in the conversation with the staff at the curb that we are aware the CGK flights leave from T2 but we would like to visit this facility and The Private Room (TPR) before the flight we were quickly checked in and through the dedicated immigration checkpoint. We had a delightful character as our immigration officer today. He must have been lonely sitting there as he chatted us up for probably 10 minutes. Apparently Mark shares his October 2nd birthday with none other than Mahatma Gandhi. Anyhow we got a lesson on the Indian independence movement, parenting, and some United States history thrown on for good measure. It was a strange conversation that, at first, I though was some sort of secondary screening, and may have been, but it turned into a fine chat with a very smart and colorful character from India. Only the deserted First Class immigration queue could have afforded us this pleasure so it turns out that ariving at T3 vs. T2 had already proved to be fortuitous.
We made our way, by escort of course, through the Ja nd F lounges and to TPR.
We had allowed sufficient time between our morning visit to enjoy Bak Kut Tea, Pork Mee, and a Curry Puff at the Hong Lim Complex to now so we were peckish again for something to eat.
The menus were presented and we both opted for champagne (Veuve Clicquot la Grande Dame 2006).
To share we requested the satay and roti prata and for Mark's first visit he opted to try the burger with foie gras and quail egg. The roti was excellent and we opted for both the fish curry and the vegetable dalcha. The satay was meh. The burger was quickly disappeared so I assume it was satisfactory.
After our very satisfying snacks we retired to main seating area and enjoyed a scotch and cognac respectively. With ample time before boarding we made the trek to T2 and I drug Mark through the abbreviated Changi tour with stops at the koi pond and butterfly garden. We popped in to the T2 First Class lounge to quench our tour induced thirst with some bubbles. I also requested an espresso martini from a very sweet female bartender. She had her hands full with a rowdy group of heavy drinkers at the bar but made our drink and brought it to our seats. I would run into her again the following month when she was working in the TPR dinning room and she remembered my drink order. That's service.
It was time to make the trek to the gate and for Mark to step aboard Singapore Airlines for the first time. Yes, it's a short flight with limited service but the overall flavor of the airline is present and, to me at least, it's quite apparent that this is different than any other carriers.
Greeted at the door 1L by male crew and female crew members. The tailored and colorful kebaya is always a sight to warm the senses.
The cabin on the 777-300 is starting to show some wear but is still very spacious and comfortable. It's like a your favorite pair of dress shoes, the sole and leather are well broken in and move well with your feet. There is a scuff or two but regular polishing keep them in good shape.
The shorter regional flights offer a single champagne option. Cheers.
Short mission for this 777.
A meal is offered and knowing the lounge options at CGK I opt to dine on this flight. It's a flight reporter's duty so there was never really any internal struggle.
Both Mark and I select the beef rendang and it proves to be a flavorful dish and very satisfying. We left the Dom faucet in the on position throughout the meal.
Some coffee and tea are requested after the meal.
It was over all too fast.
Transiting at CGK, when traveling on separate tickets, can be a unique experience. You are dumped at a desk staffed with people who have no idea how to assist and further more you're looked at like you're a mad person for even considering this notion of leaving one airplane and boarding another. Luckily I have done this before and I left a wide window for the connection. Eventually someone does come to help and takes your passport(s), disappears for a long time, and then comes back with boarding passes.
Singapore gluttony pictures:
Singapore Airlines Private Room
Singapore - SIN
Jakarta - CGK
Thank you for joining me for this quick hop between island Nations.
The Ground Service: The dedicated First Class check in facility at T3 is useful for the private immigration officer and the entrance to the terminal right at the Silverkris Lounge complex. Otherwise, no ground service.
The Lounge: The Private Room is a fine lounge. We were very pleased with the attentive service, lovely champagne, and diverse menu. The furniture is very comfortable and I have never experienced anything approaching a "crowd"/
The Cabin: The contrast between the 777-300ER from a couple of days earlier and this 777-300 is acute. This is the previous generation product and it is a little long in the tooth. For a sub 2 hour flight it far exceeds any of my needs. It's also a little nostalgic to my first ride with SQ up front.
The Crew: Exceptional, as per normal. It's a short flight and there is quite a lot of work to be done so our time to chat is limited. Despite the compressed service window nothing feels rushed or anything other than elegant.
The Food and Beverage: Falvorful and tender beef Rendang, excellent wine in the form of Dom Perignon 2006, and Blue Mountain coffee. Yeah, that'll work.
Overall: Such a joy to share the "SQ First experience" with a first timer. It's an amazing privilege to travel in this manner and then to share the trip with an appreciative friend makes it all the more satisfying.
Thanks for reading and happy flying.
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