My brother and I were flying home for the summer, and since I'm fascinated with flying, each time we do we would fly a different airline. This summer I chose SIA to finally experience their long haul flights and it's nearly a decade since I last flew the airline. The flight was in June 2016 SQ25 JFK-FRA-SIN Operated by an A380 (9V-SKR)
*My English isn't perfect (not my native language), so please excuse any grammar or typo as well as the serious lack of photos. This is actually my first-to-appeared FR (I have like 10 as drafts).
BOOKING, CHECK-IN, AIRPORT EXPERIENCE
Booking a ticket on SIA wasn't an issue for me, the website is really to navigate around. It was a special deal ticket so it was pretty cheap (compared to SIA's normal price). However, due to travelling document issue my brother had, I had to switch the flying date and resulted in a charge that brought my ticket price to the roof.
Since I changed the date of my flight earlier, the seat selection was full for economy (overbooked flight), I wasn't able to choose my seat in advance. 2 days before the flight the empty seats were released for seat selection; however, still I could not select my seat due to "Technical Issue" and was told to select my seat during on-line check-in. The night before the flight, once again I was on the SIA's website to check-in for the flight only to find out that passengers under 18 can't check-in online. In conclusion, the seat selection was pretty much useless in my case, and to score a seat I desire - I would have to arrive at the airport pretty early.
Seat selection page
We arrived at the airport early in hope to get a good seat, check-in however took quite a bit of time since we had another connecting flight. I was guided to the last check-in desk (no queue though) and the friendly staff greeted me. I had to hand in the UM (unaccompanied minor) service decline paper, because passengers (me) requiring UM service can't buy tickets online. Most of the check-in staffs were rushing to finish their last passengers as they had to head to the Emirates counter next to us, only the manager (I think) was in SIA uniform. I was told that there were only 5 empty seats left on the plane and the check-in agent promised me an empty middle seat if we choose row 39. Soon after security we found ourselves in the departing area, having a solid three hours till boarding time, the gate for my flight was in the left concourse of JFK's Terminal 4, the concourse was filled with passengers heading to London on Virgin Atlantic's flights. My plane was on sight, resting and waiting to be pulled to my gate.
The small concourse was dominated by Virgin Atlantic's flight.
My ride - 9V-SKR - about 4.5 years old at the time
The terminal was old and a little chaotic, there was nothing to do besides sitting by the windows and watching planes.
Me and my brother was the only two at our gate, after a few hours passengers start to poured in, the majority of the passengers were Singaporeans returning home and Europeans flying to Frankfurt, I even noted some Australians (long journey for them). I think my brother and I were the only two Vietnamese connecting flight to Vietnam. Boarding announcements were made inviting passengers with special needs and business class and first class flyers, there were also announcement informing passengers that it would be a full flight so passengers who would check their carry on baggage can board first. Otherwise passengers boarded by groups, I was the last group to board because I was seated at the very front economy cabin. Boarding was smooth and fast. Not two, or three, but five cabin crews were at the aircraft entrance greeting passengers and make sure they get to the right side of the aircraft. The cabin was fitted with the older Economy Class that SIA. Cabin wasn't too dark or too bright, the yellow-ish color was calming and matched the seats color as well as the floors. Boarding was done right after I seated down and the inflight-service began.
After the announcements from the cabin crew and the captain, pushback started and the safety video was played. SIA's safety video is quite lengthy, old and quite boring. However, I quite like the fact that there are actually "communication" between the flight deck crew and the passengers (even though not a person was listening), passengers were informed about the route the plane is taking as well as the line number for take off and weather at destination. Afterwards, the cabin crews greeted the passengers and handed out piping hot towels, the towels were lightly scented which was a nice touch.
The 32'' legroom is more than enough for me since I'm really small
The cabin crews handed out the menu after they collected the towels (I lost the picture of the menu sadly), the menu shows the beverage options as well as meals for the flight (JFK-FRA and FRA-SIN), the choices were written in English and then in German. The menu was in booklet form and printed on good quality paper, which is better than what most other airlines are offering (usually a single page menu). Drink and snack choices are generous and we were having two meals for the flight to Frankfurt, one after takeoff and one small breakfast before landing. Since my cabin was small there were only 3 (or 2) cabin crews in the cabin, each serving one side of the aircraft. We took off after a 30 minutes taxi and the crew started the service right after the seat belt sign was turned off. Amenity kit was handed out which only consisted of a pair of sock and cheap toothbrush. Other amenities such as earplugs and eye mask are only available if requested. The cabin crews showed up once again with drink carts starting the first beverage service and a quick peanut run. About 30 minutes later the meal service began, passengers ordering special meals were served first as well as kids meals. Otherwise you would have to wait. The choices for the meal were BBQ pork with mashed potatoes or Chinese stir-fried three cups chicken with rice. Appetizers and dessert are the same on either meal choices, which were smoked salmon on pasta salad and a small chocolate mousse.
I chose the pork option and the cabin crew forgot to give me bread, which I didn't mind since she was really busy. Note that SIA airlines is one of the few airlines out there that provides metal cutlery in economy.
The meal was surprisingly tasty although portion as really small.
The trays were cleared and drinks are refilled as the cabin crew take the trays, they also ask passengers to shut the windows as the plane is flying to daylight. Mood lighting started in the cabin as a quick sunset effect and the lights were turned off. I began exploring the IFE. While I was watching my movie a cabin crew came and kindly asked me to complete an airline survey after she apologized for interupting my movie, I accepted to complete it and she told me to take my time.
The survey was quite lengthy and mostly concerns with the inflight service that SIA offers.
While I was completing the survey the same cabin crew came up and gave me two decks of playing cards as a gift for completing the survey, the cards were A330 themed (which were quite old) and had a really nice design.
During the flight, cabin crews keep coming around with trays of water and orange juices to offer those who are awake, they also response really quick to the cabin crew call button. Due to the short duration of the flight snacks are only available on request. Around one and a half hour left in the flight the sunrise effect of the mood lighting was turned on, meanwhile the crews handed out more hot towels as they greet the passengers. A small breakfast is the offered, choices of cherry crumble or a turkey sandwich which came in meal trays with yoghurt and roll. Coffee and tea were also offered. After the quick meal service which alot of passengers skipped (since they didn't feel like eating so early I guessed), the captain was back announcing descent into Frankfurt, the cabin crews then prepare the cabin for arrival.
I chose the cherry crumble, which was a little too sweet for my taste.
Soon we found ourselves in Frankfurt, Germany. Since there was a crew change, all passengers have to disembark. Passengers continuing to fly to Singapore (including me) were directed straight to the departure are without secondary security check. It was a really quick transit, one quick hour and we were told to board again.
Boarding were quick and efficient, I sat on the same seat and the middle seat is still empty, there were some new passengers flying to Singapore as well. The flight went on like previously, although on this flight there was a German speaking crew so in addition to English announcements they were repeated in German (or perhaps, French). Quickly after take off the crews again began beverage service and peanut run and rush back to the galley to prepare the meals. Lunch service started, there were three choices: 1. German stewed beef with potato and cabbage. 2. Chinese fish and rice (I can't really remember the name) 3. Thai green chicken curry (least famous choice)
I took the beef choice and didn't like it. My brother (who chose the same thing) asked for the fish choice as a replacement but was told that the service has ended.
On the other hand the salad helped, half way through the meal the crews began handing out ice cream for dessert, which was good timing cause the ice cream were solid hard. It was a small Hagen Dazs cup and only one flavour choice (mango and rasberry). The cabin light was turned off after meal trays are collected and window shades are shut, the cabin remained dark until the second meal service. Most passengers were on their movies since they already had some sleep on the previous flight. I decided to visit the toilets, they were quite roomy and spotlessly clean. Combs, toothbrushes, and mouthwash were available, even a unisex fragrance bottle and face moisturizer. The galleys are two cabin away from me where snacks and drinks are placed and passengers were welcomed to take. The crew somehow are kept busied throughout the flight, they were always in the cabin offering drinks and taking trashes. Halfway through the flight crews started to bring out baskets of sandwiches to passengers. My brother had a savory one while I chose the vegetarian sandwich.
Finally I fell asleep and before I knew it the cabin was on sunrise mode again. Breakfast service began 1 and a half hour before landing and the choices were: 1. Scrambled egg and sausage with spinach. 2. Stir-fried rice noodle with chicken.
I really like the meal although the chilly on top isn't necessary.
Again arrival announcement were made and soon we landed in Singapore. It was early in the morning when we arrived, so there weren't alot of traffic at the airport.
We disembark the plane quickly and the flight ended and I was set for a three hour transit in Changi before going on another flight to my final destination.
New York - JFK
Singapore - SIN
It was a pleasant flight although can be tiring considering the long duration of the journey, I really appreciate having an empty middle seat. Totally recommend SIA's Economy Class
PROS: - Generous seat width and seat pitch. - Seat padding is thick and comfortable enough for some rests. - Decent catering (food was delicious). - Top notch cabin crew. - Above average service (hot towels, amenity kits, snack and drink baskets in galley, premium-feel cabin, airline's reputation)
CONS: - IFE can be improved. - Earphones instead of headsets and can be uncomfortable. - Online check-in isn't available for passengers under 18 (and travelling alone). - Meal portion could have been bigger. - Plastic drink cups are too small in my opinion (drink done in one sip). - A380 windows are annoying (you can't really take pictures), and views are blocked for those who sit by the wings. - Power outlets are shared (2 outlets per 3 seats); however, I also noticed that those seating in the bulkhead seats have their own power outlets underneath.
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