Review of Singapore Airlines flight San Francisco Hong Kong in Premium Eco

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ 1
Class Premium Eco
Seat 33H
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 14:55
Take-off 18 Nov 17, 00:05
Arrival at 18 Nov 17, 07:00
SQ   #2 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 505 reviews
jetsetpanda
By SILVER 2802
Published on 17th December 2017
Hi and welcome to my end of the year trip to Asia which has finally arrived. This trip was in the works for several months and originally I intended to try BR's Premium Economy product. I was watching the fares closely and then I found a RT on SQ's PEY for USD 1,280 (approx. EUR 1091.00). The convenience of a nonstop flying on a such a reputable carrier were enough to sway me in favor of SQ and I purchased the fare without hesitation.

Below is my schedule for this trip:

SFO-HKG on SQ Premium Economy - you are here
HKG-BKK on TG Business click here
BKK-HKG on TG Business click here
HKG-SFO on SQ Premium Economy - click here



My dept. is at 12:05A and I arrive at the airport a few minutes before 22:00. The airport was buzzing with travelers checking in for their Asian flights and I made my way to the SQ counter which was surprisingly quiet. I checked the loads a few nights ago and it appeared that my flight was going to be full in all cabins.

Arriving at the airport.

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At the SQ counter, pax on PEY use the *A Gold line.

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There was a passenger being helped in front of me and upon seeing me the check-in agent at the empty J counter motioned me to go over her. She was smiling, efficient but strict. My carry on exceeded the limit by a couple of kgs and and I was asked to check it in. My boarding pass was printed and I was giving a note stating that the UA Club at the intl terminal was being renovated and showing which alternate UA Clubs i could use. I thanked her and was on my way to the UA Club by gate 80.

Documents.

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It's official - SQ has joined the number of airlines issuing boring and plain boarding passes.

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The TSA Pre-check line moved quickly and within 5 min. I was at the other side. I headed to the UA Club at the domestic terminal and stopped by the UA display to look at some nostalgic memorabilia. When it comes to art exhibition, SFO is pretty hard to beat among U.S. airports.

UA display

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The early years

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The jet age.

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Her majesty's presence is "de rigueur".

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The range of chinaware through the ages.



Playing cards - remember those? It appears that now only Asian carriers give them out.

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New Polaris - hit or miss?

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UA Club (domestic terminal by gate 80)

Crowded and with limited catering. As a matter of fact I noticed that for dessert they only had cookies & fruits. What happened to the lemon bars or brownies? A subtle cost cutting measure? But this lounge has character and that is what sets it apart.

Hallway entrance

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Interior.



Buffet



My snack

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I did not linger for long and after about 20 min. was on my way to the gate. I caught the SQ girls (and boys) in front of me.

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Gate

Impossible to get a good pic of the plane from this area.

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Boarding started at 30 min. before dept. and was strictly enforced. Wheelchair pax and family children were given priority to board a few minutes earlier. At the entrance of the plane there was a cart set up with periodicals and earphones.

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I was warmly greeted by the FA's and walked towards the Premium Economy cabin. The cabin looked elegant with touches of warm tones.

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But the seat felt narrow for a PEY product. My flight was a 777-300ER and I was aware that the width of the PEY seats was 18.5 in. ( 46.99 cm.) vs. 19.5 in. ( 49.53 cm.) on the A380. This was the first disappointment that I encountered with this seat. Aesthetically it is gorgeous, but I expected a wider seat for this type of cabin.



On the seat there were already a blanket and a soft pillow. Inside the seat pocket you could find the noise cancelling headphones inside a pouch and a printed menu.

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Let's take a look at the menu.




FA's distributed thick hot towels while we were still on the ground. These were really thick and of decent size similar to what competitors would offer in business cabins. Kudos to SQ for providing this small touch to pax in Y. It's a nice gesture that makes a lasting impression.

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A few minutes later the door closed and we taxied away for take off. Once we leveled off the FA's distributed the amenity kit. The ones for PEY had a different design from the ones in Y, which were a solid color without any graphics. The content was similar with a dental set and socks.

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WC's were spacious and well stocked. PEY pax do not have their own WC's and need to use the ones for regular Y cabin.




One thing that I noticed going back is that the aisle bulkhead seat in Y tends to protrude into the aisle and people can easily bump into whoever occupies the aisle seat in that row if they are not careful. Also, the curtains separating PEY from Y were never closed and remained opened throughout the flight. This cabin is not as exclusive as one might have led to believe.

About 2 hrs after departure the service commenced and a FA offered champagne from a tray to those who wanted a sip before the meal service.

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FA's were trying to identify those pax who requested special meals by asking them and placing a sticker on the seats. Special meals were handed first followed by a cart with the regular meals and choice of beverages.

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From SFO-HKG and vv. SQ offers 3 choices for the main meal with one of them being Indian. i chose this option and it was decent meal with a good portion.



Metal utensils were used, but the little glass for the drinks was not on my tray while I saw it on the other meal choices.

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The dessert was a chocolate brownie that was hard and dry.

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Coffee and tea were offered afterwards. After the meal service the lights were turned off and FA's made frequent passes with water and snacks. I asked for some nuts which were not on the basket when the FA offered me the snacks from my seat and a few minutes later she returned with a few packets.

Mid-flight snack - vegetarian wrap and Sun Chips. A basket set up was also available in the galley with fruits, chips, chocolate bars, nuts, sandwiches and wraps. I applaud SQ for offering a good assortment of snacks after the meal service, unlike some carriers that only offer the leftovers after the meal service.

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Service was great with thoughtful gestures like opening the door when the FA saw you entering the WC or pulling the curtain when going back to your seat after visiting the galley.

The IFE was pretty responsive to one's touch and the selection of movies was extensive. After a couple of movies we were ready for the second meal service and I think that SQ really started this service early at 3 hrs. before arrival. I had the Chinese noodles which was tasty. This time the breakfast tray had the small glass and it was filled with orange juice.

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Bonus : Click here to display
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Verdict

Singapore Airlines

8.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment9.0
Meal/catering8.5

United Airlines Red Carpet Club (Terminal 3)

6.5/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment6.0
Services7.0

San Francisco - SFO

9.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Hong Kong - HKG

9.6/10
Efficiency9.5
Access10.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

It was great to experience SQ's PEY product at a good price and take a nonstop flight. Service was excellent as expected from an airline with such a distinguished reputation but the hard product does not quite convince me.

The seats were definitely more comfortable and featured more legroom than those found in regular economy, but for a premium economy product I was expecting a wider seat that did not feel so "tight". In addition, I think that there is little storage space with the exception of the seat pockets in front. Another minus is that I would have preferred to see the curtains closed between PEY and Y for more privacy and WC's being more accessible.

Catering is the same as in Y except for champagne and "Book the Cook". i think this is marginally better but SQ should have placed more emphasis in differentiating the meals with perhaps an upgraded main dish.

Although the amenity kit design is different from Y, I feel that the contents are just "too basic" and a more generous set with moisturizers and eye shades should be included. Granted, one could ask for the shades or earplugs from the crew, but when you are paying a bit more for a better product, these should be automatically included. TK's kit in Y is more generous in comparison.

Informations on the route San Francisco (SFO) Hong Kong (HKG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 6 reviews of 2 airlines on the route San Francisco (SFO) → Hong Kong (HKG).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 14.0 hours and 30.0 minutes.

  More informations

13 Comments

  • Comment 423101 by
    ANDRAFLY 20 Comments

    i flew on SQ 1 on September 8th from SFO to SIN ...was the best ever...event i bought the ticket one day before travel date

  • Comment 423122 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 8149 Comments

    Thanks Adan !

    Was the mileage earning better with SQ than BR ? :P

    "My carry on exceeded the limit by a couple of kgs and and I was asked to check it in." -> What a shame from SQ, especially for a *G flying in Y+.

    "It's official - SQ has joined the number of airlines issuing boring and plain boarding passes." -> It depends… I got my BO of old coloured stocks in IAD.

    "Crowded and with limited catering." -> What else from a UA Club ? ;)
    The buffet reminds me about the Club at HNL.

    "I caught the SQ girls (and boys) in front of me." -> Caught ? :P

    It's interesting to see that SQ offers 3 choices for breakfast mains.

    I agree, the seats look too narrow for such a cabin.

    • Comment 423159 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi there Clement!

      "Was the mileage earning better with SQ than BR ? :P"
      - BR could have given me a few extra miles with a stop through TPE, but the convenience of a nonstop was a big plus. Anyways all PEY fares earn at least 100%. Now that CX is using an A350 on the SFO-HKG route, it would be interesting to see how their PE compares. I think their hard product would have a slight edge over SQ but their fares seem to be higher most of the time.

      "What a shame from SQ, especially for a *G flying in Y+."
      - Funny that out of HKG they were not strict. Honestly I don't think that *G means much to *A member airlines, at least not the way that Emerald status is recognized among some Oneworld carriers. My status was not acknowledged on my outbound, but on the return one of the male FA's welcomed me aboard and made some small conversation. At the end he thanked me for flying SQ.

      " It depends… I got my BO of old coloured stocks in IAD."
      - Then you should treasure it and frame it. They will eventually share the same fate of the dodo bird. :P

      "What else from a UA Club ? ;)"
      - Great if you enjoy the company of others and you are in a diet :)

      "Caught ? :P"
      - You make it sound like I threw a fish net in the water. :P

      "It's interesting to see that SQ offers 3 choices for breakfast mains."
      - What else from a premium airline? ;)

      "I agree, the seats look too narrow for such a cabin."
      - A shame that SQ did not take the opportunity to make it more innovative and set the standard.

      Thank you very much for your visit Clement.

  • Comment 423220 by
    757Fan 461 Comments

    Great to read about experience with SQ in Premium Economy, Jetsetpanda! Thank you for sharing - the food looks very good and it looks like you had nice big portions for each of your meals. Sorry to hear about the seats and that the cabin was not as private as one would think when it comes to a separate cabin from regular Economy.

    Looking forward to the rest of your reports!

    • Comment 423223 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Matthew.

      I think that when an airline has a solid Y product and introduces PEY, the difference can be marginal. SQ already offers hot towels and amenity kits for Y and its meals are pretty good in the back, so when it implemented these things in the new PEY they only changed the design of the kit and allowed for "Book the Cook".

      Comfort should be the driving force for a pax to select PEY and that is when it felt somewhat short. Would you believe that the width of a regular Y seat on the SQ 773 is 19" (48.26 cm) compared to 18.5" (46.99 cm) in PEY? That is unbelievable! Unless PEY is offered at a very discounted price, I don't think there will be many takers.

      Thanks for commenting.

  • Comment 424062 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for the opening FR of this series!

    “stopped by the UA display“
    - Wow what a hallway! Beautiful pictures.

    “Impossible to get a good pic of the plane“
    - Your effort is appreciated, at least the tail with the SQ logo is clearly visible :).

    18,5″ in Y+? Aren't SQ's regular Y seats in their 380s around 19″ wide?

    “and Sun Chips.“
    Whole-grain chips? Nice.

    Thank you for this great report on SQ's Y+ product in their A350s.

    Have a good one, see you.

    • Comment 424063 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi RI 777

      "Wow what a hallway! "
      - For an avgeek it's like being a kid in a candy store. ;)

      "Aren't SQ's regular Y seats in their 380s around 19″ wide?"
      - Yep, so are the regular seats in their 777-300's.

      "Thank you for this great report on SQ's Y+ product in their A350s."
      - Actually it was on the 777-300 ER. ;) but I thank you for visiting and commenting. Have a great holiday!

  • Comment 424644 by
    indianocean SILVER 6022 Comments

    "It's official - SQ has joined the number of airlines issuing boring and plain boarding passes."=> you just have to fly Business of First Class, my friend ^^
    At least, you have "#1 Priority" stamped on the BP. It's red so not totally bland.

    "Playing cards - remember those? It appears that now only Asian carriers give them out."=> not anymore. Useless and heavy load. You should ask one set when you were onboard

    "FA's distributed thick hot towels while we were still on the ground."=> I've read that this gesture might be axed. To be confirmed
    The quality of this towel is even better that the ones given in BA First.

    "About 2 hrs after departure the service commenced"=> 2 hours? It's way to long. That means that it begun at 2 in the morning.

    Why not trying BTC on your flight?

    Thank you Adan

  • Comment 424702 by
    jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

    Hi there Bernard.

    "At least, you have "#1 Priority" stamped on the BP. It's red so not totally bland."
    - Maybe I will frame it. It would be great for my self esteem. :P

    "You should ask one set when you were onboard"
    - I always try to get double (or triple) sets. ;)

    "I've read that this gesture might be axed. "
    - It's one of the few things that really sets them apart. I hope not.

    "That means that it begun at 2 in the morning."
    - That's right. They seem to take a lot of time distributing the special meals first.

    "Why not trying BTC on your flight?"
    - Nothing appealed to me. ;) I'd rather be surprised.

    Thanks my friend for your comments.

  • Comment 425055 by
    ashleyyau 200 Comments

    Hi Adan I am late to comment but thanks for sharing this report!
    So you flew SQ to re-qualify your TK Gold?
    SQ PEY product and services are very decent compared with other airlines' PEY. But compared with its Y services, the differences are minimal.
    I think the main for both meals look better than the Y main based on my experience on this route.
    Happy New Year! :D

    • Comment 425151 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Ashley,

      "So you flew SQ to re-qualify your TK Gold?"
      - Basically yes. Originally I wanted to fly BR but the lower fare on SQ swayed me in their favor.

      "But compared with its Y services, the differences are minimal."
      - Because the Y product is already very good. ;) I think SQ can improve PEY by providing slippers and a better amenity kits to start.

      "I think the main for both meals look better than the Y main based on my experience on this route."
      - I understand that they are the same, but some dishes on other routes look more lackluster.

      Happy New Year to you too. Being Chinese we celebrate New Year twice. ;)

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