Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. I am sharing an around the world (mostly) First Class series of trips in this series. I have a strong affection for Lufthansa First class so that was my motivation for the beginning of this trip. The product is well documented and, as a whole, one of the best First Class experiences obtainable on points. Also, I get an inordinate amount of enjoyment trying to secure the space. The windows for partner redemption in LH premium cabins opens approximately 2 weeks prior to departure so you have to operate in that window to secure seats. Additional flights/seats may open as departure nears. This is good fun! For the return I already has the second leg of a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club redemption on ANA so I would ideally use LH to get to Tokyo to complete the circle. It didn't end up that smooth but a lot of fun was had along the way.
Booking the LH legs is a little tricky because you may find a North America - FRA segment but then no FRA - Asia segment to pair with it. That was the case with me. While I initially saw BOS-FRA open there was nothing to pair with it. Then, a few days later FRA-SIN opened however I wasn't thrilled about a BOS departure so I waited, hoping for something further west as a departure point. About 3 days out JFK-FRA opened and I caved, booking JFK-FRA-SIN. At lease JFK would give me the opportunity to try the only LH F lounge in North America, so that was something. I departed not knowing how I would get from Singapore to Tokyo but I did wait list for SQ F SIN-HND. Those normally clear, right?
Courtesy of gcmap.com
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge T3 and Thai Airways Lounge T1
Spoiler alert, the F space on SQ SIN-HND did not clear. I had the points in Krisflyer so I opted to look for another Star Alliance solution to getting Tokyo. EVA J via TPE was my preference alas there was not availability. Nothing with ANA either. Like the last kid selected on the kickball team I'm left with Thai Airways. I am not trying to be disparaging of Thai (well, a little) I just prefer the other carriers mentioned. Also, at least it's not Air China.
There was no J availability on the BKK_HND so it would have to be F. An expensive redemption, no doubt. I justified it to myself with knowledge that impending Krisflyer devaluation would make it even more expensive in the coming days. I was also keen to have a look at the TG 787-9, they finally fitted a proper J seat. Splash in a short visit to the Thai F lounge and this could be a nice travel day in the making.
I arrived at T1 via taxi from my Clarke Quay hotel.
My early arrival gave me a chance to use the SATS Premium check in lounge. The process is really nice and quick. You encounter a staff at the door and tell them what airline you are traveling with. They direct you to another staff at one of the sit-down check in positions where the process is completed. There is a door at the back of the lounge that leads you into the standard immigration queues.
I have a couple of hours before boarding so I decide to make the trek over to T3 and the Silverkris lounge. It is superior to the Thai Lounge in every way.
The lounge is spacious and while there can be a large crowd it doesn't seem to ever near capacity. The seating is fairly plain but comfortable. There are not any really private seats in the lounge.
With no tarmac views I'm generally drawn to the window seats overlooking the concourse. Not sure why.
Sparse crowd at this hour.
High top seating.
An abundance of marble in this facility.
More intimate seating is available between the literature racks.
There is usually something worth sampling from the buffet and today was no exception. SQ does a nice job of proving local flavors and in Singapore that leaves a lot of room for variation including Chinese, Malay, Peranakan, and Indian. Today i was drawn to the Lontong Sayur Masak Lemak which is a nice coconut broth with veg and tofu served over/with rice. The sign is rather amusing pointing out that while the dish has vegetables it is not vegetarian.
Finished plate up. This is a tasty treat and already worth the trek over to T3.
The lounge offers Champagne by request. They offer the quintessential business class bubbly, Charles Heidsieck. It's a perfectly suitable beverage, served well chilled in a stemless glass. Today I pair the wine with some crisps that are actually crisp. The humidity here can make them soggy in quick fashion.
Finally a stop at the coffee machine to fuel up for the trip back to T1.
Hop the train back over to T1. I should walk but for some reason I am drawn to the Skytrain. Maybe it's the name.
I have time to pop into the Thai Lounge, actually more time than I know at this point. It's a small space with a nice Thai/Tropical decor.
There is a small buffet of snacks and drinks, of course.
I enjoyed some sparkling water while a take a look at the flight aware app. Our aircraft inbound from BKK hasn't arrived yet so while the lounge/airport are not posing a delay there is clearly going to be a delayed departure. As time passes my concern moves from losing my Thai F lounge time to making my connection at all. I inquire at the desk about the safety of my connection, as if they somehow have more information than I do, and get a, “I’m sure it will be fine." Noting that the aircraft has landed I make my way down to the gate.
Overly optimistic 12:45 departure estimate. It would turn out to be closer to 13:55.
Finally boarding is called and I am clinging to the excellent Thai F ground service as my only chance of making the connection.
First impression of the cabin are good. While there is a lot of white plastic it still has that new airplane smell and all the surfaces are clean and free of nicks and scuffs. The bulk heads have a pleasant orchid application.
My seat, 16K, is missing a window. I was happy to get a solo window seat at all really. When booking day of departure one can't be too picky.
IFE controller and seat controls.
Boarding is chaotic in part due to the delay. I'm sure the crew is keen to get the door closed and push.
Drinks are offered from a tray and I select a Thai Ice Tea.
Menus are pre-positioned at the seat.
Nice view from my one window seat.
Eventually we leave Changi over an hour and half late.
Meal orders were taken on the ground from one of the stewards. I requested Champagne after take off and it was promptly delivered.
I unwrapped the headphones and had a look at the IFE.
Apparently you can order food and beverage but not so today.
The interface is clean and responsive.
Nerd alert, I really enjoy the map on the handset whilst watching a movie.
The resolution on the handset is quite good too.
Before the meal service begins I make a trip to the lav.
For the meal I request the Thai dish. I am initially told this might not be possible but in the end I guess someone else settled for their second choice. Perhaps being on an F ticket had some kind of tie breaker?
The chicken was tender and nicely spiced. The Thai fish sauce added a nice salty note.
The first course was flat. Salmon?
Standard SEA fruits.
Dessert is pretty. I didn't partake.
As we near our destination the moving map shows connection information.
An arrival video played outlining immigration procedures, etc. Oh, and we're still mourning.
Scenes on approach.
Maybe we'll park nearby.
Nope, we taxi, and taxi, and taxi…
Finally, to a remote stand, of all things! There are an abundance of free gates, but no. I understand that perhaps this aircraft isn't scheduled to depart for some time, but still. Tow it off and bring it back. When your operation is based on a lot of connections I would think preserving those would be a goal rather than saving the extra work for the ramp. OK, rant over. The crew on board as well as on the ground did a wonderful job and I probably never had anything to worry about. Before the door was opened i was escorted past the other passengers by one of the flight attendants. As soon as the door opened the sign with my name was visible, the Flight Attendant identified me to the ground staff before I could do so myself. She took my bag and we were in a van rolling in less than a minute.
We'll pick it up next time as I am escorted through Suvarnabhumi.
Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge - Business - 3
Singapore - SIN
Bangkok - BKK
The Ground Service: It doesn't really kick into motion until arrival. Then it's world class.
The Lounge: T3 Silverkris is far and away superior tot he TG lounge in T1. SQ do a solid J lounge but nothing more.
The Cabin: I prefer this configuration of reverse herringbone seats to the staggered seats in the 787-8 and the 777-300ER. I don't think there's a bad seat in the lot. Well, 16K is missing a window...
The Crew: It's a lot of service on a short flight. That said I think the steward on my aisle did a really good job. I was always called by name and the my glass of Vueve never languished.
The Food and Beverage: Again, it's a short flight and not really meal time (considering the delay). With that in consideration I'd say the meal service exceeded my expectations.
Overall: I want to like Thai more than I do. The delay prone operation, inconsistent service, and constant equipment swaps make it harder.
Thank you for reading and happy flying.
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