Preface Hello all! Welcome to my very first trip report here on the site! Today, I'll be telling you my flight to Singapore flying there from Houston in Premium Economy and returning to the US to Los Angeles the day before Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoy!
Introduction A few months ago, I took advantage of the $1200 premium economy fare from the US to Singapore. I was able to take SQ51 there and SQ12 back for Thanksgiving weekend. I'd spend a few days in Singapore before flying back to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. From there, I was able to upgrade the SQ12 leg to Business class though at the Standard upgrade price, so here's a look at both these flights and the experience I got. Not mentioned or to be reported are my positioning flights for this itinerary
My Itinerary would look like this: SQ51: IAH-MAN-SIN in PE on a A359 - This report SQ12: SIN-NRT-LAX in J on a B77W - Here
After taking positioning flights at Cincinnati and Chicago, I arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. I had a checked bag and instead of going through and checking it through to Singapore, I decided to grab my bag when I got to Houston and check them back in at the Singapore Airline counters. Not pictured was the line they had setup for economy while the Business and Premium Economy check in counters was totally format instead of having the snake around.
Centurion Lounge at IAH After checking in and going through TSA, I made my way to the American Express Centurion Lounge via the elevator. When you get to lounge level, it's a long pure white hallway which led over to the familiar sights of the Centurion Lounge. Once again, I was greeted by the check in receptionists and the Living Wall of the lounge.
These lounges are a world of their own in terms of American Airport lounges and there were a lot of people when I entered said lounge. The food as always was amazing with the main feature being salmon and brocalini and I had a nice local craft beer from Texas. I forgot what it was called as a matter of fact.
United Club IAH Terminal C About 2 hours before my flight, I went over to the United Club over at Terminal C which happened to be right next to the gate I was leaving from. I was able to go because I was a United MileagePlus Premier Gold member (I'd end up crediting these flights to United to make Premier Platinum).
As with all the other United Clubs I've been to besides the SFO International Terminal, it had that new futuristic vibe going for it with blue accents over white marble.
Singapore Airlines 51 - November 18, 2017 George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) to Singapore-Changi (SIN) via Manchester (MAN) Departing: 6:40pm (Actual: 6:39pm) Arriving: 7:55am +2 days (Actual: 7:58am +2 days) Duration: 23hrs 15mins (Actual: 23hrs 13mins) Equipment: Airbus 350-941 Tail#: 9V-SMB Seat: 33A (Premium Economy)
I went over to the gate and saw that the far side of the gate was reserved for economy while the side I was near had roped pens for Premium Economy and Business Class where my passport was checked before I entered the pen. Naturally, boarding commenced about on time with Business class boarding first with Premium Economy following soon after.
When I got to my seat, I learned about the reasons why never to over pack everything you need because I was discombobulated about where all my stuff was at one point to the other in time. I was also sad that my backpack/mini travel bag wasn't able to fit under the seat for some reason so I had to lug it up to the overhead bin along with my Pelican case.
Soon after relaxing, I was given a hot towel which was pretty hot and an amenity kit which was the one economy got as I later found out. The seat was really nice and more akin to a thinner and less padded domestic first-class seat, though arm room was a definite issue for me as I awkwardly tried to avoid touching my neighbors' arm to arm throughout the flight. I was also unable to get to sleep for more than an hour at a time and that persisted throughout the flight as I only really got about 5 hours of sleep on the plane itself. Ironically, I was able to fall right to sleep when I flew from LAX to IAH on my way home, granted that flight was a red eye flight. Maybe it depends on how tired I usually would be on the ground if I wanted to sleep on a flight. That same deal happened to me on my only other transpacific flight, and that was to Vietnam and back in 2008 on EVA Air.
The IFE system was really good. Lots of selection to go through including classic TV like Mr. Bean and Whose Line is it Anyway to stuff like The Mick, which I got to check out now on Hulu. The remote was also super great and responsive. I mean this cause every so often, my leg would press a button and end up causing the remote (and IFE if off) to wake up when it is in the resting position.
I utilized the Book the Cook option for the Houston-Manchester leg. I selected the Chicken and beef fajitas or as the flight attendant said while confirming said order, "fa-gee-tas" as my dinner selection and the chicken congee as my breakfast option. Both turned out to be really, really good with the fajitas being just a wrap/burrito combo which now that I think about it, made a load of sense since I was expecting more of a put it together yourself kind of deal. It included a container of guacamole and sour cream (which I love). Dinner service ended with Breyer's Ice Cream which was pretty amazing. Free alcohol was a good thing for me as I kept on loading up on liquor during the dinner and breakfast service.
During the in between hours though, I got a water bottle and was continuously offered orange juice or water about every hour as the flight attendants walked by.
Breakfast was served about 90 mins before landing and I used the Book the Cook to get myself some congee which was as good as you'd expect congee to be.
Watching the Airshow Pilot view as we were descending
When I landed in Manchester, we had to go through an arduous line in order for Manchester Airport officials needed mark us off for the ongoing flight to Singapore with the manifest and all. Soon after, I had to take out all my liquids and place them into a transparent bag which was forewarned when we were boarding back in Houston. With my toiletries in a toiletry bag, I had to place them in said bag. Hilariously all of them did not fit, so I had to toss a few extra things of Vaseline and a face scrub.
Right after that process was over, I decided to wait for the flight at the gate instead of checking out the Priority Pass lounges Manchester had. Boarding commenced at 10:30 am local time with Business class and PPS Club members boarding first, then surprisingly KrisFlyer Gold and Star Alliance Gold members after with Premium Economy soon following. I boarded with the Star Alliance Gold members since I was and still am one (was UA MP Gold during this trip and this trip brought me to Platinum).
The same procedure went as when I boarded back in IAH so we'll skip towards the meals for this leg of the flight.
Menu for the flight legs since I did Book the Cook at the first leg
Once up in the air, lunch service started as I had the Chicken Kiev which tasted better than it looked. The prawn cocktail salad was divine but really only prawns and some sort of mayo mixture. Cookies and Cream Haagen-Daas Ice Cream topped it off (I'm a total sucker for Cookies and Cream)
For breakfast I had the Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce aka Eggs Benedict and that too was oh so good.
Once we landed, it was basically smooth sailing through immigration except for the fact that there were a bunch of Chinese/Vietnamese tourist groups waiting to get past immigration alongside with me.
Houston - IAH
Singapore - SIN
Overall, I'd say 24 hours was way way way way too long for any human to be on a plane in that kind of seating (I'd die at the realization of doing it in coach). I'd would have preferred to have taken the flights from one of the coasts cause I could have probably dealt with 18 hours on a plane in that kind of seat instead of 24, but that's how the cookie did crumble and play out since I ended up booking the flights like it.
That's it for this part, stay tuned for the return leg where I get to judge SQ's Business Class product and service first hand.
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