Greetings Flight Report community and thanks for stopping by. This is a trip of odds and ends. In July I needed a way home from Tokyo so I booked the best value in miles and points: ANA First Class with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points. The catch is that they require a round trip booking so I had to "park" the USA -> Tokyo leg somewhere until I could flesh out a trip to use it on. I happened to find availability on November 9th so that's where it sat. The onward journey came as a result of the "90,000 Iberia Avios Promotion" that offered an insane number of Avios for buying 10 airplane tickets. I played along and ended up with 90,000 Avios for buying +/- $300 in travel. The catch, if you can call it that, was that the Avios had to be redeemed by 12/1/18. I used these Avios to book JAL NRT-SIN-HND with the NRT-SIN portion coupled with my ANA NRT-LAX. I "parked" the SIN return for a future trip. I began to look at ways to get back and my AA mileage balance was sufficient to consider Cathay Pacific First. I know they run sporadic F on regional flights so I began looking for one of those. I checked the usual suspects of SIN, BKK, and MNL and could not find any F being offered at all on the day I needed. Somehow I considered Jakarta and it all lined up perfectly. I booked CGK-HKG (overnight in HKG)-LAX-LAS in CX and AA First. The final piece was positioning from SIN to CGK. I quickly and, probably foolishly, booked First with Singapore Airlines for this portion of the trip just to have a taste of their tremendous First Class experience.
Carrier, route, equipment, class, lounge, and procurement method:
This report will cover a flight of less than two hours duration so it will be heavier on lounge coverage and include a tourist bonus of one of my favorite South East Asian eating cities.
I arrived at Changi about 3 hours prior to boarding time. I used the t3 First Class check in because, it's cool and feels special. I have to explain to them that I realize that CGK flights go from T2 but I would like to use the lounge here before flying. The porter service is not utilized as I have only carry on luggage.
I make my way through the private immigration service and across the hall to The Silverkris Lounge complex. The journey to The Private Room (TPR) is entertaining as you're escorted past the Business Class lounge, through the First Class lounge and then turned over to TPR staff to be escorted into the lounge.
I select a seat along the window to enjoy the ramp and runway view while my escort goes to alert TPR service staff that another guest has arrived.
The escort introduces me to the server as she retreats to her post at the lounge entrance. I am offered a menu and asked about a beverage preference. I request some sparkling water.
I have had the privilege of visiting this lounge on several occasions and it has never been crowded. I decide to have a look around and use the loo.
I decide to take a spot in the dining room for a bite of lunch. There is a buffet of sorts here but it doesn't get much traffic and I don't consider it an option when the menu is full of freshly prepared dishes.
I am greeted by a friendly server and offered an oshibori. I'm also offered a beverage. I select the Champagne, a 2009 Dom Perignon.
For lunch I stick with the local fare and request the Hokkien Mee and Satay. Both are great representations of the Singapore style. Service is good throughout with the glass of Champagne refilled at appropriate intervals and water topped up too.
As boarding time approaches I make the journey to Terminal 2 via the Skytrain.
The next, and final, hop is to the Silverkris Lounge T2.
Parched from the trek I evaluate the beverage options. A different, but also very nice, Champagne is on offer here so I sort myself out with a glass.
The buffet is fairly extensive and it all looks fresh and appetizing. Having dined at the other lounge I simply survey the options. There is also a full bar but it is not tended until later in the afternoon. Perhaps cocktails can be procured on request.
Boarding time arrived and I was still a good distance from the gate and needed to clear security. I made it to the gate as the GATE CLOSING sign was flashing in red and I was on board quickly as there was not queue for screening.
I was greeted by name at the door by one steward and one flight attendant and shown to my seat. I'm sure the process of elimination was used to determine my identity as all other F passengers were on board. The load up front would be 5 of 8.
The 777-300 used on these routes are of the 2006 vintage in first and business. While the look dated the product is plenty spacious and comfortable for a short flight.
I selected 2F for a window and a view of the wing and engine, my standard seating criteria.
My tardiness doesn't impact the offering of a beverage before we depart and I request a glass of Champagne.
A menu and oshibori are also passed and my Book the Cook (BTC) selection is confirmed. I'm offered anything from the menu if I prefer. I was quite surprised that this flight even had BTC as an option given the short duration. In the past it has not been available .
A check of the lavatory shows them clean and well stocked. Lalique products have finally replaced the Salvatore Ferragamo products system wide.
As we push of the gate I take out the headphones.
Seat storage and reading light.
We make our way out to runway 2C and take off to the north.
The IFE screen is rather vintage with poor resolution by today's standards.
The 10,000' chime rings and service is on. More Champagne is delivered and the table is set.
Aperitif time is short and as we cross the equator my BTC entree of bak chor mee (dry) is delivered. I stayed with the local fare yet again and ordered this dish out of extreme curiosity. It's such ubiquitous hawker fare, how would they pull it off in the sky? Well, it was a worthy effort. The broth was clean and flavorful, the noodles have good chew, the pork is tender and skin is crispy. I really appreciate the local/heritage options that SQ have added to the BTC menu of late. I can't resist a side of garlic bread, even if it is out of place in this meal set.
I have a look at the cappuccino creme brulee offered for dessert but it doesn't really interest me so I only manage a bite or two.
A cappuccino beverage does interest me.
Over the Java Sea it appears as if someone forgot something in Singapore and we're turning back. Or there is congestion at CGK. Probably the congestion thing.
After the slight detour we're cleared to land at CGK.
Tourist Bonus: Eating Singapore
Bonus : Click here displayhide
Singapore is a fantastic culinary destination to find cheap, interesting, varied cuisine in clean, safe, consolidated locations. This is perfect for someone in town for 15 hours. I chose my hotel, Sheraton Towers on Scotts Road, specifically for the proximity to the Newton Circus Hawker Center. I know I can easily walk there and there are stalls open all night.
A cold drink is up first.
I have a taste of the fried carrot cake, black,
BBQ chicken wings. They were a terrible example of the dish perhaps they had been sitting around for some time.
BBQ stingray with sambal is excellent and pungent.
Bak chor mee to round out the selection.
With my sleep thoroughly confused I was up early and in walk about mode. Laksa breakfast was my first stop.
A stall in the same complex had a char kway teow and I couldn't resist a taste.
I took the subway across town and had a good walk around the river and CBD.
Singapore Airlines Private Room
Singapore - SIN
Jakarta - CGK
The Ground Service: The first class check in facility is a fun novelty and sets the tone for a luxurious journey.
The Lounge: The Private Room is a really good example of a First Class lounge. The Champagne is top shelf, the service is polished, and the a la carte dining offers great selection covering local fare, vegetarian, Chinese, and International choices.
The Cabin: It's dated and the screen resolution is poor. It's hard to complain however to have this much space an privacy for a 1.5 hour flight.
The Crew: Superb in the SQ tradition. There wasn't a lot of time to get to know the crew but the teamwork was fantastic and I felt very well looked after.
The Food and Beverage: Book the Cook for a 1.5 hour flight is fantastic. I was happy with my quirky selection. A bottle of Dom Perignon 2009 to wash it down certainly doesn't hurt.
Overall: I had a nice time in the care of Singapore Airlines but it just left me pining for a longer trip with them.
Thank you for reading and happy flying.
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