Review of Singapore Airlines flight Hong Kong Singapore in First

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ861
Class First
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 04:03
Take-off 31 May 19, 14:57
Arrival at 31 May 19, 19:38
SQ   #2 out of 135 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 583 reviews
atco
By SILVER 4217
Published on 26th August 2019

a trip of a lifetime


Welcome friends to the first leg of a trip my wife and I took over the course of 4 weeks in May/June.

I won't spoil the surprise by listing all the legs in advance, instead I'll reveal them as we go along!

As disappointing as our last flight was, this one was the polar opposite. Everything you have ever heard about SQ First and its incredible crew is true and then some. Unforgettable, truly the best flight of my life by far!

The journey so far………..


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booking


Something many of our American friends don't realise is that its much harder for Canadians to access transferable points currencies here North of the Border.

For example, we of course have Amex and their Member Rewards points. For many of our Southern friends one of the most aspirational redemptions is transferring points to KrisFlyer for Singapore Airlines award flights.
Well here in the Great White North, Amex Canada only has a handful of transfer partners:
Air Canada Aeroplan
Alitalia
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Delta
Etihad

And that's it. No Singapore or even Air France/KLM. Its not a terribly useful list given that Aeroplan points can be easily earned through TD and CIBC branded cards and RBC have both a BA and Cathay credit card. So really the only unique partners Amex Canada offers are Delta and Etihad.

That makes it incredibly hard if not impossible for most Canadians to generate KrisFlyer points. The only realistic way is to convert from Marriot Bonvoy.

I think flying Singapore First/Suites is possibly on every aviation lovers bucket list isn't it? The whole aura of SQ First is just so alluring. That has only been heightened since the launch of the new SQ Suites on the A380.

This special trip merited doing something a little extraordinary. I desperately wanted to fly SQ Suites but had little way of doing it with points.
I checked out cash fares and found that while a significant sum, the price for 2 Suites tickets wasn't outrageous.
I was giddy with excitement at the prospect of pressing buy now but at CAD$5,600 it wasn't easy. I had a few beers and convinced myself that this should be done, and so it was. 2 confirmed seats in Singapore Suites. After I thought 'what have I done?', but at the same time I was already virtually dancing with glee and counting down the days until departure. I knew it was right…….
Even now, I have absolutely no regrets. I would do the same thing 100 times out of 100.

Now the original plan was to fly from Shanghai. The price was the same as the direct flight from HKG but was almost 2 hours longer.
In true avgeek fashion me and my long suffering wife would fly 2 hours away from our destination in order to maximise our time in Singapore Suites!
That plan however was scuppered when a routine check on Expert Flyer about 20 days before departure showed the old SQ Suites seat map suddenly.
I got in contact with SQ who confirmed that there had been a change. I asked about changing to the Hong Kong-Singapore flight instead as it showed the New Suites still and had completely open 6/6 availability.
SQ customer service was great and I was able to change with no fuss and a minor fare difference fee of SGD75.


check in


We sadly left the quite wonderful Ritz-Carlton and took the airport express to Chep Lap Kok.
The RC is conveniently located on top of the International Commerce Centre, Elements mall and finally under all of that is the Kowloon MTR station.

It was from here that we were checked in for our flight.
A quite wonderful bell boy brought both our cases from the hotel and lugged them through the mall for us and lead us all the way to the Singapore Airlines check in desk (even helping me add funds to our Octopus cards for the fare). The service levels at the RC are just outrageous. Best hotel I have ever stayed in by far.
Anyway, there was a dedicated SQ First/Business desk at the MTR station and we were seen immediately. Our bags were checked and we had the famous golden boarding passes. I had to take a few minutes just to look at it and take it all in. I could barely believe not only were we about to take our very first flights ever in First but it would be in the legendary SQ Suites.
First time checking in somewhere other than the airport and it was such a nice and easy experience. Taking the train without having to lug our cases around was very nice.

The airport express is a quick, cheap and convenient way to get from central Hong Kong out to the airport.

With a ride of about 20 minutes we arrived at the Terminal and for the first time we wouldn't have to head to the check in desks, we could just proceed straight through security and head for the lounge which was definitely an interesting experience.


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singapore airlines first class lounge hong kong


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Security screening was quick as was immigration, which was done via electronic gate. Our exit cards were not needed.

Once through we ventured to the duty free shops to pick up some overpriced souvenirs before seeking out the SQ lounge.

The entrance to this lounge is down a long walkway where the toilets and showers are located. We were greeted at the entrance and advised to turn left once we reached the main lounge area to the First Class section.
the main Business lounge was huge and seemed to be a pretty decent lounge. There was a bar and an extensive selection of food items from a large buffet area and a plentiful supply of seating.

The First Class entrance was easy to spot and we made the left turn to enter the lounge.


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There was no guardian at the desk so we approached the automatic door and went inside.

We were immediately greeted and advised that we could take any seat and to make ourselves comfortable and that someone would be over to attend to us right away.

We took a table in the dining area as we wanted to sample the food on offer.

The lounge was much busier than I was expecting. It remained busy during our time there although it never became over-crowded.


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The buffet area was quite small although well stocked. There were hot and cold dishes available.

There were soft drinks and water available in a fridge and to the side of the buffet area was a large table containing the alcoholic beverage selection. There was a good choice and we helped ourselves to 2 glasses of champagne. To my regret I didn't get a shot of the bottle and can't remember what was being served. I think it was Charles Heidsieck.

Shortly after taking our seats a member of staff appeared with menus for us to look over for the A la carte selection…………


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We both decided on the vegetable curry and we were both very glad we did. It was a delicious dish.


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Our champagne glasses were kept well filled although I needed to slow the pace down as I was eagerly awaiting the chance to taste both Krug and Dom on the upcoming flight. What wonderful First World problems!


We decided to just remain at our table for the duration of our time in the lounge, and I took the opportunity to check us in online for our next series of flights coming up in 24 hours. The lounge wifi was very good and fast.

There were other seating areas with some comfy looking chairs.
The signature SQ high back chairs were present of course in a quiet area. There was some reading materials and a small lounge area with a TV playing CNN.

I was able to grab a few shots during some quieter time, but the buffet area remained constantly buzzing.


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I'm still a little self conscious of taking lots of lounge photos when its busy. I am really averse to invading people's privacy and my own self consciousness kicks in when it comes to standing there snapping pictures of seemingly inane things!
I've get better since I started but still some work to do. I need to develop a more "screw it" attitude and just take my photos. After all lots of people do.

So no shots from the buffet, plus I was also in a bit of a daze from giddy excitement at what was about to happen so time lost all meaning.
FR24 confirmed that 9K-SKZ was on its way inbound which confirmed that we would be getting the new Suites.

Never in my life have I been so excited to board an airliner.

After a few hours in the lounge, which was actually a nice lounge if not the highest quality F lounge in the World it was 3pm and with boarding due to start at 3:10 I couldn't wait any longer and we left to head to the gate.
Never mind the fact that the gate was right outside the lounge entrance, I just couldn't contain my excitement to board any longer.


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Flight Details:
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Flight Number: SQ861

Departure: Hong Kong HKG
Scheduled Departure Time: 1540
Actual Departure Time: 1557

Arrival: Hong Kong HKG
Scheduled Arrival Time: 1935
Actual Arrival Time: 1938

Flight Time: 3:41
Travel Date: Friday May 31st 2019
Class: Suites
Seat: 1A
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Registration: 9V-SKZ


FR24 track:


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Flightaware track:


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We walked over to the gate area and found the line up for Suites.

Excitement level was in overdrive. I could see 9V-SKZ sitting there and I couldn't help but keep looking up to the third jetway to the upper deck and the 6 windows knowing that our double suite was right there. Hurry up and board!!


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Oh my God. This really is the realisation of a dream. Singapore Airlines First Class Suites.


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Boarding time came and went. The wait was killing me. In the end we boarded about 10 minutes late around 15:20 but it had felt like 10 hours waiting there. We were kept well informed by gate staff and then finally the magic moment came. The barrier was lifted and we were invited to come forward to board.

I was trying to remain cool but I think I walked at close to the speed of light to the desk and promptly left my poor wife in my dust.
Once the boarding pass was scanned and handed back I managed this time to be a better spouse and walk with my wife to the jetbridge.
I could feel my heart rate increasing as the anticipation was finally turning into reality. I couldn't believe this was happening!


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I didn't even notice the newspaper cart at the time! I was so focused on getting on board and seeing that glorious Suites cabin with my own eyes


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sq861 hkg-sin: the suites cabin


And its just as stunning as you can imagine. A real take your breath away moment


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I was showed initially to 2A but explained that was my wife's Suite and I was taken next door to 1A.

Its impossible to overstate how big and impressive these Suites are. There is just nothing else like it for space on a plane, unless you have the money for Etihad's Residence!

The lovely Ms Chin Heng welcomed me into the Suite and immediately lowered the partition wall between 1A and 2A for us. If one Suite feels enormous then with the wall down the double suite is simply gigantic. I'll bet its bigger than some New York apartments!

She then guided me around the features of the Suite and how to operate the chair and all the other incredible features.
It was so difficult for me to listen because I was simply in awe the whole time.

Ms Chin was just a delight to be with. She was so kind and gracious and the conversation flowed easily between her, myself and my wife. We really felt like we had been welcomed into someone's home by a friend.

The entire crew on this flight were remarkable. I have truly never experienced service like it and all delivered with a genuine warmth and charm that is impossible to accurately describe.
I know some people have commented in the past that they can find SQ crews a bit robotic but our crew could not have been more opposite. They were a true delight and at the end of the flight I actually asked for their names so that I could send a complimentary email to Singapore Airlines.


Slightly blurry look down the cabin from front to back. The entrance to the Suites cabin is on the right of the crew jumpseat from the L1 Upper Deck door. The Suites cabin is very isolated from the rest of the aircraft. There is absolutely no chance of being disturbed by the Business cabin and the noise from the galley and crew area was completely un-noticeable.

This is about the most private and secluded cabin in the skies at the moment. It's truly a haven of peace and tranquility and its easy to see why the rich and powerful would want to fly in a cabin like this.


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The stairway (to heaven perhaps?)


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At the front of the Suites cabin are 2 very large washroom's. I'll take a closer look later………..


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sq861 hkg-sin: the suite


This Suite has been well covered in many reviews, but lets take a long look around it anyway.


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Overall impressions, I absolutely loved everything about the Suite. And I still do now, even after the initial buzz has worn off. I am already looking at ways to do this again on a longer flight in future.

This is my wife's Suite 2A taken from mine in 1A


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The 2 Suites with the divider down. A truly massive space.


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The entrance to the Suite


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Door closed and TV screen in the wall mounted position


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The TV as viewed from the seat and in the fully out position


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The door doesn't go fully down to the floor, there is about a 12" gap but its no big deal, the privacy is superb


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No overhead bag bins so the cabin is incredibly spacious feeling. Its also beautifully finished with lovely lighting and accents everywhere. It just looks so high end and classy and really is a beautiful piece of design.


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I'm officially obsessed with electronic window shades! I love them. They can be operated individually or together.
This is the first shades down setting offering privacy but allowing light in


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And in the fully down position, you can see they do an amazing job of blacking out light completely


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The bed in stored position. The dividing wall between Suites 1A/2A is between the beds. The bed folds out onto the storage tray visible on the right edge of the picture


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On the front wall of Suite 1A is a small monitor that can be viewed from the seat in takeoff position as the main TV is not fully visible. There is a literature pocket and the table and storage shelf is located off to the side


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Elegant and classy touch


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Fuller view of the table storage. Complete with light and vase with flower. There is a holder for the menu as well and you can also see a small coat hook on the side wall. There is however a very large storage closet in the Suite wall, big enough to hold full coats and carry on bags.


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A sadly very blurry shot of the closet (Damn phone camera!) Bedding is stored on the top shelf and as you can see plenty of space for jackets or coats and also my rollaboard easily fit in. Could probably get 2 rollaboards in there easily.


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The Suite comes with a tablet that can be used for a variety of things. Lighting controls, flight map, TV remote among many others.
I didn't realise it was locked in position for takeoff so I thought it couldn't be taken out of the cradle and didn't use it very much.
On such a short flight it just wasn't possible to fully explore everything in this amazing Suite.


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The credenza comes complete with with several Suite controls as well. Lighting controls, large TV controls, window shade controls as well as Do Not Disturb and Cabin Crew call functions.
I didn't find the placement of these bothersome in the slightest. They were easy to reach and use from the seat and all functions were available on other control units (either arm of seat, TV remote or using the tablet)


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Headphone jack, payment reader, universal power and 2 USB ports on the credenza wall. There was also another universal power outlet on the side of the dining table unit.
No shortage of power or charging options in the Suite.


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In addition the credenza has 3 small cubby spaces that you can put items in. These are perfect for passports, boarding passes etc and the middle cubby also has a vanity mirror.

Just below it is a storage space that will fit a small bag.



A headphone jack was also located on the chair. This is the jack to use while seated, the one on the credenza is better used while in bed mode.


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The smaller monitor on the front wall was used to play the safety video…………..


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After the safety video another video was played for Suites passengers showing the features of these incredible Suites.
I would definitely agree that Singapore Airlines is a great way to fly!



High resolution screen and in flight map could be displayed on the smaller screen



And if the personal tour and video were not enough there was also this written Suite guide


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Also on the front wall are the usual passenger signs………


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And the literature pocket. Complete with Suite guide, in-flight magazine, shopping brochure, entertainment guide and the ever present barf bag! You can see I've popped my slippers in here until after take off.

Am I the only one who doesn't want to tempt fate by putting my slippers on right away? I always wait until after take off, as I don't want to have to potentially evacuate in slippers!


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There are just so many options and so many customisable features in this Suite, its quite something.

The tablet can be used to control the IFE, the lighting, flight map, suite settings and connectivity


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The absolutely massive TV on the side wall. Fully flush……….


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And fully extended.


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Cheers!


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And one more shot of this simply stunning Suite.


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sq861 hkg-sin: the seat


The seat itself I really liked. It is wide, leather and I found it to be extremely comfortable in all positions.

There is a very large seatbelt and the safety card is located in a pocket on the side. You could store anything else in here that you wanted to easily reach while seated.

This is the chair in the takeoff and landing position. I had no issues looking out of the first window for takeoff and landing and was easily able to capture still photos as well as my GoPro video. The seat can swivel to face the windows and credenza or the large TV monitor or in seats 1A/1F the bed.


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Control panel in the arm of the chair. One remote for controlling the entertainment and another to control the seat and the position of the  large wall mounted TV. The motorised seat can be swiveled around into various positions. This truly allows you to channel your inner Bond-villain. All that is missing really is a white cat to stroke on your lap.

The seat in my opinion was extremely comfortable. It was possible to recline the seat into a very comfy position. If you are taller the fact that the footrest doesn't go all the way to ground might be an issue, for me it was absolutely fine. The amount of recline was ideal for relaxing to watch a movie and for dining.


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General overview of the Suite from the doorway. The Suite is absolutely massive and the amount of space you have in the double Suites is remarkable.


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sq861 hkg-sin: the washroom


Singapore Airlines when it created its new configuration opted against the popular on-board showers favoured by their blingy Middle Eastern rivals Emirates and Etihad. Instead they used the space to create one very big washroom and one absolutely massive washroom.

There is no doubt they look impressive, but there is something special and magical about having a shower on an airplane at 40,000ft.

Lets look first at the smaller washroom that is located on the left side at the front of the Suites cabin………….


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The finishes as one would expect are elegant and classy. Lalique branded amenities are provided as are other hygiene products in the drawers as is usual on Singapore Airlines.

Now lets take a look at the bigger and stunning washroom on the right hand side…….


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This is a huge and impressive space, complete with a desk for the ladies (or men who are so inclined I suppose!) to do their makeup, complete with a large, lighted mirror.


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The toilet is located in the back right corner and offers a wealth of space


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Again little touches like the padded leather finishes are abundant


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Various amenities including dental and shaving kits are located in the various drawers


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As well as tissues, waste bags and feminine hygiene products. Note the padded leather seat at the vanity


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Plentiful Lalique amenities are also present


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sq861 hkg-sin: the service


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After being showed to our Suites and given a guided tour of the features we had a moment to get settled in.
The wow factor was intense and I needed a moment to gather myself.

At the seat was a lovely plush pillow.

A truly top end set of Bang & Olufsen noise cancelling headphone was sitting on the credenza and I will admit to being more than a little excited to finally see one of Singapore's adorable cuddly bears waiting for me. Our last SQ flight in J was on SIN-KUL and they don't hand out the bears on such a short flight, to my great disappointment!


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These headphones were superb quality


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Waited a long time for one of these cute little critters. They are still wearing sweaters celebrating the A350ULR


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Shortly thereafter another of our lovely crew Hendra appeared and introduced himself. I was asked if I cared for a glass of champagne and which one I would like to start with. How long I've been waiting to have the choice between Krug and Dom!
I settled on Krug to start and Hendra suggested a couple of glasses of that before trying the Dom a little later. What an excellent suggestion! I was more than happy to take him up on it :)

Soon after Ms Chin returned with slippers. These were comfortable Lalique branded slippers. Because of the flight length no amenity kit or pyjamas would be provided (Boooo! This is First Class SQ…….don't be cheap!)

Yes I think I have them on the wrong feet lol


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Hendra returned with a menu and a fabulous bottle of Krug which he then poured a glass for me.


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My very first time trying Krug. My favourite champagne now. Wonderful taste, very enjoyable.


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Soon after a ramekin of warm nuts was presented and Ms Chin came to confirm my book the cook meal choice and talked over the meal service.


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We pushed back a little behind schedule at 15:57, just 17 minutes behind schedule. Sadly flight time was a far too short 3:41. I was hoping for typhoon strength headwinds to extend the flight as long as possible!

We had a fairly long taxi out to 07R in light rain. It had been cloudy and rainy for our whole time in Hong Kong sadly.

The safety video played followed by a video with an introduction to the Suites.
We lumbered around Hong Kong's taxiways past a variety of Cathay and Cathay Dragon aircraft until we reached the holding point.

An A380 takeoff is always a treat. Such a quiet machine and a joy to ride in. It has become my favourite aircraft to fly in.
We took off and climbed away slowly, offering superb views of Hong Kong's airport and had the weather not been so uncooperative views of Kowloon.


Self Portrait :)



After a few glasses of Krug Hendra suggested a swap to the 2009 Dom Perignon, which I happily took him up on.

Spoiler alert………..I really like both but would prefer Krug over Dom given the choice!


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sq861 hkg-sin: the menu


The First Class menu.

Like most I chose to book the cook, although my selection was included on the inflight menu anyway.
No prizes for guessing what I went with :D

The menu is presented in a beautiful case which can sit on the table desk


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The Menu itself


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Quite possibly my favourite menu page from anywhere in the World :)


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sq861 hkg-sin: dining


As this was a short flight and the dinner service was enormous the crew quickly got to work shortly after take off.

My champagne glass never got close to empty as the incredible crew effortlessly glided around the cabin anticipating every need and ensuring everyone (a completely full 6/6 cabin today) had the most perfect service. Every need was taken care of with a smile and honestly you got the feeling nothing would have been too much trouble.

It was already clear at this point that the legendary reputation Singapore Airlines First Class service enjoys was well deserved and totally spot on. We were being spoiled and treated like royalty, it was an indescribable feeling of complete joy and happiness.

While I had a play with my chair and fired up the massive IFE screen, my glass was kept full of Dom. Before long the delightful Ms Chin appeared to set my table.
I didn't even need to attempt to lift the table out, that was done for me and a crisp white linen was placed over it.


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From there the table was precisely and carefully set, the only comical moment coming when the pepper shaker was accidentally dropped on the floor.
Profuse apologies were offered, which were totally unnecessary. These things happen and we had a little laugh about it. I was promised an immediate replacement.

After every visit the crew would make sure to close the suite door. What I noticed with this was that I was never served at the same time as my cross aisle neighbour in 1F. There was a lot of criticism of the new Suites when they were launched that you would effectively end up eating with you cross aisle companion with the suite doors left open.

By serving both sides at slightly different times I only saw 1F at boarding and then when we disembarked. I personally found the Suites to be extremely private. It was easy to forget that we were in a cabin with 4 other people. Honestly for the entire flight it felt like we were on a private jet. It was an extraordinary experience.


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Fine quality dinnerware


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I settled in and picked my movie, the rather amusing Johnny English Strikes Again with Rowan Atkinson. I have to admit to finding the Johnny English movies far too funny for my own good, and was thankful on a couple of occasions that everyone had noise cancelling headphones after some laugh out loud moments.


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The dining experience was just that. It was an event.

First up I picked the Antipasto platter. I was offered a choice of warm breads and settled on a simple roll. Drinks at this stage were more Dom and some water.


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Next up was a sensational Cream of Garden Pea soup with a seared scallop and creme fraiche


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The garden salad was next which I took with a balsamic vinaigrette and a fresh bread roll. The salad was crisp, fresh and delicious.


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To follow was my main.
Grilled beef fillet in green peppercorn sauce.

The beef was cooked perfectly and was as tender and succulent as it comes. Absolutely everything on this pate was a home run. A simply superb meal.


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And shock, horror! Yes I've finally succumbed to the peer pressure and chose a red to have with my beef!

I neglected to grab a shot of the bottle but I believe this was the vintage 2008 Margaux. It was a great wine nontheless.


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By this point I was starting to struggle, which is unlike me. I can normally put away a hefty meal but this incredible feast was taking its toll.

I just about managed to finish off this fabulous warm pear and almond flan before I had to admit defeat.


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I had to decline the cheese and fruit courses as by this point I was completely stuffed.

Full of incredible food, the world's finest vintage champagnes and wine.
This had been a meal service I will never forget.

The service pacing was incredible. I never had to wait more than a few seconds for my empty plate to be cleared. From there the next course would follow in mere minutes and always immediately followed with a bottle for a top up.

Everything was placed and served with meticulous precision and attention to detail, but always with a genuine warmth and interest on whether I was enjoying my meal. Conversation was easy and relaxed with our lovely crew who went all out to ensure we got the maximum enjoyment out of our first First Class experience.

The question was becoming how the heck can we ever match this?


sq861 hkg-sin: in flight entertainment


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As you would expect the KrisWorld entertainment system was excellent.

The huge monitor delivered crisp, HD visuals from the seat and the bed. It was a very high quality screen.

There was a ton of content, of course far more than I could possibly hope to get through on a 3.5 hour flight

Movies of course


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In flight map was also superb


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Messages could be displayed on screen rather than over the PA system


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Another option for controlling your Suite lighting


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And more settings to tinker with


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Given the short flight length, I didn't really get to dig as deeply into the IFE as I would have liked.
The huge screen though is a definite game changer.


sq861 hkg-sin: the double bed


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After we had finished our incredible feast our lovely crew came around to ask if my wife and I would like our beds made up to experience the double bed.

This was such a nice touch as the flight was well more than halfway and obviously getting the beds and bedding set up was a lot of work for them - Remember this was a full cabin.
We of course accepted, as how often do you get the chance to experience something like this?

I headed off to the washroom while Ms Winnie and Ms Chin took care of setting up our double bed.

The bedding is again Lalique branded and features a mattress pad, 2 large, plush pillows and a nice thick quilt……..


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Yours truly……………


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The crew of course were more than happy to snap some shots of us enjoying the double bed in the sky!


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I found the bed to be comfortable, but then we did not sleep on the bed so its not really a proper test.
It was quite narrow which might be a problem if you like to spread out while sleeping. I liked that the head end could be propped up which made watching TV very relaxing.

The bedding was fabulous and extremely cosy. I could certainly do this on a long haul.

Of course the ability to do this and experience it with your spouse is hard to overstate. For couples these Suites are a fantastic experience from start to finish. Being able to cosy up to your spouse in bed in an airplane at 40,000ft is extraordinary.



Sadly there was no holding or delays going into Singapore, I was desperately hoping a large thunderstorm might require us to hold for another hour but it was not to be!
After a short time our lovely crew came around to put the beds away and get us prepared for landing.

The whole crew stopped by individually to thank us for flying Singapore Airlines and I made sure to thank them sincerely for the experience of a lifetime. I also let the lead know that I would be emailing Singapore Airlines to commend the whole crew for the outstanding service.

There really are no words that can adequately describe how wonderfully we were treated.

This was the most incredible flight experience I've ever had by far and I still can't quite believe that I got to live this dream.
It was extravagant yes, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

We made a straight in approach to 20R at Changi and had an amazingly gentle touchdown for an A380 which are well known for their heavy, bone crunching landings. We exited near the Crowne Plaza and had a very short taxi to our gate.


photo gopro_landing

And so ended the most amazing of flights. I've genuinely never felt so sad to be getting off an airplane. I could have stayed on board all night.

We bid a fond final farewell to our amazing crew and headed down the jetway, giddy at the lavish experience we had just had. 4 hours went by in the blink of an eye.

The experience however was not over. I wanted to experience the Private Room, possibly one of the most exclusive lounges in the World.
As our next leg would be the next day and not on SQ, I knew we would have to access it on arrival.
So into T3 we went and headed straight for TPR…………


the private room


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After making our way to the Singapore First Class lounge entrance I presented our boarding passes and we were escorted without hesitation down the corridor to the mythical Private Room.

For anyone who doesn't know yet the only way to access this lounge within a lounge is to fly Singapore Airlines First Class. Its not available to top tier elites or anyone flying First on any other airline. It may arguably be the most exclusive lounge in the World.
You can either access it before a SQ F flight, during transit to/from an SQ F flight or in our case on arrival from an SQ F flight.

The lounge reminded me a bit of a Gentleman's club from the last century. Everything was very dark with heavy wood and thick, plush furnishings. It was also exceptionally quiet. I think there was only one other person in the lounge the entire time we were there.

We were checked in at the front of TPR and asked if we had been to the lounge before. We were given a quick tour of the place before we took up our seats.
Within minutes a waiter had appeared to present menus and ask us if we wished to have something to drink.
I wasn't going to waste a chance to continue drinking 2009 Dom so ordered that, my wife who at this point was done with the heavy stuff simply had a coke.
I had fully intended to eat dinner in the sit down restaurant in TPR, but I was still absolutely stuffed from our banquet onboard.
I couldn't stomach the thought of more food at this point so once our drinks arrived I advised the waiter we would not be dining after all.

We didn't spend too long in here as there wasn't a great deal to do and we were in more for the experience than anything given we were not going to dine.
The Private Room is an exclusive and tranquil oasis but not really matching SQ's in the air service standard. There's not much to do in there and it looks a touch outdated and stuffy. There are shower rooms and a sit down dining area so it does everything you would want from a First Class setting but it doesn't really have any wow factor. It will be interesting to see how SQ redevelop the concept once the new lounges open.
After a refill of my Dom and a quick walk around the lounge we decided to leave and claim our bags and head to the Crowne Plaza for the night.
Tomorrow would bring an early start and the beginning of our next adventure.

What a day it had been. One of the most premium flying experiences that is currently on offer and it exceeded my expectations by miles.
This really had been one of the best days of my life and all the bad feelings from the disaster in New York were long forgotten about.


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TPR Drinks and Dinner Menu


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2009 Dom. Wonderful!


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Dining Area


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Buffet Area. Pretty empty. It was only around 8pm. Perhaps it gets fuller later as some of the late night departures get ready


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TPR Mens washroom


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Shower room


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…………..


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Verdict

Singapore Airlines

9.8/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering10.0

Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge - Business

7.4/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services7.0

Hong Kong - HKG

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Singapore - SIN

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

Conclusion

Without any doubt the best flight I have ever had.
A simply magical experience that was one of the rare time my expectations were sky high and yet were still blown out of the water.

The new A380 Suites on Singapore Airlines are simply incredible. A separate seat and bed. A huge dining table and massive TV monitor just some of the key features of this revolutionary product. The space is hard to describe, its flat out unbelievable, especially if you are traveling with a partner and can turn the Suites into doubles. Note that only 1A/2A and 1F/2F offer this feature.
I found the Suite fantastic. There are so many ways you can customise your suite, including a multitude of lighting options. There was plenty of useful storage.
The seat was comfortable and reclined enough to make relaxing a breeze. I really enjoyed the double bed for a short time, however it does look to be fairly narrow in single mode.
The cabin and suites were stunning. Visually superb with an incredible ambience. It really felt somewhere very special.

There are not enough superlatives to cover our crew that night. Each and every one of them was the epitome of Singapore Airlines legendary service reputation. They are a credit to their airline. We wanted for nothing, we were treated like royalty and as if we were the only ones on the plane. Not once did I have to ask for anything. They were always there without being obtrusive, seemingly anticipating your every whim moments before you get the chance to ask. There was nothing cold or robotic about the service we were treated to. It was warm, genuine and kind from start to finish.

The Private Room was nothing too special, but it was great to go there to check off the list. It does everything it needs to very well but there's just no real wow factor to it. Its all a bit grand and staid. Its by no means a bad lounge, its just not comparable to the in air product which is remarkable and industry leading.

Singapore Airlines in First Class should be on every aviation enthusiasts bucket list. Its everything you dreamed it might be and more. I'm so glad I did it and I would love to get the chance to do it again. Aviation perfection.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Singapore (SIN)

14 Comments

  • Comment 518959 by
    YGeorgeW SILVER 102 Comments

    Hi Atco, thanks for the flight report!

    Glad to see things went much better on this trip.

    For example, we of course have Amex and their Member Rewards points. For many of our Southern friends one of the most aspirational redemptions is transferring points to KrisFlyer for Singapore Airlines award flights.

    I've seen some stuff on the Prince of Travel about getting American CCs as Canadians (didn't read because I live in the U.S.) - would those be an option for you?

    I was giddy with excitement at the prospect of pressing buy now but at CAD$5,600 it wasn't easy.

    It's certainly a lot, but for the cabin and service, all the Chinese routes (PEK, PVG, HKG) are very reasonably priced for Suites. I

    Excitement level was in overdrive. I could see 9V-SKZ sitting there and I couldn't help but keep looking up to the third jetway to the upper deck and the 6 windows knowing that our double suite was right there. Hurry up and board!!

    What I enjoy about your flight reports is that I can literally feel your excitement (or disappointment) when I read them.

    As our next leg would be the next day and not on SQ, I knew we would have to access it on arrival.

    So into T3 we went and headed straight for TPR…………
    This prompted me to check the hours for TPR and apparently it's open to 2:30am? I have a Suites flight coming up with a rather late arrival and will now know to hit up the TPR for an hour or so when I arrive.

    And shock, horror! Yes I've finally succumbed to the peer pressure and chose a red to have with my beef!

    I am very proud of you.

    Sounds like you had a great time with Suites and glad it made up for the terrible flight into Hong Kong. I booked the old Suites from PEK for a trip in a few months. Unfortunately, I was not flexible with my dates and PVG was not showing availability for the dates I could accommodate (don't worry, I waitlisted).

    Looking forward to the rest of your trip!

    • Comment 519227 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 131 Comments

      Hello again YGeorgeW,

      As always greatly appreciate you dropping in and reading and commenting.

      I'm not a Canadian citizen yet, just a permanent resident so the US Card opportunities are not there for me yet. I am however just waiting for my citizenship test appointment so hopefully not too much longer and then for sure I will be following Ricky's guide to get started South of the border.

      The prices were more or less the same from HKG and PVG (PEK was not a new suites destination at that time), which was why I had booked from PVG to start with as it was a longer flight. The prices I felt were actually reasonable for the product and time. With PVG being 5 hours that would only be CAD$500 each per flight hour, which for F Suites I thought was reasonably good value. Especially given Air Canada charges far more than $500 for a one hour hop from YYZ-YUL in Business!

      What I enjoy about your flight reports is that I can literally feel your excitement (or disappointment) when I read them.

      I wear my heart on my sleeve, what can I say lol. Aviation for me is a passion. Its been that way since I was a child. Probably always will be!

      This prompted me to check the hours for TPR and apparently it's open to 2:30am? I have a Suites flight coming up with a rather late arrival and will now know to hit up the TPR for an hour or so when I arrive.

      Yes TPR is only closed between 0230-0530 I believe and its absolutely available as an arrivals lounge. I had read reports that it was acceptable for entry on arrival and our experience was easy. We were welcomed and let in with absolutely no problem at all. A quick scan of our boarding passes and off we went.

      I am very proud of you.

      Thank you, I'm touched haha :D
      I'm trying hard to be a better human being (I'm not compromising on having my steak well done though!)

      This flight completely wiped away the awful taste of our CX debacle. This flight was everything I expected and wanted and then some.
      When SQ gets it right I'm not sure there is anyone better (Have not flown QR.........yet. That's the goal for 2020, QSuites!)

      Thanks again for popping in, look forward to reading your Suites report. Safe travels!

  • Comment 519027 by
    ChrisB GOLD 59 Comments

    thank you for your report! what a treat!

  • Comment 519176 by
    DiegoSS02 70 Comments

    It was such a pleasure to read this report! Congratulations! I definitely can imagine how excited and anxious you were prior and during the flight. Of course, SQ is still as flawless as always.

    • Comment 519226 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 131 Comments

      Hello DiegoSS02,

      I really appreciate your very kind words and for taking the time to read my very long report.
      Indeed SQ executes its premium products so well. Our flight was indeed flawless. A wonderful experience from start to finish.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment

  • Comment 519218 by
    socalnow GOLD 926 Comments

    Greetings Atco and thank you very much for this "ode to joy" of a trip report. I want to comment on everything but I'll try to have some restraint.

    First and foremost is that this is about the best possible way to get the foul taste of CX841 out of your mouth(s), so well done there.

    *Part 1 of 2*

    Even now, I have absolutely no regrets. I would do the same thing 100 times out of 100.

    -Especially with the upcoming changes to the waitlist system with Krisflyer this was likely the only way you would get both of you into this cabin. It would appear to me that your money was doubled in the form of anticipation, excitement, joy, and experience so well worth the price.

    That plan however was scuppered when a routine check on Expert Flyer about 20 days before departure showed the old SQ Suites seat map suddenly.

    -Of course there was some tense moments, seems the theme of this trip. I'm glad SQ worked with you to make the changes you desired.

    We sadly left the quite wonderful Ritz-Carlton and took the airport express to Chep Lap Kok.

    -Thanks for the bonus, what a beautiful hotel. I bet you're not the first guests to check out of that palace and board SQ Suites! It seems like the aircraft is a continuation of the hotel stay...

    I'm still a little self conscious of taking lots of lounge photos when its busy.

    -Me too. I try to get an angle where other guests have their back to me and such.

    Overall impressions, I absolutely loved everything about the Suite. And I still do now, even after the initial buzz has worn off.

    -I'm still in awe that this is an airplane. It's so spacious and luxurious.

    There is no doubt they look impressive, but there is something special and magical about having a shower on an airplane at 40,000ft.

    -I'm a little surprised SQ didn't opt for a shower suite. With only 6 suites the water weight and storage would be less than EK, I have to assume. Still, a lovely loo!

    Am I the only one who doesn't want to tempt fate by putting my slippers on right away?

    -I wait, superstitious.

    No prizes for guessing what I went with :D

    -The goose? The prize is sharing this report with us!

    A simply superb meal.

    -It sure is beautiful to look at. I'm glad it tasted well too. The steak looks like a food magazine cover.

    Sadly there was no holding or delays going into Singapore, I was desperately hoping a large thunderstorm might require us to hold for another hour but it was not to be!

    -No ATC colleagues in the area to call in a favor, eh? ;)

    Continued...

    • Comment 519228 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 131 Comments

      Good evening Socalnow,

      Many thanks for taking the time to check out my unfortunately lengthy report and for leaving such a kind and warm comment(s)!
      It has been so nice to meet new virtual friends on this site.

      -Especially with the upcoming changes to the waitlist system with Krisflyer this was likely the only way you would get both of you into this cabin. It would appear to me that your money was doubled in the form of anticipation, excitement, joy, and experience so well worth the price.

      I could not agree more. As I have got older (and we are but 1 year apart age wise) I've grown to realise that life is about experiences. What you live out and enjoy and who you share those moments with. Sure I could have put that money to my mortgage, that would have been the "sensible" thing to do with it. But would I have got any enjoyment from it? Doubtful and certainly not on the level of what we experienced. Life can be over in an instant, you have to (not be stupid with money of course!) enjoy it while you can and when you get the chance to live out dreams then grab them.

      -Of course there was some tense moments, seems the theme of this trip. I'm glad SQ worked with you to make the changes you desired.

      Expertflyer has been a godsend, allowing me to get ahead of any changes and work to fix them at the earliest opportunity. Their alert system is brilliant.
      Thankfully SQ were great in helping me get back onto the new suites. Given how easy it was I suspect they have had to deal with this before.

      -Thanks for the bonus, what a beautiful hotel. I bet you're not the first guests to check out of that palace and board SQ Suites! It seems like the aircraft is a continuation of the hotel stay...

      Haha, but I'm probably the least wealthy person who has done that combo lol! It was a stunning hotel in every way. I look back very, very fondly from those few days in HK and the flight out. Some of the happiest moments of my life

      -Me too. I try to get an angle where other guests have their back to me and such.

      So glad I'm not the only one! It can be extremely difficult to achieve sometimes. My next flight connects onto another special experience and I managed to get plentiful shots of the lounge for that one, but then the one after that I got nothing because the lounge was absolutely jam packed and there was no way to discreetly take any photos at all.

      -I'm still in awe that this is an airplane. It's so spacious and luxurious.

      Its like a private jet only better because you are on an A380. Having had (up to this point ;) )3 flights in the A380, 1 in Y, 1 in J and now 1 in F it has become my favourite airplane to fly on. Although my favourite airplane I have ever flown on will always be the CV990 Coronado - Nothing is ever going to beat that!

      Cont...................

    • Comment 519229 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 131 Comments

      -I'm a little surprised SQ didn't opt for a shower suite. With only 6 suites the water weight and storage would be less than EK, I have to assume. Still, a lovely loo!

      And plenty of room for it too. That right side lavatory was absolutely enormous.

      -The goose? The prize is sharing this report with us!

      I'm glad you can be bought off so cheaply :D

      -It sure is beautiful to look at. I'm glad it tasted well too. The steak looks like a food magazine cover.

      It was almost a shame to start eating it. However I took one for the team and dived on in! The entire meal was outrageously good. All the hype about food in SQ F is very real. And of course who can argue with Krug and Dom. Insane!

      -No ATC colleagues in the area to call in a favor, eh? ;)

      Ugh I wish! I need to start making ATC friends in Asia. I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of flying in that region in however many years I have left!

  • Comment 519219 by
    socalnow GOLD 926 Comments

    *Part 2 of 2*

    After every visit the crew would make sure to close the suite door. What I noticed with this was that I was never served at the same time as my cross aisle neighbour in 1F.

    -That's a creative way to overcome the design flaw. A simple and elegant solution.

    After we had finished our incredible feast our lovely crew came around to ask if my wife and I would like our beds made up to experience the double bed.

    -Excellent of the crew to anticipate this would be of interest to you and what an experience.

    You can either access it before a SQ F flight, during transit to/from an SQ F flight or in our case on arrival from an SQ F flight.

    -Good to know you can access on arrival, I didn't know that. Why not stop by for a glass of Dom. Heckuva arrivals lounge!

    Thank you again for sharing this experience. Your writing expresses joy and excitement that I can relate to so well. Happy flying.

    • Comment 519230 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 131 Comments

      -That's a creative way to overcome the design flaw. A simple and elegant solution.

      Of course I can't be sure that all crews are doing this as my sample size sadly is just 1 flight but it seems like a cheap and logical solution. Then again our crew was so perfect maybe they just did it off their own initiative. Given the sublime attention to detail in SQ F though I wouldn't be surprised if this is standard.

      -Excellent of the crew to anticipate this would be of interest to you and what an experience.

      It was, and that was typical of the way they approached the whole flight. They anticipated every single thing. It was impressive to watch and I felt worthy of commendation to their superiors.

      Thank you again for sharing this experience. Your writing expresses joy and excitement that I can relate to so well. Happy flying.

      Thanks Christian, its very enjoyable creating and sharing these reports. I'm sure you get a similar feeling, especially after an exceptional flight.
      Its always a pleasure to read your comments, and please if you ever have cause to come to the Toronto area please do let me know, I would be more than happy to show you around the center and tower. Trust me, the views from 300ft over the airport are spectacular!
      Best wishes to you and your wife and will be looking forward to many more of your fabulous reports, including I believe another sample of CX F.

  • Comment 519444 by
    socalnow GOLD 926 Comments

    Its always a pleasure to read your comments, and please if you ever have cause to come to the Toronto area please do let me know, I would be more than happy to show you around the center and tower. Trust me, the views from 300ft over the airport are spectacular!

    -I'm making a point of visiting Toronto now! Wow, that's a commercial avgeek's dream come true! I know Air Canada does wide bodies from LAX to YYZ...I do love having cause to plan some flying...

  • Comment 519573 by
    juddsol SILVER 19 Comments

    Amazing! It makes me want to travel to SIN in that manner! Too bad the new suites do not fly between JFK and FRA.

    • Comment 519688 by
      atco SILVER AUTHOR 131 Comments

      Hi Juddsol,

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting.
      I'm sure that the new Suites will eventually run on the JFK-FRA-SIN route as I believe SQ has committed to refitting the A380 fleet. How long that will take however is anyone's guess. Of course if you are looking to use points the new suites are much harder to redeem for as the number of suites has been halved from the old config so its a bit of a double edged sword.

      Best wishes, happy flying

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