Review of Singapore Airlines flight Seoul Singapore in Economy

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ 609
Class Economy
Seat 56A
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 06:40
Take-off 01 Nov 10, 16:20
Arrival at 01 Nov 10, 22:00
SQ   #2 out of 132 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 547 reviews
TerryYong
By GOLD 7317
Published on 30th September 2013
After staying 4 nights in splendid Seoul, it was time to go home. I was very looking forward to the flight back as it had been quite a while since I last flew SQ. My last flight with SQ was more than a year ago on my trip back from Bali. It would also be my first time flying on SQ's new A330 and I would really liked to feel how the experience would be.

Took the airport bus from Myeong Dong to Incheon airport for only 10,000won (S$12) and we promptly reached Incheon in about an hour. Incheon airport is truely massive, open and bright. I guess the whole terminal area is equivalent to Changi's T1 and T3 combined, or even bigger.
photo 5153162309_149fcb9779_b

SQ's check-in was handled by Asiana staff. Both SQ609 to SIN and SQ16 to SFO were in the process of checking in. However there were not much of a queue at all. Check-in was fast as I had done an internet check-in earlier.
photo 5153162405_d788f947c9_b

After checking in, we proceeded through immigration and security to check out Incheon airport.

KE's largest aircraft, B747-400
photo 5153162487_e53e6f570a_b

and it small brother, B737-800
photo 5153162609_d5a58df102_b

Lots of shopping in the transit area.
photo 5153162861_fc2f89036b_b

Gate waiting areas.
photo 5153162741_afe7acf98f_b

As SQ flights (along with almost all other foreign airlines) depart from the midfield Concourse, we had to take the shuttle train over.
photo 5153769318_5eae9c17c2_b

I decided to check out the Asiana Lounge at the Concourse using my Priority Pass card. SQ First and Business class passengers also uses the same lounge. There was another Asiana lounge at the main terminal, used mainly by Asiana's passengers.
photo 5153163853_cf6ea1d8ef_b

We were directed by the very friendly lounge attendants into the business class area. The lounge is not too big, but with comfortable seating and a work area. Food offerings were not too great as it was not meal time. Only finger food and refreshments were available.

Instant noodles and wide range of beverages.
photo 5153163075_59c9ed0b35_b

Sandwiches, Korean snacks and nuts.
photo 5153769582_dd8e307f66_b

Salad bar and bread counter.
photo 5153769684_1e7950cbe0_b

Overview if the buffet area.
photo 5153163579_bc841358e3_b

I had some instant noodles and cakes for refreshment.
photo 5153769762_98b0df8ac7_b

Followed with a coffee and apple juice.
photo 5153163497_4f74faa115_b

Lots of comfortable seats
photo 5153769974_00344baa3e_b

Relaxation room. I think there were 4 of such rooms.
photo 5153770066_caa547c264_b

Shower rooms
photo 5153163777_b1903970f5_b

About half hour before STD, I proceeded to the gate. The departure gate would be the exact gate that I arrived at. On the way to the gate, I also did some aircraft spotting.

Jeju Air B737-800
photo 5153770252_397bf28b75_b

UA B744 still in old colours, and boy, their cabin crew who were waiting to board also looked very experienced. I guess all of them were more experienced than my SQ flight's inflight supervisor.
photo 5153770406_7f4e97d113_b

My plane, 9V-STN. Hmm, it was 30min before departure and the plane was still being catered. I looked up the FIDS and true enough, the flight was delayed by 20min, I guess most probably due to late arrival of aircraft.
photo 5153163997_d200c30893_b

So off to do more spotting. Air Canada B763ER just arrived.
photo 5153770478_1ca2498903_b

Air India B777-200LR departing to Hong Kong and Delhi. Very short flights for the B772LR.
photo 5153164275_73a4a8ed17_b

Qatar Airways A330-300 just arrived.
photo 5153164351_e02a87804a_b

Gate 125.
photo 5153164217_a89fefc74c_b

Catering is done. Left the loading of cargo.
photo 5153164405_f9bfc55557_b

Boarding is called to request passengers to board by rows. However it was not enforced, resulting in a bit of a mess during boarding.

Boarding my first SQ A330 flight soon.
photo 5153166313_1eb910b617_b

Was welcomed aboard by the crew and turn right into the economy section. And a hell of a shock did I got at how small the width of the aisle was! Having flown B777s quite often, I was stunned at how the aisles of the plane can be so tiny in width. I bet if a meal cart was in the middle of the aisle, nobody, not even the petite Singapore Girl, can pass through. I guess SQ decided to sacrifice the width of the aisle to have wider economy seats.
photo 5153164479_3a83bec236_b

Seat colours were a bit dull. I miss TG's colourful seats.
photo 5153164533_8699d94551_b

Reached my seat at 56A and 2nd shock, the seat pitch is so tight!! Again, having been pampered by TG with their generous seat pitch, I was taken aback with the tight legroom on SQ's A330. Unlike TG, there was no way I could straighten my leg (I am 1.8m) in these seats, much less crossing my legs. Even though the seat has all the high tech gadgets such as PTV, USB ports and inseat power supply etc, I would rather sacrifice some of these gadgets for just an extra inch of seat pitch.

Tight leg room. Supposed to be 32 pitch, but doesn't feel like it. TG's B772 with 32 pitch felt much roomier.
photo 5153164691_660b762cc9_b

Across the aisle. There were a pillow and blanket on each seat.
photo 5153771036_c25f8c12b8_b

At the gate.
photo 5153164737_bf0089b415_b

Due to the delay, the crew were having a hard time to get everyone settled in and start the pre-takeoff service and checks. As always, hot towels were distributed (I do miss those hot towels, haha). We started to push back once doors were closed and the safety video was screened. Really, SQ's new safety video is so much worse than TG and many other airlines. It just lacks the class that SQ is supposed to be renowned for. Probably SQ should get the agency that produced TG's safety video to film one for them too. And it may be cheaper! LOL.

Pushback, engine startup and safety video.


We had only a short taxi to the runway. Due to the rush and short taxi, crew were unable to retrieved the used hot towels till after takeoff.

Taxi to runway.
photo 5153164767_14c2832d33_b

Takeoff bound for home.


Making a left turn..
photo 5153164807_eeb300d083_b

After seat belt signs went off, the crew came and collect the used towels, followed by distributing headsets and menu cards.

Magazines and seat pocket and menu card.
photo 5153771770_36f4172c9d_b

Climbing to 39000ft, which was our initial cruising altitude. In fact we stayed at FL390 for most of the flight.
photo 5153771320_0251874938_b

Cabin view. Flight was 70-80% full.
photo 5153771618_ff609a855f_b

Firstly, the crew came around with peanuts and bar service. At least bar carts wer used this time round and not only water/beer/juice service. However the bar cart top looked pathetic as on display were only 2 bottles of wine, few cartons of juice, a jug of water and few cans of soft drinks. All other liquors were hidden in the bar cart drawers. Compared to TG where a full bar cart with all sorts of drinks/wines/liquors on display on the cart top were pushed out, even on the short SIN-BKK sector. Really a poor showing by SQ here.

I had a Singapore Sling with my peanuts. At least the crew offered another round of drinks.
photo 5153164999_612e603c3d_b

After the bar service, I made the ritual lavatory visit. SQ still had most of the amenities in their lavatories, except shavers which were now upon request from the crew.
photo 5153771518_23752e07a4_b

I went back to my seat to watch some movies on the Krisworld IFE. It worked perfectly with no hiccups. Dinner would only be served 2hrs after takeoff.

Cruising at 39000ft.
photo 5153166427_77cea42025_b

Dusk
photo 5153771684_ef4c83f2fb_b

Finally 2hrs later, I smelled food. Lets take a look at today's menu.

dinner SEOUL TO SINGAPORE

appetiser
Coleslaw salad with ham

main courses
Stir fried beef in oyster sauce with carrot, leafy greens and fried rice
or
Pan fried chicken in red wine jus with seasonal vegetables and potatoes

cheese
Cheese and crackers

dessert
Ice cream

from the bakery
Roll and butter

hot beverages
Coffee - Tea
Green tea

I chose the beef with fried rice. Meal tray.
photo 5153771874_72cb0b1aa4_b

Food revealed.
photo 5153165547_04dae3dd90_b

Stir fried beef with fried rice. It was not bad but portion seemed kinda small.
photo 5153165629_24be77ebb0_b

Coleslaw with ham and bread roll. Coleslaw just tasted like any other coleslaw. Nothing special.
photo 5153165717_9d3b066396_b

Crackers and cheese spread, kimchi and hot pepper paste. Probably due to cost-cutting, kimchi and pepper paste is now only available upon request (and it is not even stated in the menu) when previously, it was preset on all oriental choice trays. So ask for your kimchis on SQ flights to/from Seoul!
photo 5153165811_c28512021f_b

Ice cream!! The ice cream was great, but was served rock hard.
photo 5153772408_c601304e91_b

Surprisingly, service was quite fast today, but I counted an extra crew in economy (7 vs the usual 6 crew). Probably business class had a light load today and so 1 crew came down to economy to assist. So having more crew in the cabin do make a big difference in service speed. After dinner trays were collected, lights were dimmed for passengers to rest. I continued with my movies on Krisworld. The crew were diligent to come around with water every half hour.

About 1hr before our arrival, crew came around with peanuts and juices again. However, I would rather they serve a pre-landing snack such as a sandwich or cake. Descent started about half an hour before arrival. By this time, my legs were almost numbed. Damn the tight seats.

Overflying Tioman and reaching Singapore very soon.
photo 5153772556_78349b7c23_b

As soon as the captain made the pre-descent arrival announcement, all the cabin crew started to collect headsets and request all passengers to be seated upright, window shades up etc even before the plane started descending. The cabin was readied for landing and crew seated almost 20min before actual touchdown!! Don't the landing preparations seemed a bit too early and rushed? No wonder there were complaints that SQ crew always seemed too eager to prepare the aircraft for landing when there is still ample time left. Contrast with TG where crew only sat down for landing probably about 5min before touchdown. In fact, I realised that on TG, the pilots would only request for the crew to go to their landing stations when the gears are lowered and 2 chimes are heard in the cabin.

Landing at Changi Rwy20R. No landing music to calm the souls, haha.


Even with our late departure, we still landed on time, probably due to weak headwinds. Had a very short taxi to Terminal 3 where we parked at Gate B3.

Parked beside SQ's A380.
photo 5153772664_b22f2c6d91_b

See more

Verdict

Singapore Airlines

8.1/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering8.0

Asiana Airlines Business Lounge

7.2/10
Comfort8.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services8.0

Seoul - ICN

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access7.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Singapore - SIN

8.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Overall, SQ provided a very decent economy class service and performed what is expected of them. Everything moves like clockwork and service is consistent. IFE is great of course, but the seats are really too tight! I guess the A330s have the tightest seat pitch in SQ's fleet as I don't remember SQ's B777 seats being so tight. If flying economy, I would only fly on SQ if the price is competitive as many other airlines do offer similar economy products and equally good service too.

Information on the route Seoul (ICN) Singapore (SIN)

2 Comments

Login to post a comment.