Review of Singapore Airlines flight Cape Town Singapore in Economy

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ 481
Class Economy
Seat 54A
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 11:15
Take-off 23 Jan 11, 12:00
Arrival at 24 Jan 11, 05:15
SQ   #3 out of 69 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 632 reviews
By 3818
Published on 1st October 2013
It was 4 amazing days in Cape Town and I had to drag myself back to Singapore. How I am gonna miss the clear blue skies, the natural scenery, the food… Our flight back was at 12pm and I had booked the airport shuttle to pick us up at our hotel at 0930am. It was only a 20min drive to the airport.

Cape Town airport only has 1 departure check-in hall for both international and domestic flights. It was spruced up for the World Cup and was looking quite modern. Not an african airport that we would imagine it to be.

SQ has 6 check-in counters opened for check in and they were not too busy. According to the staff, our load today in economy would only be 150/255.
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I could not get row 55 during online check-in and so settled for row 54 instead. Notice something different in the boarding pass?
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Printed on it is the sentence Have a pleasant flight instead of the usual be at the gate 15min before departure thingy.

After check-in, we proceeded to grab some food (just in case) as well as some plane spotting. The viewing area where all the restaurants are is fantastic! It offers an unobstructed view of the gates and the runway!

International flights that has arrived.
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BA/Comair B737-400 arrived from a domestic flight.
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South African B738 preparing for departure.
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Virgin A346 has also just arrived. Unfortunately no gates were available and it had to be parked at the remote stand.
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1Time MD80 in zebra livery.
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Etihad A332 departing for J'burg and Abu Dhabi.
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Kulula B738 in a boring white livery
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Now that's more like a Kulula jet! (B734)
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View of check-in hall.
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International departures for the day.
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Of course I have! And I will be back!
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Departure gates area. Some duty free shops and nothing much else. Very empty as not a lot of international departures are scheduled around this time.
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South African A346
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Some cargo jets in the distance. A B727 and B732.
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23 January 2011
Singapore Airlines
SQ 481
Cape Town (CPT) - Singapore (SIN)
Economy Class

Boarding was announced about 40min before STD. Our aircraft would be 9V-SVL again!
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Boarding was not by rows but with the light load, there was no problems with this. In fact we finished boarding 10min before STD! This set of crew appeared to be great again. In fact, I was greeted by name on both sectors when I stepped into the aircraft!

At the gate. Another BA aircraft , a B772, just arrived.
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Seat pitch at 34 at normal rows. It was still great.
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As usual, the normal procedure began. Hot towels, menus, amenity kits, headsets etc. After doors were closed, my friend jumped over to another ow to grab 3 seats for himself. So we had now a bed each! We pushed back on time with the safety video playing.

Pushing back. A Lufthansa B744 has also arrived.
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Taxi to the runway with Table Mt in the background.
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Take off from Rwy 19. Bye Cape Town! It has been a wonderful stay!

Final view of Table Mountain.
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More mountains.
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After seatbelt signs are switched off.

Over clouds
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Soon after, crew came around with a bar service using bar carts. As usual, all liquors/spirits were hidden in the cart. Only soft drinks, juices and wines on the cart top, unlike TG which displays all the liquors as well.
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But the stewardess was kind enough to give me 2 packets of nuts. I ordered a Singapore Sling and a apple juice to go along. This is one of the few times when the crew actually got the sling right (pink and not red in colour). The stewardess even came back during 2nd round of drinks and asked whether the sling is good. Of course!
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After bar service, lunch was soon served. Lets take a look at the menu.


Pasta-roasted vegetables and ham salad

main Courses
Deep fried fish in sweet and sour sauce,
seasonal vegetables and steamed rice


Roast chicken with herb gravy, seasonal
vegetables and potatoes

Cheese and crackers

Marble sponge cake

from the bakery
Roll and butter

hot beverages
Coffee - Tea
Rooibos tea

Tray set-up. You may have noticed that there were no side-trays on the tray itself to place the rolls/crackers/cheese/butter. It was quite messy with all the stuff randomly placed on the trays. Cost-cutting to save weight? Or again because it is a african flight?
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Appetizer, roll and dessert. No side-trays, side dishes were cling wrapped.
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Pasta-roasted vegetables and ham salad. Only a few teeny weeny bits of ham.
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Roast chicken with herb gravy, seasonal vegetables and potatoes. Nothing exciting. Chicken was a bit dry.
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Cheese and crackers. The cheese was good though.
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Marble sponge cake. Cheap, unimaginative and very dry. I did not finish it, and I am a dessert person.
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Overall the meal is average. It will fill that hole in the stomach and that is it. Not something that you will remember of. After lunch, passengers just relaxed and watched their IFEs or napped.

Cabin view after lunch.
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Nearing Madagascar.
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Leaving Madagascar
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First class bed with economy class service. Who needs NZ's Skycouch?
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As we were flying into the night, it got dark rather soon.
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About 3hrs after lunch, the crew came around with baskets of snacks. Lets see what is on offer.


Fancy a snack in between your meals?
Simply take your pick from our range of delectable snacks
when our cabin crew comes around during snack service.

Savoury sandwich
Vegetarian sandwich

Roasted peanuts
Chocolate bar
Assorted biscuits
Potato chips
Savoury snacks

I had some biscuits and a chocolate bar. The crew asked me to grab as much as I want. Great of them!
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I tried to sleep after having the snacks but was unable to do so as my body is telling me that it is only dinner time in Cape Town. So I just lazed on my bed watching movies. Another hour later, a round of snacks and drinks was offered again. Great service!

About 2.5hrs prior to landing, lights were switched on and hot towels offered before breakfast was served. Lets have a look at the breakfast menu.


Fruit appetizer

wholesome beginnings
Braised fish with Oriental sauce, vegetables and


Scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, grilled tomato,
mushrooms and potatoes

from the bakery
Breakfast roll
Butter - Fruit preserve

hot beverages
Coffee - Tea
Rooibos tea

Well, looks like no yoghurt or muffin will be offered again. Kind of expected by now. Surprisingly, breakfast was even served using a refreshment tray (the one used to serve the pathetic wrap on our way up). Other than continental breakfasts, I don't ever recall SQ serving breakfasts on such a small tray.
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Fresh fruits. Quite sweet.
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Braised fish with Oriental sauce, vegetables and vermicelli. Very salty!
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As it was too salty, I asked for the eggs which the crew gladly passed one to me. According to them, they had lots of leftovers.

Scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, grilled tomato, mushrooms and potatoes. Better choice but the potatoes were the exact same ones as served during lunch earlier.
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After breakfast was cleared, we were nearing Singapore.
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Last wash up and we were soon preparing to land in Singapore.
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For this flight, the crew performed the normal get your seat upright 30min before landing ritual but I was already getting too tired to care. We approached from the south and flew along the southern part of Singapore in darkness.

Can you spot Marina Sands and Singapore Flyer?
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Smooth landing into Singapore. The flight took about 11hr10min. We landed at 0515am, 10min ahead of schedule.

Parked at gate F56. I guess we were one of the first few flights that landed so early as the terminal was practically deserted. Shops were still closed and according to the arrival screens, we were the first flight to land at the F gates.

See more


Singapore Airlines

Cabin crew9.0

Cape Town - CPT


Singapore - SIN



The service provided by the Singapore Girls and Boys have affirmed that SQ still delivers one of the best and consistent service onboard among all airlines. But the food offering has definitely gone downhill. Maybe because this is a low-yielding flight or due to lack of competition, but the meals served are really depressing.

One last note, go visit Cape Town!!



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