We did a sunset tour to the infamous Alcatraz Island! Approaching Alcatraz…
Legends of Alcatraz.
Eerie hospital ward
The tour was worth it, just for the sunset view from the island. View of San Francisco from Alcatraz.
Seagulls watching the sun setting over Golden Gate.
Loved this shot!
Back to mainland and to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner.
After a crazy 10-day East-to-West Coast USA trip, it was finally time to go back home, and also finally my first ever long-haul experience on SQ Business Class! The return flight was booked using Krisflyer miles redemption, with the SFO-SIN sector on 2 flights, SQ15 on SFO-ICN, a 5+hr transit in ICN, followed by SQ603 for the final sector. This was due to only this combination available for redemption in Savers, as SQ15 on ICN-SIN was fairly full. Almost contemplated redemption in First Class, but since I am not really a champagne/wine and fine-dining appreciator, plus I was able to select the best seat in Business Class in 11K (not much difference between seats 11K and 1K), I decided to bear with it in Business!
BART to SFO.
A half hour train ride later, we reached SFO International Terminal. Located SQ's check-in desks right in the middle of the terminal and proceeded to the Business Class counters to collect out boarding passes and drop our bags since I have done prior online check-in.
All the Business Class counters were occupied while we waited our turn. Luckily the wait was short and we were soon checked-in by a Singaporean SQ staff, who seemed to be probably one of the station supervisors? Our bags were tagged all the way to Singapore, but we only received boarding passes to ICN on SQ15. When queried, the check-in staff then realised that we would be on SQ603 for the ICN-SIN sector. He was amused that we did not fly direct on SQ15. Guessed they seldom see people traveling to Singapore this way. No problems, as our ICN-SIN boarding passes were also issued. We were also given the directions to the Silver Kris lounge.
Boarding passes for SQ15 and SQ603.
Security was surprisingly painless as there was apparently a dedicated queue for premium passengers, and so we got to cut the line. But the notmal line was also not too bad. Proceeded to the Silver Kris lounge after security, which was down a hallway, with the EVA Air lounge right at the end.
Entrance to the Silver Kris Lounge.
The lounge, used by both F and J, as well as Star Gold and PPS customers, was quite crowded this afternoon. Surprising, as it was still rather early. Business Class eventually ended up nearly full! We managed to secure a pair of seats together in the lounge.
The other end of the lounge, with working desks and newspaper/magazine corner.
Lets check out the buffet counter! First, the bar corner, with alcohols, canned drinks, bottled water and cup noodles etc.
As well as a Nespresso machine!
Bakery items, cereals, cheeses and chips.
Salad, cold cuts, juices, yoghurts and fruits. Haagen Daz ice-cream were also available on request.
Hot food items and soup.
Had some hot buffet items and ice-cream. Food was just average.
Some peanuts with coffee and juice.
There is a very basic shower facility in one of the toilets as well. Nothing impressive.
View from the lounge. Lots of Uniteds on the apron.
3 different United B744 liveries!
After grabbing our bites, we proceeded to the gate where boarding would be commencing soon. There are not many shopping in the International terminal.
Departure information, again listed according to cities. Thus we have SQ15 departing to Seoul as well as Singapore.
Some plane-spotting. United B772ER.
Air China B744.
And again, the 3 Uniteds.
SQ's newest B773ER, 9V-SWT, would be flying the long-haul back to Singapore. Pardon the shaded designs on the glass.
We will be departing from gate G95.
At the gate, boarding has just started, and so we proceeded onboard through the Business Class lane.
15 March 2013 Singapore Airlines SQ 15 San Francisco (SFO) - Seoul Incheon (ICN) B777-300ER 9V-SWT Business Class
Was welcomed at the door by name and passed through the almost empty First cabin to my seat at the first row of Business. First Class would eventually only have 3/8 pax.
Settled into our seats at 11F and 11K, arguably the one of the best seats onboard this B773ER. Across the aisle from my seat.
Welcome Aboard this very spacious seat. However, even though this aircraft is only 4yrs old, the Business Class seats are already showing lots of signs of wear. The life-jacket compartment at the side of my seat could not be properly closed and the seat itself showed lots of scuff marks. However, it is still one of the best Business seats out there.
Air New Zealand B744 parked beside. I think SFO is the only route that NZ still flies using the B744, correct me if I am wrong.
My aisle would be served by 2 Korean SQ gals, so much so that close your eyes and you might think that you were on Asiana or Korean Air! The inflight supervisor also helped out in Business today as First was rather empty and Business was almost full. First up, hot towels were offered, followed by welcome drinks. I had a Charles Heidsieck champagne, which was much better than the Bollinger and Henriot offered previously.
However, after only drinking half the glass, the IFS came down from First and offered this instead! Well, sometimes it pays to show appreciation to the crew serving you, hehe… Not sure whether it was Dom or Krug though, since I am not a wine/champagne appreciator.
It would only be a short 11h20m flight today, more than an hour shorter than the scheduled flight time. In fact, we eventually arrived more than an hour early!
Soon after, doors were closed and we pushed back, with the safety video playing.
Taxi to the runway and passing a row of Heavies.
Baby United Express CRJ.
And Virgin land just beside.
After a rather lengthy taxi, we held, waiting for a pair of parallel landing aircraft. After that, we took off from Rwy28L.
View of the city of San Francisco and Bay Bridge shortly after takeoff.
The city again.
Golden Gate Bridge!
Leaving the Californian coast.
After seatbelt signs were switched off, the service announcement was made. All announcements were made both in English and Korean.
Sockettes and eyemask were distributed first. Note that the eyemask has changed and seemed of a lower quality now. In fact, quite similar to what you would get in economy as well if requested.
Firing up the IFE system.
View of my seat at almost max seated recline.
What is on the menu today?
Lunch menu. Spot the error? (Hint: The cheeses section)
Refreshments and Light Meal.
Dinner for the Incheon to Singapore sector, which ! would not partake in. Again, same error.
Champagnes and wines.
Cocktails and spirits.
Coffees and teas.
For post takeoff drink, I had the cocktail Jubilee Lining, which was served with some mixed nuts. No satays are served on flights originating from USA.
Lunch was served next. Table was laid out and I ordered a Californian white to go along.
Got a warm garlic bread and breadstick from the bread basket offering.
Marinated salmon with mesclun and vegetables [SIZE=1]Sweet mustard dill dressing[/SIZE]
Braised chicken breast in tomato-rosemary vegetable stew, fingerling potatoes. A creation by Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill, New York. My partner had this. It was ok, but not really that fantastic.
I had the Korean choice, Saewu jjim. It was stated as a Korean style prawn in spicy sauce, jap chae, steamed rice. With soup and Kimchi on the side.
It tasted better than it looks. Prawns were fresh and huge, but the sauce was rather spicy.
Kimchi was very spicy though.
Soup was a miso soup.
After mains were cleared, dessert was offered, with a choice of either Chocolate ice cream with berry compote, or the Rhubarb and raspberry crumble with vanilla sauce. As we had earlier had our fill of Haagen Daz in the lounge, both of us went for the crumble, which also looked more appealing.
It was delicious!
Cheeses and fruits up next, served from a trolley.
As the fruits offered were only large boring whole fruits such as apples, pears and oranges (I can't possibly finish an entire apple after all the food), I only stuck to the cheeses, with some additional grapes thrown in as well. The cheese selection is not bad.
Some Spanish red from First Class to try? Sure!
Ending with a Paris-Singapore tea and pralines.
A bottle of water was also offered to each of us.
Service by the Korean stewardesses and female IFS on my aisle was rather good. I was addressed by name throughout and my glasses were constantly topped up, plates cleared promptly and requests attended to promptly. Guess more of a SQ-service with a bit of Asiana/Korean Air touch.
It seemed very cold down there…
Flipped down my bed, tucked into my duvet and continued with Life of Pi in bed. Loved the spaciousness of 11K! Cabin lights were also dimmed. Interestingly, quite a number of passengers were not aware of the seat having to flip down to form a flat bed, and the crew had to go around, gently waking passengers in uncomfortable slumber in their minimal recline seats, and convert their seats into a bed for them.
1/3 through the flight, we were over the Alaskan Range.
Which treated us to some fantastic views! Window seat passengers all pulled up the window seats, went Wow!, and then back to their slumber or movies.
Visit to the lav. Something is not right? Yep, cloth towels are missing! Apparently they were not loaded as all toilets did not have them. Checked with the crew and apparently it had been quite a while since they were not stocked in SFO. Hopefully it is not a cost-cutting trial….
Rest of the toiletries were available.
Snacks (potato chips, pretzels and chocolate brownies) and whole fruits were laid out in the galley. I grabbed a packet of each type of snack to enjoy with my movie.
After a couple of movies later, we tried more stuff from the Light Bites menu. Warm croissant with creamy chicken and tomato, which was rather good.
Followed by sinful Krispy Kreme donuts! One of each flavour, no less!
After the heavy snacking, it was off to bed for a couple of hours. To be honest, I find the Business class bed a tad too hard for sleeping, but still managed a grab a couple of hours of nap. And luckily on this flight, we had the least trigger-happy pilots on SQ, who never switch on the seat belt signs for the entire flight, even with minor turbulence encountered.
Before I knew it, I was gently woken up by a Korean stewardess and offered a hot towel to refresh myself before the start of the second meal service. We were barely 2hrs away from landing.
Along the coast of Russia.
For the second meal, service started from the rear of Business Class. Again, tables were laid and I had an orange juice to go along.
To start, we had a Marinated scallops and grilled vegetables salad, with lemon thyme vinaigrette.
Soft roll and breadstick.
For the mains, both of us had booked-the-cook. My partner had the Crab cake with broccoli, baby carrots, fresh asparagus, and roasted potato wedges, which was rather tasty! Having no high expectations, we were surprised that the crab cake contained lots of crab meat!
I chose the Jumbo shrimps in Thai red curry sauce with assorted vegetables and fried rice noodles, which was equally nice and not too filling.
Dessert was a Mango creme brulee, which was too rich and filling for our liking. A few mouthfuls and we returned the rest back.
An Earl grey to end the meal.
View of the forward small Business cabin, the cabin to be if flying J on the B773ER.
Due to weak headwinds, our arrival time was more than an hour earlier than scheduled! Also 1hr less for me to enjoy the seat…Soon, we were preparing for landing and my seat was made upright.
Over the mountains of South Korea.
Nearly there now.
Outskirts of Seoul
No hold and we descended direct into Incheon.
Had a very early landing into Rwy33R! We landed slightly more than an hour ahead of schedule!
Korean Air land.
Jin Air preparing to taxi.
Planes parked at the satellite Concourse Terminal.
Finally parked beside a Air Canada B763ER.
During disembarkation, I saw 9V-SWN parked beside, operating as SQ16 to SFO.
The bird that flew us across the Pacific Ocean.
Brothers at Incheon.
Transit passengers continuing to SIN needed to get a transit get upon disembarkation and clear security again. For us, as we already had our boarding passes for the later SQ603, we also cleared security with the transit passengers and went up to the departure concourse. Time to while away 6hrs in Incheon!
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge
San Francisco - SFO
Seoul - ICN
Another great flight on SQ's Business Class!
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