Review of Singapore Airlines flight Hong Kong San Francisco in Business

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ 2
Class Business
Seat 17K
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 11:55
Take-off 28 Nov 13, 23:40
Arrival at 29 Nov 13, 19:35
SQ   #3 out of 119 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 620 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 11161
Published on 8th December 2013
H.K. is a fascinating city that eludes definitions. It can be described as fast paced, energetic, creative, hedonistic and one of a kind. It is also a great culinary destination that caters to any budget and offers infinite possibilities. This album covers some impressions of my short visit and I was just scratching the surface. I hope to be back for more.


View of HK skyline from Avenue of the Stars

photo DSC00327 (800x533)


Bruce Lee statue on the Av. of the Stars

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Central at night

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Whimsical building in Central

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Night scene of H.K. taken from the Peak

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Along Canton Road

photo DSC00531 (800x522)photo DSC00530 (800x533)


Australia Dairy Co. - famous for its milk puddings (dun lai). Every morning there is a line at this place for breakfast. They make good scrambled eggs served with thick buttered toasts.

photo DSC00249 (800x533)photo DSC00251 (800x533)


Lunch at Michelin rated Din Tai Fung known for its dumplings.

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Tripe appetizer

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Wood ear fungus in vinegar dressing

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Chicken soup with noodles

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Truffle xia long bao

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Temple

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I had a chance to stay at the two Intercontinental hotels in Hong Kong. The IC Grand Stanford is smaller and with more character than its sister property the IC HK, it retains a certain old world charm and exclusivity that makes a stay here such a memorable treat. Its Club is elegant and refined, with a service level that is both personal and very attentive.

IC Grand Stanford

photo IC Grand Stanford HKG (50) (800x533)

Lobby

photo IC Grand Stanford HKG (5) (800x533)photo IC Grand Stanford HKG (8) (800x494)


Club




Room

photo IC Grand Stanford HKG (30) (800x533)photo IC Grand Stanford HKG (56) (800x533)



IC HKG

The IC HK is grandiose, starting with its magnificent lobby affording a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour 24/7. The public areas have a contemporary feel and it houses a few renowned Michelin rated restaurants.

photo IC HK (800x533)photo IC HKG (138) (800x533)photo IC HKG (139) (800x533)

I was fortunate to stay at an executive suite which came with 2 bathrooms, a living room, dining and desk area. Drawing a comparison between a room here and the one that I stayed at the IC Grand would be unfair, since we will be comparing apples to oranges. I requested a bed to be stationed by the window of the living room so that I can wake up to a fantastic view of H.K. every morning. My floor also had an assigned butler available 24/7 at the ring of a button.




The views at night were just out of this world

photo IC HKG (103) (800x533)photo IC HKG (130) (800x533)


Club

photo IC HKG (51) (800x533)photo IC HKG (54) (800x533)photo IC HKG (61) (800x533)


Despite its fame and location, I personally preferred the other IC Grand because it felt more intimate and exclusive. Perhaps because it is not as big as the IC H.K., staff are able to focus more on guests and give an extra personal touch.

I took the Airport Bus to the airport at around 7P and it was practically empty. The ride took about 40 min. and once at T1, I went to the SQ J desk. There was an agent setting up the counter and she asked me where I was heading. I replied to SFO and she directed me to the long line next to it. I then asked if the line is even for J passengers and she told me that she will be helping me and asked for my documents. She printed my boarding pass and advised me about the location of the SQ lounge. I thanked her and went through security which was pretty quick.

Once inside the terminal, I decided to do some lounge hopping. I started with the TG lounge, located by gate 40 on the mezzanine level. I showed my SQ boarding pass to the TG agent and he consulted with a colleague. I was then invited to come in and requested to use the shower. I was told that another guest was requesting it but the female agent said that if I took a quick one she could give me the key right away. I promised her that I will be as quick as possible and went to the male WC. There is only one shower located at the end of the WC and it was very basic. Once inside, there was a clean towel, some packaged toiletries and a small space to change. If you have to use the toilet, you should use it before entering into the shower room.




Once I finished, I explored the lounge. Catering was very decent with salads, hot food, an ice creams. The space is rather limited and it was very crowded when I visited. I did not stay here for long and went to the UA Club.





UA Club

The UA Club contains the UA Global First lounge and is located by gate 61 on the mezzanine level. Once inside I did not notice that the UA Global First section was segregated so I was able to walk into it. The lounge was much more spacious than the TG lounge and had food spreads all over the place. There were 2 showers available.

Entrance

photo UA Club @ HKG (1) (900x668)


Seating area

photo UA Club @ HKG (6) (900x600)


Interior

photo UA Club @ HKG (10) (900x600)


Food




SQ Silver Kris Lounge is located by gate 15 and is the best of the three lounges that I visited. Right behind the reception desk there is a room with several computer terminals with a few stationery sets with pens.

Entrance

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (1) (900x639)


Computer room

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (21) (900x587)


Right after the computer room, there is a pantry on the left side with drinks, snacks, sandwiches and cheeses.




There are several seating areas in the lounge, and there is a section at the end of a hallway with plenty of food options like salads, hot foods, pastries, and dim sums.

Seating areas

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (10) (900x529)photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (18) (900x550)


Food

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (2) (900x559)photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (9) (900x600)


Salad bar

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (3) (900x600)


Warm pastries

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (4) (900x600)photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (5) (900x560)


Japanese vegetable curry with rice

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (6) (900x566)


Fried chicken cutlets

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (7) (900x636)


Steamed egg custards (salty)

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (8) (900x600)


Xiao long bao with sauces

photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (11) (900x460)photo SQ Lounge @ HKG (12) (900x600)


SQ 2 HKG-SFO
Seat 17K EQP 777-300ER
Dept. 2340 (Actual 0006) - Arriv. 1935 (Actual 1951)


When I was leaving the lounge, the agent stopped me and advised that boarding would be delayed and invited me to stay a little longer. A few minutes later she made an announcement to board the plane and most people got up and left. At the gate, there was a long line for Y passengers but since I was in J, I headed straight up to the premium line. There was a security check just before the bridge and everyone was searched. Thankfully this was done quickly and efficiently.

SQ uses a separate line to board F and J passengers, and I was greeted by a smiling FA at the entrance of the plane. As I walked down, a FA inquired about my seat and I was escorted there. She showed me the seat and opened the overhead bin for me. The cabin was not full and FA's offered pre-departure drinks consisting of orange juice, champagne and one of their non-alcoholic cocktails. One of the FA's saw me taking pictures and immediately asked me if I wanted her to take one of me on my seat. I accepted her offer and she took about 3 pics making sure that I came out fine. A very nice touch!

Cabin

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (2) - Copy (900x600)

Seat

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (1) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (3) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (7) (900x600)


Once the door closed, FA's passed around with hot towels and they were really thick and hot, newspapers and reading materials. After take off, they distributed socks and eye shades from a tray. I already had these in the compartment, so probably they were left from the previous SIN-HKG leg.

The seats were the widest for a J product and felt nicely cushioned. If you want to sleep, you had to ask the FA to flip it and turn it into a bed. A pillow and packed blanket were already in the back of the seat.

Menu




Wine

photo IMG_3801 (675x900)photo IMG_3802 (691x900)photo IMG_3803 (675x900)


I have ordered the chicken rice from Book the Cook but wanted to try the Indian lamb. I asked the FA if I could change the order and she told me with a smile that there was no problem. She even suggested to have the chicken rice for the breakfast service if I wanted. I appreciated her suggestion and thanked her profusely. I might add that she was a Malay attendant who was a joy to deal with and spoke perfect Mandarin with the passenger across from me. I saw her make the bed for the passenger and she even placed the blanket and fastened the seat belt for him. Great service all the way. As a matter of fact, she and another Chinese FA assigned to my row were wonderful. They represented the true professionalism and charm that the SQ girl is known for around the world.

I had a Tropical Fizz accompanied by warm nuts. I was offered seconds but declined wanting to save some room for the supper.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (10) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (11) (900x600)


The duck foie gras with mirabelle plum and Dacquoise coconut, fresh fig and balsamic reduction was ok. It did not have a discerning taste of foie gras but I appreciated the addition of coconut and fresh fig to come up with a creative way to present it.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (12) (900x592)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (13) (900x566)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (15) (900x600)


Of course, this was served with warm breads from a basket.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (14) (900x589)


Then came the main dish - Indian style lamb rogan josh with jaifereize vegetables, dal curry and saffron rice. The dish was nicely spiced, but I did not think that the paper container with the dal made for a good presentation. It was accompanied by a nice raita side dish to cool things off.


photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (16) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (17) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (18) (900x542)


The passion fruit mousse cake tasted fine, but did not impress. It looked like something bought from a regular Chinese bakery.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (19) (900x596)


I had some cheese and grapes after the dessert which was served from a cart.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (20) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (21) (900x600)


To end the meal, I finished with a cup of Paris-Singapore tea.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (22) (900x600)


Before going to bed, I visited the WC which was spacious and well stocked.




I then dozed off for about 4 hrs. There were periods of intense turbulence that interrupted my sleep from time to time. When I woke up, I decided to have a snack and visited the galley. The FA showed me a sandwich and Mediterranean wrap and I chose the croissant chicken salad. He asked me if I wanted it cold or warm. I had it cold and when he brought the tray, he followed with the snack basket.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (40) (900x600)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (41) (900x601)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (42) (900x597)

Snack basket in the galley

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (43) (900x544)


Picture of cabin and seat with compartments.




Soon it was time for the second service and we started with a selection of juices, fresh fruit and yogurt.




This was followed by my chicken rice which was served with ground ginger, sweet and thick soya and chili sauce. The chicken was tender and the rice fragrant. I can't think of a better breakfast on SQ.

photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (51) (900x502)photo SQ 2 HKG-SFO (52) (900x687)

Immigrations and customs formed were passed and we arrived in SFO about 16 minutes late and my fabulous Malay FA shook my hand and thanked me for flying with SQ. When we disembarked, the curtains separating J from Y were still in place and a FA positioned herself at the end of the cabin. Just as with embarkation, J and F passengers disembarked through another jetbridge.



See more

Verdict

Singapore Airlines

9.3/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi9.5
Meal/catering8.5

Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge - Business

9.4/10
Comfort9.5
Meal/catering9.5
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services9.5

Hong Kong - HKG

9.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.0

San Francisco - SFO

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

It was a pleasure to finally experience SQ and this flight met my expectations. Without a doubt SQ has some very special crew members and they performed their job fantastcially. I still think SQ should provide an amenity kit in J and be at the same level with its competitors in that aspect.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) San Francisco (SFO)

21 Comments

  • Comment 94640 by
    Grosnavion 578 Comments

    Thank you for this FR.

  • Comment 94643 by
    AirCanada881 1622 Comments

    What a wonderful trip report thank you so much for sharing. I guess this is a next best thing when flying Singapore Airlines to the United States now that the other flights were discontinued.

    Pictures of Hong Kong are absolutely fabulous you made me want to go back there as soon as possible and see the other places I haven't had time to visit. SQs J seat looks amazing as always, i dont understand the vast difference over other carriers who have a J class in 2-2-2 if not 2-3-2! Flying Singapore Airlines truly is total luxury. The catering looked quite nice the portions are nice and big.

    Hmmm I think the next flight report meeting should be organized in Hong Kong...

    • Comment 285046 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Great minds think alike, right? ;)

      I don't know why it took me this long to like HKG, but after this trip it was a revelation to discover the different character of its neighborhoods and along with that the endless possibilities. As a foodie, I can certainly appreciate the culinary side of this city.

      SQ is special and I can see that now. The crew that I had was phenomenal and the catering was good. They say that staying on top is harder than getting there, and there is indication that standards are somehow slipping as evidenced by reports from our esteemed Lagentsecret. A friend who is a true globetrotter and an authority in premium cabins has mentioned to me that he thinks SQ has passed its prime. I guess there is always a new kid who is hungry to take your title away and it is good that SQ is not resting in its laurels (their new cabins revamp is evidenced of that). What SQ has done brilliantly is marketing and the ability to elevate the SQ girl to iconic status.

      Count my vote for the next meeting in HKG.

  • Comment 94647 by
    marathon GOLD 9566 Comments

    Halfway through reading this awesome Hotel and Lounge Report, I wondered if there would be a stranded picture of a plane ;)
    I was always amused by proposals by FAs of a taking a picture of me, because I never cared much for this kind of souvenir, be it in a plane or in front of some famous landscape.
    All told, SQ provides more in J than what European airlines provide in P. Thanks for sharing !

    • Comment 285047 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Sorry for the lack of plane pics. I guess I was too busy lounge hopping and time flew by quickly.

      I am very much like you in the sense that I seldom like to have pictures of me taken. I guess for some a picture of themselves in a certain setting is the ultimate validation of their dream or desire. We are all different and have particular things that turn us on.

  • Comment 94655 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5305 Comments

    Another beautful report. Great pics of HK; you really captured the feel of the city. I especially love night photos. Both beautiful hotels, but I , like you, would probably prefer the smaller of the two for the more intimate feel. Surprising that the check-in agent wanted to point you to a long Y line without even checking if you were in J. After the hotel hopping comes the lounge hopping, love it! The Thai lounge is nice, I've been once, but only for a quick 10 minutes as I was running late for the flight. As for the UA lounge, once again I am irritated that US airline lounges overseas are soooo much better than their lounges in the US. To a degree, I understand that these destinations are higher yielding than domestic traffic, but for pax who use lounges on both ends it just seems so inconsistant product-wise. The midnight snakc and snack baskets looks a like something you would get as your actual meal in domestic first on a US carrier, LOL. The catering overall looks amazing. Great experience for your first flight with SQ in J!

    • Comment 285048 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      I was also surprised that the J agent did not inquire first if I was in J before sending me to the Y line. Maybe I was dressed like a pauper. To her credit once I told her that I was in J she became very efficient and processed me quickly.

      U.S. passengers have grown accustomed to mediocrity and they would not expect more. Now that there are fewer players in the U.S. market and airlines are making money, they should reintroduce meals in Y on long domestic flights (yeah, wishful thinking. They are making extra revenue selling food onboard). Remember also that the UA Club in HKG is used by *A partners and on that particular night there was a LH flight leaving, and since LH does not have a lounge in HKG, a lot of those premium passengers will use the UA one. The offerings have to be much better than domestic clubs because of the type of clientele.

    • Comment 285064 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5305 Comments

      I've heard rumors of meals coming back for Y on long domestic flights. At least on the super-competitive JFK-LAX/SFO transcons. I think that, with the better pricing power that comes with all the mergers, airlines will once again have to compete on product like they did in the so called golden era. Flying will definitely cost more in the US, but hopefully the pax experience will improve (wishful thinking as well, LOL).

    • Comment 285158 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      On DL you can pre-order pretty decent meals in Y on the JFK-LAX/SFO routes, but they come with a price and are cold.

  • Comment 94658 by
    indianocean GOLD 6828 Comments

    The harbour city view is definitely the reason why I always booked a room at ICHK. My Ambassador membership might help a little. However, I have the same feelling about the staff. Maybe the hotel is too big.

    I prefer the Thai lounge: food looks better than UC, absence of shower and view on the tarmac in SKL.

    Who said that SQ girls were robotic?

    Thank you for that delightful report.

    • Comment 285049 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Believe me, Ambassador status helps a lot. However, I have found that European properties tend to be more lenient and generous when it comes to upgrades than Asian ones.

      The SKL can be claustrophobic for certain people.

      SQ girls and boys. ;)

  • Comment 94690 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 4753 Comments

    Fantastic and comprehensive report once again, I have been to the IC HK but only for an afternoon tea and it was quite pleasant with this stuning view!

    Nice lounges at HKG, I am not a fan of windowless lounge so my choice will be TG or UA one.

    Regarding the flight, SQ at its best, catering/crew/cabin, everything work smoothly together and make up for a relaxing flight.

    On a side note I would have choose the Bollinger and the Thanksgiving Turkey (amusing to find it on board an Asian airline).

    Thank you ;)

    • Comment 285060 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      I have seen the afternoon tea at the IC HK and it is quite elaborate. A tray alone would feed 2 people easily.

      That is how I would describe my flight - relaxing and enjoyable.

      I too would have chosen the Bollinger and Sauternes. Unfortunately alcohol is off limits per my doctor's orders. Just the fact that there is a Thanksgiving themed meal onboard SQ shows how thoughtful they are towards its markets. Kudos for that.

  • Comment 94827 by
    Papoumada SILVER 5895 Comments

    Thank your once more for a fully comprehensive report.

    I love the scenic pics of Hong Kong. The weather was not foggy that time.

    The SQ service on this flight was outstanding. Everyone would dream of a flight with those food and attentions.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Comment 285157 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      H.K. is a very photogenic city. Thankfully I had good weather for the most part during my short visit.

      SQ J cabin is pretty special with those wide seats and spacious lavatories. The inflight crew I had was phenomenal and really set the tone for the rest of my flight.

  • Comment 94965 by
    A380B77W 4306 Comments

    Thanks for this great FR :)

    Very nice view of HK :D

    Awesome catering !

    Again a great flight with SQ !

  • Comment 95066 by
    lagentsecret GOLD 12443 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Great tourist bonus with gorgeous pictures of Victoria Harbour

    I usually take a shower at UA Club, they are much better than the TG's one

    I never noticed that there was a first section in UA Club !!

    I agree that the SQ lounge is the best concerning the food and the beverages but there isn't restrooms, nor showers

    It seems that you had a great FA : the same FA was taking care of you during all the flight ?

    I had a lot of different FAs who were taking care of me during my SQ flights and it was not very pleasant because of that

    SQ should withdraw this foie gras from its menu :(

    Your choice of hot dishes looks yummy

    See you soon with another routing

  • Comment 95182 by
    jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

    Next time I will use the UA Club for shower. Actually when you check in, there is an entrance to the right that seems to indicate that it is for Global or First Class members if I remember correctly. When I made the tour of the place, I accidentally came out from that very entrance back to the reception desk. Inside the club there were no signs or barriers separating the F section from the rest, but then I saw sushi and warm pastries offered in one corner but not in the area close to the entrance I realized that I must have stumbled into the F area.

    It's a bit disappointing that the SQ lounge does not have WC's and showers. Other than that I found it comfortable and very well catered.

    There were 5 FA's working the cabin (2 assigned to each side plus a guy in the galley). I had the same FA for pretty much the whole flight except when she was on break and during the second meal service.

    I guess only the French know how to serve foie gras. ;)

    I was very satisfied with my choices because they were distinctly Southeast Asian and tasted great.

    • Comment 285396 by
      lagentsecret GOLD 12443 Comments

      I remember the sushi place at the United Club but I didn't realize it was in the first class section

      I had a great pan seared foie gras at the private room in SIN

      It depends on the quality not on how to serve it ;) and you are, of course, perfectly aware because you are a true epicurean !

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