The flight above was my first ever in First class (well, except a EWR-CDG long time ago but so short it does not count). For my second First class flight, I wanted to try the new First Class on SQ's newest 77WN. So I needed to fly off from LHR on SQ319 rather than from CDG.
After an uneventful AF flight from CDG, I reach LHR. To avoid any problem, I had booked a flight reaching LHR 4 hours before my outbound SQ flight. This should be sufficient in case of delays from CDG, retrieval of my luggage, change of terminal then check-in again, and a visit to the lounge of course.
Following my arrival from AF in T4 (I think), a short (free) ride on the Heathrow Express brings me to the T3 where SQ operates from, until June when the new T2 opens, we will talk about it later.
First surprise is the size of the check-in area. For an airline operating 4 daily wide body flights (of which 2 are A380), I expected something larger (and classier too!).
That’s the check-in First. Not only it is small (2 counters) but it is also poorly arranged: when walking-in from outside the terminal building, the First counter in sight is the First class. And there is nobody to restrict its access to eligible pax. Result is, not so well-travelled pax tend to go to this counter first as it’s the first one in sight bearing the SQ logo. In my case today, I had to wait 5 minutes for the Chinese pax travelling economy to move away.
These are the J and Y check-in counters, located at the rear of the First counter.
Once I reached the counter, I was checked-in quickly by a friendly and smiling look-alike of Elton John. I get my BP and invitation to the immigration fast track lane.
Fast track is this way, 3 minutes only to go through
Once inside, familiar sight. I have never seen this place empty. But tonight is not so crowded, at least there are some empty seats.
This display panel shows the list of lounges in the T3, very convenient. My friend G_G The Evangelist (according to FT lol) has recommended I check a new UA lounge… it’s not on that list :( After further reading, I understand he probably mentioned about the new UA Global First lounge… in the new T2, which has yet to open ;)
I make my way to the SQ lounge. On my way, a quick avgeek stop at the SAS/Mapleleaf lounge. 3 lady staffs are behind the counter. They struggle a bit to understand why a pax travelling SQ First would want to come to their lounge ;) One of them is undergoing training. Her colleagues explain to her that I am eligible due to my *G status, which is confirmed when my BP beeps green under the barcode reader.
Inside, well, it’s very Scandinavian ;) Since my only trip to Scandinavia (Stockholm 15 years ago), I tend to consider that everywhere bright and with a wooden-based interior is Scandinavian :) Well, a small lounge that seems quite nice with everything needed: seating , internet, TV, food and drinks.
At the time of writing the present flight report, I tell myself that I should have stayed there considering how crappy the SQ lounge is.
Talking about the SQ lounge, here it is
Upon entering, the layout is somewhat standard with one staff at the counter. The business class section is on the right on the upper floor
The First class section is on the left on the same floor.
At the end of the small corridor, I take this picture of the First class section of the lounge.
The view from the opposite angle
There are 2 evening flights from LHR to SIN, one 77W and one 388. Only one pax at that time in this lounge, it will get more crowded later.
So, what do we have here ? A self-service buffet
Beef oyster-sauce and jasmine rice
Vegetarian pasta and lamb moussaka
Coffees, teas, potatoes chips and biscuits
Some more food, fresh and cold. Fruits, cereals, triangle sandwiches
Some starters, which look familiar. That said, just on a plate without any heating, I doubt they are very good after a few hours there.
The fridge with beers and soft drinks
Then the important place, the bar ! Not self-service, an employee is there to serve drinks.
This is the wine list… a bit cheap for a J lounge… ooops, this is a First class lounge :(
Like the TPR in SIN, service is a the table. Plates and cutleries are also all Givenchy-branded, like those used at 37,000 feet.
Wine list: red, wine and champagne.
Mmm, not that exciting… I’ll get a glass of Krug please… Oh, not available. No worry, some Dom Perignon will do. Not available either… I will settle for the only champagne available here, Moët & Chandon Brut NV, not good for the rating of the lounge !
Cheers anyway ! I’m hiding most of my BP as I lost my PPS a week ago, back to *G, sob sob.
That’s my food selection. Don’t even think I would renew the feast I had at the TPR with 3 courses upon departing SIN !
Then… a laksa, very well prepared and cooked, the coconut taste was perfect and the gravy was not watery at all, just nice !
Then that one… for those who know how chicken rice should look like, it’s not even close. It’s some chicken with some rice, but not chicken rice. Good try though.
I then start looking for a powerpoint to plug-in my laptop… well, I had to go through the whole lounge and ask for help by a staff to find this one :(
The washrooms. Nothing special, small but clean of course as expected. But no cosmetics like moisturizer or shaving kit… I had to ask a staff for a toothbrush :(
OK, as you probably got it already, this lounge is a total waste of time, far from my expectations. Instead I will check out the Business section upstairs that I have patronized many times during the blessed years (sob sob again) when I travelled Business class for work.
This massive A380 model is on the stairs on the way up. Don’t get too excited, that’s the best this lounge has to offer.
As I said before, with 4 flights daily, this lounge is often full. Like tonight for example.
Selection for warm food
I ask for a glass of champagne… I am told no champagne… what ? What bubbly do you have then ? I can’t believe it, the only bubbly is Crement de Bourgogne :( Note that I’m not commenting on the quality, it may be good, but not up my expectations of a SQ Business lounge
Some finger food
Bottom line is, the SQ lounge, both in First and Business, is not any more up to standard. Reading from various forum, I understand SQ has stopped investing in it as the new SQ lounge will open in June 2014 in the new T2. This lounge has been renovated in 2013 but I guess it was just surface renovation to make it last one more year. In addition, SQ First pax, unlike a coupe of years ago, can’t get access to the wonderful (so they say) VS Flying Club.
So, let’s talk about the near future. Once the new T2 opens, it will be almost fully dedicated to *A (except for Aer Lingus, not sure why). The lounge offer will be as such: - 1 main lounge operated by LH, a bit like the *A lounge in SYD operated by NZ - An AC lounge - A SQ lounge that is supposed to showcase the same concept than the new SQ lounge in SYD - 2 UA lounges: one carrot-club (United Club) and one United Global First, which is supposed to feature a new concept – and be quite good - An Aer Lingus lounge - A paying-access independent Plaza Premium lounge For some pics, click here http://www.ausbt.com.au/app/webroot/index.php/new-lufthansa-singapore-airlines-united-lounges-for-london-heathrow-t2
Anyway, I’m super excited of flying so I’ll leave early to get to the gate to be the first one to board the plane and enjoy every minute
This way, through a series of corridors. Looks very similar to SYD actually.
Same as in CDG 2E, a piano is available for any one to play on. Except that one is in a corner below artificial lightings… I would have to play some Richard Claydermann like in SIN:)
The boarding area. Very industrial look, not really welcoming !
It’s time to board. The usual announcements on SQ: First, Business and PPS, *G, then economy class. I rush to the gate as soon as the SQ staff says the magical words “Flight SQ319 is now ready for boarding”
Here it is, 9V-SWV, born in September 2013 (picture taken upon arrival in SIN)
Entrance is through door 2L, between the small and the large J cabins. The IFS welcomes me “Welcome back Mr. Durian, let me take you to your seat”. I pause in this new J cabin to take pictures, which seems to surprise her ! This is it, the new J. Current 777 fleet will not be retrofitted but all aircrafts newly delivered should be fitted with this product (all classes P, J and Y): it started in September 2013 with the first 3 77W, will continue with the other 5 ordered, the 5 upcoming A380 and the 70 A350. This small cabin (2 rows only) just behind the First has a very intimate feel. Probably unlike the larger one just behind.
And, here we are, the new First, 8 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. And 4 crews including the IFS for us. Thanks to G_G (Lagentsecret), I am told KVS shows only 2 pax (2 hours before the flight)… but actually it will be full. In particular a group of 4 people who seems to be colleagues. Nice group upgrade !
These are the 2 center seats.
My seat, 2F. Although I had never flown the current First, it looks similar with an added level of privacy. I particularly liked the leather color on the seat but also everywhere on the panels (OK, no comment on the cushion, which I find is a bit too much !)
One of the crews asks if I want to read anything. The Straits Times will do, thank you. My eyes noticed the pen on her kebaya. Those who fly SQ know where they put the pen. Aaaahh, lucky pen ! I also see on her nametag a very familiar flag… oh she speaks French… I ask her “Donc vous parlez Francais ?” She blushes and replies “Un peu mais mon Francais n’est pas tres bon”… how cute… Although in London in April, the atmosphere is suddenly hot lol
The control panel
Like in the Suites, there are no overheads bins. There are individual lights on each side (at eye level, with 3 levels of intensity) and 2 lights above the seat
On the right, one cabinet with its sliding door
The seat pitch
The tray is located just opposite the seat (not on the side like in Suites) under the IFE’s screen. This is how it works, its depth and height can be adjusted.
There is leather all over, I like the material and the color.
One of the lights above the seat
After this terrible experience in the lounge, it is time to hydrate myself…
The IFE’s remote control is located in a small cabinet on the left, with a small sliding door
Some storage space on the right
Moving the tray
This is the view from my seat. Unless standing and walking, all one can see is legs and feet. No proper door like in Suite but it still feel very intimate, which is a pleasant surprise.
The IFE’s screen is so big that I cannot take the usual picture with my hand next to it to show its size, as I am not far enough. So, I’ll do that with my foot instead, size 44.
On the left of the screen, another cabinet with a mirror.
Below the screen, next to the ottoman is the storage for the headset et some personal belongings. It’s all leather, in and out the cabinet, nice ! Of course, no wear and tear as the aircraft is only 7 month-old, that helps.
On the right side of the seat, another storage with all the plugs and connections one can think of.
On the left, all leather again !
Again the left side of the seat, against the partition/wall is a place to hang the headset.
Now, the menu, presented in a … leather booklet, it matches my pants and the cushion too. I really feel homey here.
What’s on the menu today
Spirits and wines.
Hot towel #1. I won’t take a picture of all, there must have been up to 10 I think throughout the flight.
Having left my 2 SQ bears to the care of my nephew in Paris, I ask for their cousins, here they are.
One crew brings the amenity kit. It’s the latest version, Ferragamo-branded
Good quality for that shade that I will keep after the flight.
The SQ Girl unwraps the slippers and put them on my neighbors’ feet… that’s service !
A short walk to the washrooms
The headset, same than the Suite one, Bose QuietComfort 15
Seat pitch and slippers.
The pretty SQ Girls takes the order for post-takeoff drinks.
She will then come back to give away my pajamas and slippers. The unwraps the PJ and will also put the slippers directly on my feet… that’s a nice protocol ! She even, without asking, gives me the right size for the pajamas.
The PJ’s zipper with the SQ logo is provided by Givenchy
A quick look to my left
The captain introduces himself and the crew at 9:25pm and announces a 12 hours-flight… that short :(
Night flight, very limited spotting at LHR, all I see is this LX…
The IFE system is the latest Panasonic eX3. SQ was one of the first one to have it, now it is installed on the latest EK and AF aircraft. Unlike in the economy class on the same aircraft, the screen is not a touch-one (it would be useless as the screen is so far away from the seat). I like the “Surprise me” choice ;)
The remote control is tactile. And it can be used to show other programs than the main screen (like the flight for instance).
Key statistics for this flight. Only 12 hours, crap.
The new movies this month.
Overall view of the First class cabin.
Push back at 9:40pm. We are a bit late but I really really don’t mind ! Take-off at 10:05pm.
According to J/P protocol, it all starts with the satay sticks.
When the crew sees my smile when the satay come, she offers double portion lol
She then notice a reminder from my holidays in Paris. A plaster on my finger… I got a very benign cut when opening a bottle of wine. tough holidays ! She comes back a minute later with a new plaster. What else ? Yes, after changing the plaster, she takes away the used one. Amazing.
The is the boss, the lady in purple
Perrier and Krug, it’s all about bubbles !
My feet resting on the ottoman, the seat and configuration is just fine for my height, 1m80.
Time to set the table for dinner.
Bread selection. SQ in J or P is just average on cheeses but the bread never disappoint.
Of course, my favorite, the garlic bread.
The starter. The caviar portion is much more generous than on my SIN-CDG. The pretty lady asks if I want a shot of vodka to go along… well, why not ?
Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t eat caviar everyday… how is it supposed to be eaten ? Well let’s just like a home with a slice of bread !
Come on kids, greens are good for growth !
I had not tried the Chablis 1er cru before. The stewardess pours a few drops for tasting… Yeah, not bad. I’m kidding, it’s excellent
I BTC-ed the lamb to change from my usual beef
To vary a bit from the Saint Estephe (tough life !), I picked the red Burgundy, Clos de la Vigne au Saint, Cote de Beaune Grand Cru. So much lighter than my usual Bordeaux, awesome !
I am not a regular lamb-eater but I really enjoyed it. The meat was so tender and tasty. Lentils were perfect as well.
The crew then comes to offer some cheese… I beg her for a 10 minutes break !
Here is the cheese platter
I usually get criticized in my flight reports for not taking any dessert (!), so tonight I’ll make an effort: that was a good idea, the panacotta was delicious
We are here, war zone below us… that flight was in April this year… and I am writing this report in July… 2 days after MH17 went down, RIP.
Time to sleep. I go to the washrooms to change into my pajamas. Once this is done, I open the door to exit the washrooms, and… surprise… my sleepers have been put at the doorstep for me to step in, wow !!
Good night, sweet dreams !
In the middle of night, I wake up to go to the washrooms. Once done, I go towards the galley to have a look at what snacks or drinks are offered… then… then… too much Krug ?? The French-speaking SQ Girl is standing right in front of me… in her pajamas ! (sadly she was not wearing any see-through lingerie lol). She stepped out of the crew rest area to get water and seems as stunned as I am ! After the initial surprise, we both laugh, what a pleasant and unexpected encounter !
I wake up after an unusually long 6hr30-sleep. Sun is already up in Asia.
This is to demonstrate how thick the mattress is. Like the J class bed, it unfolds from the back of the seat.
Daddy, we like it here, when is our next First class flight ?
We are almost there, crap !
Only 2 hours of pampering left !
It’s time for snacking. It is 3pm Singapore-time but a breakfast is served, which is fine with me. The SQ Girl asks me if I had a good rest… in French, wow !
Orange juice to begin with. Fresh, not from a can.
Table is set. Double espresso to wake-up.
Scrambled eggs (prepared in the galley). SQ service may be outstanding, but I did spread the butter on the toasts by myself ;)
Very goof and filling, but I need to add more substance to my flight report… so I ask for something else… Fish curry and prata… simply fantastic, tasted like a home-made curry !
Hot towel #258 (about that)
This fantastic flight will come to an end in only 14 minutes :( The weather in Singapore and arrival gate are shown.
I go back to the washroom to change back to my “normal” clothes. And this is it. Landing 30 minutes late. I wouldn’t have minded if that flight had been longer !
Picture of row 2 upon leaving the aircraft.
Deplaning through door 1L, the same SQ Girl tells me “Au revoir Monsieur Durian, a bientôt »… in french. Ahhhhhh…. ! Thanks for reading
Singapore Airlines Silverkris Lounge
London - LHR
Singapore - SIN
Thanks for reading. Hopefully you enjoyed that reported as much it took time to write :) I travel a lot for work. Mostly in J on SQ (until I switch job last year, now at the back of the aircraft), so this round trip from SIN to my hometown in Suite and First on SQ is the reward for donkey hours of flying, and it was well worth ! Before those 2 flights, I used to wonder how the First class on SQ could be better than the already-outstanding J… well, other than the obvious (Krug and caviar), the level of service is even higher (yes, it sounds crazy !), almost butler-type.
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