Review of Singapore Airlines flight Johannesburg Singapore in Economy

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ 479
Class Economy
Seat 57A
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 09:50
Take-off 26 Oct 14, 13:40
Arrival at 27 Oct 14, 05:30
SQ   #11 out of 74 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 649 reviews
TerryYong
By 7998
Published on 10th November 2014
Passengers stretching themselves while plane was being serviced and catering loaded. No checks on boarding passes though on this sector since no passenger is allowed to disembark in JNB.

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Colourful planes against the dull terminal and skies.

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2 SAA aircraft in special liveries!

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Air Mauritius pushing back.

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Soon, boarding for JNB-originating passengers started but it seemed that there were not too many passengers joining as well. I counted at most 20 additional passengers in the rear economy cabin, but not too sure about the forward cabin. Well, good news for me as I retained by 3-seater bed again! I guessed the passenger load to be at most 60% on this flight.

Again, the usual hot towels distributed and we pushed back. Flight time would be a quick 9.5hr.




SAA A320

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Passing a flySafair aircraft.

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Old vs new! A classic Air Zimbabwe B737-200 meeting a new-generation Mango B737-800.

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Taking off from Rwy03L.

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See the video of the takeoff here. The takeoff felt much more powerful then the on previous sectors, probably due to the high altitude conditions of JNB. Also spot BA and LH A380s parked at the remote stands!




Ascending above the clouds and not-so-nice weather over Jo'burg.

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Flight time to Singapore. On this sector, flight map was also shown in Mandarin, probably due to the number of Taiwanese onboard.

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Just a sea of clouds below now.

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The typical SQ long-haul service started, first with a beverage and nuts service. Again, passengers were served from the front of the economy cabin thus it was a bit of a wait till I get my beverages. I ordered a non-alcoholic cocktail Orange Cooler (orange juice and ginger ale mix) and a Coke Light.

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Leaving the African soil into the Indian Ocean.

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I decided that this flight would be spent watching movies since I would be grabbing sleep at home after I touched down. Again, no prizes for guessing this movie.

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Shortly after bar service was completed, lunch was being prepared. Lets see what is offered for lunch.

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Again, lunch service started from the of the economy cabin. I had initially wanted to have the beef casserole, but when the meal cart reached my row, they had ran out of the beef choice. Fortunately for my sis, she had gotten the last beef casserole (lucky her) and when the chief stewardess serving me asked from the crew manning the other aisle, the other aisle's meal cart had ran out of beef as well. Well, just my luck for not getting my choice of meal again.. However, at least the crew assured me that I would definitely have my choice for breakfast as they would be serving from the rear.

So this was the black pepper fish with rice. The main looked kinda sad and the huge tray again was filled with nothingness.

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Roll with butter. Cost-cutting in action again. No more cheese and crackers on the tray (I had them on my CPT-SIN flight 3 years ago).

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Chicken starter was simple but ok.

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Now, for the main. It already looked bad, but tasted even worse! 1/4 of the casserole was the protein, with 3/4 filled with carbohydrates. The fish was dry, with an artificial-tasting non-peppery black pepper sauce, and the rice was totally tasteless and very mushy. Easily ranked as one of the worst meals I ever had on a plane, and I really had to force myself to at least finish the fish, leaving half the rice untouched. Very very poor…

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My sis's beef casserole looked and tasted much better than my fish. And at least the proteins filled up almost half the casserole.

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Luckily the ice-cream saved the day.

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Ending with a rooibos tea again.

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Somewhere over Madagascar.

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Next movie, a Chinese romantic comedy.

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Stretching out on my bed. Again, quite a number of passengers had their own beds.

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Heading towards Mauritius.

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As we were flying eastward, dusk came early.

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I was already dark less than 4hrs into the flight, even before reaching Mauritius.

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Feeling peckish after the unsatisfying lunch, I decided to check out what snacks were on offer.

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Went to the rear galley, where a basket of snacks was laid out for self-service. Getting hungry, I grabbed an item of each (except the apples).

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Later on during the flight, the crew also came down a couple of times with the snack baskets offering the inflight snacks, where I had another pack of chips. Water/juices were also offered hourly, though if really thirsty, this aircraft is also equipped with drinking fountains outside the toilets for your self-service.


Slightly more than 2hrs prior to arrival, lights were switched back on, hot towels offered again, and breakfast service started.

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Breakfast choices.

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As promised (and I do know that), service started from the rear of the plane. I chose the oriental choice of beef noodles for breakfast, praying that JNB catering would get it right this time round, seeing how they messed up the fish with rice earlier on. A half-sized tray was delivered which made the tray look full, though frequent SQ-flyers wold be able to tell that this breakfast lacked items normally found on breakfasts served on long-haul flights, ie. muffin and yoghurt.

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Fruits and bun. Mu mum commented that the fruits were not fresh. For me, they just tasted sourish and overripe.

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My beef noodles choice. Surprisingly, it was really good and full of flavour! Portion was rather generous too. Miles better than the miserable lunch earlier on.

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My sis's western breakfast choice, which tasted just like any airplane omelette breakfast.

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After breakfast was cleared, we were not too far from Singapore.

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Finishing up my last movie while enjoying yet another cup of the South Africa catered apple juice.

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Approaching Singapore. With the strong tailwinds, we were more than half hour early! Cabin was prepared for landing and headsets were collected.

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Approaching Changi in the early morning. We landed from the south.

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Landing on Rwy02C, almost 40min early!




It was just a short taxi to our gate at Terminal 2 and soon we disembarked. Home Sweet Home, but I still missed Cape Town….

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My seat for the past 13hrs.

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Thanks for reading my very long trip report and rants of the flight up. Hope you enjoyed it and leave your comments. This should also be my last trip of the year till January, so till then, Happy Flying!!
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Verdict

Singapore Airlines

7.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering6.5

Johannesburg - JNB

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Singapore - SIN

9.1/10
Efficiency9.5
Access9.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

The return sector was more in line with the normal SQ long-haul offerings (though there were still some evidences of cost-cutting in catering) and service was of usual SQ standards, good and efficient but not outstanding, but no complaints either. Only letdown was the main course for lunch which bordered towards inedible but luckily the breakfast choice was tasty. And of course, the very empty flights did added on to the comfort level (though might not be too beneficial for SQ).

Related

3 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 122039 by
    directorphilip2 82 Comments

    13 hours is quite a long flight, in honesty when i made the comparison to ba it was only so that you know it's not just south africa that got less food but in seriousness, they probably should have the same that they do on routes to europe, sq is one of the best. At least they had the extra sandwiches, don't be ashamed to ask for more of those because i asked in london and they said sure, they said take as many as you like now because they'll be thrown out when i asked them about it.

  • Comment 122040 by
    directorphilip2 82 Comments

    13 hours is quite a long flight, in honesty when i made the comparison to ba it was only so that you know it's not just south africa that got less food but in seriousness, they probably should have the same that they do on routes to europe, sq is one of the best. At least they had the extra sandwiches, don't be ashamed to ask for more of those because they have to throw the sandwiches away if they don't get used

  • Comment 122064 by
    padawan GOLD 1898 Comments

    Lucky you to have 3 seats for your own !
    Breakfast looks tasty.
    Thank you for this report !

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