Brunei is an interesting city state, often overshadowed by its larger neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia. As one of the 2 smallest but very powerful City States in South East Asia, Brunei has one of the largest per capita of Millionaires amongst its neighbours. Being a country of a high millionaire per capita also allows the citizens to be well travelled, which can be evidenced by the comprehensive route network of its national Airline, Royal Brunei Airlines (or Raja Brunei in a much more endearing tone)
Today we are going onboard BI422, a scheduled afternoon flight aboard Royal Brunei Airline's Airbus A320 aircraft. In this report, i will be focused on reporting about the inflight experience. A separate lounge review will be posted up online on a later date.
BI422 departs Singapore's Changi Terminal 2 at 12:05pm, so i had to arrive at the airport by 10:05am to complete my check in procedures. Although i had done online check in on BI's website, a documents verification check was necessary before the actual boarding pass was issued to me. Also issued to me was the lounge invitation for today. In Singapore, Royal Brunei utilises the SATS Premier Lounge in Terminal 2, which is opposite the Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines Lounge on the mezzanine level.
Boarding the aircraft was a painless affair and by no time i was already in the aircraft awaiting departure.
As i settle into my seat, i realised that this is not the normal recliner seats as found onboard other carriers operating the same aircraft category. Instead, the seat is an electronic recliner which is controlled by a set of buttons located on a side panel on the armrest.
The CSM arrives and presents me with a hot towel before departure. Do note that the PTVs are within the central armrest.
As with every seat in the first row, the legroom is rather limited to the bulkhead
After the hot towel was collected back, a round of welcome drinks were distributed by the CSM. I chose apple juice
The sky outside looks gloomy, looks like we will have a bumpy ride to BWN today
Safety demonstration followed, drinks collected back in preparation for take off and finally we are on the runway and off!
Let us peruse the menu for this afternoon :D
We'll start off with a very comprehensive food menu
Followed by a very extensive Drinks menu. As BI is a carrier under Shariah Law Jurisdiction, the airline does not serve alcohol onboard its flights, instead, you are able to BYO (bring your own) and the FAs will gladly serve provide glassware for them. Bringing them into Brunei at the end of the flight however, is strictly prohibited.
Royal Brunei also provides an iPad Mini loaded with Movies and Playlists for the entertainment pleasure of Business Class customers
We start off the meal with the Soya Beef Starter. The dessert was already on the tray as it arrived from the galley. 2 things, the beef was rather chewy from being cooked too well i guess and the cutlery presented with the tray was of inferior quality that could be mistaken for one off a local hawker centre.
A selection of bread was also offered to go with the starter. I selected the Garlic Bread.
We move on to the Main course not long after i tried to finish the inedible starter. I selected the 'Yoghurt' chicken, which was pretty good for an inflight meal in terms of serve and portion.
This was followed by a Tea course. Soon we were on descent into Bandar Seri Begawan airport of which my seat mate started chatting to me with regards to my choice of literature for the flight. If you were wondering, i had the book on Consciousness by Josh Weisberg.
Here are a few pictures of BI's home airport, BWN and the flagship lounge, the sky lounge.
Royal Brunei is an okay carrier in my books, not as flashy as the other Carriers in the region such as Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines or even the newly rebranded Garuda Indonesia. But it does its job pretty well serving the Bruneian population as the sole dominant carrier our of its international airport. If you can get over the lack of Alcohol, BI is a pretty hard carrier to beat in terms of hard product. Soft product not so much.
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