While first class redemptions are always a treat, when they include special services like private check-in, the experience becomes extra special. Today’s flight would include Singapore Airlines renowned first class reception.
Singapore is a beautiful city. I stayed in the Orchard area which is the high end shopping area of Singapore.
My 4:50PM flight left plenty of time to wander around the shops. After a light lunch it was time to venture to the airport.
Where’s the lawnmower!
I was greeted by no fewer than 3 Singapore representatives who ushered me into the reception area along with my luggage.
I had a seat at one of the private counters.
While the agent tried to figure out how to check a bag through multiple flights covering 3 days, I had a look around.
In no time I was released to security. Now here’s exclusivity.
And while I was surprised that the exit from security was across from the lounge, I really shouldn’t have been.
Up the escalator to the SilverKris Lounge and The Private Room.
A lounge attendant walked me back to The Private Room which is at the back of the First Class lounge. The Private Room is strictly for Singapore Airlines First Class and Suites Class ticketed passengers.
I had the room to myself. A little later one other person entered, but for the most part it was just me. So I took some photos. They even have a special room for diaper changing.
Off to the left of the entrance is the washroom / shower area. The shower stalls are somewhat confining compared to those in Sydney.
The formal sit down dining room looks like your favorite white tablecloth Michelin starred restaurant.
You can serve yourself from the buffet or order a la carte from the menu.
The menu is quite extensive.
I opted for this incredible Bordeaux. It gave Qatar’s Al Safwa wine a run for the money.
I ordered two small dishes, Satay and Dim Sum, keeping in mind another book the cook feast awaited. The Satay was fantastic.
The Dim Sum was delicious as well (and huge), although I passed on the tea and enjoyed more wine.
At this point I was content and found no reason to catch a plane. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. But I’ve been anxious to fly Singapore’s 777 in first class so it was off to the gate.
I boarded the triple 7 and was greeted by Pei Pei, who will turn out to be one of my, in not my all time favorite flight attendant. She truly made this flight special. I would be the only occupant in first class on this flight and had three FA’s at my disposal. How’s that for a ratio. But it was the personal attention that made Pei Pei stand out.
Singapore removed the overhead bins from this front cabin making much more open and airy.
Since the cabin is only a single row of seats, to make it easier for the flight attendants to maneuver, there is a small walkway and table behind the center seats. This also allows a little offset as seen in the side view photo of row one above.
The seats are plenty wide and finished in a rich leather, including a large leather pillow.
While not closed compartment as on the A380 these seats offer a good amount of privacy, especially when it’s just you up front!
In addition there is plenty of room for your feet when you want to extend the bed. (Note: The bed needs to be flipped over by a FA which I didn’t have done as this was a fairly short evening flight.)
This is the mini-cabin behind first class with 2 rows of business class seats.
The front panel housing the IFE monitor has a compartment for storage.
My guess is this is where they place the amenities such as kits and pajamas. But there were no such amenities on this flight. I was told 7 hours is the cut off.
Audio jack and LED reading lights on either side.
Along with a headphone hook on the opposite side of the side tray.
Seat controls for recline position and the leg rest. As mentioned you need assistance to go flat.
This small compartment under the armrest holds power outlets and is handy to charge your phone.
A large tray is housed under the monitor and slides out to a number of different positions.
There was one lavatory for the 4 seats in first class and was stocked as per Singapore standards.
Upon boarding I was offered a glass of champagne. And why not, it was almost 5PM.
Soon we pushed back.
I’ve written about the changes to this trip. The desire to tinker with the flights began when Singapore received their 787-10 and started offering reward seats on it. So I had booked one and subsequently canceled it. That flight was on this very Monday and the route was NRT-SIN arriving at 4:15PM.
Here it is.
Then a few gates down was another favorite.
20C it is.
And once above the afternoon cumulus clouds that typically form in this area, Pei Pei offered a Canape, which was actually more like a meal.
The beverage menu was slightly different on this flight compared to Sydney’s wine selection. This Bordeaux offered on this flight was the same as offered in The Private Room, but was actually a downgrade from the Saint-Estèphe offered from Sydney, at least in terms of price, being about $100 less. No disappointment here, at all.
The dinner menu for this flight from Singapore to Beijing.
Here’s Book the Cook, and I opted for the Kyo-Kaiseki meal, which I’d read was fantastic.
The appetizer course was first.
On prior Japanese airline flights where I’ve gotten the Kaiseki selection, I’ve detailed all the dishes. I used the menu for reference. Here I’m busted because there is no detailed menu, although I’m sure Pei Pei explained. But I’ve long since forgotten. So let’s wing it. This was a seared tuna I believe.
And probably Tofu.
Seaweed and something.
And the oyster like plateware with some fish, probably sea bream along with something else.
Probably one of reasons I don’t remember these dishes in detail is they weren’t very good.
Next was a poor excuse for a sushi course.
A prawn and piece of octopus along with a sliver of maki roll, probably with crab inside.
The open question is there enough teriyaki?
Cold soba noodles I believe.
Then the main course was presented.
On the left is unagi and the right is zucchini. The unagi was ok. When Pei Pei retrieved the dish with the uneaten zucchini, she asked if I didn’t like zucchini, I fibbed and said I was full.
The balance of the plate, Japanese pickles, rice and miso soup.
The sad thing about this meal is the cold noodles were probably the best dish.
Pei Pei offered coffee and chocolates for dessert.
The monitor on the 777 is much nicer than the 380, mostly because you are closer. However I’m pretty sure these are high def.
The handheld remote has a touchpad like a tablet. It was more frustrating than it was worth.
As a parting gift Pei Pei handed me this stuffed bear with a sweater commemorating the introduction of Singapore’s 787-10 aircraft, and I didn’t even tell her I was supposed to fly the 787 that day!
While this was part of a larger reward ticket, you can book Singapore Airlines in first class to PEK or PVG for 50,000 points. Add in a visit to The Private Room and it’s not a bad way to experience SIA’s first class product.
Carrier: Singapore Airlines
Date: August 2018
Route: Singapore - Beijing
Flight #: 806
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300 Reg# 9V-SWP (April 2008)
Configuration: F4 / J48 / W 28 / Y184
On Time: Yes
Reward Flying Rating: 7.5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎Obviously a single row cabin has exclusivity, especially when you are the only occupant. They removed the overhead bins allowing for a more spacious feeling as well.
✔︎At first I like the seat, but after a few hours I found it to be too hard and uncomfortable when reclining.
Cabin/Seats Rating: 7.5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎None on this flight.
✔︎The presentation was good, although not as nice as other Kaiseki meals I’ve had on Japanese airlines.
✔︎I did not care for the meal at all. But the wine and champagne saved the day!
Amenity/Food rating: 6.5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎The monitor was very nice, the touch screen handheld unit was frustrating to use.
✔︎ There was no wifi on this aircraft.
IFE rating: 8 out of 10 ✈
✔︎One of my favorite crews of all time.
Flight Attendant rating: 9.5 out of 10 ✈
✔︎B777. 10 year old B777. It was clean and well maintained.
Aircraft rating: 6 out of 10 ✈