Hello IFC peeps,
A week or so ago I impulsively booked a flight to Singapore as a reward for myself after a hectic year, which went unexpectedly well so here goes a (double) trip review on the one and only Singapore Airlines.
The trip started off very early with a check-in time of 6am as per the airline’s recommendation, though it does not curb my excitement to get on an international flight after more than a year in home soil. To be fair the only concern then was inadequate paperwork to board the flight, ended up not being an issue at all.
Since there weren’t many travellers in the morning, immigration was quick and I managed to sit back and watch the sunrise from airside.
After some time planespotting around KL’s Satellite Terminal, I cleared the final security checks and waited for the previous flight to arrive. Introducing Singapore Airlines’ 737 MAX 8, registered as 9V-MBD. This aircraft was previously operated by SQ’s regional branch, Silkair before its consolidation a few years ago. It is still challenging to find a route out of KUL with a 737 MAX due to the lack of operators and partial bans from nearby countries – only Singapore Airlines and Batik Air Malaysia operates this aircraft at a relatively small scale compared to its older counterparts, the NG series.
The service was notably great with drinks served for a 40-minute hop, as well as a pair of flight crew who invited me to the flight deck, explaining the technology and operations on this aircraft.
While the flight is rather short and it was early in the morning, I realised I have barely any detailed pictures of the cabin so here’s one post-flight, approved by the cabin crew:
The business class cabin has an alternate configuration with 1-1 and 2-2 for four rows, where the single seat would be the throne seat. Economy class was also relatively premium with full-size tray tables and IFE available. This is extremely impressive considering the routes it is serving, but it may be a must-have for longer stretches like Hyderabad or Cairns. Still, an above-average for a narrowbody.
After immigration comes more planespotting at the viewing mall of Changi Airport, which gave a great sight on the ramp of Terminal 1, though the conditions weren’t ideal during my short stop. Here’s a Thai Airways A350 pulling in after a flight from Bangkok.
Spent an afternoon meeting up with friends and being a typical tourist, but I managed to have a walk around the pitlane and the few corners of Singapore’s Marina Bay F1 Circuit – it is currently under construction (new grandstands in the background) for the upcoming race, though the garage still has everything from 2019.
Anyways, since there weren’t anything overly exciting for me, I headed back to the airport first thing in the morning for spotting despite poor conditions as usual. Still have 10 hours before my return flight. A taxiway view as an example but I think I might create another spotting topic.
Just when things were going pretty well and the trip shall end nicely, a pleasant surprise arrived a few hours prior to my flight:
boarding gate updates
“hold up wasn’t that gate taken up by SJC??”
Turns out 9V-SJC (shown above) was on its first day of revenue flights, operating to Jakarta in the picture before the evening rotation to KL. What are the odds?
More checkins, running between terminals, immigration, checks and finally boarding 9V-SJC. It is the 60th A350 for Singapore Airlines, delivered fresh from Toulouse a week before this flight.
On board the brand new A350’s Premium Economy Class with a small fee – worth the price even if it is another very short journey. It has a configuration of 2-4-2 instead of 3-3-3 for Economy Class as well as extra seat pitch. It also features a reading light and a wider armrest in between seats, so a classical Premium Economy cabin for a long-haul flights. I am lucky to get this aircraft on familiarisation flights instead of selected regional A350 configurations, which I would expect higher seat density.
Etihad’s “Choose Singapore” livery at Singapore, how fitting.
Departed rainy Singapore and off to KL. Sunset flights are very enjoyable with all the views and clouds around, maybe I should pick more of those in the future.
Back to KL! This time our aircraft arrived at the Main Terminal Building, meaning less walking and commuting to the immigration counters. The enthusiastic flight crew (again) invited me to the cockpit of this beast to observe their pre-departure procedures and actual operations for their flight back to SIN. Not everyday you get to do this in person! Had a smooth immigration with no lines (thanks Autogates) and a safe trip home.
One thing for sure, fantastic is an understatement to this last-minute adventure. A great nation to visit as well as excellent aircraft and people on board. The flights were extremely enjoyable and it proves again that you pay for what you get. A premium price but it essentially guarantees a fun and smooth experience for a 2-day visit. Thanks for reading if you got to the end and hope this gives you a good idea on SQ’s regional services!