We occasionally feature guest reporters and reviewers who are keen to share their travel experiences with the world. BK Tan is another “Singapore Airlines Super-Fan”, who was also featured in the March edition of SilverKris, SIA’s inflight magazine (click to read more).
BK recently flew Singapore Airlines’ awe inspiring First Class to Houston, via Moscow, and has prepared a detailed and fascinating account of the experience.
Travelling in Style, Onboard the World’s Best
If flying is your thing, you owe it to yourself to do it in style. Fly with the world’s best and get that all high and happy feeling, even before indulging in the delightful onboard service!
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Flight Number: SQ62
Duration: 10 Hours 40 Minutes (SIN-DME); 11 Hours 25 Minutes (DME-IAH)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Cabin Class: First Class
Seat Number: 02F (Dining) 01F (Resting)
Exclusive and personalized, the experience kicks-off with a private check-in at the airline’s First Class Lounge. Porters greet his and her “Royal Majesties” (“HRM”) upon arrival at curb-side drop-off, readily assisting with luggage whilst HRMs are personally escorted to available counters for check-in.
Once check-in formalities are completed, travelers on First Class and Suites clear immigration out-of-public-sight.
“Elites” flying out from Singapore onboard Singapore Airlines’ First Class and Suites, get invitations to The Private Room accessible by a quick escorted sprint past the “First Class” lounge.
Once inside The Private Room, to the left, past the sofas and televisions is a classy dining area, where a host of culinary delights await.
Having had an abundance of time before the boarding call, I sampled the Poached Lobster Provençale and US Prime Beef Burger with Foie Gras, Rocket Leaf and Fried Quail Egg, washing it down with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck champagne. Well, how else do the Dukes and Duchesses of Beverly Hills do it?
After savoring two mains and some champagne, I decided to check out The Private Room’s shower facilities. A heavenly indulgence, considering I had nearly a day and a quarter of travel ahead of me. Besides, regardless of my class of travel, my personal standard is to be well-groomed on every flight.
Time check: 02:00am. Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER (Tail: 9V-SWT / April 9th, 2016) was ready for boarding. Ecstatic about the 24 hour ride, I took wide brisk strides till the end of the “rainbow” where the aerobridge linked itself to “door two left”. “Good morning Mr. Tan”. I was escorted to my throne, 02F.
On Singapore Airlines, passengers traveling First Class (available only on selected Boeing 777 fleet) or Suites (available only on the Airbus A380 fleet) are offered a selection of either Krug or Dom Pérignon, versus that of Taittinger on Business Class.
Krug was my choice of pre-departure drinks, my taste buds remaining consistent from when I last flew First Class in November 2015 (Seoul-Incheon to Singapore / SQ15 aboard 9V-SWH), after having tasted Dom Pérignon in Suites previously in October 2014 (New Delhi to Singapore / SQ403 onboard 9V- SKJ). Personally, I find that Krug is smoother, less bubbly, more refined and exquisite in taste than Dom Pérignon. Well, am no Wine Sommelier but that’s my amateurish take on the difference between the two.
This First Class seat would be my “home away from home” where I’ll unwind and relax for the next 24 hours. With seven decades of “inflight service that even other airlines talk about”, a deep strong faith resides within me, confident that “finding something for everyone to love”; by “understanding your (my) needs, bringing you (me) a taste of the familiar”; and creating new levels of comfort” all comes naturally to my host, and the Singapore girl, for “it’s just one of the lengths we (Singapore Airlines) go (goes) to, to make you (me) feel at home”. (Click to watch the 2013 Brand Campaign)
Momentarily lost in my own self, with a glass of Krug in hand, I was presented with a set of inflight amenities: Salvatore Ferragamo branded Male Kit; and Singapore Airlines house branded pajamas, eyeshades, sockets and cabin slippers. In the words of Smeagal from “Lord of the Rings”, these amenity kits were essentially “My Precious”.
Singapore Airlines’ branded amenities are offered to passengers traveling First Class and Suites for:
a) Day flights between 0600hrs and 1800hrs, for flight durations in excess of 7 hours. Flights SQ12(SIN-NRT) and SQ634 (SIN-HND) are eligible
b) Evening flights between 1800hrs and 0600hrs, for flight durations in excess of 3.5 hours and which arrivals are after 0030hrs.
*On two sector flights with no break in journey, only one amenity kit will be distributed from point of embarkation.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, your Captain from the flight deck, wishing all a warm welcome aboard Singapore Airlines, SQ 62 to Moscow and Houston…..”
02:47am: Wheels up! Positive climb commenced to an initial cruising altitude of 35,000ft. Getting myself tucked into bed was priority. Well, not before a warm cup of tea and nuts. By 03:15am it was time to convert my throne into a bed, stretch-out and snooze! Good night!
My Book The Cook (“BTC”) supper choice of Boston Lobster Thermidor would be served as breakfast; as I had decided to offer my breakfast selection of Nasi Lemak to the wonderful crew who had to forgo uninterrupted rest and attend to me on this red eye flight out of Singapore.
Available on selected sectors when flying in premium cabins of Singapore Airlines, passengers may choose their preferred culinary option, available up to 24 hours prior to departure, allowing the chefs time to whip up that storm for you. Healthier options, better referred to as “Wholesome Meals” were recently introduced by Singapore Airlines (Click to read more). No doubt, an awesome treat whilst flying over land and sea!
In any event, one can indulge in endless culinary pleasures when traveling in premium cabins. Pictured here are just some of the treats I savored during the 10 hours 40 minutes flight from Singapore to Moscow; and 11 hours 25 minutes flight from Moscow to Houston. Regretfully, no “Wholesome Meals” here. Bon appètit!
“Creating new levels of comfort“
Regardless of the class of travel, Singapore Airlines never fails to deliver, but it is a whole new world on the front end of the cabin. The word “pampered” takes on a whole new meaning, for what’s better than waking up to a glass of champagne in bed at 40,000 ft in the sky, whilst soaring through fluffy clouds in blue skies at 500mph?
Reality, momentarily tossed out of the windows could be a lifestyle change, but a fantasy and dream I could get accustomed to, twenty-four-seven. As chorused by Eurythmics in their 1983 Top Chart Hits of “Sweet Dreams”: “Sweet (“Suites”) dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree?”
“Finding something for everyone to love“
Inflight entertainment on Krisworld gets better with Bose noise cancelling headsets for the “Duke” in-question. With hundreds of entertainment selections in a variety of genres and languages to choose from, Singapore Airlines has indeed kept to its commitment in finding “something for everyone to love”.
There’s even “Muppets” if that’s what brings you laughter, making you feel rejuvenated all over again!
10:51am: 9V-SWT arrives in Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport. After a short transit of an hour and 30 minutes, doors were closed and the warm fuzzy feeling was relived, yet again, on the 11 hour 25 minute flight to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The angels from heaven called out as we flew in bright warm sunlight for the entire journey to the USA!
13:44hrs: “Welcome to Houston, Ladies and Gentlemen. The local time is 1.44pm on Saturday the 9th of April and the temperature is 23 degrees C / 73 degrees F. Please note that Houston is 8 hours behind Moscow and 13 hours behind Singapore….. It has been our pleasure serving you on this flight. Thank you for flying with Singapore Airlines, a member of Star Alliance.”
So, what really makes Singapore Airlines, now more than ever, a great way to fly? Thoughtfully scripted by TBWA in 2013, these words become a reality, on my flight to Houston, making the experience a branding success of unforgettable proportions.
“We search for what’s special;
For what lives an experience to another level;
And that unspoken feeling doesn’t happen by chance;
So no matter what changes, this commitment holds true;
We will find what truly matters, to make you feel at home.” – TBWA, 2013 Singapore Airlines Branding Content
If you have not enrolled in Singapore Airlines’ mileage rewards program, it may be interesting to note that a host of salutations are offered. With the exception of “Emperor”; “Empresses”; and “Dowager”, you’d find something suitable that rings a jingle to your ears. Here’s what I occasionally go by…. So next time you see me onboard, do drop by and chat with the “Lord”.☺
Beng Keat TAN (“BK”) writing freelance. BK
may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org