Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Flight Number: SQ 494
Route: Singapore (SIN) – Dubai (DXB)
Duration: 6h 45m
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Cabin Class: Business Class
Seat Number: 21A
Following a quick transit after the inbound flight from Sydney, boarding commenced for the second leg of the journey onward to Dubai. Given the favourable flight durations for each sector, and the quick transit time (55 minutes), taking this route does not, in fact, add much time to the traditional non-stop option between Sydney and Dubai (operated by Emirates and Qantas). This means there is a very viable Star Alliance option for reaching the Middle East from the South-West Pacific.
The crew on this flight were even more fantastic than the last, and were incredibly friendly upon boarding. The Chief Steward took further steps to introduce himself to every Business Class passenger, and appeared to have instructed all the crew to do the same, whilst delivering information such as the flight time and meal services.
SQ operates their new/ refurbished 777-300ER aircraft on the Dubai sector, giving us the chance to once again experience the phenomenal next-generation (2013) product. Whilst this review won’t delve into the details of this product, check out some of our others that do. Upon reaching my seat I noticed that, along with 19A, was in fact windowless. Interestingly, this information was not illustrated on the SQ website or mobile app during the manage booking or online check-in stages. Nonetheless, after asking one of the crew if there were any other window seats available, she was very proactive in locating one and assisting me to move across to it.
Amenities were already placed on the seats, including socks, slippers and a new SQ 70 laundry kit. Amenity kits have not been provided in Business Class for a very long time, as the airline prefers to offer the essential items (toothbrush, razor etc.) in the lavatories as most passengers discard their kits anyway. As part of their 70th Anniversary celebrations, they are trialling an amenity kit focused on laundry needs, given in Business Class on long flights departing Singapore. The stylish bag comes in light and dark variations, and contains a number of items that can be used to maintain fresh laundry whilst travelling. It’s certainly an interesting take on the amenity kit and offers something very different to what most carriers do. Personally, I think it is more effective than traditional kits. All the essential disposables that would be used onboard are provided in lavatories/ upon request, whilst this kit encourages passengers to take it away and get more use out of it later on.
After the usual welcome, including hot-towels, drinks and literature, we departed Singapore a bit later than scheduled due to inclement weather. We were holding short of the departing runway when an arriving aircraft initiated a go-around. It was clear then that the runway direction was to be changed, and the crew immediately turned around and taxied to join the queue at the alternate runway.
Soon after departure, the meal service – lunch – commenced with SQ’s famous satay, which was as amazing as always.
For the main course I opted for the – also famous – Singapore chicken rice, a local favourite which SQ creates very well.
Lunch was served efficiently, and the rest of the flight was spent relaxing in the comfortable flat bed. Unlike the sector out of Sydney, the cabin was kept bright and airy, with most window shades open. I certainly prefer this on day flights, when every part of your body wants to be properly reminded that it is, in fact, day time. When passengers and crew end up closing window shades and turning off the lights, it can really make the journey frustrating.
As it was my birthday just prior to the flight, SQ had uplifted a cake, which the crew presented along with SQ 70 bears and a dry ice feature. Birthdays on SQ are always carried out well, making for a very memorable experience!
Around 1.5 hours before landing, a refreshment was provided, with 2 menu choices. I chose the Mie Goreng, given how well SQ creates Asian dishes.
We touched down in Dubai on time and were out of the airport in less than 20 minutes thanks to efficient baggage handling and passenger processing. Yet another excellent experience with one of the world’s best airlines concluded!