Singapore Airlines SQ866
SIN – HKG
March 23, 2015
First Class, Seat 1A
Boeing 777-300ER, 9V-SWL
The departure gate for SIN – HKG was just below the Silverkris Lounge, which was really nice considering I was struggling to stay awake from my hope across three continents. The funny thing about SIN is that there are gate lounges, where security check points are positioned outside a cluster of several gates. Never understood the methodology behind it – I’d imagine it works well at larger airports with a lot of space (and cheap labor) – but the same model probably wouldn’t work well at US airports.
It was not long before the agents called for boarding. I was among the first to board, and it already felt different for some reason. stepping onto the aircraft, the entranceway was dim. The carpeting was a dark beige, and the walls were lined with a faux wood paneling.
Lead stewardess Jenna escorted me to my seat 1A, just 4 steps from door 1L, and asked if she could get me anything. I simply asked for a glass of water – funny how my pre-boarding drink selection changes as I get deeper into my journey, and more exhausted. Jenna soon came back with a tall glass of water, as well as a pair of slippers – she reminded me if there was anything else I needed at all, just ask.
I usually don’t post photos of myself. But I needed to do this to emphasize that this seat was so huge that two of me can sit comfortably.
I started to doze off as the other passengers were making their way into the cabin – There were only 4 out of 8 seats occupied in First Class. The middle pair in row two were occupied by an elderly German couple. I have nothing against old people – and hey, if you can still make the journey and travel, go for it – but, the female was LITERALLY SCREAMING TO TALK TO HER HUSBAND. It was really disruptive, and I was actually starting to get annoyed.
Luckily, we soon pushed back, fired up those GE90s, headed towards the active, and drowned out the loud couple.
On our way up to cruising altitude for our quick hop to Hong Kong, Jenna came around to take lunch orders and offer a pre-meal beverage. I opted for a Silverkris Sling – one of Singapore Airlines’ signature cocktails – and placed my order for the prosciutto salad, double-boiled oxtail soup, and the Singapore chicken rice.
Shortly after receiving my drink – which was delicious by the way – the table was once again beautifully set with Givenchy dinnerware. Three segments in on Singapore First and I still can’t believe this was all happening in a metal tube several miles in the air.
The meal was fantastic, and probably the most well rounded meal out of my three segments. And caviar was not even involved! The chicken rice was really tasty but the portion was also huge – I was not able to finish it and actually felt really bad. Once again, due to generous servings, I opted to skip dessert.
The remainder of the flight was uneventful, I was so tired and out of it that I just stared at the moving map. The sun was on my side of the cabin, so it actually got pretty warm – which made it perfect for drifting off to sleep.
Not before long, Jenna came around to collect any remaining service items or trash. She even came around once more to offer everyone assorted mints. Needless to say the service she delivered was above and beyond, and she did it so effortlessly. I probably don’t have to say it, but I had quite the in-flight crush on the lead stewardess.
At a quarter to five in the afternoon, SQ866 touched down at a hazy HKG. Considering the amount of traffic at the airport, we had a pretty swift taxi to the gate. And just like that, my entire experience with Singapore Airlines was over, finished as quickly as it had started. It was bittersweet, but nice to finally heads towards a hotel and be in one place for a few days. The crew would operate the return trip to Singapore, pretty nice since they would get back in time for a late dinner with family or friends.
Singapore Airlines is truly an outstanding carrier. From the ground services to food services to the fantastic cabin crew – it all seemed scripted, but it wasn’t. Such an experience is crafted by cultural customs of respect, humility, hospitality, and some really really good training. If only airlines in the US could provide such refined service.
The 777-300ER that I flew on had the old seats and configuration. Singapore Airlines is currently in the process of refurbishing their 77W cabins with awesome new premium seats – wish I had the chance to experience those, but really no complaints with the old seats for such a short flight.
SIN to HKG is a great route to redeem miles on if you’re trying to experience SQ’s First Class. At the moment they operate three flights with First Class (two 77Ws and one A380) – giving you options of seats too. If you book online, a one way saver award is only 31,875 with the help of the 15% online award booking discount. The flight is long enough to get to experience an elaborate meal service without being rushed, and you get access to the Private Room in Singapore as well. Compare that to a flight of similar flight time in the US. The most you can ask for is a mainline aircraft and a hot meal with all courses served on a single tray!