SQ212 SYD-SIN, First Class

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FLIGHT TEST

The Route

SYD-SIN, SQ212, departure time 0755

The Loyalty Scheme

Krisflyer, a member of star alliance

Class

First Class, load 5/8 (3 empty windows)

Duration

7:15 (strong headwind out of Sydney – at one stage 244km/h)

Frequency

3 times/ day with differing aircraft – the early flight is on the older 777 aircraft, whilst the later flights are serviced by an A380, and another 777- although sometimes the refurbished cabin.

The Lounge

SQ has it’s own Krisflyer lounge in Sydney, split into business and first class sections. The manager and assistant manager of the lounge are always extremely hospitable, and whilst the breakfast offerings leave a little to be desired, I was impressed with the offering of the duck pancakes from the after noon a la carte menu.

Top tips
– don’t bother with a mimosa – the packaged orange juice is not the best and doesn’t add to the Moet & Chandon currently being served in the lounge.

– try and snag a position at one of the tables by the windows- we spent our time watching the various planes landing and then come into the respective gates. With the early departure time we saw plenty of flights come in including a number of the current beast of the sky the A380.

– don’t ask, you don’t get – whilst I appreciate it puts the kitchen staff out a little, if none of the desired food offerings take your fancy, ask the manager/ server whether the kitchen could do something else. For example, just by asking, I was informed the business class section of the lounge also had a noodle dish as part of the buffet.

The Seat

1C/1D – middle seats in a cabin of 8. Whilst I do enjoy a window seat to check out what’s going on down below, the middle seats work in terms of being able to have a conversation with the better half. Unfortunately this does mean you cannot control the up/down of the windows – and I find for some reason people like to shut the blinds on a day flight – boo! ☹

this was also evident in the business class cabin which was kept shades down – I’m going to call a conspiracy theory on this- given shades down induced a sleepy feeling for myself and hence would require less attention from the cabin crew.

In the end, despite travelling on an award ticket, I decided to move across to an empty window seat and raise the blinds to remind myself it was actually daylight, and I was only travelling a short distance with a small time change. Perhaps a little selfish, but hey, that’s why they hand out eyeshades? ☺

Baggage

First class passengers are entitled to a very generous 50kg, whilst frequent flyers of SQ and Star Alliance receive bonus allowance on top.

This was the shortest international jaunt either of us had ever taken, and we decided to go hand luggage only, despite not necessarily needing to.

Neither of our bags were weighed at check-in, and we had a feeling Leslie’s bag was probably a little too large for the official rules

Entertainment

Krisworld entertainment system on an older screen = less resolution. Gone are the days of the airplane showing movies prior to release in cinemas back home. Unfortunately rather disappointing with only a few episodes of TV series and no movies of interest. I had brought a few magazines to compensate for this. With in-seat power you’d be well advised to BYO.

Comfort

Our flight was on 9V-SYH, a plane originally built in 2002. Unfortunately it was beginning to show its age. Despite minor scuffs etc on the hard product the main disappointment were the cushions on the headrest – as these are immovable they became obstructive and were quite lumpy. Thumbs down.

Upon moving to the window seat it did appear they are Velcro-d to the seat so if they are extremely bothersome it appears possible to be removed.

Service

Regardless of the day you’re travelling the SQ service is consistent. Unfortunately however the routine appeared to be just that, rather than with any warmth. Headphones, amenity kits (male & female), PJs, slippers, eyeshades and menus were distributed promptly, but there was no introduction by either of the 2 staff working in the cabin.

The pursuer did serve us at times throughout the flight (whilst enjoying an uneaten breakfast menu item), whilst the lead stewardess appeared to be the main server. After the first meal service the male attendant disappeared, something which I have also noticed on previous SQ first class flights.

Food

Breakfast was a multi-course affair, and I was quite satisfied. A nice fruit salad to start followed by bircher muesli and the lobster noodles. I passed on the pastries offered around the cabin which seemed a little insipid.

Breakfast was completed within 2 hours of wheels up.

Food

It has taken me some time to realise this, but the lunch service offered on this morning flight truly is sub-par. No caviar, no satay, and no cheese course to finish.

Champagne – despite giving Krug the benefit of the doubt and giving it another try, it’s still not up my alley. Not a great nose, and just a little ‘flat’ on the palate.

Dom on the other hand still has the buttery taste that I enjoy despite it tasting a little bitter compared to the Krug. Unfortunately, perhaps passed on by my gene pool, I suffer from an allergic reaction to something in some alcohols – possibly the sulfurs. I noticed I sneezed considerably more during Dom consumption than with the Krug.

Whilst I can make an excuse for Champagne consumption any time of day, I decided to give the vinos a try. Fast facts – whilst I appreciate a beverage pairing at a fine dining establishment, I have little appreciation of wine outside this bubble and hence could be led to believe a shiraz grape is a white wine!

Nonetheless SQ appear to offer a decent selection outside of the big-hitting Champagnes.

The lunch service began…

I had the BTC grilled beef in peppercorn sauce, whilst Leslie had the BTC veal mignon.

We had a bit less than 2 hours between flights and so after collecting our transit vouchers (thank you Changi Airport!) we headed off to the lounge. After all, there’s always time for a champagne, some food, and a shower in the private room!
The Verdict

This flight was booked for 63,750 miles each one way, (including the subsequent business class flight to Bangkok), plus around S$350 in taxes. Given mileage earn can be acquired at around 1c/mile it was around $1,000 all in. In my view this is definitely worth it, particularly when economy class fares can run at around $500 one way. That being said I can understand those who are prepared to travel economy for a day flight and have the additional funds at the destination to be spent on upgrading their hotel, or on-ground experiences. After all, to each their own!

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