There’s been a lot of changes to some of the world’s best airlines of late that have seen them change in flight offerings and add in charges for choosing seats ahead of check-in to their lower economy tickets. Singapore Airlines has been no stranger to the latter, but how does their service stack up for flyers in 2019? Has it been reduced or is it still the world-class experience they’re known for?
Flight Route: SQ222 – Sydney to Singapore
Cabin/Seat: Economy – 59D – Aisle, Middle (3-4-3 Configuration)
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Flight Time? 8 Hours Flight Time
On Time? Departed and Arrived 10 Minutes Late
At Sydney International Airport
I arrived about 1 hour 40 before the 4pm flight (which I only recommend if you are flying an upper class or are a Singapore/Star Alliance/Virgin frequent flyer) and was greeted with no queue, and was able to go through the express path thanks to my Velocity status. Once through security, which was a breeze, I headed straight for the Singapore Airlines lounge, where they were serving lunch.
Everything is self-service, and there’s a great selection of food and drink to enjoy, with plenty of comfortable seating. They make an announcement when boarding is about to commence, giving you plenty of time to get to the nearby gate. My favourite dish from this visit was the beef rendang with coconut rice, as well as a soy chicken drumsticks, with the meat sliding off the bone. Just delicious, and a great way to start the Singapore Airlines experience.
All customers can fly with at least 30kg of luggage; frequent flyers and passengers seated in the Upper Classes can have up to 50kg. The amount varies per ticket type, but it’s very generous across the board. Check your ticket type and this page for more information.
In Flight Service
The in flight experience with Singapore starts as soon as the seatbelt sign comes off, with flight attendants distributing menus, and hot towels – which are still the traditional large hot towels that have always been supplied (I’ve noticed some airlines have moved into what is basically a sanitary wipe, if they still do it at all). The first drink service takes place right after they reach elevation, and the main meal service not long after. A snack was served two hours before landing with another hot towel and drink service. Attendants were quick to attend to any requests and didn’t forget anything that was asked of them – taking specialty drink orders during meal service and then delivering them shortly after service.
Food and Drink
The food served by Singapore has always been of excellent quality, and I love getting the menu before the service. They provide two standard options for the first meal service – in this case a beef mince with vegetables option or a soy braised chicken with rice and vegetables. It’s served with water, cheese and crackers, a warm bread roll with butter and a small chicken with Waldorf salad and walnuts. Dessert was brought around later, which was a connoisseur ice cream – standard vanilla with chocolate coating on a stick. The meal was tasty, though no salt or pepper is supplied as part of the set – just a toothpick with the usual cutlery and a napkin.
The snack before landing was a small pide – chicken and mushroom with cheese, or vegetarian, with tea and coffee. Both meals were tasty and plenty of food for a 8 hour service. The options though definitely seem to be less than they used to.
The in flight KrisWorld entertainment was jam packed with new release movies, classics and full seasons of new TV shows. The screens are large at around 11” and the sound quality was great when I used my own headphones (plugging into the two-pronged adapter they supply with their own headphones… I’m surprised these are still required on flights). The screens are not touch screen however. A USB plug is available next to the screen and a AC plug is in selected arm rests, or below your seat, depending on where you’re seated. The entertainment is available gate to gate unless you’re in a bulkhead seat.
Singapore Airlines flights have always had comfortable seats, and this flight was no exception – though the leg room continues to be a source of disappointment. The flight was also surprisingly cold for its duration. But there was barely a bump along the way – the A380s offer such a smooth experience.
Arriving in Singapore
If you’re staying in Singapore, you still have to fill out a custom’s card (some countries have gone digital in recent years). And you’ll keep part of the card you have to provide on exit. It’s a comfortable airport to arrive in, certainly one of the best in the world. Getting through customs was a breeze and the bags were out, rather remarkably, about 10 minutes after we landed.
Singapore Airlines have certainly made subtle changes to their service over the years to reduce costs, but it hasn’t taken away from the experience whatsoever. This remains the service to beat on the Singapore route, and though I’d love them to add some inches to the legroom, there’s little to complain about. Great service, solid food and drink options and a smooth experience from origin to destination.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
To book your next trip with Singapore Airlines, head to singaporeair.com
The writer flew at his own expense. He flew on 28th February 2019. Image courtesy of Airbus.