#nykflies: SIN-ICN on SQ’s J

Date: 27th Sep 2016 (Tue)
Flight: SQ600
Sector: SIN – ICN
Reg: 9V-STG
Type: A330-300 (333)
Seat: 16F
Class: Business (J)
STD: 08:00 SST (UTC +8)
STA: 15:35 KST (UTC +9)

This is a review of my recent experience with SQ’s Business Class when I flew to Seoul for a work trip. The service on board was excellent as one would expect on SQ, although the food quality could be better.

Pre-departure

My flight to Seoul departs from Changi Airport’s Terminal 3. I arrived the airport at 5.30 am, about 2.5 hours before the scheduled departure of my flight.

Before checking-in for my flight, I made a detour to the Changi Recommends counter at Arrival Hall to collect my overseas Wifi router that I pre-ordered online.

Tip: The Wifi router from Changi Recommends is the best I’ve used so far. The internet connection I had in Seoul was stable, and the entire picking up/returning process was a breeze. The best part? It cost as little as SGD $5/day (depending on the destination). I have had bad experiences with Wifi routers from other vendors, so I highly recommend this service from Changi Recommends! Find out more details here.

5 minutes was all I took to collect my router. Easy!

Check-in was hassle-free. There was no queue at the the check-in counter, and the agent attending to me was efficient. I got my boarding pass in 5 minutes, or maybe even less.

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Glad that SQ brought back the old colour coded boarding passes

After clearing immigration which was a breeze, I spent the rest of my time shopping for gifts. Before I knew it, it was time for boarding.

Boarding

The gate for my flight was A20, which is at the far end of the terminal. It is one of the dreaded common gate-hold rooms in T3.

Security screening took quite awhile as there were 3 flights departing around the same time using that gate-hold room. There were no priority queues for premium passengers.

The Seat

The regional business class seat on SQ is a modified version of Weber’s 7811 seat in a 2-2-2 configuration.

I found the seat pretty comfortable, even though it is not SQ’s flagship J seat. I was able to find good positions for both lounging and lying flat. There was also enough cushioning and support for my back.

One can tell the age of the aircraft from the scratches and dirt on the control panel

The seat controls are located under the armrest. There are quite a few buttons on the panel that one can play with, but don’t be intimidated by it. You actually only need to use the top four buttons to control the entire seat.

Cabin & Toilets

There are 30 business class seats on SQ’s Airbus A330. The passenger load for my flight was a full 30 out of 30. Looks like SQ is doing pretty well on the SIN-ICN route.

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Spacious cabin even with a full load

Two lavatories are available in the business class cabin. They are located behind row 16 which was right behind where I was seated. Having said that, I was not bothered by the flushing noise or human traffic.

The lavatories were well stocked with toothbrushes, combs and shaving kits. There were also mouthwash, lotion and Eau de Cologne if you needed to freshen up.

Fresh orchids for you?

The lavatories were kept clean and dry throughout the flight. I could see from where I was seated that the crew did regular checks on the toilets to ensure they were well maintained. Nice.

Food & Drink

Bunch was served about 1 hour after take-off. The meal service started with a beverage run followed by a fresh fruits platter.

The cut fruits were juicy and sweet, but the presentation could be improved. The plate used to serve the fruits was too large and it gave the visual impression that the plate was empty.

Standard breakfast fare: Cereal, Fruit Platter and Bread roll 

Once the tables were all setup, the flight steward came around with the bread basket. There were a few types of bread on offer, and I settled for a puff pastry. The pastry skin was crispy and chewy. Having said that, I’m not a huge fan of bread so i would rate it as average.

Next, the leading stewardess came around with bowls of cereal with milk. I randomly took a bowl from her tray and she kindly informed me that the milk used was full cream. She made sure I was okay with it before handing the bowl over to me. So sweet.

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I chose the Wanton Noodles for my main course. It was okay, but nothing spectacular. The soup was piping hot when served, and he noodles were springy.

The wanton filling was pretty substantial, but I would prefer if less onions were used. The strong taste of onion dominated over the rest of the ingredients, and that was the only thing I could taste.

Also, I ordered the noodles because I wanted something light, but the soup was a little too oily for me.

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Dessert was just a simple Tiramisu. I was actually quite stuffed at this point but the lovely stewardess insisted that I have some. I can’t say no to that smile, can I?

Entertainment

SQ uses the Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system on its Airbus 330s. This is one of my favourite IFE systems of all time as it is reliable and responsive (although the screens are not touchscreens). Comparatively, the Panasonic eX3 on their newer Boeing 777s have a cooler interface, but they also tend to be much more ‘laggy’.

Noise-cancelling headsets from Phitek were provided for passengers in Business class. The sound quality from these headphones were okay. There was some noise-cancelling effect, but they were not as effective as those on Bose.

Intuitive IFE handset

Krisworld has one of the most comprehensive content libraries in the air. From movies to games, to even music, there’s definitely enough content to keep me entertained for a 6-hour flight. I have no problems if I had to go for an even longer flight.

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October’s edition of SilverKris was uplifted although my flight was in September

For those who prefer something more tactile, there were in house magazines (Silverkris, Krisworld and Krisshop) in the seat pockets. There were also other reading materials available from the crew.

Comforts

Each seat came with a blanket and a large pillow. I did not use the blanket as I wasn’t feeling chilly. The pillow was fluffy and soft.

There were no amenity bags given, but the lavatory was well stocked with all that I needed. I prefer this model as I can just help myself to just items that I need. No wastage.

Service

As my flight was completely full, I was expecting some lapses in the service. However, I am glad to say that SQ proved me wrong. The service was not any less than any other SQ flights. In fact, I had one of the best set of crew on my flight.

Verdict

Here’s my overall verdict for my experience:

Check-in – Rating: 4.5/5

No queues.

Lounge – Rating: N.A.

Didn’t manage to visit the lounge as I had errands to run.

Seat – Rating: 4.5/5

One of the best regional business class seats in its league.

Entertainment – Rating: 4/5

Fast and responsive system. Huge IFE content. One of SQ’s strongest points.

Service – Rating: 4.5/5

Excellent set of cabin crew. From the IFS to the FSS, everybody seem to be passionate about their work.

Food – Rating: 3/5

Average. I expected more for catering out of SQ’s home base.

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That’s all folks!

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