[Click above for the video review.]
This last trip was very exciting for us. We were approaching the tail end of our year-end trip and my most anticipated flight was our Singapore Airlines Suites flight from Auckland to Singapore aboard their Airbus A380 aircraft. This was our first time on Singapore Airlines Suites and we totally loved the experience. Please read on for the full account:
We spent 3 days in Auckland and loved it! New Zealand is such an amazing country with wonderful people. We left our hotel about 3 hours before departure as we wanted to experience Air New Zealand’s Koru lounge at Auckland Airport.
Upon arrival at the International Terminal, we looked for the Singapore Airlines check-in counter. There was a dedicated counter for Suites passengers and we were promptly assisted by a check-in agent. One disappointment we had was we were “forced” to check-in our carry-ons because they were above 7 Kg. I mentioned that we always travel with these and this is the first time I’ve heard of this rule. Sadly, the check-in agent didn’t budge and we had to check-in our carry-ons. The agent printed our boarding passes and luggage tags, and we were off.
Thanks to the efficient security screening, and automated immigration gates at Auckland Airport, we were airside in no time. We walked towards the Air New Zealand lounge but stopped short of the entrance to enjoy a view of American Airlines’ Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which was parked at the gate.
After taking a few snaps of the plane, we took the escalator up to the lounge and were promptly greeted by a friendly lounge agent. The lounge is beautiful. One of the rooms featured a living wall with hanging chairs, while the main lounge area offered plenty of seating. Power and USB power were available in some of the seats, which was awesome considering I needed to charge my phone badly.
The dining room was a good size with a funky looking helix artwork above the long table. The food offering was also very good with plenty of hot and cold food selections available in the buffet spread.
There was a self-serve wine bar in one of the corners of the dining room and I helped myself to a glass of sparking wine from New Zealand, and grabbed some meatballs, pasta and cheese from the hot food buffet.
After a good hour, we left the lounge and started walking towards our gate. The gate area was very crowded, which made sense considering we were all flying in a massive Airbus A380 Superjumbo. There was a slight technical delay, but pretty soon passengers were called to board. Suites passengers had priority boarding, as well as a dedicated queue.
Upon arriving at the plane door, we were greeted by Eric, the chief Steward. He walked us over to our seat. I was seated in 2F, while my companion was in 1F. Soon after settling in, we were offered a hot towel, and pre-departure drinks. Naturally, I opted for the Krug Grand Cuvée champagne. Eric promptly came back with the bottle and champagne flute and poured the champagne at my seat.
A Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit and pajamas were handed out along with the Bose noise-canceling headphones. The amenity kit was pretty basic, but that’s OK since Singapore Airlines’ lavatories are stocked with several amenities. The pajamas were very comfortable as well. After a few minutes, Eric came back and topped-off my champagne. The in-flight supervisor, Patrick also came by to introduce himself and thanked us for flying Singapore Airline. He also advised us our flying time of 9 hours and 40 minutes to Singapore.
Boarding soon finished and we pushed back from the gate. The safety video played during our 10 minute taxi to the runway. We had a long takeoff roll, and our ascent was gradual which made for good views of the bay.
As soon as we hit 10,000 feet, the flight attendants started their on board service. First, Eric went around and took meal orders. Did I mention that Singapore Airlines probably has the most elaborate dining menu I’ve ever seen? Anyway, service started with a hot towel, and then another round of Krug. A few minutes later, Eric came back with Singapore Airlines’ signature lamb and chicken satay dish and it was delicious!
For the appetizer course, I ordered the chilled Malossol Caviar with accoutrements. Singapore Airlines doesn’t give you your own caviar tin like in other airlines, but the serving was definitely sufficient-and delicious!
For the next course, I had choice of salad, or soup (or both). As I’m not a salad person, I chose the Savoy Cabbage Soup. I mean I’ll eat salad, but will usually choose something else if I had a choice. The soup was rather bland, but the temperature was just right and it was light.
As soon as I was done with my bowl, Eric cleared my table and he soon brought me my main meal, in which I chose the seared beef fillet. Sadly, the meat was overcooked, and a little tough, but it was good nonetheless.
For dessert, I ordered the chocolate mousse cake, which was very good. I was then offered some coffee or tea and I ordered an Americano.
After the meal, Eric came by with a hot towel, and also asked if I wanted to have my bed made. I said yes, and then visited the lavatory to freshen up and change into my pajamas. The First Class lavatory was a good size. Definitely much smaller than the massive lavatories on the upper deck of the A380, but it was clean, well stocked with amenities, and had a changing bench which made it easy for me to change.
I went back to my suite and found the wardrobe closet to hang my clothes in.
I was in awe when I got back to my suite and saw my bed. One thing I love about Singapore Airlines is their attention to detail, and this flight was no different. This is probably the best turndown service I’ve had in the sky. The bed was beautifully setup with extra throw pillows, including both a duvet, and a light blanket. Next to the bed was a bottled water, eye shades, and socks. I was in heaven! I got settled, closed my suite doors, and lounged in my spacious suite in the sky.
I decided to check out the Krisworld in-flight entertainment. The media content was decent with a good selection of new and classic movie titles, various TV shows, good amount of audio programming, and some games. The moving map was OK, but very basic.
Then it was off to lalaland. I slept for a good 5 hours, and woke up about 2 hours and 45 minutes before landing. A flight attendant soon came by and asked if I wanted to eat before landing. I told her that I would be ready to eat in half an hour, and that I wanted to dine together with my companion. She took our meal orders and asked if she could setup the table in 2F. I agreed. Few minutes later, Eric came by and asked if I wanted anything to drink. I told him that I wanted to try the Dom Perignon champagne, in which he promptly brought along with some warm nuts.
I soon moved over to my companion’s suite as Eric and the other flight attendant put away my bed and started to setup the table for two. After a few minutes, they called us over to 2F. Upon sitting down, we were offered some bread – I took some more of my favorite garlic bread.
The appetizer was the tuttafetta ham salad. The salad was actually very good, and that means a lot coming from a non-salad person (actually the ham helped a lot).
For the main, we both ordered the seared chicken breast. It was very good and more importantly, not dry like most chicken dishes in the sky.
For dessert, again we both chose the coconut panna cotta. It was very light and delectable. We were also offered some fruits from the basket. We picked some strawberries, and grapes and they tasted fresh.
Eric asked if we wanted anything else to drink, so I ordered the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and it was very smooth. In fact, it was so good that I ordered another serving right after I finished my cup. Then, we were given another round of hot towels after the meal.
Before I knew it, we were fast approaching Singapore, so I went back to the lavatory to change back into my street clothes. I took my last few shots of the Suites cabin as the captain announced our initial descent into Singapore.
As I settled back into my seat, Eric came by to thank us for flying with them and also handed us Singapore immigration forms.
We had some good views during our approach. Landing was smooth and uneventful. We taxied for about 5 minutes before arriving at Changi Airport Terminal 3. We soon said our goodbyes to the crew and were one of the first passengers off the plane.
There was virtually no line at immigration which made for a quick exit. We stopped by the by the baggage carousel to pickup our luggage and were soon in a taxi to the City to join the New Year’s Eve festivities in Singapore.
This flight was definitely close to perfect. The hard product was excellent and very spacious. The service from the crew was polished, warm, and they anticipated our needs before we even asked. The food was also excellent, and plentiful…did I mention they offer both Krug and Dom? The only hiccup was we were forced to check-in our luggage in Auckland, but that’s only a minor nuisance. I would give this flight an excellent 9.5 out of 10.