This flight was the start of our return trip from my snowboarding trip to Japan. Singapore Airlines has several flights out of Tokyo Narita and Haneda airports to Singapore and this particular flight is actually the continuing flight from Los Angeles. Boarding started amidst a gloomy weather in Narita.
SQ11 Tokyo Narita NRT – Singapore Changi SIN
Boeing 777-300ER 9V-SWL
Gate 46 Seat 17D
Entering the plane, I was pleased to discover this plane has the new Business Class seats that is similar to the one installed in their A350s. I believe this particular route will get the new cabins since it is a continuation of their prime long-haul routes to United States. On every seat there is a square pillow and a pair of slippers with the blankets and sleeping pillow found behind the seat when it is converted to a lie-flat bed.
Once we were seated, hot towels were distributed from the tray while water, orange soda or champagne was offered as the welcome drinks. The flight steward, who I believe is the inflight service manager greeted both my friend and myself on the seat by the while the stewardess took our orders for after take-off beverages. At this point I should note that my friend is a PPS card holder, while I do not have any status on my normal Krisflyer card.
Magazines was offered by the steward from the trolley which was brought around the cabin. I like the range of magazines that they offer and I was able to pick a copy of National Geographic for onboard reading as the cabin crew requested passengers to unplug devices before the queue for take off. Business class flight was about 75% full upon completion of boarding.
Trying out this new Business Class seat for the first time, I liked the finishings and the width of the seat as it reminded of their old First Class seat. The seat is upholstered in leather and every seat has a firm pillow upholstered in a houndstooth pattern.
The new seats have sleeker storage compartments as well with a neat glass holder on the side of the TV and a vanity mirror beside it. Above the cupholder, there is a small enclosed compartment that can be closed making it handy to store wallets, keys and glasses. On the right side of the seat lies a reading light, a large open compartment for newspapers and magazines and power outlets with USB hubs to connect your phone’s media to the monitor or to charge your phone.
While the cabin feels darker due to the choice of colours, there are lights along the pathway while the metallic accents gives off a nice shine.
One problem with the new seat was the table retract mechanism that is easily pressed by the arm since it is where one would place their arm on. And it is not easy to place it back in place so that can be a bit of a hassle. The curvature of of the armrest is also utilized for another storage compartment, and this is a deeper compartment that is meant for larger items like water bottles. On boarding, this is where the headphones are stored at.
Boarding was quickly completed for a wide body jet and the doors were closed around 2:55pm. The rainy weather, however, did result in a long queue for take off, so we still took off late. Without a window seat, I spent the time browsing through the magazine and the entertainment system.
Drinks were brought out after we reached cruising altitude. No hot milo was available so I requested for the midsummer breeze but sadly they did not add any soda water to the drink.
Satay service commenced shortly after and I was able to get an all chicken plate, since there was beef satay as well. I asked for some snacks after to enjoy with my movie along with a hot mocha. Stewardess came back to mention they found some milo and there was some leftover chips from the previous sector, and I happily accepted both options.
The best improvement to the new Business Class seat has got to be the new inflight monitor which is larger and with a better resolution. This makes watching the latest shows in the skies a real treat and I enjoyed the new ‘Blade Runner’ with my snacks. The new inflight entertainment also comes with touch screen remote with their own display. This makes it easy for passengers to enjoy movies while having easy access to the route map and duration remaining into the flight.
Satay served onboard Singapore Airlines is perhaps one of the best inflight snacks ever and probably a good reason to fly with them on day routes since they are not served on the red-eye flights. Every plate of satay comes with a generous serving of peanut sauce and is always served with onions and cucumber. The skewers does make it easier to eat though a packet of refreshing tissue is included for convenience.
Meal orders was taken after the snack and heavy turbulence past Okinawa made for a bumpy flight with no service for about half an hour. Menus for the flight are found in every seat placed below the armrest with all the other inflight reading materials.
The menu for this flight is as listed:
And the drinks menu are as follows:
With the dinner not served immediately after the satay service, I was getting a bit sleepy and asked for a iced mocha mid flight. Another fine aspect of flying with Singapore Airlines is the wide variety of coffee and tea beverages they have, with quality that even surpasses many coffee chains, including Starbucks!
On these daytime flights, I start to find the seat being not very comfortable for watching TV due to the diagonal position and I needed an extra pillow as a lumbar support. It is also not possible to recline the seat fully to a bed, since the system was still set up to lounge or to sleep, but requires one to get up of the seat to convert it to the other setup. Perhaps the new seat is a bit firmer as well, I actually found myself enjoying the older seats. Or it was because I did not really spend much time lounging on the old seats as it was a red eye flight and I converted it to a bed straight after take-off.
About 3 hours after take off, or around 5:35pm Singapore time, dinner was served. The Japanese meal was an improvement and I found it was tastier than what I had previously. Comprising mainly of cold dishes, there was some broad beans with rice crackers, egg with green pea and 2 slices of raw rolled snapper sashimi filled with vegetables. A great presentation made it nice to take a photo of, while the colourful starters was enjoyable with the small soba portion just nice to finish the starter box.
Main course was again in a lacquered box with the halibut having a Singaporean style as it was crusted with egg yolk. With the halibut served warm and fatty, I savoured it all. The same goes for the braised duck which was heavily lathered in mustard but still enjoyable nonetheless. The other dishes on the main course includes a scallop dish that was cooked well and retained its fresh texture.
The largest section reserved for the flavourful steamed rice topped with white bait fish and plum powder and pickles was served on the side. While the main course weren’t very Japanese in style, they were delicious and fit my palette.
Besides the ‘bento box’, there was a bowl of Miso soup with plenty of toppings and a cup of sencha for passengers to finish it all off.
Cheese trolley with fruits was brought out as I had the green tea opera cake. From the cheese trolley, I just had a couple of strawberries and I was also able to ask for the other dessert which is the strawberry ice cream.
After dinner was done, coffee and tea was offered and I requested for more iced coffee as they made a nice one earlier. However the new cup of iced coffee served missed the mark a little bit, so your coffee can certainly turn out differently depending on which crew member makes it for you!
Pralines were then distributed around the cabin alongside another hot towel for passengers to refresh themselves. And this was the nth number of towels that I lost count!
After the meal service, I went back to watching another Korean movie titled ‘The Swindlers’. As an Asian traveller, I really enjoy watching the lesser known Asian movies that I might not get the chance to catch in the movies while on the air and Singapore Airlines does have a nice selection onboard! The crew also gave out bottled waters around the cabin so I have practically everything I need to enjoy the remainder of the flight.
With all the liquids that they serve onboard, it is fortunate Singapore Airlines keeps their lavatories onboard clean as I did have to go there several times through the course of this flight.
Inside the lavatory there was Miller Harris amenities like lotions and eau de toilette. Since Singapore Airlines is the only premium airline that I know of that does not provide any amenity kit in Business Class. Toothbrushes and shaving kit along are available on request while eyeshades and socks are given out for red-eye flights but available for request on this flight as well.
Around 300km northeast from Singapore the plane started its descent with an expected arrival time of 9:25pm, which is still earlier than scheduled. With that the rest of the flight was coming to an end and it left me in two minds. I was glad to be closer to home but I do enjoy long plane rides and this one felt somewhat short.
In the end, the new Business Class seats certainly made the cabin look a lot smarter and I really liked the colour scheme and the materials used. My favourite part is the upgraded monitors and remote which makes watching movies and tracking the flight more enjoyable. Service on this flight was polished and the crew members did try to satisfy the demands of every guests to their best of capability. Finally the food and beverages served on this flight was perhaps the highlight of the whole flight experience as it stood out for its presentation and the right mix of flavours that satisfied my picky taste buds. So I have to say it was a pleasure to fly with Singapore Airlines once again, and I do have another flight review to cover onboard their new A350 as well so do keep an eye for it to see how they compare!