Part 6(B) – SQ 15 First Class (ICN – SIN)

This will probably be my shortest flight review of the entire trip as by the ICN-SIN leg, I was just too tired and sleepy.

After disembarking, we had to go through security screening again before we were allowed to enter the departure hall.  As the plane was scheduled for a one-hour fuel stop in Incheon, we had a bit of time to explore.  We decided to make a brief stop in Incheon Silverkris Lounge.

 

The lounge is pretty simple and open.  It has a small lounging area with another section being the dining area.  Selection of food was not great.  There were showers available in the lounge (but I did not use it as I didn’t have much time).  Soon, we had to make our way to our boarding gate.  Along the way, I made a detour into one of the shop to buy a local product:

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Date : 27 November 2015

Flight : SQ15

Plane : Boeing 777-300ER (9V-SWT)

Photo taken : iPhone 6+

Seats : 2C/2D

Duration : 6 hours

 

When we arrived at the gate, the queue was rather long (even at the premium line).  There was no separate queue for First Class passengers.  When our boarding pass was scanned, we were ‘held back’ for a short while.  It turned out that they merely wanted to inform me that my seat’s power point had malfunctioned.  I told them it wasn’t a big issue for a short 6.5 hours flight (moreover, they don’t have any spare seat to changed me to as the cabin was full again).  There were 5 of us who continued our journey from San Francisco (my wife and I and another family of 3).  We were greeted by a very friendly and enthusiastic Leading Stewardess (Syu) who gladly showed us to our place.  Not long after we were seated, the ground staff came on board to check my passport again (I wasn’t too sure why).  The usual pre-departure service came and was followed by our meal order.

 

This time, Singapore Airlines got my BTC order wrong.  My lamb loin ended up as a Pan Fried Chicken Breast. I ended up choosing the one on the menu.  My wife’s selection was correct though.

I was surprised that we were given pyjamas for this sector as I read from other’s review that no pyjamas would be given on this sector.  Just like FRA-JFK sector, no amenity kits were given though.  After being awake for more than 24 hours, I wasn’t in much mood to eat.  I was just counting down to get home into my bed.  I nearly fell asleep while sitting and watching TV as I barely had any sleep flying in from San Francisco.  I got jolted up by the Captain’s announcement that the flight would be delayed due to Incheon being quite busy in the evening.  Delay was expected to be around 30 minutes.  I took some champagne instead of my usual Blue Mountain as I did not want to end up having insomnia on reaching home.

The pushback started at about 8:00 pm (local time).  After taxiing onto the runway followed by a short wait, the plane finally took off.  A surprise I had was that the First Officer on duty happened to be a university friend of mine.  I left a message for him via the leading stewardess to let him know of my presence on his flight (and also to check if he was indeed my university friend).  Shortly after take-off, the usual post departure service and preparation for dinner commenced.  In view of the short flight, I decided against changing into pyjamas.

For SFO-ICN-SIN First Class menu (click here)

Our dinner started with Satay.  After not having satay on the previous sector, satay finally appeared.  We were given 3 sticks per pax (mixture of beef and chicken) served with accompanying cucumber and onion (without ketupat though).  The satay was quite similar to what we had in Silverkris Lounge.  As I was still full from my previous meal, I did not try asking for more satay.

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Next, I chose the poached lobster salad as my appetiser.  The salad was more palatable than what I had out of San Francisco with a nice piece of lobster.  For the soup, I took the chicken and sweetcorn consommé (which came with a large piece of dumpling).  My wife chose the Korean soup, which looked good but I did not try it out myself.  There was a salad dish that came after the soup, but I realised that I must have forgotten to take a picture of it as I can’t seem to find it in my photo album (I guess by then I was too tired and sleepy that I just want to get home soon).

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As I mentioned earlier, Singapore Airlines got my BTC mixed up.  Instead of my choice of Herb Mustard Crusted Lamb Loin, I ended up with the seared lamb loin on the menu.  The lamb was good (I wouldn’t say it was great) and I liked the potato gratin.  It came accompanied with asparagus, tomato and tomato.  My wife got her BTC of Ginseng Chicken.  It was a whole spring chicken accompanied by Korean side dish of kimchi.  My wife wasn’t too fond of it unfortunately.  The dish did come with a big piece of abalone though.

 

Last on the list was dessert, which both of us chose the ice cream.  3 scoops of Haagen Dazs ice cream with some fruits was served.  Instead of my usual Blue Mountain, I went for a cup of TWG instead.

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After the meal was done, I decided to catch some movie to stay awake.  I was too lazy to change and to opt for the turndown service.  As expected, I fell asleep halfway through my movie (despite watching an action packed Furious 7).  About 3 hours out of Singapore, the First Officer came over and it was indeed my university friend.  We had a quick chat and some catching up (as we have not met each other for > 10 years).  After he returned to his cockpit, I continued with my movies to stay awake.  There were no light bites available for this leg, just some snacks.

 

Despite a 30 minutes delay in take-off, we were scheduled to land in Changi Airport at about 1:30 am (just 10 minutes later than the scheduled time).  Landing was smooth and we reached our gate after a short taxi.  While waiting for the plane to reach the gate, I was looking around at the seat and noticed some wear and tear on the hand rest (the cabin definitely will benefit from a refresh).  After more than 24 hours of staying awake, we finally reached home.  I was hoping to get home ASAP but unfortunately, my baggage took almost 10 minutes to come out.  Most of the baggage that came out was the Business Class luggage and even non priority luggage!  This was way longer that the wait I had in all of my North American flight (no doubt those planes were smaller).  I finally got my luggage at about 1:50 am and thankfully, we had our Citibank limo waiting for us.  We finally reached home at 2:20 am.

IMG_6230
Wear & tear

 

I did not enjoy this flight as much as I did on SQ26.  This was mainly due to fatigue (especially on the ICN-SIN leg).  I made the mistake of not trying to catch a nap between San Francisco and Seoul and I should have probably converted my seat to bed to get some nap on my way back to Singapore.  The crew on the SFO-ICN leg weren’t that great while the one person that stood out on the ICN-SIN leg was Leading Stewardess Syu.  No doubt SQ15 allowed me to have a full SQ lunch service, the arrival time is horrible.  SQ1’s arrival at 12pm is definitely much better!

In summary:

  • There are 2 flights from San Francisco back to Singapore, SQ1 (via Hong Kong) and SQ15 (via Seoul)
  • Both uses a 777-300ER (different cabin version). SQ1 gives a much better arrival time (in HKG and SIN).  While SQ15’s arrival time in ICN isn’t too bad, arrival time in Singapore is bad!
  • SQ15 provides a full lunch and dinner service (but one without satay and the other without caviar) while SQ1 provides the abbreviated supper and breakfast service
  • While service is similar to Suites, I feel the Suites cabin, seats and bed is superior in general to that of the First Class. For similar amount of miles, Suites would offer a much better experience for those trying out SQ First/Suites for the first time
  • The 23,375 extra miles may not be a justifiable upgrade (comparing First vs. Business Class) but that does not mean one should not consider First Class at all. SFO to ICN/HKG in First Class cost only an extra 8,500 miles and is definitely worth it.
  • For west coast, SQ11/12 represents a better redemption (as it uses Suites) but redemption can be quite difficult (second only to SQ25/26 in terms of difficulty). SQ1/2/15/16 offers much better availability

 

Total Miles Burnt : 183,000 miles

Total YQ spent : aboutUSD $600 (about SGD $850 – 900)

Total Distance Flown : 13,725 km (19 hours 20 minutes)

 

Summary of trip

Total Miles Burnt : 187,000 + 40,000 + 183,000 = 410,000 miles (took me about 15 months to accumulate)

Total Spent : SGD $4,160 (for ALL major transportation)

 

This concludes my 8 part write up on my trip reports of my flights.  Hopefully, I can get some time to write about my hotels next.

 

 

 

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