I have written before on The Private Room hence I shall not elaborate much here. The most significant change I noticed being the upgrade of the Champagne from previously Piper Heidsieck to Dom Perignon! The other difference (minor) would be the items on the menu (no more roti prata). I do notice that they have more tea selection in The Private Room this time. The Dim Sum was nice but the fish in the congee tasted a little rubbery.
*Compare it with the breakfast menu of 2014 (the new menu presentation is much nicer, but the older menu has more items)
Although SQ 322 has been swapped to the A380 with new Suites, this was not the case for SQ 308 (booooo….). I guess I just have to make do with the old one then (more first world problem).
The Suites was full for this flight. I was originally to be seated in 3C/3D but as the occupants of 2C/2D took my seats by accident, I decided to take 2C/2D instead (since they are almost identical). Service is fairly similar to my previous flights but the crew today seems more robotic-like and less warm.
I opt for a later breakfast service as I was still very full from the lounge. For my breakfast, I had the BTC poached eggs and Kyo Kaiseiki. The poach eggs were ok but I would have preferred the egg yolk to be runny (I would have thought poached egg yolks should have been runny). Kyo Kaiseiki was ok, at least not weird unlike what I had back in 2013. The crew was nice enough to spare me an extra roti prate. After trying it, I would advise one to avoid the prate (it is thick and hard, not fluffy as what one would expect). The saving grace was the lamb curry which was tasty and there were plentiful of lamb in it and it was not fatty. The rest of the items were pretty standard.
*compare it with the prata that was served in TPR
As for lunch, we had the full lunch service which included satay and caviar course. The satay was a little dry but more disappointing was the satay sauce. Satay sauce is usually thick but it should still be in fluid state. The sauce we had were probably overheated that it was almost paste-like! Not something I would expect in First Class. Thankfully, both the Shitake mushroom and Oriental Clear Chicken soup were good. The caviar was plated nicely with the condiments but instead of toasts, we ended up with only crackers.
I was wrong when I thought things would be better after the satay. Main course was probably the worst. My BTC Lobster was inedible. The meat tasted funny and was completely mushy. I think the lobster was not fresh at all. The replacement Barramundi in Manhattan Chowder wasn’t much better. It was edible but the chowder was pretty bland. Lamb chop was a bit tough and not exactly to my liking either. My wife and I shared the dessert but we skipped the cheese as our tummy can no longer put any more food (we still intend to try the evening cocktail in Park Lane Intercontinental). However, we were not served any pralines post lunch (another boooo…..)
Dom and Krug have been Singapore Airline’s choice of champagne. They are currently using the 2006 Dom (it was still 2004 for my flight in June 2017) and Krug has been changed to the Vintage 2004. To be honest, I can’t really tell the difference for Dom but I find that the Krug 04 tasted better than the Grand Cuvee. As I was not feeling too well, I limited my alcohol intake. I ended up drinking 3-4 cups of coffee and another 5-6 cups of TWG tea instead.
The amenities has been switched fo LaLique (for the amenity kits, slippers and pyjamas). I like the new pyjamas which is in black, same goes for the slippers. The amenity kit also looks nicer and more sleek than the old Ferragamo kits.
One additional perks for premium passengers now is the availability of free Wi-Fi. Suites and First Class passengers are afforded 100 Mb while Business Class passengers get 30 Mb (very little, but it is certainly better than nothing). For those with Citibank Prestige, you can get a complimentary Boingo Account which will allow you to have more data on board! However, this service is not available once the plane is in India Airspace due to the local restriction. Don’t expect broadband speed, the download speed is about 0.22 Mbps while the upload speed fared slightly better at 1.24 Mbps.
Most European airports provide Fast Track immigration service on arrival and likewise for Heathrow. We were handed a fast track pass which allows us to bypass the regular line. I would still advise one to walk as fast as possible as soon after we arrive, the fast track line started growing. The regular line was even longer! It took us about 30 to 40 minutes to exit the arrival hall from the moment we disembark. Singapore Airline arrives into Terminal 2, which looks sleek (compared to the Heathrow I recall from 10 years ago).
The plane I took was 9V-SKT, which is newer than the SKQ and SKS I took in 2015 and 2017. There are considerable amount of wear and tear (at least in seats 2C and 2D) for a 6 year old plane. My call button (2C) even gave up half way through the flight and it was no longer functioning. The bed in 2C could not be straighten fully and rest on the ottoman – but that was not a big deal as the gap was small and my weight was more than enough to straighten the bed.
As mentioned, the crew seems to be more robotic and seems less enthusiastic compared to my previous flights. They seemed less pro-active in many aspects. Twice, my wife’s call request went unattended until she had to stop the crew along the aisle. The crew also no longer put the blanket in the middle over the wooden panel separating 2C and 2D.
I would rate this flight as underwhelming, especially compared to my last 2 Suites flights. Even though my last 2 flights were also full, we had better service and attention from the crew. Thankfully, the redemption cost me 183,000 miles instead of 230,000 miles which lessens the pain. I am still not sure if I should shell out that 300,000 miles for 2 one way Suites ticket to Sydney (an 8 hour journey) given that the only changes one would get is just the hardware.