After a hiatus, lets hear it again from CHC on his most recent trip on SQ F to PVG on the 77WR (using the 2013 F cabin, but spotting just 4 instead of 8 seats).
SQ828 8 August 2018, SIN PVG
Scheduled 08:05AM +08
Scheduled 01:25PM CST
Shanghai Pudong International Airport
An early start to the day brought us to Terminal 3’s First Class Check In Counter by 610am but we were taken aback by the long queue that greeted us prior to check in. Thankfully, check in formalities were quickly dispensed with by the efficient counter crew – and even allowed me a quick hop down a level to pick up our WIFI router we booked to bypass the great firewall of China.
As usual, the expedited immigration checks meant that by 630am, we were well seated inside the comforting cocoon of The Private Room, ordering our breakfasts. As boarding wasn’t till 730am, we had a leisurely breakfast of porridge, dimsum and laksa, so we were pretty stuffed even prior to boarding. Having some time to kill before boarding, breakfast was followed by a spot of duty free shopping.
Boarding was efficiently done, and most of the premium class passengers had already boarded by the time we reached the gate. Greeted at the door, a copy of the Straits Times and a host of magazines were proffered by the flight crew the moment I hit my seat. I had chosen 1C/1D as 1A had been blocked off (being a bassinet seat).
This was my first time experiencing the new First Class seats in a B77W and the only “complaint” I will make is that the 4 seats in F really makes it a little too ‘private’, if that qualifies as a complaint. The ‘new’ seats were installed in 2013 as part of Singapore Airlines makeover to improve their hard product and what an upgrade it is. The leather is a dark brownish hue that is slightly corrugated and has vermillion lines on the headrest. The seat and its controls are located lateral to the seat and is fairly intuitive in its usage. Hidden in a little compartment on either side of the seat, one compartment slides back to reveal a small storage space with a couple of USB ports, while the opposite side slides open to reveal the remote control for the IFE. The monitor boasts a 24” screen, which is wider then the monitor I am using for my desktop! The monitor though, is not touch screen.
On this flight, once I had settled into the seat, the FA came by to explain the features of the seat as well as to offer the boarding drink. I chose a Krug over the Dom Perignon, but noticed that they were now featuring the 2009 vintage (it had been 2004 for the longest time and it seemed like they had precious few of the 2006 vintage).
I had ‘Booked the Cook’ and knowing that I had to connect to a bus for a 3hour trip to Hangzhou upon landing, I opted to have my BTC as my lunch to save time on the ground to allow more time for the land connection. This proved a good decision as I was too full to eat breakfast anyway.
There was no delay to takeoff and once the seatbelt signs had gone off, the FA was around once more to offer a hot towel, more drinks and some warm mixed nuts. Loved the cashews and the macadamias and had to consciously stop munching after 2 rounds. As I had an early start to the day, I decided to try out the bed and with assistance from the FA – the bed was set! Two fluffy pillows and a comforter made the bed really comfortable and almost 3 hours passed by the moment my head hit the pillow.
I was awakened by the FA about 90minutes from Pudong International for my ‘brunch’ and whilst I was refreshing myself in the lavatory, the FAs expertly converted the bed back into a ‘dining’ seat. The amenities in the lavatory are nothing much to shout about, and very similar to J class. However, having 2 lavatories for a maximum of 4 passengers means never having to wait to use and not worrying you’ll be holding up a queue of passengers needing to relieve themselves.
Another perk of premium travel is that of complimentary WIFI. While it is not advertised in any way, for those in the know, all you need to do is to connect to the onboard Krisflyer WIFI and follow the instructions once enroute. The WIFI does not work during takeoff or on the ground. A great tactic for those who find the 100MB offered to First/Suite class passengers or 30MB offered to Business class passengers pathetic will be for one to connect via Boingo (which is free for Citi Prestige Mastercard) which allows unlimited data. Do note however that onboard wifi speed is tortoise like and is probably adequate only for whatsapp chats and the odd glancing through Facebook/Instagram.
Lunch was efficiently served next, with a bread basket leading the way – but just a note – breakfast service does not include the famed garlic bread. I skipped the continental bits – yogurt, cereal and the likes but had some cut fruits comprising some mangoes, raspberry and kiwi– which were ok. However, the nasi lemak was excellent – and probably the best out of the few times I have managed to try it. The portion was huge (and wouldn’t have been out of place had it been served as a main course at lunch/dinner service) , and had multiple condiments. The rice was fragrant and the ingredients included prawns , otah and egg omelette – a light fluffy version of it not previously tasted in J. Beverage choices are aplenty but I opted for my boring combination of apple juice and water.
By this time, the captain had announced that we were just 45minutes out of Pudong International, so I just had enough time to browse the selection of movies, look through the Krisflyer magazine and sip a cup of green tea before it was time to get ready to disembark.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience and certainly a great way to fly. Service was excellent and no fault could be found.