There are currently 2 flights to Osaka daily (3rd one coming in April), either the red-eye at or a noon flight. Although I would have preferred to try out the Dreamliner, the timing was rather not conducive for my short travel as I end up losing one day. I opted instead for the ungodly hour of SQ618 which departs at 130am (for 5.5 hours flight).
SQ 618 is operated on an Airbus A380 during the winter season to cater for larger crowd, I was unsure of the load in Economy Class, Business Class was empty. The front cabin (Seats 11-16) may be full, the rear segment was deserted.
We managed to spend a bit of time in the Silverkris Lounge and at 10pm, the lounge was crowded (due to most of the long hauls departing late at night). Food selection wasn’t great, but we still had a chef station that prepared mee soto and kueh pie tee on spot.
With some extra time, we head over to Terminal 2 for some sashimi at the Green Market using my Priority Pass card (courtesy of Citi Prestige card) before heading back to Silverkris Lounge for a shower before boarding. It is indeed tough to stay awake for a 130am flight, the challenge would be in June when I will be taking the SQ52 to Houston which departs at 220am!
Silverkris Lounge in Terminal 3 (Business Class Section)
The Green Market in Terminal 2 (Priority Pass Lounge)
The A380 used for our flight was 9V-SKG which has a small Economy section at the rear (like the 9V-SKH I reviewed earlier). The cabin spots the 2006 Business Class cabin with is extra wide seats. Despite its age, the seat is still very comfortable even for a tall person like me. The one thing I don’t like though is the small footwell which is a hallmark of the 2006 and 2013 Long Haul Business Class seat design. I do realise that this is only the second time I have been on the A380 Business Class (the first being my first ever trip on Singapore Airlines Business Class on SQ 856 to Hong Kong in 2012).
The crew were friendly but less so than that of the SQ 619 I had back to Singapore (at 1am, its not easy to be overly enthusiastic). After a brief introduction and distribution of the socks and slippers, we were asked if we would prefer our meal as supper or breakfast (the sleeper service). As we were full, we opted for breakfast service (which is served about 2 hours before arrival).
The old A380 Business Class has the best toilet of the entire plane – the forward toilet. Although not as spacious as the one on the new A380 (used by the Suites), it is still very spacious. It gave me plenty of space to change into my pyjamas for my sleep.
Despite my history of not able to sleep well on planes (even on lie-flat beds), I somehow managed to sleep almost 3 hours (and was woken up only by the crew for breakfast service) – not bad for a 5.5 hours flight (when I got almost no sleep on a 12.5 hours flight back from Munich last year). A less crowded cabin did help as I managed to get extra pillows from other seats.
The sleeper service is an abbreviated meal service (designed to maximise rest time although some would call it the cost cutting service). It consists of bread, fruits and a main (served with juice and hot beverage).
I did a BTC of the Thai Style steamed cod fish which was not bad but of a very small portion. Hanakoireki looked more substantial in quantity, but as per our experience with Japanese food ex-SIN, it wasn’t great.
We arrived on time into Kansai International Airport. With such a short flight, I would not advocate one to go for Suites on SQ 618 (but rather the SQ 619) as the northbound flight time is shorter than the return leg and you only get the abbreviated sleeper meal service (without satay and caviar).