Singapore Airlines operates more than half a dozen daily flights between its base, Changi airport, and Hong Kong. These are operated using a mix of aircraft including the A350-900, A380, 777-200ER, and 787-10.
Some time ago, Hirofumi reviewed the airline’s new A380 business class seat on the route. Last month, I flew on the not-nearly-as-luxurious Singapore Airlines 777-200ER in business class on the same flight.
Continue reading this review to see what the flight was like.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Transfer at Singapore Changi Airport
After spending the night at the SilverKris Lounge in terminal 2, I briefly visited Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Lounge. I left the latter shortly after 6AM and made my way to gate A19 where the flight, SQ890, was departing from at 7:30AM.
As the gate itself was in terminal 3, it took about 20 minutes and a combination of two Skytrain (automated trains connecting various parts of Changi airport) rides and walking.
I also had to clear security as, rather than having a central checkpoint, Changi airport has security check at each gate separately. Or, in this case, a joint checkpoint for a group of gates (A16-A21).
Boarding Singapore Airlines Flight 890
Boarding started at 6:55AM with business class passengers and PPS Club members, and I was among the first people to get onboard. Before heading down the jetway, the gate agent handed me a Hong Kong immigration form.
At the end of the jetway, there was a rack with a selection of English and Chinese newspapers and magazines.
Onboard, I was welcomed by one of the flight attendants who kindly showed me to my seat, 1K. On the seat, there were a large pillow and a blanket. And, in the seat pocket, there were – among the usual in-flight magazine, safety card, and so on – the menu and a noise-cancelling headset.
Singapore Airlines 777-200ER Business Class Seat
Singapore Airlines operates ten 777-200ERs half of which is equipped with full-flat seats in a “1-2-1” configuration. The other half, including the one I flew on, is equipped with older generation seats in a “2-2-2” configuration.
You would want to avoid the latter as much as possible on longer – and especially overnight – flights. The seat was, however, alright for the 3-hour daytime flight from Singapore to Hong Kong.
Between each pair of seats, there was a small divider. And, next to it, there were a reading light (that I couldn’t figure out how to turn on) and the audio output.
The tray table could be found in the center armrest, and so could a universal power outlet. Besides that, the armrest also housed a bottle (or cup) holder and a number of storage compartments.
The seat controls and the IFE controller were in the other armrest.
There were no overhead air vents.
While each of the seats had more than enough legroom, 1K (and the rest of the first row) had even more space as it was a bulkhead seat.
Singapore Airlines Short-Haul Business Class
Not long after I got settled in my seat, I was offered a welcome drink. The selection included apple, orange, and tomato juices, as well as water. I went with a cup of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Some minutes after that, another flight attendant came to offer newspapers, the purser came to greet me, and warm towels were distributed. Around the same time, the captain welcomed us onboard and mentioned that we would be in the air for about 3 hours and 30 minutes before landing in Hong Kong.
Finally, one of the cabin crew members came by to take my breakfast order. I went with roti prata – but more about the meal service later on.
Departing Singapore Bound for Hong Kong
The cabin crew closed the aircraft’s doors at 7:37AM – with about a 50% load factor in business class – and right after that, the safety video was screened.
While the video did a good job of showcasing the sights worth seeing in Singapore, I am not sure how well it conveyed the actual information related to safety. (I find that to be the case with quite a few safety videos these days.)
On a positive note, I found it commendable that the video featured a sign language interpreter in the bottom left corner.
We were pushed back a few minutes behind the schedule, at 7:44AM, and not long after that, we started taxiing towards the departure runway. While doing so, I had a chance to spot plenty of Singapore Airlines aircraft being prepared for – or already in the middle of – their early morning flights.
We took off from runway 02L at 8:03AM.
Singapore Airlines Regional Business Class Meal
The breakfast service started less than twenty minutes after take-off. As mentioned earlier, I opted for the Singaporean choice – roti prata. Other choices included dim sum and omelette. Below is the full breakfast menu.
Right after my table was set, the flight attendant brought me a fruits plate, as well cups of orange juice and water. A selection of bread – from which I chose a croissant – followed.
Once I was done with the fruits, I was offered a yogurt which was very good.
Soon after that, I was offered more bread, however, I politely declined.
At 8:43AM, the seatbelt signs were finally switched off, and three or four minutes later, I was served the main. The curry with fish and eggplant was excellent.
The meal service concluded with a cup of tea and a warm towel.
When clearing my table, the friendly flight attendant asked whether the curry was too spicy – and seemed pleased when I said that it wasn’t and that I really enjoyed it. I should also mention here that throughout the flight I was addressed by my name.
While I only drunk orange juice, water, and tea during the flight, below is the complete drink menu to give you a better idea of what was on offer.
Singapore Airlines 777-200ER In-Flight Entertainment
With the meal done, I decided to take a look at the in-flight entertainment system. The seat was equipped with a fairly small and low-resolution screen (no surprise considering the aircraft’s age).
KrisWorld – Singapore Airline’s name for its IFE system – offered a decent selection of both newer and classic Hollywood movies.
While there were some TV shows as well, there were only “random” episodes rather than whole sets. As such, there was not much value in that – that is unless you just finished watching Game of Thrones season 7 and wanted to watch the first episode of season 8.
Besides that, there were also some music albums as well as simple games to choose from if that’s your preferred form of entertainment.
Finally, there was a simple, “old school” flight map and information screen.
The selection wasn’t amazing, but it was more than enough for a short flight. Similarly, the screen was not great, but it was OK. The one thing that actually annoyed me about the IFE were ads.
There was an ad almost every time you navigated around the system. While it was easy to skip it (you could press any button), it left a bad impression with me – especially considering the fact that Singapore Airlines is a “premium” airline.
Cruising Onboard a Singapore Airlines 777-200ER
Once I was done with looking around the in-flight entertainment system, I decided to try to convert the seat into a “bed.” Considering that the aircraft was equipped with Singapore Airline’s old seats, it was nothing to write home about.
And, as mentioned earlier, I would try to avoid this aircraft on an overnight flight (unless the alternative was flying in economy, of course.)
I also paid a visit to one of the lavatories. It was simple but clean.
While waiting for the person ahead of me to get out, I was approached by one of the flight attendants: “Mr. Nukina, if you don’t mind walking, there is another lavatory at the front.” Once again, I appreciated the crew remembering my name – even outside the meal service.
For the rest of the flight, I just worked a bit, relaxed, and spent a minute or two filling out the Hong Kong immigration form.
Arrival at Hong Kong International Airport
The seatbelt signs went back on at 11:03AM, just as we started our descent. About ten minutes later, the cabin crew was instructed to take their seats for landing.
Another ten minutes or so later, a part of Hong Kong peeked through the clouds, and at 11:31AM, we touched down at Hong Kong International Airport.
We reached our parking spot six minutes later (or seventeen minutes behind schedule) at 11:37AM. Not long after that, I got my belongings, bade the crew a farewell, and stepped into the terminal wondering when my next time flying Singapore Airlines’ business class would be.
Singapore Airlines 777-200ER Business Class Summary
While it was only a short regional flight, I really enjoyed Singapore Airlines business class. The meal – in spite of being breakfast which is generally not as impressive as meals during other times of the day – was great, and the crew was very attentive.
The seat was nothing to write home about, but at the same time it was more than good enough for a three-hour long daytime flight. That said, if I had the choice (i.e. if there was award availability when I was booking) I would have gone with one of the other aircraft types offered on the route.
Overall, though, I can’t wait to fly in Singapore Airlines business class again – hopefully on a much longer flight and on one of its aircraft equipped with its newer seats.
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