Over a year ago, I wrote about a plane spotting trip to Phuket – and how the ticket I used for that trip left me with a Tokyo – Singapore – Tokyo – Sapporo segments to fly later.
Because of on reason or another, I rescheduled and pushed back taking those flights a couple of times. However, with the ticket expiration date coming up, I finally settled for a quick trip in March – just days before the ticket would go to waste.
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.
Finding the Perfect Combination
Because the Tokyo – Singapore – Tokyo part of the trip was ticketed as a transfer in Singapore, the “return” flight had to depart within 24 hours of my arrival in Singapore.
While ANA offers multiple daily flights from both Tokyo Haneda and Narita airports to Singapore, finding business class award availability on two flights meeting the above conditions (and providing me with any reasonable amount of time in Singapore) was quite difficult.
In fact, out of forty or fifty dates that I checked, there were only one or two dates where I could get at least ten hours in Singapore.
Luckily, though, I was able to find “the ultimate 24-hour transit” pair of flights on dates that worked for me, and so I opted for that.
Namely, I booked flights NH801 arriving in Singapore at 12:40AM and NH804 departing Singapore at 12:40AM the next day – exactly 24 hours later.
Both of those flights were operated by a Boeing 787-9. The first one of those was departing Narita in the evening, and gave me a chance to try ANA’s excellent dinner service. That will also be the flight I will be reviewing in detail.
I also booked a Tokyo – Sapporo flight departing a couple of hours after my arrival at Narita, however, in the end, I wasn’t able to take it because of other commitments.
Sleep First, Enter Singapore Later
With the flights decided, it was time to decide about what to do with accommodation.
Since the flight was arriving quite late, one of the options was to just stay in the terminal before passing through immigration and visiting the city in the morning. While ultra low-cost, it didn’t seem too appealing, and so I decided to look for some hotel.
Because of the late arrival time, I didn’t see much sense in going into the city first and staying at a hotel there. So, instead, I decided to stay at one of the airport hotels.
One of the options would have been the Crowne Plaza – but that was too expensive for the very short stay. And so, I decided to go with one of the transit hotels – something possible thanks to the fact that all arriving passengers enter the departure hall by default (and also thanks to the fact that I only had carry-on luggage).
I tried booking a budget room at Ambassador Transit Hotel, however, it was full. As such, I went with a single room at Aerotel Transit Hotel in terminal 2. The 6-hour block – from 2AM until 8AM – cost 63 USD.
Since Hirofumi reviewed this hotel not long ago, I won’t be reviewing it again.
A Full Day in Singapore
After checking out of the hotel at 8AM, I headed through the immigration and took the train into the city where I stayed for the rest of the day.
While I had no specific plan about what to do in Singapore, since it was a cloudy day with some breeze, it didn’t feel as hot as on some of my other visits. As such, I spent quite some time just walking around and enjoying my time in the city – and having some chicken rice, of course.
Besides that, I also visited the conservatories at Gardens by the Bay which I can highly recommend. Especially the Cloud Forest is quite impressive.
Priority Pass Lounges at Changi Airport
I headed back to Changi airport with quite some time to spare, and so I decided to check out a couple of lounges at the end of the day, before taking my flight back to Tokyo.
Since Hirofumi also reviewed the (not that impressive) Singapore Airlines business class lounge, I decided to check out a couple of Priority Pass lounges in terminal 2 that I haven’t reviewed yet.
First, I went to SATS Premier Lounge, then I grabbed a sashimi bento at TGM – a restaurant participating in Priority Pass, and finally, I visited Ambassador Transit Lounge. I will be posting detailed reviews of all three later on.
While this was a very short trip, it still gave me a chance to try ANA’s business class on a fairly long flight. And, it allowed me to visit three new Priority Pass lounges.
The chance to spend a day in Singapore – one of my favorite cities in Asia – and have some great chicken rice was a nice bonus as well.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will post the four reviews from this trip, so stay tuned!