My Star Alliance award ticket to Australia was concocted in my insane attempt to try as many different airlines as I could along the way. Having heard great reviews of Singapore Airlines over the years – larger seat, great crew, nice lounges – I was convinced that I had to add a flight or two on Singapore Airlines Business Class. The only problem? Singapore Airlines Business class award redemptions from the U.S. and Europe are practically non-existant (at least in my search) as much of the space is blocked for their own loyalty members. I would find business class award seats easier in Asia on the flight Seoul (ICN) to Singapore (SIN) and then Singapore (SIN) to Melbourne (MEL). The business class product on these flights is the older angled seat but really who am I to say no to that? Award flight, business class, lounge access – all good.
The Singapore Airlines lounge in Incheon (Seoul) was a bit hard to find as I walked past the escalator many times (it was 7am and I was barely functioning despite a good night sleep at the Hyatt Regency Incheon) before seeing the sign. The lounge was small and deserted as the flight wasn’t scheduled until 9 am. The breakfast selection was good (yes, I know I had a big yummy breakfast at the Hyatt) but I can’t resist a chocolate croissant and apple juice. With access to free wifi, I was quickly checking my email and twitter feed as I had been out of touch for two days flying and sleeping (oh, the horror!).
I left the lounge to wander the airport before my flight (about 6 hrs. 20 mins) to Singapore. The Seoul Incheon (ICN) airport is very nice with fresh plants in the aisles and gate areas. With large open areas and glass ceilings that let the sunlight in (at one point it was bright I thought I might need to wear sunglasses inside), it didn’t feel like a crazy airport until I heard airline staff yelling for last minute passengers and seeing those passengers running frantically.
Once aboard, my window seat was just like I had seen in brochures and online – the leather seat was wide and make me feel a bit thinner (that alone is a reason to fly Singapore). The older business seat was angled with my feet going in the slot under the tv but this being a day flight, I didn’t need to sleep. I would read “Heads in Beds” by Jacob Tomsky and laugh for most of the flight learning more about the behind the scenes in a hotel and take notes (always use a bellman in NYC and tip even if you can wheel you own bag to your room). I was quickly offered the normal newspaper and a drink pre-takeoff.
The amenity kit was not at my seat when we boarded so I thought maybe as a day flight we wouldn’t get one. The attendant walked around with the socks and eyemask to hand out (I said yes before knowing what they were). The bathrooms would stock individual toothbrushes and amenity items to use (obviously a strategic accounting expense win and environmental win).
The Singapore flight attendants were strikingly pretty – you can’t help but notice and each had their own assignment – drinks, duty free, food, floater, etc. This tag team system of service made for a smooth flight as you didn’t need to wait for anything. As I ordered a special meal, I was addressed by name and shown the meal – fish. It’s always fish when I really just want a simple chicken, rice and veg dish – nothing fancy. So I declined the fish and ordered the beef as my second glass of wine was poured.
It was then that I realized it was 10 am! Yikes! 10 am and I was on my second glass of red wine. Long forgotten were the 5am eggs and the 7am chocolate croissant – I chalked it up to the international dateline and missing a day’s worth of food and drink (not really but hey two glasses in, I can convince myself of anything).
The entertainment system was located in the seatback and easy to use with a good selection of movies. I was definitely catching up on movies in my 20 hours of flying thus far. I easily relaxed with my wine in hand, my legs curled up in the large seat and only wishing I had some chocolate…..
My first Singapore Airlines journey from Seoul to Singapore was such a relaxing and pleasant experience, I can see why the airline receives rave reviews and awards. Now to figure out how to earn more Star Alliance points/miles to fly Singapore Airlines business class in the future.