After a rushed departure from the ANA Suite Lounge at Terminal 4, we arrived at the gate to notice longish queues already in place to board the flight. There was no queue in the Suites cabin however, and we proceeded to board from there. On presenting my boarding pass, the SSSS on my boarding pass meant I was subject to a few questions before I was sent on my way, but the agent was courteous at all points of time. The only byproduct of the Q&A, I had to leave a stub of my beautiful golden boarding pass behind with the agent.
I was very much looking forward to this leg of the trip, because it was the longest leg of our trip in SQ Suites at about 10.5 hours.
Singapore Airlines SQ 12
Tokyo Narita (NRT) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Departure: 19:04 hours
Arrival: 11:55 hours
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seat: 3C (First Class)
On stepping on to the plane, we headed back to the same seats that we had before, however we were met by a new set of crew. The In-Flight Supervisor who met us immediately came across as a likable guy, and by the end of the flight, we were proved right about it by the time the flight ended. The Supervisor was Ganesh, who later told us how he was a UK Indian, but his family immigrated to Singapore a long time ago. The whole crew was very well-spoken on this flight.
If you want to get a grasp of the hard product, I would recommend you read these two installments first, which will put perspective about the A380 Suites Product:
On to the service, I stuck with water for the pre-departure beverage, and the cabin crew assigned to the both of us, came about to bring us another set of sleepwear. However, we were not brought any more amenity kits, which was surprising. From what I’ve heard from others who have travelled SQ before, I’ve always found it surprising about Singapore Airlines. They go all the way about service, and then cut corners on such small stuff?
We pushed back about ten minutes after the scheduled time of departure, and were on our way shortly afterwards. This time around, I wanted to access the internet, and we did have internet connectivity turned on after taking off, however, I figured paying $15 for 15 MB of data was still not my league, so I skipped it altogether. Hey, Emirates provides 500 MB of data for $1, and Etihad provides unlimited flight pass for 24 hours for $21, so I am sure the economics work similar for Singapore Airlines as well, no?
Soon enough, it was time to feed us and put us to sleep. The cabin crew came around to offer us canapes, and I surely accepted. Soon enough, I was brought an assortment of Satay, with some spicy peanut sauce.
The menu for this flight was shared with the menu from the previous flight. Here are the dinner options presented for this leg.
We proceeded with the Caviar Service, for an appetizer, which was served with malba toast. The crew also brought along a bread basked, and I helped myself to a pretzel bread roll.
I skipped the soup and salad service, to directly come to the main course. While there was a menu available, I had already pre-booked my main course via the Book The Cook menu. Ex-Tokyo, while the menu choices are half the choices offered ex-Singapore, we could still find food which was to the liking of Shipra and myself.
I had ordered a Lobster Thermidor for myself on this flight, to benchmark against the Lobster served in the previous flight. This one was very good as well, and I guess I could have it all over again.
Shipra, on the other hand, had booked up the Pan-Seared Sea Bass for herself, which was served with Potato, Red Vinegar Sauce and White Beans.
For dessert, we shared the White Peach Parfait, because the crew told us it was very very good. How can I say no to good dessert? I was a happy camper!
I changed into my sleeper suit after, and it was time for a Laviator selfie. I found the lavs to be extremely spacious.
I had asked for some Milo, which was served hot when I went back, and the bed was ready.
Shipra was browsing through some movies to sleep herself to one, and I chose to watch some episodes of The Big Bang Theory, which were precluded by advertisements galore!
One of the beautiful details I like about Singapore Airlines Suites was that there was more than enough place to stand with the suite still being enclosed.
I caught some sleep for a solid four hours, and when I woke up, I was slightly hungry. It was nice to see saw the crew walking around at all hours to check on passengers without being obtrusive. They checked with me if I wanted something when I woke up. A sandwich would have been a lot to eat, so I asked for a pack of crisps, followed by a cappuccino. Shipra was still asleep, but I caught some more movies and there was enough variation in light for her to be able to stay asleep and me to watch something on the IFE without straining my eyes.
Here were all the munchies available between meal services.
I requested for breakfast to be served about one hour before landing, since it was going to be about noon by the time we landed in LAX, and would be another while before we would be on our way. So I wanted to be well fed before we got on the ground for the day ahead.
For breakfast, I moved myself to another empty suite, where I was informed that the suite was not being used because the IFE was not working in that suite. I was pretty okay with that, and the crew proceeded to set up breakfast for me there.
I was served a croissant and some fruits, along with some freshly squeezed orange juice, which was topped up a couple of times. I was then brought some cereal, which I asked to be served with yoghurt rather than milk.
Shipra chose to get some scrambled eggs along with toast, and served with a side of salmon accompanied by sautéed mushroom and ripened tomatoes.
Here were all the other breakfast options available on this flight.
Subsequently, we quickly went up the stairs to the upper deck, where business class was wrapping up breakfast service as well, and we saw an almost full cabin there as well.
It was almost time to land henceforth, and we peeped into the closet one last time to remove our clothes to get ready to deplane.
We took our original seats for landing, and touched down on time into Los Angeles and got to our gate at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The crew in the First Class cabin on this flight was just the perfect fit. After having a charming and engaging crew on our flight from Mumbai to Singapore, and then an almost nonchalant crew from Singapore to Tokyo, we finally got the best of both worlds with a crew that engaged with us while not being too obtrusive as well.
Ganesh did not have stories to tell, but he instead had a lot of intellectual discussions with us over the course of this flight. The crew lined up to thank us and wish us a good trip one by one right before they set up the cabin for landing.
What followed later however, was a longish queue at passport control, since CBP does not believe in the concept of providing fast track services for premium cabins, and a subsequent secondary inspection of our luggage before we were on our way out of the airport about one and a half hours at least after touchdown. After about 28 hours of leaving home, I really wanted this one bit rushed up to get into a proper room faster.
Bottomline: Singapore Airlines has a great product in First Class, however, their supreme edge is their crew which has been extensively trained and has an eye for detail. We had a great flight, and of course, I am looking forward to the new cabin product which SQ will be rolling out next year onwards, because I want to see how they can top their own beautiful product in Suites.
What are your thoughts about the Singapore Airlines Suites Class?