opening my eyes, flying SQ to Singapore

Old Jun 10, 11, 12:39 am
  #1  
TA
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opening my eyes, flying SQ to Singapore

I realize this probably belongs somewhat in a non-UA specific forum, but since my most direct experience has always been with UA, I post it here for the benefit of people similarly experienced.

I flew SQ for the first time yesterday, from Australia to Singapore. What an eye opener, not just in terms of the airline service, but airport experience, etc. For anyone who hasn't flown to Singapore before, I highly suggest it at least once, and travel to Asia itself, as something that changes your perspective. (not a new idea, admittedly) You get the sense of how a highly-competent airline is run (although of course, backed by lots of free cashflow I imagine).

Just some quick observations --

-- Although aircraft was an older A330-300, we had more than 100 channels of on-demand video at *every seat*, plus games, flight progress info, books, live text news, and updated airport connection gate information

-- two drink service runs within 1 hour of takeoff, before the main meal, even on this 5 hour flight; free alcoholic drinks

-- printed multipage menu even in Economy class, and tasty chicken curry or beef stew dinner options

- Although in relatively heavy Singaporean accented English -- clear and helpful announcements onboard

-- clear, and *helpful* airport signage, telling you about the expected costs and options of ground transportation

-- service people who don't treat you like an inconvenience

I noticed that in SQ's route map and network, they emphasize codeshares and destinations with Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic, SAA, even US Airways. But no United!

And then, the amazing sight of Singapore the next morning -- a harbor full of ships, technological wonders everywhere, great food, and more.

An eye-opening glimpse of the competition...
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Old Jun 10, 11, 12:50 am
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What was your fare an absolute and relative terms (as in relative to average income in the area)
Could you upgrade on this fare?
Did you earn miles on that fare?

On an absolute scale - yes SQ is great but there is a price to pay. Also is "highly competent" airline also state sponsored (if not now but perhaps when it was growing in not so distant past)
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Old Jun 10, 11, 12:52 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
An eye-opening glimpse of the competition...
It has always been like that.
SQ is one example and many other Asian carriers provider similar quality service.
That being said, If 1Ks can't get upgraded (SWU/CR1/FREE), it's really not that attractive to fly UA.

Last edited by pigx5; Jun 10, 11 at 1:00 am
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Old Jun 10, 11, 12:58 am
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SQ's A330-300s are all fresh from the factory and maximum 2 years old.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 1:06 am
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
What was your fare an absolute and relative terms (as in relative to average income in the area)
Could you upgrade on this fare?
Did you earn miles on that fare?

On an absolute scale - yes SQ is great but there is a price to pay. Also is "highly competent" airline also state sponsored (if not now but perhaps when it was growing in not so distant past)
Fare was ~$1000 AUD to fly Singapore in economy, round trip, bought on the day of departure (business travel). Was about the same on Qantas (given my purchasing time window, which was this week). Potentially cheaper on Garuda or the like.

Not sure the exact fare class, maybe E, but I couldn't have upgraded anyway - it was full. Yes, miles earning, with UA. (for that price it'd better be)

Originally Posted by vivamuci View Post
SQ's A330-300s are all fresh from the factory and maximum 2 years old.
Huh, sorry I didn't realize that. However, the interior was not the newest version that I recognize from all the fancy photos. At least in C -- it was not the lie flat, excessively wide seating.

Last edited by TA; Jun 10, 11 at 1:29 am
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Old Jun 10, 11, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
I flew SQ for the first time yesterday, from Australia to Singapore. What an eye opener, not just in terms of the airline service, but airport experience, etc...
But this is normal for what we get in the developed world.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
Huh, sorry I didn't realize that. However, the interior was not the newest version that I recognize from all the fancy photos. At least in C -- it was not the lie flat, excessively wide seating.
A330s have the new regional seating, different from the wide seating.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 6:58 am
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I've had very similar experiences over several SQ flights of about the same length in Y. However, I will add:

Ticket prices per mile that for me average about seven times what UA typically charges me (admittedly I was a captive flyer without many other options).

Virtually no recognition of *G status in terms of seat assignments until I got to the airport. Even then I'm only 50% in getting a better seat.

Lousy SQ lounge at SIN unless you are flying F or J. The place feels like a college lunch room.

Also, you can't really give credit to SQ for the wonders of Singapore
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Old Jun 10, 11, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
Virtually no recognition of *G status in terms of seat assignments until I got to the airport. Even then I'm only 50% in getting a better seat.
You know that the *G benefits do not cover seat assignments, right?
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Old Jun 10, 11, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
Lousy SQ lounge at SIN unless you are flying F or J. The place feels like a college lunch room.
I have to ask though - which lounge are you comparing the *G SQ lounge at SIN to and finding it lacking? UA's international RCCs? LH's *G lounges?
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Old Jun 10, 11, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
You know that the *G benefits do not cover seat assignments, right?
This is true, but many *A carriers do seem to try to do something for *Gs when assigning seats--though typically only at the airport (as the OP discovered).

My worst experience was on JK when the otherwise-very-cordial agent said, "Let's see... you look like you need an exit row... here you go." I ended up in a very-cramped seat about 6 rows back from the exit and could barely move after the flight. (Return on JK was fine and I did get an exit row on that one.)
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Old Jun 10, 11, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
-- Although aircraft was an older A330-300, we had more than 100 channels of on-demand video at *every seat*, plus games, flight progress info, books, live text news, and updated airport connection gate information
For long haul in Y on US carriers, one thing I like about is CO's 777 birds with their AVOD system, and two power plugs in every row.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
You know that the *G benefits do not cover seat assignments, right?
Yes, but...

Originally Posted by exerda View Post
This is true, but many *A carriers do seem to try to do something for *Gs when assigning seats--though typically only at the airport (as the OP discovered).
During my last encounter checking in at SIN as a *G I asked the agent if they had any exit or bulkead seats available (I'm 6'5"). She scowled and very loudly announced to no-one in particular "no seat changes on this flight!" Once on the aircraft there were folks seated in the bulkhead seats that clearly were not frequent flyers based on their behavior.

Originally Posted by tlawrence85 View Post
I have to ask though - which lounge are you comparing the *G SQ lounge at SIN to and finding it lacking? UA's international RCCs? LH's *G lounges?
The Thai lounge at SIN is much better than the SATS lounge and worth the train trip. NH lounge at NRT, LH lounge at IAD are better. Even the RCC at NRT is better than SATS at SIN
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Old Jun 10, 11, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
The Thai lounge at SIN is much better than the SATS lounge and worth the train trip. NH lounge at NRT, LH lounge at IAD are better. Even the RCC at NRT is better than SATS at SIN
The TG may be good, but the SilverKris (not the SATS Lounge) that is run by SQ for it's own pax, is way better. The SATS lounge is run by a SQ owned subsidiary called SATS (Singapore Airport Terminal Services) for airlines that has no lounge in SIN (like UA) but flyinto SIN frequently.

Separately, there is also a *G lounge run by SQ, which will allow both SQ and *G, on production of *G BP. I know the *G lounge is a little less desireable than the SilverKris just for their own pax.

This was about a year ago, anyone had experianced lately?
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Old Jun 10, 11, 9:57 am
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OP makes it sound like SQ's FT commercial.
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