Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Seoul-Searching on SQ/TG Business & Economy

Seoul-Searching on SQ/TG Business & Economy

Old Jun 16, 19, 6:16 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
Seoul-Searching on SQ/TG Business & Economy

Since my last trip to Seoul 1.5yrs ago in winter, I decided to pay a visit again over the recent holidays, just before the searing heat of summer hits Seoul. Flight up was on SQ economy, and back on TG and SQ Business Classes via Bangkok.

Checked in at Terminal 3 self check-in kiosks and boarding pass printed.

Paid a visit to the brand new Marhaba Lounge at Terminal 3. The lounge has replaced the old Dnata Lounge (which is currently closed), and is used by some airlines as well as available for Priority Pass and other lounge cards holders.

As expected, the lounge facilities are very new and clean. It was not busy as well, with plenty of seating available. Toilets, equipped with showers, look beautiful too.

There is a rather substantial buffet setup as well, which puts many airline-specific lounges to shame.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 16, 19, 6:44 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
A couple of the more interesting selection included the Taiwanese Braised Minced Chicken with rice.

And the satays!

Some of our late supper from the buffet.

Headed to the gate which is at the far-end of the terminal at A17.

Boarding had already commenced and judging by the length of the queue to board, it looked like it was gonna be a full flight.

05 June 2019
Singapore Airlines
SQ 608
Singapore (SIN) - Seoul Incheon (ICN)
Economy Class
Flight Time: 5H56M

Boarding the rather new B787-10.

Will by flying in economy on this red-eye, though I guess I already scored one of the better seats in the house, being a bulkhead at the first row, though in the middles 41J seat. On each seat was a pillow and blanket. Expecting the seat width to be less than other SQ aircraft (this being a 3-3-3 configured 787 afterall), the seat width at the bulkheads were further reduced due to the tray tables and IFE controllers in the armrests. Really felt squeezed in while seated in the seat.

Legroom was no problem of course. J/K seats IFE monitors were on the bulkhead while H seat's was at the armrest (no IFE controller for H seats and normal seats where IFE monitor is within touching distance).

View towards Business Class.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 16, 19, 7:22 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
Rolls-Royce (problematic) engine view from the window. A SkyTeam liveried MU A330 parked beside.

Reading materials in the magazine pocket.

As boarding was completed, hot towels and menus were offered.

Tuned in to the flight info.

Doors closed slightly behind schedule, safety video played and we pushed back.

Taxied to Rwy20C. Passing a TG B773 parked for the night.

Took off from Rwy20C, capturing the Singapore night view on climbout.

After seatbelt signs were turned off, amenity kits were given out. Kits consisted of a toothbrush set and a pair of socks.

Visit to the lavatory just ahead, where some cost-cutting is evident. No more extra toothbrushes and combs in the amenity drawer. To confirm my findings, other lavatories did not have the items as well. However, the mouthwash and nice-smelling stuff were still stocked.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 16, 19, 7:27 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
A round of peas and crackers, and drinks from trays were offered, then it was lights off for the night. Though there were quite a few passengers requesting for instant noodles upon realising only breakfast would be served before landing.

Got a bit of disturbed sleep over the next 3 hours until cabin lights were turned back on 2.5 hrs before arrival and hot towels offered. Felt that it was a bit early but guess that is the SOP for SQ.

Taking a look at the menu. Breakfast choices were a Vegetable frittata or Korean-style fish with rice.

Menu for the return ICN-SIN sector.

Breakfast tray, which included fruits, warm roll with butter and preserve, coffee and a juice. I went for the fish with rice. More cost-cutting noted. No more salt/pepper/sugar sachets in the cutlery pack. These were only provided on demand from the meal cart, and the crew did not proactively offer them as well, so no sugar with my coffee....Guess SQ crew are still not used to offering sugar with hot beverages in economy....

To be honest, the fish with rice was bad... Just some tasteless fried fish covered with a hint-of-spice sauce, along with tasteless vegetables nad steamed rice. Only something which I would eat if I am on the verge of starvation. Very poor! Should have went for the frittata instead as it looked better than this.

My friend pre-ordered the Hindu meal, which is much more substantial and delicious. It was a pratha bread with minced mutton. At least there was an additional yoghurt as well.

Sun started rising.

Caught some IFE.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 7:42 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
View of the cabin. The aisles were really narrow in economy. Moving down the aisle, one would repeatedly bump into passengers' elbows, arms or shoulders.

Soon we started our descent into Seoul.

Clouds were very low, and we were still above the clouds when gears were lowered.

Broke through the clouds and landed on Rwy33R ahead of schedule.

Pretty long taxi to the gate, passing the new Terminal 2 and the midfield terminal.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 8:00 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
Some plane spotting on the way to the gate, including OZ A333, Jin Air B772 and others.

A look at the seat before disembarkation.

Disembarking into the terminal.

I will have to say that I am not a very big fan of the SQ B787-10 economy seats. Even though the seat has all the bells and whistles, it is compromised in seat width due to the narrower cabin with 3-3-3 configuration, though I cannot fault SQ as almost all other airlines have configured their B787s similarly. Did not sit at the normal rows so could not comment. Service was fine as per SQ, but catering was quite woeful, easily one of the worst inflight meals I have had on any full-service carrier. Not only the quantity was lacking, the quality was poor as well, at least for the choice I had. No wonder I noticed there were plenty more orders for instant noodles by other passengers after the breakfast service.

Caught a sight of an OZ B744 while on the way to immigration.

A bit of wait to clear immigration due to the morning peak arrivals and we were into the arrival hall after baggage was claimed.

As it was still too early for hotel check-in, and our hotel strictly does not allow early check-in, we booked at room at the landside Darakhyu Capsule Hotel for a nap for 4hrs. It was badly needed after the gruelling red-eye in economy. The capsule room, located within the transportation center across from the terminal building, was well equipped with a comfortable bed and basic amenities, including a shower. Rates were also very affordable.

After the short nap and feeling more refreshed, checked out of the hotel and had a bite at Twosome Café nearby. It is a popular dessert and coffee chain throughout Seoul, and they have a few outlets within Incheon Airport as well.

Last edited by ycp81; Jun 17, 19 at 9:55 am
ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 8:15 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
Simple but yummy pastries with coffee.

Then took the airport train into Seoul city, changing to the subway to our hotel at Hotel Gracery Seoul, near City Hall and walking distance to Myeongdong. It is a popular Japanese-chain hotel, and was newly opened just less than a year ago. Rooms are brand new as expected, and reasonably comfortable and cosy as well.

We were given a room at the top floor, overlooking the city skyline.

After a quick rest, proceeded to Gangnam area.

Grabbed a quick bite of the popular pork cutlet sandwich from Dosan Bunsik.

Dinner at Shake Shack.

Back to Myeongdong at night, and had a japchae from the street vendors.

First thing the next day was to visit a popular Michilin bib-gourmand Korean restaurant nearby the hotel.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 8:30 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
This restaurant is renowned for its braised pork trotters and grilled pork belly.

Some outlet shopping after lunch.


Back to Seoul Station area, where there is a DMZ museum, as well as Lotte Mart and outlet.

Lotte Mart shopping

Dinner at a simple Korean eatery at Namdaemung. This is a popular SQ crew joint, and the eatery even has SQ advertisements within.

Ending the day with an Osulloc green tea latte and cake.

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 9:06 am
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: OTP, CHQ, EIN and beyond
Programs: AF/KL platinum, Turkish gold, Aegean silver
Posts: 1,060
That SIN lounge looks great - puts the SQ one I visited last year to shame. I would probably overeat on satay before the flight

On the other hand, not sure if I'm impressed with the SQ economy service. Indeed limited f&b service, and the breakfast looks bad compared to that good looking hindu special meal. Is it just me or do also the seats look a bit tight? Somehow I would expect SQ to have a better product than European airlines - but KL and certainly AF on their 787 don't lool bad after all seeing this.

Thanks for posting, good read and some nice pictures!
Romanianflyer is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 11:18 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
We went on a half-day Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) tour. On the way to DMZ, we drove along the fenced-up coastline, with North Korea just across the bay.

Passing through the checkpoint to DMZ.

First stop of the tour was to an observation tower where North Korea could be seen afar.

Map of the sites across at North Korea. Unfortunately as it was drizzly, the view was not very good.

Went down the 3rd Tunnel, which was definitely a very tiring climb on the way up. Not suitable for the elderly or those with health problems.

Then onwards to an unopened train station, where hopefully sometime in the future, there would be train service from Seoul to Pyeongyang. The train station was built by the same designers of Incheon Airport. As for now, it remained as a symbolic structure, though immigration, customs and security facilities are ready.

Back to Seoul for a bibimbap lunch.

offerendum likes this.
ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 17, 19, 11:24 pm
Moderator: Trip Reports
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,117
Some tasty and yummy local cuisine.

Why did you skip the JSA in the DMZ?
DanielW is offline  
Old Jun 19, 19, 3:46 am
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Roswell, GA
Programs: AA EXP 2.8m,Lifetime PLT, Hilton Diamond, IHG PlLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,851
Lovely report... my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Seoul a few years back.. would go back again
and by the way great photographs
fotographer is offline  
Old Jun 19, 19, 5:30 am
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: GM on VX, UA, AA, HA, AS, SY; Budget Fastbreak
Posts: 4,641
Great pics and TR. sq Y looked tight as expected and then you landed :-)
gorgeous food pics. I love korean food but there are several great korean places in my home city. Phew.
gaobest is offline  
Old Jun 19, 19, 9:17 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
Exploring Gwangjang Market

An oasis in the middle of town.

Yummy Korean fried chicken at Kyochon.

City skyline on a clear morning.

Namdaemun gate

ycp81 is offline  
Old Jun 19, 19, 9:37 am
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,592
Visited the hippy Hongdae Street, where the young and energetic Koreans hang out. The area is also near to the university.

Spicy Korean stew for lunch.

Cooling down with ice cream and coffee.

More street food. Egg on mini toast.

Wonderful grilled meat at the popular chain Hanam Pig.

Sweet ending from Osulloc.

ycp81 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread