Melbourne to Singapore | Aircraft:777-300ER | Duration: 7 hrs 40 mins
Cabin: First Class | Seat: 1F/2F
Typical revenue fare: ~USD3,000 (~AUD4,000)
I paid: 63,750* Krisflyer Miles + taxes, per person
* I actually paid significantly less – We shall discuss the relevant tips in my future posts.
Our home airport in Newcastle is purely a domestic airport, therefore we needed a transit through either Melbourne or Brisbane, both of which are served by Singapore Airlines with multiple daily flights. I did of course consider flying out from Sydney, especially on their A380 service that comes with the Suite Class rather than First Class (now I’m really sounding like a snob). Sadly there were no seats available, I settled with Melbourne instead. The Suite class, as its name suggests, offers greater seat pitch and privacy compared to First Class.
Arriving in Melbourne 5 hours before our scheduled flight meant we had hours to kill before we were allowed to check in. Even though check-in staff were present at the desk, they only seemed to be able to process luggage for the preceding Singapore-bound flight SQ208. Oh well, there goes my opportunity to maximise lounge-lizarding time.
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge:
The lounge is separated into 2 sections for Business and First Class Passengers respectively. It felt a little cramped in the First Class section with only a small food bar, 3 dining tables and some couches. To be fair there were only a maximum of 7 people in the lounge at any one time, so it was relatively quiet. Food menu offered in the First Class section is identical to the Business Lounge, except they are plated up nicely for you rather than getting served buffet-style. The First class lounge probably offers a greater drinks selection. I had chicken curry with coconut rice and mixed satay (which reminded me of home), plus Moet champagne.
First Class Cabin
There were a total of 8 first class seats in this particular 777-300ER aircraft, which has the older cabin configuration.The newly refurbished fleet offers the new premium economy cabin but First Class cabin is downsized to just 4 seats, making redemption chances even slimmer.
The crew members were very friendly and personable. If first impressions were all that counted, then they would have completely nailed it. The cabin crew first introduced themselves, then greeted us by our names, “Dr Foong, have you flown in first class with us in the past? Let me give you an overview of the flight today…”. Then they offered to help us stow away our duty-free shopping before offering: magazines, pajamas, and gender-specific Salvatore Ferragamo amenity bags. When it came to pre-flight drink options , I was faced with the first world dilemma of having to choose between either Krug or Dom Perignon. Mind you only a handful of airlines offer Krug or Dom Perignon, let alone both.
As this was a red-eye flight, we were given the option to dine at anytime, and I chose to dine right after take-off. I had pre-selected their famous Lobster Thermidor via Book the Cook online. However, looking at their ‘sleeper service’ menu, I would love to have tried the other dishes, such as the Roasted Lamb Rack (inspired by Matt Moran) or Pappardelle with Lobster Ragout. While I was quite impressed with my Lobster Thermidor, the overall meal service fell short of my expectation. Unfortunately it did not include an appetiser or dessert. I suppose a possible reason for the simplifed meal service was to allow flyers to maximise sleep. Although I do recall other airlines, such as Etihad offering a full 4-course meal even on their overnight flight.
Following the meal service, cabin crew promptly offered to set up my bed which included extra bedding and blankets. Needless to stay I slept through most of the flight, until I was woken up by crew members offering hot towels as we headed for descent. Indeed time flies when you are having fun. The landing and de-planing couldn’t be any smoother, and I wished every flight could be as hassle-free as this one was.
This was my maiden voyage in the Singapore Airlines First Class cabin; hopefully it will not be my last. It is momories like this that I’m sure will be evoked the next time I’m stuck in cattle class. While the SilverKris lounge in Melbourne was not extraordinary, I did not have high expectations to begin with given it is not their hub lounge. I felt the in-flight meal could have been a little more elaborate rather than simply a main dish followed by fruit, but I suspect many premium flyers prefer dining in the lounge in order to maximise sleep time inflight. The iconic ‘Singapore Girl’ and their excellent hospitality made the journey exceptionally pleasant. Spoiler alert: I hope to review my recent Singapore Suite Class experience in the near future, so stay tuned.