After a short but restful night at the Sheraton Towers Singapore, it was time for the long but ever so exciting journey home via SQ 12 SIN-NRT-LAX. After a short cab ride from the hotel I was dropped off at the First Class check in. I had no idea that this even existed at Changi Airport, on all my other travels on Singapore in First Class I’ve always been a transit passenger, so I’ve never had the chance to use this entrance let alone know it existed. It’s located right before Terminal 3 and there are signs for it, but just let your driver know and they’ll hook you up.
Even at 7 am there were staff out front ready to help you with your luggage and escort you to a check in desk. Here they would take your bags, check you in and print all necessary documentation. All of this is done in a quick, painless and welcoming environment. It was definitely a nice way to get checked in. I know other airlines have similar services, but I’ve never had this luxury before.
Again check in was painless, but the best part was getting this golden ticket. With this card I was allowed access to The Private Room or TPR for short. Are there better lounges in the world? Sure, Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt, Emirates First Class Dubai and Qantas First Class Sydney come to mind, but this just holds a special place in my heart and has very exclusive criteria to enjoy. In this case a First Class ticket, some of the others you can access just by having top tier status. Needless to say I was happy to have my ticket.
Besides having an exclusive check in lounge, they also had an exclusive security line too. The check in lobby had 3 or 4 other guests and security was deserted save the customs guy and me. BTW the walk from check in to security was maybe 20 feet. And from there to the entrance to the Silverkris Lounge was another 50 feet or so. They’ve done a nice job with this. Definitely, much nice then the standard check in or having to trek from Terminal 1 or 2 to this lovely place.
So access to the TPR is interesting. As I mentioned you must be traveling in First Class on SQ, and not one of their partner airlines. If you’re in First on a partner , or have top tier status on SQ you’re relegated to the First Class Lounge or Business Class Lounge if traveling in that class. Now that being said the First Class Lounge is perfectly fine, I’ve been in it a few times, but for some reason to have access to the TPR and be escorted by the Business Lounge, through the First Class Lounge and then to the TPR is just great. It makes me feel like Jay-Z (more on that later).
The lounge itself is not huge but big enough. It has plenty of small seating areas and also a 20-30 seat dining area too. Once seated you’ll be greeted by a server with a food menu and will offer you your drink of choice. I’m sure they have a drink menu, but in my visits here I’ve never had anything other then Champagne (I think they pour Veuve Clicquot), but don’t quote me on that.
I had about 1 1/2 hours to chill here, and had a couple glasses of champagne and the roti and fish curry shown below. The roti were so flipping good, I actually had a second serving. The waiter was a little thrown off by my order. It was kind of funny.
In the dining area you have the menu offerings, and a small buffet to pick from. Since it was morning, they had breads, yogurts and juices. I don’t recall any hot items, but again they have the menu.
Also besides the seating areas, there are 2 phone rooms, large enough for a few people to hang out in, although they only have one lounger in each room. Also they have a kids room, which has a few adults seats and then a kids size table and chairs. They also have a sink and changing table in here too. Overall a nice touch for the lounge to have a space like this. On my last visit here in December 2012, this was a great little spot for my family and at the time 18 month old daughter. We were happy to use the lounge and happier that they had a space that was private enough, that we din’t have to worry about her being quite in. That being said, it’s not like you should feel uncomfortable in the PR with kids, you’ve paid for the ticket enjoy the perks.
Lastly the lounge does have showers if you’re in need of one. They’re in the bathroom area, and there’s no need to make a reservation, you just go in and find an open one. My only complaint is that the shower stalls are not private. I don’t mean that you’ll be seeing you’re fellow passengers naked (thank God for small miracles), but it’s one big room with privacy doors and showers. For such an exclusive lounge I’d expect more. I mean even American Airlines in their US lounges offers more privacy. Forget the shower rooms in the Lufthansa First Class Lounge that are bigger then my first studio.
As a place to hang out before a flight, this is a good spot, as I said earlier, there are better lounges in other home airports, but this will do for sure. Would I make specific plans to hang out here for an extended period of time? No. But when transiting or originating here this is the place to go. There’s no reason to spend say 8-10 hours here, just 2-3 is plenty. If you have more then that, go to the city, see the butterfly garden, catch a movie…do something, you’re in Singapore.
The flight had a 9:20 AM departure, and about 15 minutes prior to boarding I headed to B4 about a 7-10 minute walk. This three gate area can be hectic at times when more then two A380’s are departing, but in this case only two were and it was not too much of a zoo. This flight just like the one into Singapore from China had three lines suites, business and coach. In this case there were 7-12 in first so boarding for my group was swift and easy via 1L. Paul and Lilly greeted me at the door and immediately showed me to my seat. Again they stored my suitcase in a different suite, so all I had to put below my ottoman was my backpack.
These stairs are in the exit area between 1 L/R and lead up to the second deck which consists of the entire business class cabin and about 70 coach seats. These stairs separate the aisles, between the left and right side of the cabin. In front of the stairs is the entrance to the cockpit and also some sleeping quarters for the crew. So unless you have reason to go upstairs, you’ll never come this way except to deplane.
This view from 1L leads back to coach, the bathroom and the galley for First. To the left side of this walkway are the stairs behind them the double middle seats 2 and 3 C/D. To the right are seats 1-4 A. All in all a total of 12 seats in first. The suite walls are about 6′ tall so when most people walk by they can’t really look in, when he blinds and doors are closed. Privacy is the name of the game here, if you want it.
Here’s my seat again and the one next to it. On this sector I again requested the middle seat, and when I did they even blocked the other seat for me. Apparently if the flight is light they will do this for you sector by sector. There’s three reasons to do this. Number one: more privacy, number two: a double double bed (more on this in the next review) and lastly no awkward starring at your neighbor (there’s a privacy screen that must be stowed for takeoff/landing). Additionally, each suite has a long side table that runs almost the length of the suite. Perfect for holding your drinks, menus and highfalutin newspapers. There are also sliding doors and two privacy screens that will block your view off from the aisles when necessary.
At the front of your seat is an ottoman a bolster and standard pillow plus a blanket. This spot also has a seat belt in case you wanted to ride backwards or hang with someone in your suite.
As I mentioned on my review of the flight from Shanghai, we didn’t receive an amenity kits or PJ’s, but thankfully here we did. The products are made my Givenchy and the cologne on offer is great. I even used it today. It also came with hand lotion. We also were gven eye shades, slippers and BOSE headphones for the flight. All other needed amenities are stored in the bathrooms. The PJ’s fit my not so svelte 6′ frame just fine. They’re a little warmish for me and I could do with short sleeves, since for some insane reason SQ chooses to not have air nozzles in this cabin. But when I have the choice of my street clothes or PJ’s, PJ’s win all the time. Well that is except for when on descent to Narita, the purser suggested that I stay in PJ’s to clear security and re-board the plane 1 1/2 hours later. I’m not sure if that’s brilliant, or just crazy. I know of another blogger that has the chops to do just this, but for some reason I just could not get myself up to do this. Maybe next time.
Sometimes I try and act sophisticated and actually take the paper. Little do they know that I’ll never read it.
The best part about ordering this drink was this. I asked for Johnnie Walker, and the fight attendant said “Ok” and started to walk away. Then he came back and said with a straight face and as sincere as possible
“I’m so sorry Mr. Rahul but we only serve Johnnie Walker in coach, in First we serve Johnnie Walker Blue, is that ok?”
Just incredible, so damn funny.
After one glass of JW, I switched over to my new favorite champagne Dom Perignon, 2004. Oh how many of these did I have on this trip? On the first leg I stopped counting after 2 bottles, here somewhere after 3 I stopped. By the time I got on the last sector of SQ 12 to LAX, I’m sure the memo about the guy in 2C had been sent throughout the system.
I love eating on Singapore Air, they have incredible food offerings, incredible drink menu, incredible service, take pride in their product and did I mention incredible drink menu. Beyond that they serve the best appetizer on the planet!!!
Satay- Beef and Lamb, accompanied with peanut sauce, raw onions and cucumber
Dinner set up, and yes they have the best garlic bread ever
Duck liver terrine and smoked duck breast with apple fennel and peach compote
Lobster Bisque brandy and chives, with a giant piece of lobster in the center. This Bisque would give the Soup Nazi (he’s just misunderstood) a run for his money. The richness and heartiness were absolutely divine.
Arugula salad with asparagus and tomato with honey sesame dressing
SQ offers an incredible option called Book the Cook. In this case I thought I’d take advantage of it on this sector. If you’re flying in first or business you have access to this feature. Also you must make your choices prior to check in, otherwise once you do that you can’t use BTC. So for me I chose the Thai curry prawns, vegetables and rice. The prawns were perfectly cooked, and the curry had just the right kick to it. Damn it was good.
For my finale, I chose the warm oragne financier cake with cherry compote and pistachio ice cream
Towel #3, are you sensing a theme here?
Once my dinner was complete I asked to have my bed made up. I didn’t get a good look at how they made this happen but on the next flight I did, I’ll review that then. The bed itself was pretty darn comfortable. They put a pad down and then a blanket on top, and also two pillows.There was also a privacy screen between the suites, and on the side with the sliding door side a small table for drinks and other stuff. What makes that feature so nice, is that it just about as long as the beginning of the sliding door. So what that means, is that you have a anteroom of sorts when you get up before you open your door to the aisle way. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you want to get out of bed stretch your legs put shoes or slippers on it’s nice to do this in the suite and not in the hall. On Asiana’s A380 for example, the doors slide right up to the bed so to get out of bed you need to open the doors. Good on SQ for this.
This was another stellar flight on Singapore Airlines. Having this much space for a 7+ hour flight was great. It was private, service was spot on and the food and rink were top notch. Somehow the staff know what you want before you do, and I never feel like I have to ask anything, they just have it ready for you. It’s just that kind of amazing service. Beyond that the staff make it look like they love their jobs, and make sure you know that too, in a subtle way. I just can’t say how much I love this airline, they are my favorite after all these years, still. My first flight with them was back in 1987 from SFO to India via Hong Kong and Singapore, and I still fondly remember it.
Oh and the over/under on hot towels. I stopped counting after 5. It was like they served one every hour. They pass these wonderful things out like most airlines pass out napkins with drinks. It’s just crazy, but oh so wonderful.