ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Short long-haul trip to Europe on SQ Economy

Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:12 pm

Recently, I had to make a week's travel to Paris and UK for work purposes, with 2 SQ long-haul flights in economy and a hop across the English Channel on the Eurostar accomplished within 6 days. Would be flying up to Paris and returning from London.

As usual, it was the DIY check-in at Terminal 3 and the machine spitted out the flimsy paper boarding pass.

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A bit of plane spotting prior to heading to the gate at B2. My A380 is behind the B772.

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05 March 2017
Singapore Airlines
SQ 336
Singapore (SIN) - Paris (CDG)
A380-800
9V-SKG
Economy Class
Flight Time: 13H16M



Boarding the aircraft.

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Reached my seat at 56A, which is the last row of the middle cabin. The flight was almost totally full, but luckily my 2 seatmates were petite french ladies. Boarding in progress.

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Reasonable leg room.

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Poor quality earbuds were preset at the seats, and they have even done away with the proper packaging! Blanket and pillow on each seat.

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It would be more than 13hrs to Paris tonight.

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Reading materials.

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Started on the movie, Trolls, shortly after settling down. Hot towels were also distributed.

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Safety video played with french subtitles while we pushed back.

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Short taxi to the departure runway 02L.

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Takeoff from Rwy02L.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELV0SDLs5jE


Amenity kits were distributed after takeoff.

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As per usual, the amenity kit contains a pair of socks and a toothbrush set.

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Menu for the flight

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Beverages selection

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Supper, Delectables and Breakfast would be served on this sector.

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What is served on the return CDG-SIN sector.

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A round of juices was served, followed immediately by supper service.

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Supper tray

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I went for the Kung pao chicken with fried rice and vegetables. Nicoise salad was simple and fresh.

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The main was rather tasty, and dessert was light and good. A satisfying supper. Service was also pretty good, with the crew coming down the aisle offering top ups of wines and coffee/tea before tray collection.

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We were entering the Bay of Bengal after supper service was completed.

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Visit to the lav. Don't understand why the razor symbol is still being kept when razors are not offered in economy lavs.

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Napped for almost 3hrs after the movie and woke up to the darkness with city lights (not sure what city it was) shown below.

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Went to the galley behind to grab some snacks. Had chips, pretzels, sandwich, muffin and dried mangoes. Hmm doesn't entirely reflect what is stated on the "Delectables" selection. There were also whole apples available.

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Back for more sleep till almost 3hrs prior to arrival, when the lights were turned on. Hot towels were given out again. I caught a Chinese-Korean comedy during breakfast.

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Chose the asian selection of ee-fu noodles with chicken, which is the standard asian dish served years after years for breakfast. It was accompanied with fruits, roll and yoghurt. The noodles dish was quite tasty though.

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Breakfast service in progress.

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Cabin view after meal service.

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It was dawn as we approached Paris CDG.

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Landing in Paris CDG Rwy27R slightly ahead of schedule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdojTJKp_r0


Taxi to the gate at Terminal 1.

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Disembarking.

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View of the whale.

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Despite the full flight, it was still a bearable and comfortable long-haul experience on SQ, with good catering, service and entertainment. With some contortion, I managed to catch some decent sleep in the economy seat. Guess the SQ experience is as good as it gets with flying in economy these days.
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Re: Short long-haul trip to Europe on SQ Economy

Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:58 pm

Immigration was surprisingly painless with the foreign queue much shorter than the EU queue and after grabbing my luggage, I was on the way to the hotel, Melia Vendome, in Central Paris. As it was way too early to check-in, I proceeded to a nearby cafe, Angelina, for some morning pastries. This cafe is famous for its beautiful desserts.

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I then walked to the nearby Lourve museum, which was having free entry for the first sunday of the month. The queue from the outside was ridiculous long and in the rain, but for information, there is a shorter queue from a seperate entrance from the underground which I chanced upon. Queued for about 40min for entry.

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It was a drizzly and gloomy day outside.

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Down to Champs-Elysee for some shopping in the afternoon. Only the shops on this tourist strip are open on Sundays.

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Arc de Triomphe

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Along River Seine

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My room at Melia Vendome, which is of a reasonable size and with a very comfortable bed.

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Weather turned better towards the evening and I went out for another stroll along the riverbanks.

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On the following day, it was a full day of meetings, followed by a rush to Paris Nord to catch the Eurostar to UK. Passed by the Eiffel while on the ride to the train station.

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As I was on a Business Premier ticket on the Eurostar, I was entitiled tomake use of the Business Premier lounge. The lounge was basic, offering snacks and beverages, but a comfortable place to rest while awaiting the train departure.

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06 March 2017
Eurostar
Paris Nord - London St Pancras
Business Premier
Journey Time: 3H



Exit immigration from France and entry immigration/customs were both performed at Paris Nord. Boarding for the train was soon called and proceeded to the platform. The Business Premier seat is wide, with sufficient legroom but not too generous recline. Comparable to an inflight premium economy seat.

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When travelling on Business Premier on Eurostar, Business Class styled food and beverages were offered. Service started with a hot towel, followed by nuts and selection of beverages. A wide selection was offered, including chanpagne, wines, juices and soft drinks. I went for a diet coke (served in proper glassware) with my chilli-lime flavoured nuts.

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The menu was then offered.

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Initially when we pulled out of Paris Nord, the train experienced intermittent technical problems, which halted the train at times. In the end, there was a 40min delay to our travel time due to the faults.

Dinner was served on trays but with proper cutlery. The tray came with the starter, cheese, dessert, chocolate and a roll.

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Mains were offered later, but my choice of salmon ran out and was offered either the cold beef salad or a hot vegetarian option. Went for the vegetarian option, which is a vegetarian lasagna-like dish. It was ok but being tired, I do not have appetite to finish the meal. Coffee and tea were also offered subsequently.

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Had a nap after the meal and dozed all the way to London. The Eurostar is not as smooth a ride as I had expected, compared to the German and Japanese high-speed trains. Constant rocking can be felt though it did not affect my nap.

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Then, it was an hour's car ride to Farnborough, where I would be spending 3 nights for conferences and meetings. Stayed at Aviator Hotel, which was pretty stylish and comfortable as well.

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View of Farnborough airport from my room. Aircraft were mainly general-aviation type, with the occasional B737 Business jets.

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The daily buffet breakfast selection, which is English-styled.

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Quiet town of Farnborough, with the occasional aircraft landings to disrupt the peace.

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Huge portion of fish and chips at an eatery a 20min walk away from the hotel.

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3 nights in Farnborough and it was back to London for another full day of meetings before flying back. London was having a splendid sunny skies, but unfortunately there was no time to enjoy it.

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My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81
 
LondonCity
Posts: 1043
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:57 pm

Re: Short long-haul trip to Europe on SQ Economy

Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:14 am

Thank you for an interesting check both of SQ and Eurostar. The Eurostar lounge at Paris Nord opened only a few weeks ago. It's supposed to be classy (by railway standards) compared to the original lounge which was smaller and basic.
I see you too one of the original Eurostar (Alstom) trainsets. Most of these are being scrapped over the next few years. The London-Paris route is now being served by the newer Siemens trainsets (which are based on DB's ICE trains) but some passengers complain about the bright lighting and overly firm seating.
The Alstom trainsets were specifically designed for the UK loading guage which is not as generous as that in mainland Europe. That is why they are narrower than Alstom's TGVs and maybe maybe why their ride quality did not appear perfect to you.
 
11725Flyer
Posts: 728
Joined: Mon May 30, 2016 4:51 pm

Re: Short long-haul trip to Europe on SQ Economy

Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:23 pm

Great looking noodles and fish n' chips. The hotel looked great, too. A very good trip report, thanks!
 
ycp81
Topic Author
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:07 pm

Re: Short long-haul trip to Europe on SQ Economy

Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:59 am

In the evening, I proceeded to Heathrow via pre-booked car. The ride took more than an hour in the evening peak traffic crawl... And I thought traffic in Asia was bad... This would be my first time using the newest terminal at Heathrow, Terminal 2, also known as The Queen's Terminal. Most Star Alliance airlines have relocated to this terminal.

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Check-in, similar as in Singapore, is self-service using the kiosks followed by bag-drop. Counter check-in were only available for the premium passengers. Boarding pass is also of the flimsy paper quality.

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The terminal was not busy at all at this time of the evening and there was no queues at the VAT refund (surprising!) nor at departure security. Hence in no time, I was through to the departure hall, which is filled with the usual shops and eateries similar to the other terminals.

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Making use of my Priority Pass, I headed to the Plaza Premium Lounge to grab some dinner. The lounge was tucked away in some hidden corner (at the transfer area) and it took me actually quite a while to locate it, and the signages in the terminal are not helping much either.

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Welcomed into the lounge by the lounge attendant. Lounge was not too busy and there were plenty of empty seats at the lounging area.

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Dining area

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The buffet selection. Not too big a variety but was sufficient. Quality was pretty good as well.

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Dinner time! The hot dishes were very tasty, especially the Indian selection.

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After dinner, I took a refreshing shower in the lounge, and relaxed a while with a hot chocolate and dessert.

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It was time to head to the gate, which was a lengthy 15min brisk walk away to the midfield terminal. Most passengers were already at the gate and boarind would commence soon after.

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Riding the whale again.

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09 March 2017
Singapore Airlines
SQ 321
London Heathrow (LHR) - Singapore (SIN)
A380-800
9V-SKP
Economy Class
Flight Time: 12H10M



Boarding the aircraft.

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Would be seated at the 2nd last row of the aircraft.

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Seatback.

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Another seat view. Luckily the middle seat remained empty, allowing a bit more room to stretch out.

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Boarding in progress. Economy was about 80% full.

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Slightly more than 12hrs to Singapore.

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Started on Doctor Strange while boarding was still underway.

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Hot towels distributed and safety video played.

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After pushback clearance was give, we started te long taxi to Rwy09R.

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Departure from Rwy09R over the illuminated London city skyline.

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Video of the departure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE-_7T_yXJM


Service started with the distribution of amenity kits.

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This was followed by a quick round of juices/water served from trays. I had an apple juice.

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Menu for the flight. 3 choices of mains are offered for supper.

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Only 2 choices for breakfast though, while Premium Economy would have 3 choices.

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In the menu is also the meals for the incoming SQ308 from Singapore.

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Supper service started not too long after.

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I opted for the Indian main of mutton briyani. Had more apple juice and a tea with my meal. Interestingly, there was no wine glass on the larger supper tray, but wine glass was present on the smaller breakfast tray. This was also noted on the SIN-CDG sector. Wonder what's the logic behind this arrangement....

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Starter and dessert. The smoked salmon salad starter was not bad.

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Mutton briyani was delicious! Meat was tender and overall the dish was full of flavour. Guess it is hard to go wrong with curry-based dishes inflight.

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Dessert was exactly the way I like it, rich and sinful. Overall a very satisfying meal!

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Slept for almost 4hrs after supper and when I woke up, we only had slightly more than 5hrs to go. Started on my second movie, a chinese comedy.

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Went to the galley to grab some snacks to nibble on with the movie. Had chips, popcorn, chocolate bar and packed fruits. Sandwichs and nuts were also available. Also noticed that the crew on both flight only did regular drinks run, and snacks had to be ordered from the crew or obtained from snack basket placed in the galley. Wonder if this is the norm on SQ long-hauls nowadays or that I slept through the snack run.

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With 2.5hrs to go, started on my 3rd movie.

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Took a peek outside. Somewhere over the Bay of Bengal.

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2hrs prior to arrival, hot towels were distributed and breakfast was served.

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Breakfast tray. I chose the noodles.

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Fruits were fresh. Noodles were fine, though a bit on the salty side.

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Overflying Penang island.

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View of the cabin from the rear.

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Almost there as we start the descend.

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Descend and approach into Changi Rwy02L.

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Videos of descend, approach and landing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOEe8gycCWI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKVDq_jdM3I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi3jODh4jCI


Taxi to Terminal 3 Gate A5.

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Disembarking

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A look at the whale.

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Another comfortable long-haul flight on SQ. Service was fine, though the more junior crew were rather robotic and less warm than the senior leading crew, and the contrast was rather obvious. Meals were quite good and as I had described, this should be as good as how economy can get on a full-service long-haul flight.

Thanks for reading and comments are welcomed.
My past and future travels - http://www.ba97.com/ba97/calendar/report.asp?handle=ycp81

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