Having just flew on Cathay Dragon, CX regional arm, I was particularly interested to see how SQ regional arm, SilkAir, pit against them. From my previous 2 flight, it does seem that Cathay Dragon is pretty not bad. With an awesome Business Class as well. As part of my whole routing for flying the Cathay error fare, I need to base myself from Da Nang and only SilkAir flies there. Previously, I have said that I have redeem 12,500 miles for a Economy ticket to Da Nang and add on the DAD – SIN sector on Business class to my next long haul ticket at no additional miles. I gives me the perfect routing to try both Economy and Business. SilkAir is also in the midst of merging into SQ, thus it is important to see their seats and the crew caliber in comparison to the big leagues. SilkAir flies out of Terminal 2 and I was there around 2 hour early. It is definitely crowded, but at least all the queues move.
First up I will just do a short sharing on the first sector where I was in Economy Class. Boarding begin on time and it was smooth. It does seem to be a fairly packed flight for the day which most seats taken up. Alot of passengers seems to be from Australia and routed for their holidays in Vietnam. I do love SilkAir seat colors in Economy, they were bright and sharp. The plane is not new but the seats does seem to be rather similar to SQ ones and other Economy Class around the world. Not much difference and not cutting edge but comfortable.
Service not very polished but definitely above the standards of flying budget. We had a super long taxi before taking off and I notice something rather funny the crew have to actually take up a exit row seat during take off and landing, probably due to the lack of a jump seat there to manned the exit doors.
Legroom is awesome since I managed to score an exit row seat.
There isn’t much to comment on the food and drinks. It is definitely edible and pretty good. The catering out of singapore isn’t too bad. I had some spicy beehoon with fish. You get a drink choice as well. There is a lack of inflight entertainment, where your only choice is to use their app and stream some of the selection that they had. On my return flight, I was in J class, I am just going to combine both of the flights and do up a summary since they are both rather short and there isn’t much to talk about. This time around I managed to be the first to board and got some really good photos. The load is also rather light this time around!
Wanting to maximise the amount of time that I had in the hotel, I left for the airport rather late, roughly only about 2 hours before flight. Check in was absolutely empty and yet the service of the Ground Staff were crap. I tried to ask them to place one of my duffel bag in a plastic, something that they use for prams and trolleys and yet they said that there isn’t one until I push for it. This is something that can be found everywhere! Come on man Silkair or future SQ! There was a slight wait for security but still smooth. I spend some time in the lounge working prior to boarding. I have already shared extensively the previous time I was there. Boarding actually started earlier than stated. The crew were pretty good and polished, help with bags were offered as well as the offer to hang my jacket. I was addressed by name and the senior attendant also welcomed me on board. I was asked if I am willing to change to the opposite side since there is a mum and a baby next to me and I am happy to do so.
Welcome drink was served, although it does seems weird that only water was on the tray. It turn out that there is no champagne on board, which is weird, either finished all on the outbound or? Furthermore, champagne was stated on the menu as well. Well, worst flight ever? Anywhere since it is not like as if they are serving up some Dom Perignon or Krug, I am fine with it. This is rather crap in comparison to CX Dragon.
A hot towel was actually served as well which was nice. Now come the seats and hard product, this end up to be my main issue with the flight, the seat was so so uncomfortable! Not only old but tough to sit on. The back support is bad, recline is bad, leg rest is bad too. , like really uncomfortable. A flight time of close to 3 hours is still pretty long and in fact too much for the seat. To add on. I had a much better rest on Econ on my way out in comparison to this. I can’t see myself flying on this to Japan or Busan. While there is a new product on board the 737 Max, those planes are being grounded and I have not tried it. Here are some photos of the seat.
The leg room is bad too, although given that I was in the bulkhead seats, leg space is more generous. There were 12 business class seat and today only 3 were taken up, not including the cute infant. So it is rather nice and the crew ratio is excellent.
In comparison, the normal seats legroom are even more crappier.
A menu was given by the senior purser while on the ground and it was kept later, perhaps since they are using the same menu for all the passengers. There were 2 choices for the mains which was Nasi Lemak or Braised Beef. I went with the Nasi Lemak since I am an Asian Slut at this moment of time. Service begin pretty quick after levelling off and everything is served on a tray.
Meals on both CX Dragon and SilkAir are equally bad. While the mains on SilkAir are better, the sides on Cathay Dragon are much better together with drinks and service. I had the Nasi lemak, which was rather good, perhaps since it is catered out of Singapore. Glasses for drinks were rather tiny, although thankfully refill were prompt. There is also a Slow Baked Abalone salad starter which was unmemorable at best.
I just had the main and finish most of it. For the dessert which is an awesome, nicely cut, Chiffon Cake infused with Pandan. Seriously? Pandan cake? This is one of the most boring dessert I have ever seen in the air. Heck, economy is better. Why don’t you just serve ice cream?
Halfway thru the flight, another hot towel were offered as well as drinks, this is rather nice. Seeing that SilkAir is going to be merged in the Singapore Airlines as a whole, they do really have to improve by leaps and bounds, in terms of everything. From polishing up their service and definitely the hard products. It will be sad to see flights to the nearby region like Bangkok on SQ to be of this level in the future. Frankly speaking there is not much difference between SilkAir and a budget airline besides service and power plug availability.