Never once have I got played so badly! Really badly! As what marriot members would like to say. I literally got “bonvoyed”! Singapore Airlines first class is exclusively located among their 777 fleet and there is currently two variants, one if the latest one which is introduced a couple years back. For this there is only 4 seats in the whole of First Class which makes it very exclusive and niche. They are mostly on the extended range 777 use on long haul flights and premium routes such as Hong Kong. They other product is the legacy ones currently only used on regional routes such as Jakarta and Manila. This is also the only 2 remaining first class routes that they have in South East Asia. I also went for the Manila one which makes your buck worth the most since it is a longer flight. I was continuing on my previously ticket from Zurich which means that this first class ticket only cost me 100USD and tax. Roughly about a week or so out I received a seat change email due to aircraft change, From the 8 seats first class to the new 4 seats one. I was so glad about it till I board the aircraft where another aircraft change bonyoyed me and the crew.
I made my way from The Private Room in Terminal 3 to our gate in Terminal 2. The load was not too heavy and once we cleared security, we were just in time for boarding! This is where the bad news hit! Now on the good side, the soft product which you will never get played and never be disappointed when you are onboard Singapore Airlines. I was welcomed by the crew and the IFM. I immediately took the chance to take some pictures of the empty cabin given that it is my very first time flying in First. The previous experience have always been on the suites. I immediately got the feeling that I am in for an experience the moment I board since the crew were a nice bunch. They were spectacular. Much better than the usual, which is already good enough.
I was ushered to seat which is important when you are in First. My jacket was also offered to be taken. It was super funny when both the leading Steward and me got together to be disappointed by the equipment change. Old to new to old! The plane is really really old, I will show you more pictures later. Thankfully it’s a short flight! The crew definitely make up for it. Welcome drinks and reading material were also offered and it is definitely champagne.
I was amazed that actually 2 choices were offered on this regional flight since usually it is only 1 option on a short haul. Instead of the usual “Would you like some Dom or Krug” with a smirk, now there is the Taittinger Comtes de champagne blanc de blancs! The 3rd vintage champagne in SQ line up. On today flight they have that and the Dom. Notwithstanding refills. I even had both bottles with me throughout the boarding process. Drinking my way thru the bad news. I can now say that I have did a side by side tasting. Surprising the Taittinger won my tastebuds of the day, but I feel that is caused I already had too much of the Dom in the lounge. I spend the time chatting with the IFM who have more than 39 years of experience as well. He is such a great IFM. He is also one of the most hands on one that I have flown with. Kudos to Michael.
Here are some pictures of the seats and aircraft. This used to be the cream of the crop of Singapore Airlines but now it is just old and sad. Throughout the flight, some of the parts also drop out of the seats and when the crew fix it back up, we just smiled at each other. There are only 4 pax onboard today and my group is already a party of 3. there is also no wifi onboard the aircraft which is a huge miss since on First Class you get unlimited wifi for free. The cabin is also kept super warm, partly from the sun shining in as well in the noon. There is also no air nozzle installed.
The old first class cabin comes with overhead compartments but I have to say that it still felt super spacious and the seats are really huge! In fact even for my size you can easily sit 2 person side by side comfortable. A large pillow in a leather casing was also provided and it was plush and comfy. Slippers and socks are available upon request. For short haul flights no amenity kit is provided which is a meh.
The seat controls is located to the right and the side. It is one of the legacy ones. While the table slide out from the front and under the tv. I do have to say that the tv is of a good quality and better than even some newer products. Ahem Cathay. It was of a good size as well matching the awesome Krisworld inflight system. Paired with a noise cancelling Bose headphones, this will keep you busy till landing. Beside it you can also find a vanity mirror
Slippers are available upon request since this is a short flight. The wide table makes it easy for those who would like to do some work on the go.
On the side of the chair you also can find some additional space to placing your stuff as well as some reading materials. Plenty of storage space. You can find a plug on the seat as well although mine wasn’t working. Another issue of these old seats.
Leg Space is very generous even for a person my size.
Stewardess came by to present menu and take order for the flight. I really miss flying with SQ constantly, the crew are always so perfect and polished. It makes me want to fly First class with them so badly rather than trying out some other airlines. The menu for the flight is also provided. It is a slightly watered down version for this short haul flight. But still you get a full 3 course meal. After all, together with HKG, this is SQ longest short haul first class.
Drinks wise it is equally as good as the long haul routes where you get 2 awesome Champagne, 2 white and 3 red wine. Notwithstanding a 20 year port. Countless amount of spirits including Blue label as well as Macallan. Of course there is the usual Blue Mountain coffee and TWG teas. My favourite coffees are the Brasile and the Blue Mountain. That is how awesome SQ is even on short hauls.
After take off drinks was served with some warm nuts before service started off immediately after levelling off. I am really impressed with this Ifm who is so hands on, he help with the service and even place dishes on my table. I felt so honoured. First up was the Seared Marinated Tuna and Bok Choy Salad. Garnished with roasted peanuts and spicy lemongrass sambal. However it was the worst that I ever had onboard which is surprising since usually catering out of Singapore on SQ is usually good. The tuna was hard, stale and disgusting. I barely touched it. It also came along with a bread basket and I got garlic bread! As usual sq garlic bread is the best!
The crew look concerned on my appetiser and offered the other option which is the Breaded Oysters. It is alright but still disappointing and a little not fresh. SQ should just stick with satays. There are the classic and delicious. To be frank this might be a one off since usually the food is way better.
Next up is the salad. I asked for a small portion with the herb vinaigrette dressing. The salad is not too bad but nothing memorable, the raisins is pretty nice though. Sadly no soup is offered onboard since usually the soup course is one of the best on SQ.
For my main course, I have already pre booked using the Book The Cook prior to my flight and got the Confit of Duck Leg with mushroom risotto and shaved parmesan cheese. It is delicious and a good choice. I wanted to try something different from my usual Lobster Thermidor. Thankfully this is delicious. It is so tender to the bone and the meat fall right off. With a glass of 2007 Saint Julien Bordeaux. Amazing. Just to nitpick a little, it is slightly salty. I love the risotto and side salad as well although the portion is really huge!
I was so stuffed that I can’t eat the dessert at all. Service end with a hot towel and I had some Blue Mountain espresso after the meal.
To help me digest from all the food I also went to take a lap around the plane and check out the regional short haul old business class as well which I have never flew before. It is such a light load today, Business class is almost empty as is economy. Half of the seats is empty. The regional seats which is in a 2-2-2 configuration are actually pretty spacious and it is so pretty. It is very open and spacious. Legroom is also so generous! Much better than the newer product.
My parents were having their anniversary just right about the day we flown and the crew brought out a little cake to commemorate the occasion. It is definitely a nice touch for a little celebration onboard.
Ground service was quite good as well after landing where our bags were collected by a staff off the belt and placed in a dedicated corner for us to collect. A small but nice touch!
I spend the rest of the flight chatting with the crew and also caught a movie before soon it is time for approach onto Manila. There is honestly nothing much to fault for this short flight! The hard products are crap but the crew are so awesome. I wish I could have them on a long haul flight of mine soon and in a nicer aircraft. Such a worth it flight, heck my booze bill might even come up to 500SGD or something. Furthermore the awesome TPR last night. I had a blast! Following this post, I will also be doing up a short comparison post between Singapore Airlines First Class & Suites given that it is my very first time on the First Class seats, although it is a old product to be phase out, I will still like to share my thoughts. The awesome set of crew more than made up for the negative side. Human Resources Marketing! Singapore Airlines, always A Great Way to Fly!