After spending a month in PARADISE it is time to fly out of Bali. I can’t believe how fast time flies over here in Bali. I can finally know why people can spend months and even up to a year over here. I had some other plans and would be back in Singapore for a day or so. I will be flying back on Singapore Airlines as well and ticketed this as part of a future long-haul ticket. I have flown the exact route and flight prior here and did an extensive review then. I shall not dwell too much since it is going to be rather similar. The only marginal difference would be the soft product and the seat as I manage to get a bulkhead row 11 seat for this flight. These seats offer much more space. I book my ticket by paying a stopover fee of 100 USD and 23 SGD in taxes. What a deal! Check out my flight experience.
I was at the airport quite early since I came all the way from Ubud which is pretty far and I didn’t want the traffic to get in the way and unexpected jams. It took me about an hour. When entering the departure area of Denpasar Airport you have to first go thru a security check and show your travel itinerary before being allowed to enter the check-in counters area. SQ counters can be found at row C. There was barely any wait for the business class counters. I experience the worst check-in experience I had with Singapore Airlines. I can’t believe that the staff blatantly lied to my face. When I requested for a bag to put my backpack in, they gave reasons like running out of it, holiday and peak period……etc. When I saw that there is one for the other passenger a couple of counters away, they claimed that that is a reused bag and they use those from arrivals. P.S NO ONE COLLECT SUCH BAGS FROM THE ARRIVAL BELT!
For some background, I prefer placing my backpack in a bag as sometimes baggage handlers grab it by the wrong strap and one of them broke when I was flying from JFK. After some back and fro with me insisting on a bag and I can’t believe that the entire Singapore Airlines doesn’t have one in the entire airport. The station manager came over, look at the screen and says no issue, we will find one. Seconds later, a brand new bag was out on the counter. SO IS THIS COST SAVING OR THE STAFF JUST BEING LAZY? RIDICULOUS!
I will not share the lounge given how diluted the experience is. Singapore Airlines currently use the Premier Lounge and you can expect simply a snack box or cup noodles as well as water, coke or sprite. Bali airport was deserted. Boarding was due to start at 7.30pm, just 30 mins before the flight. It is sure a challenge to board a full flight in 30 mins. There is another round of passport checks before you head into the gate area. Boarding starts with families with infants who are invited to board first then business class and PPS passengers. I was the first to board and that helps in getting some empty pictures of the cabin.
Singapore Airlines Regional Business Class
Upon boarding, I was ushered to my seat by the friendly crew. This is one aspect that the Singapore Airlines crews never let up. There is only a good set and a spectacular set. Care kits are no longer offered when I flew this at the end of May. I tried my luck for an amenity kit again and no luck. The flight was close to 100% full. We push back right on time and we are on our way to Singapore. Is it too much to wish for a delay? I got a glass of champagne while boarding was underway and the kind crews offered me refills as well.
Now let’s come to the seats! What is so different about row 11? These 4 seats are more spacious as they are located on the bulkhead. Check out some pictures of the seats here. You can spot the main differences around the cubby for your leg rest and the extra spacious storage area by the side of the TV. The wider leg rest area means that you don’t have to angle yourself at a certain angle when you are lying flat in bed mode. This would be great for some of the longer routes that the plane serves such as Japan or Australia. However, these are usually blocked for PPS and above members at the time of booking and are only available upon request.
You can easily fit a carry-on here on the side of the TV screen. You will appreciate how spacious the seat is compared to the others.
The screen was of a good size and Singapore Airlines Inflight Entertainment, Krisworld is world-class! The screen is a touch screen and if not you can control it with the remote located to the side as well. Below the screen, is where the table can be found and you slide it out. There is a small cubicle on the side of the seat where the platform provides you with some additional storage space. The cabinet here houses the power outlets and you can find two USB outlets as well as a power socket that takes in all sorts of plugs. A care kit and a set of headphones are left here. SQ provides decent headphones in business class but it definitely could be improved to a better noise-cancelling one.
The length of the bed and space for the leg to stretch were good even when the seat is in bed mode. One perk of this seat is that it could be converted into bed mode directly instead of having to get up and flip it over to convert it. I am not a fan of the 3 point seat belts that we have to wear upon take-off and landing for these seats.
We push back slightly late and departed smoothly. Wifi is available on the flight but sadly the Boingo account is no longer working and business class passengers are only entitled to 100MB of allowance which is just right for this flight length. It is insufficient for longer flights.
There wasn’t much to mention for the bathrooms, just the usual typical aircraft ones. You do have an assortment of amenities stocked inside from Penhaligon’s amenities to toothbrush and shaver. All that you might need can be found inside. I am a huge fan of the Penhaligon’s facial mist when flying. They are so hydrating. Given how packed it was in Business Class, there might be a wait at times but the place was still well maintained by the crew at all times.
Book the cook is extremely limited nowadays and especially after the flight duration limitation of 4 hours for most choices. Furthermore, they are not available when flying from Bali. Check out the Menu for the flight here! I went with the Singapore Style Roasted Chicken Rice after the recommendation from the crew. While I was initially hesitant after the crappy Boon Tong Kee chicken rice on my flight here, this dish did not disappoint. It is heaps and leaps better than the one I heard before. The serving and presentation were much better too. From the rice to the chicken and even the sauce, everything was delicious. Look at this chilli. This should be how it is rather than the lumpy one I had before. I was famished and wipe off the entire meal. Given the short flight, everything was served on the tray. The starter and dessert were great too. The crew then came by with the bread basket and I got the garlic bread as per usual. It was good.
I also got a chance to try out the new short economy class meal. The new concept was meals served in these eco-friendly snack boxes. I have heard lots of comments about these meals and would like to try them out. The laksa was pretty good. The sauce is delicious. The sauce might get around the box when you are having it. The portion was a good size although I can see that the new presentation might let people feel that the portion is lesser. It feels different when you are dining from a casserole.
You know what? These would be excellent snack boxes for long-haul flights in First and Business Class. Like how the CX does wanton mee! The concept will be fuss-free and easy for the crew to serve mid-flight too. Imagine if they offer this as a snack rather than instant noodles? Laksa or congee would be a great man! #SingaporeAirlines
Singapore Airlines really need to tidy things up outstation and especially at Denpasar Airport. The check-in process was absolutely crap and I do not appreciate being lied to. This is not what I am expecting from the calibre of SQ. The station manager usually sets the direction and he needs to pick up the slack. With that behind us, I had a great flight and things were lovely onboard. The feeling that I got with the flight being faster than expected only speaks volumes about how much I enjoyed it. This set of crew seems better than the one I had on my outbound flight but the IFM was more of a missing figure. I was neither welcomed nor bid farewell. The bulkhead seats are the ones to aim for if you could on the regional business class configuration. Paying only the equivalent of 163 SGD for this only makes it even more amazing. Sadly, the stopover trick is officially over there goes this too.