(This is a Continuation of “Trip Report – A Private Jet Experience: Alone in First Class on ANA and Thai, Plus Singapore First, a Suite, a Villa, and Some Incredible Food Porn”)
Last weekend I began a trip report on my recent mileage redemption vacation to South Asia. Here’s my flight to Chicago, and the greatest airport hotel I’ve ever stayed in, the Intercontinental O’Hare. And here’s my flight in All Nippon First Class where we were the only ones in the forward cabin.
After landing in Tokyo we headed over to the ANA “Suites Lounge” nearest to the Singapore gate. First it was through transit security, where we were asked to show boarding passes for our onward flight. I was happy to have printed my Singapore boarding pass at the Intercontinental O’Hare before departing Chicago, since there’s no transit desk that I could see prior to security, only after. Though another passenger in front of me didn’t have their onward boarding pass and was let through anyway. No shoe carnival, we were through quickly enough except that a number of assisted passengers in wheelchairs came up and took priority over us, so a few minutes delay but we were quickly enough oriented inside the Narita terminal and down a long walkway to the satellite pier where we’d find Singapore and the lounge we’d be using.
We were welcomed into the lounge and found a seat by a window. We were immediately brought a towel and our drink orders taken. I’ve never understood why the ANA first class lounge offers service when you first arrive in the lounge, but then no one ever comes to check on you during the rest of your stay. I never had an offer of a drink refill, not just on this visit but on my past visits and my subsequent one a couple of weeks later. Although I have had some assistance from the buffet area to my seat.
After settling in I decided to have my shower, always nice after a long flight. I walked up to the desk and asked about a shower, they took my boarding pass (I don’t quite understand the reason for this procedure) and showed me to a shower room.
The shower rooms seem a bit small to me, and I’d like it if it had a rack for my suitcase and a bench to sit on. But it certainly worked. L’Occitane bath amenities provided to take into the lounge, as well as other less prized amenities waiting for you in single use sizes in the shower room.
Much invigorated I returned to the lounge and worked to catch up on my email. A representative from Singapore came to find me in the lounge (how did she know I was there, or where I was sitting?) to verify our baggage tags and assured me that our checked luggage had been located, and to replace our web-printed boarding passes with proper Singapore first class boarding stock.
We headed to the Singapore gate shortly before boarding commenced. Passengers were queueing up in orderly fashion in the premium boarding line or the economy line. It amazes me how such a thing is possible in Asia.
We boarded and were greeted by name, I suppose it was easy to tell who I was, the cabin was half empty and everyone else in first class was Asian.
The 747 Skysuites are certainly ancient, but they’re still beautiful and comfortable, and well-maintained. Not everything is as tight as it once was, but they’re clean and well-polished. The cabin remains striking to me to this day.
I had just some water prior to departure, sometimes in the middle of a very long trip that’s all I want. Service quickly got underway, which meant that we received slippers, our large size Ferragamo amenities, noise cancelling headphones, pajamas, and menus.
Shortly after takeoff I was asked my drink preference, I chose champagne. Coming off of ANA where they serve Krug, on Singapore they offer Dom Perignon andKrug so I thought I’d mix it up. I selected the Dom. Ultimately on this trip I had two flights with Dom and two with Krug, which is what I consider ‘balance’.
Meal service begins with Singapore’s excellent satay, always a pleasant sight.
I had pre-ordered the lobster thermidor, and was going with the Western meal. But I was doing it in a bit of an abbreviated fashion, skipping a few courses, I wasn’t that hungry after having gotten off of my ANA flight. I did have the caviar, however.
The lobster was flavorful but the dish was served cold to lukewarm. I considered briefly sending it back but I was darned tired and decided I’d rather go to sleep.
So ultimately an unimpressive performance, but I wasn’t going to worry about it.
My wife went with the Japanese meal, it is often panned on Singapore at least compared to ANA but departing from Tokyo she felt that the quality was excellent.
She had some dessert, I skipped it.
Sleep was proceeded by some truffles.
I visited the lav quickly, and took a few more photos including one of the writing desk in the seat. I’m not sure how practical or necessary this is but having some stationary means more parting gifts to take away (always leave room in your carry-on disembarking from a Singapore first class flight!).
We still had a long flight ahead of us. I flipped through the choices on the old entertainment system, didn’t see anything I wanted to watch so just flipped to the airshow and faded off to sleep.
I woke up a couple of hours out from Singapore and thought it might be a good time to have something to eat. I wasn’t actually hungry but we’d be landing at around 1:30am, figure I’d make it to the hotel around 2:30am and I didn’t want to feel like I needed to deal with eating on arrival. I wanted to be able to just go to sleep. They came around the cabin with a snack basket but I had no interest in chips, I asked what they might have left from the main meal menu and they had a look. The choices were exceptionally limited, but I opted for a couple of light items as a snack which worked out perfectly.
Our big bird touched down in Singapore and business class was held back while we disembarked. We walked to the end of the jet way where we had someone waiting for us, but that’s the next installment of the report…