Sunday, 19 August 2018

Flying Singapore Airlines Business Class Singapore to Dubai.

Oh, Singapore Airlines, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I have always had a penchant for flying with Singapore Airlines, which started at the grand old age of seven years old, back in the mid-90s when TVs in the backs of the chairs were tiny little boxes that didn't provide on-demand films. You had to sit there and wait for a movie you didn't like to finish before the next one began, and you couldn't rewind it or fast-forward it. The TVs often had lines running through them, and it was SUCH a novelty for us kids to be able to play games on the plane as it was before the days when my brother and I were allowed Game Boys (I finally got one when I was 10).

Over the years I've tested out many airlines, and many classes of travel, but I always end up returning to Singapore Airlines. And so, seeing as Singapore Airlines was the airline I first flew to Australia on way back in 1997, it seemed apt to depart Australia on them over twenty years later. But this time instead of mid-90s economy, it was 2010's business class, baby.

If you're new here, back at the end of last year I flew Singapore Airlines' First Class Suites from Sydney to NYC the week before Christmas, and had the most epic flight EVER. For my journey back to London from Sydney I wanted to use up ALL my points in EVERY airline frequent flyer scheme I have. So, I used all of my Virgin Australia points for Biz Class Sydney - Perth, and then all of my Singapore points for Biz Class Perth - Dubai, and then all of my Emirates points for First Class Dubai - London. It was epic. 

I wrote about the Emirates First Class experience last week, so now I'm bringing you my full review of Singapore Airlines. Because the Business Class product from Perth to Singapore was old and rubbish, I won't be reviewing it. However the Business Class product I was flying in from Singapore to Dubai was the swanky new one, so, let's get to it. 

Changi T3 Silverkris Lounge & A Dramatic Entrance

I had a few hours in Singapore Airport so spent most of it having a wander around the airport, and then chilling in the Silverkris business class lounge. I'd had an early start with a 6am flight from Perth to Singapore, so had a shower and freshened up and then had some food. The food in Singapore Airlines' business lounges is always a bit hit and miss, and I'm not really a huge fan of it (but the food in the First Class 'Private Room' is insanely good), but they had some yummy Indian dishes out that I piled onto my plate.

It was autumn in Australia when I'd left (peak mould-spore season, the devil-season for many of us asthmatics), and that coupled with the stress from changing my flights and travel plans to get back to England in time to say goodbye to my dying grandparents, meant my asthma-ridden lungs were in a poorly state by the time I got to Singapore. I'd been yawning and sighing and taking lots of 'not quite deep breaths' for hours, but just ignored it and put off using my inhaler. I'm one of those awkward people who reacts to Ventolin, and so each time I use my Ventolin inhaler I have to be really desperate for it as it leaves me exhausted and very weak and shaky afterward.

And then my coat was in this magical LG steam/clean machine in the lounge, and just as it finished steaming I suddenly saw the 'Final Boarding Call' for my flight on the board, even though my ticket said I didn't have to board for another 20 minutes. I went into panic mode, grabbed my stuff and raced out of the lounge trying to figure out which way my boarding gate was. According to the boards it was a 10-15 minute walk away. F***.

I started running, but was wearing heeled boots so it was slow going. And then my lungs just started giving up. Literally closing up and screaming at me 'B*** stop running and give me the ventolin', but ain't nobody got time for that. If I missed this flight I would miss my next flight, and if I missed my next flight I might miss the chance to say goodbye to my Grandad.

So I kept running, made it to the gate, and then had to go through security again. And they made me take ALL my things off, and then I beeped, so they waved a wand over me, and I kept beeping, so they had to pat me down. But at this point I literally couldn't breathe and could feel my head going dizzy from lack of oxygen and could feel my eyes welling up with tears at the thought of missing the flight and not saying goodbye, so I signalled to the woman I needed my bag, grabbed my inhaler and puffed a coupla times, and then went back to be patted down.

They finally let me go and I raced to across the gate to the gangway and finally made it to the plane as the sign flashed 'boarding gate closing'. I literally dropped my bags in the aisle, collapsed into my seat without even taking my coat off, and tried to get some deep breaths into me while my head was still spinning. Another puff of the inhaler and finally I was ok. DRAMATIC.

The point is, the Singapore Airlines' staff on board were literally AMAZING. They didn't panic or crowd me and make me feel claustrophobic and awkward (when you're having an asthma attack all you want is fresh air and space), they gave me space and one of them brought me a glass of water. They helped me with my bags, and when I was able to breathe normally again they asked if I was ok and if I needed anything. Throughout the flight they checked in on me and made sure I was alright.

We actually ended up sitting there for another 20-minutes or so while other passengers boarded, which really annoyed me ha. But anyway, I made it and was relieved that I didn't miss it and miss my connecting flight from Dubai to London. At that moment in time, the only thing that mattered was that I still had a chance to say goodbye to my Grandad after his sudden admission to hospital two days earlier.

Flight Review of SQ494 Singapore to Dubai

My flight from Singapore left at 3:10pm on the Monday, arriving into Dubai at 6:25pm, and it was 6.5 hours of bliss in that swanky new (and pretty empty) cabin. It reminded me very much of Virgin Australia's new business class with the sleek and contemporary design. The colour scheme of Singapore Airlines' new business class is much lighter than Virgin Australia's though, with taupe and purple rather than black and purple.

The TV screen was one of the most impressive features, I'm not entirely sure why, but I just found it a really great screen to watch action movies on. I made my way through the Marvel films I hadn't yet seen; Black Panther (be still, my heart), and Captain America Civil War.

There were plenty of little nooks and spaces to store your belongings, and when I wanted to go to sleep the staff set up the bed for me. Unfortunately the configuration of the seats is a little weird and there's a really tiny cubby hole to put your feet on the side of the seat, so you have to lay at an odd angle to lay flat, but despite this the bed was still pretty comfortable (and let's face it, you're laying in a bed ON A PLANE).

Food-wise I had ordered through Book The Cook as I loved it so much when I flew First Class with them, and so I feasted on Lobster Thermidor with rice, asparagus, and tomato. This was the third time I had had it, and it was just as delish as the other two times. The coconut ice-cream for dessert was the perfect ending - like most people these days I'm a little obsessed with coconut!

What with two movies, a nap, and food all in 6.5 hours, the time whizzed by and pretty soon we had landed in Dubai and I was on my way to Nigel's apartment for dinner and a freshen up and clothing-change. I was super impressed with the new business class, especially after just stepping off their oldest business class and seeing the stark contrast between the two.

Total Cost of The Singapore Airlines Reward Flight

I paid just 62,500 Krisflyer miles for Singapore Airlines' Business Class Perth - Dubai, which I didn't think was that bad! Also the taxes on Singapore Airlines' are crazy cheap now, so I only paid £52 of taxes (compared to Emirates' £328!)

Sadly when I finally landed in London, my mum broke the news that as I had been running to the gate in Changi airport, my Grandad had passed away. I never got to say goodbye. 

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