26 Hours in Bangkok: Introduction
Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 New Regional Business Class SIN-BKK
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
EVA Air Lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER Business Class BKK-SIN
Singapore(SIN) to Bangkok(BKK)
Flight Number : SQ982
Flight Date : 21 April 2018
DEP : 1730
ARR : 1900
Aircraft Type : Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Aircraft Registration : 9V-SCB
Seat No : 17A
Having checked in at Changi Airport Terminal 3 instead of Terminal 2, where flights to Bangkok on Singapore Airlines normally depart from, I went over to the SilverKris lounge for lunch and boy, was it quiet that afternoon.
I poured myself some bubbles and plated myself some pasta, chicken and fish and paired it with some Tattinger champagne, which I didn’t really like.
After having sampled the SilverKris lounges in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 as well as the Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge in Terminal 1, I scuttled over to my gate at around 1645 to catch my first ever Singapore Airlines Business Class flight. Security checks are still handled at the gates for flights departing from Terminal 2 and as the bulk of the passengers were already in the gate lounge I got through in no time at all. Prior to boarding, immigration forms for Bangkok were distributed at the gate too.
When boarding was announced for business class passengers, I raced down the jet bridge in anticipation of being the first on board to snag some pictures. Business Class passengers boarded via door L1 and thus, I didn’t get the opportunity to “turn left” into the Business Class cabin. Pity.
As I stepped on board the aircraft, I was welcomed by the leading steward who pointed me to my seat. The business class cabin only had a total of 6 passengers on the flight and they were all seated 2 rows in front of me, leaving me free to go snap happy in my own world with 4 rows of seats for me to place my bum imprints on should I wish.
When checking in online, I had selected 17A, a window seat which had the console nearer to the aisle than the window. On the new Boeing 787-10 aircraft, the business class cabin is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration where the seats are in a staggered configuration featuring direct aisle access for every seat. Aisle seats alternate between having the seat consoles located on the outside and on the inside and the same goes for the window seats. The seat itself was gorgeous in my opinion, decked out in a chocolate toned leather with Alcantara fabric wrapped around the panels surrounding your head. Waiting for me at the seat, was a pillow and blanket which I didn’t make use of in the flight.
Since there wasn’t anyone occupying rows 17 and beyond, I took the chance to get a shot of the middle pair of seats beside mine. Pictured below are seats 17D and 17F which do not feature the centre dividers.
The above shows 18D and 18F which features the centre dividers and these can be raised for privacy if you’re travelling with a stranger beside you.
Going back to my seat, it features a 3 point seat belt and the shoulder harness must be worn during Taxi, Take Off and Landing (TTOL), other than those 3 stages of flight you don’t really have to wear the shoulder harness unless you like the feeling of being secured to your seat. The shoulder belt was fairly easy to use and the body strap can be unbuckled with ease. It will also recede into the headrest when removed and you won’t really feel it when you’re resting your head against the head rest.
Moving on to the arm rest, these can be lowered should you require more bum space. A press of the black button (which is poking out beneath at the front of the arm rest) and some body weight was all it took to lower the arm rest. To lift it back up, simply press the black button again on the arm rest and it will rise back up. Personally, I was able to fit snugly into the seat so I kept the arm rests up to you know, rest my arms. Even though the seat looks tight from the pictures, it certainly didn’t feel that way to me throughout the 2 hour journey! (trust me, I’m fat)
In the console as pictured, there’s a little cubby hole where you can store your small items in and there’s a sliding panel which must be closed during Taxi, Take Off and Landing (TTOL). The in-flight entertainment (IFE) headset was already placed there too when I boarded. Dual USB charging ports which can be used for charging your mobile phones and tablets as well as an multi-plug rated at 110V are also available. The compartment can probably hold up a tablet, definitely not a laptop. Also, a vanity mirror can be pulled out should you wish to check yourself out during the flight to reaffirm your sexiness without going to the lavatory. (my camera went cuckoo and didn’t capture the vanity mirror). A headphone hook is also present.
Here’s what it looks like when closed. (the sliding thing to the right of the panel is the vanity mirror)
Also located on the console, is the IFE remote as well as the touch panel seat controls. The headphone jack was located beside the seat control panels too. Controls were intuitive to use and when “pressed”, it’ll provide haptic feedback to indicate that you’ve pressed it.
To the left of your head are the reading lights which can be adjusted with the press of the button(s). These lights work independently of the overhead lights which are controlled by the touch panel on the console. There’s 3 levels of brightness to choose from and each press of the button makes it go from brightest to dimmest.
The literature pocket was located near the bottom of the entrance to the seat and is expandable.
The in-flight entertainment screen boasts an 18 inch HD panel and images and videos were crisp. As with all monitors, the glare from the outside caused some visibility issues but this can be resolved by dimming your windows a notch. The selection of movies on board this flight were extensive and featured the latest releases like Star Wars and Jumanji. As this aircraft features the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system and has in-flight connectivity, you’re able to pair your mobile device to the IFE in the Singapore Airlines app should you wish to keep track of where you left of on a certain movie on a previous flight. The IFE headset was a generic Singapore Airlines branded one and features active noise cancellation.
The tray table is located beneath the screen and it was easy to get it out. Working on your laptop shouldn’t present an issue as it was very sturdy.
The cubby hole in which your feet will go to when the seat is fully flat was of a decent height and width and didn’t present any issues to my size 11 feet. Below that was a storage area where you can place your shoes if you decide to remove them for the flight. (Excuse my hairy legs and yes i have big feet)
Moving on to the actual events of the flight, I was offered a pre-departure beverage of either champagne, orange juice or water as well as a hot towel. I opted to have a glass of water as I already had some bubbles in the SilverKris lounge earlier and was afraid of looking like a tomato throughout the flight if I took on more alcohol. Seeing that I was taking pictures as if it was my first time on an airplane (well to be fair, it was my first time on SQ Business), the friendly (and pretty) stewardess offered to take a picture of me at my seat. I do apologize if your screen cracks as you scroll past my picture. Also, there’s a coat hook on the seat but I doubt it’ll be of much use as the cabin crew will offer to hang your coat for you in the closet.
After taking my photo, she came back to confirm my Book The Cook choice of the Classic Lobster Thermidor for the meal service. There was an A5 sized menu in the literature pocket which featured 3 main courses to choose from if you didn’t pre-book your meals with the Book The Cook option. The menu listed options for both the Singapore – Bangkok leg of SQ982 as well as the options for the Bangkok – Singapore leg of SQ983 .
Cabin doors closed about 5 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time and we were push backed from the gate shortly after. As we push backed, I caught a glimpse of the first Boeing 787-10 to be delivered to Singapore Airlines, 9V-SCA, which was parked a few gates away. The safety video started to play at this point.
It was a short taxi to runway 02C from our gate and there was a Bangkok Airways aircraft ahead of us ready for departure to Koh Samui. As we lined up on the runway centre line, I managed to get a shot of the runway in its entirety. Ah, the things you can only see when flying at the front of the plane.
As the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines spooled up, we hurtled down the runway and after a short take off roll, the pilot gently eased the nose up and we were airborne. The view after from Changi features an excellent view of the terminals below. The two flying whales of Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Qantas are clearly visible, as well as the the upcoming Jewel.
The pilot turned off the seat belt sign about 10 minutes into the flight and the meal service commenced shortly after. It wasn’t announced that the Wi-Fi was in operation but being the geek that I am, I knew that Wi-Fi was available for the flight and quickly connected to “KrisWorld” and it worked flawlessly. As a business class passenger, you’re entitled to a complimentary 30MB Wi-Fi allowance which unfortunately for me, wasn’t enough to satisfy my Instagraming needs. #millennial
PPS club members also receive complimentary 30MB of Wi-Fi allowance regardless of cabin class when flying on Singapore Airlines. Wi-Fi was provided by Panasonic Global Communication Services and the speeds were very good, assisted by the fact that almost no one else was using the Wi-Fi. I didn’t do a speed test as it would have eaten up a chunk of my 30MB allowance but for reference, posting an Instagram Story didn’t take long.
If you have a Boingo pass which can be obtained from select credit cards, you’re able to use it on board the flight as well.
As the cabin crew brought out the tray with my Classic Lobster Thermidor on it, I went trigger happy photographing my food and only remembered that I had to eat it after 10 minutes of trying to get the perfect shot. Cause you know, you haven’t actually eaten something unless it appears on social media. The bread basket was also brought out and I was offered not one, but two slices of garlic bread which was warm. Mmm. Warm garlic bread. As this was a short flight, everything was served on a tray, not that I actually mind.
The actual dish itself was delicious, with chunks of lobster smothered in sauce and chestnut mushrooms. The asparagus wasn’t overcooked and the rice wasn’t nuked dry in the microwave and was still fluffy and moist. Not much effort was needed to scrape the meat off the lobster tail either.
The appetizer consisted of two thick slices of salmon with cucumber bits. Dessert was a pineapple coconut mousse which was light and refreshing. Needless to say, my plates went back to the galley spotless, with the exception of the tomatoes I left behind. Bleurgh.
I paired my meal with a Singapore Sling and sad to say, I didn’t like it one bit. Although it was novelty to try it on board Singapore Airlines. I’ll probably stick to Coke as my preferred choice of in-flight drink.
The crew pacing the cabin noticed I was done with my meal and the tray was promptly cleared and one of the leading steward came by to offer some drinks. When asked what kind of coffee would I like after recommending I had it, I paused for a moment and gave him a blank stare and the steward chuckled and offered me a cappuccino to which I sheepishly nodded in agreement. How embarrassing to not know what types of coffee could you could have. This is what years of flying in economy class does to your brain, hardwired to respond to “coffee or tea sir?”.
The windows of the cabin were dimmed by the crew during the meal service as well, with the mood lighting becoming more prominent.
You still can override the pre-set dimness which the crew had set and in the business class on the 787, you’re actually controlling two sets of windows. One beside the IFE (as above) and the other beside your head.
After finishing my cappuccino, I got up and “made” my bed. It was a simple procedure which took about 30 seconds in total. You just have to press and hold the button which shows the flat bed and the seat will go into the fully flat mode. The arm rest can be lowered as well to give yourself more space to maneuver.
If you’re planning to sleep when you’re on board one of the longer flights to Osaka or Perth, pressing the “Do Not Disturb” button illuminates the sign on the seat and you’ll probably not be disturbed for most of the flight.
The cabin was kept fairly warm during the flight and there wasn’t any personal air vents overhead. I do wish that Singapore Airlines had installed personal air vents at every seat. I was actually sweating a little in-flight due to the heat generated from the headphones on my ears.
After placing my seat back upright, I paid the lavatories a visit. In business class, there are 2 lavatories situated at the front which serves the entire business class cabin. I can only imagine if the flight was full, there might be a queue forming for the lavatories. Throughout the flight, the cabin crew kept the lavatories spotless and the toilet paper was always folded neatly in the three times when I paid it a visit. Yes, I drink a lot of fluids in-flight. No, they weren’t champagne. #healthylifestyle
The lavatory was fairly basic and to me, the size felt comparable to those normally found in economy class on any other aircraft. For the germophobes, you’ll be glad to know that on the Boeing 787-10, the toilet features a sensor activated flushing mechanism.
The sink features an automatic tap.
Penhaligon’s toiletries were stocked at the sink alongside a generic mouthwash bottle. Shaving kits and dental kits were also available alongside hand towels in the drawer.
After checking out the lavatories, I returned to my seat to peruse the IFE and catch up on some movies. Feeling FOMO, I watched The Greatest Showman for the remainder of the time that was left of the flight. One highlight of the IFE system to me was the moving map where the plane displayed was actually a 787 and not a generic aircraft. The IFE remote also worked hand in hand in map mode and I was able to pinch and zoom on the map with the IFE remote.
Fast track passes for immigration at Bangkok were given out midway into the flight.
About 30 minutes before arrival, the first officer announced that we were commencing our descent shortly into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Realizing that this was my only chance to grab a photo with the cabin crew, I headed to the galley to check if it was possible for a photo with the crew for memory’s sake. Thankfully they obliged and I wasn’t going to be reported to the Thai authorities for asking. Here’s a photo featuring awkward hands (I’m terrible at taking pictures with the opposite sex) :
At this point of the flight, I realized I haven’t actually taken a photo of the massive Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines and the raked wing of the Boeing 787-10, so here it is featuring the blue tint of the windows from 19A :
As we approached Bangkok, it was approximately 1815 in the evening and we were greeted with an awesome sunset on approach. The mood lighting was switched from a purple hue to an orange hue to mimic the sunset outside as well.
At approximately 1831 local time we touched down onto the runway of Bangkok Suvanarbhumi, 30 minutes early of our scheduled landing time of 1900.
It was close to 5 minutes before we arrived at our gate as we landed on the other side of the airport. Eventually, we pulled up beside a Thai Airways Boeing 777.
The seat belt signed was turned off and I bade farewell to the crew and made my way to immigration and the baggage carousel and onward to the city centre to begin 26 hours in Bangkok.
My first time flying on Singapore Airlines Business Class was really awesome and coupled with the experience of flying on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, this was certainly a flight for the memory books. Singapore Airlines does have a fantastic hard product, but to really enjoy the full Singapore Airlines experience you need a set of fantastic crew as well. The service was super attentive and Mr Ho, one of the leading stewards in the business class cabin, seemed to know I drink a lot of water and offered me several bottles of water throughout the flight. Ms Sim, who was also part of the business class crew serving both aisles was also always on the lookout to see if we needed drink refills or really just about anything throughout the flight. So shout out to the crew operating SQ982 on 21 April 2018 if you’re reading this by any chance!
Stay tuned for the next installment of 26 Hours in Bangkok as I’ll be reviewing not one, but two of Thai Airways lounges in Bangkok.