Airlines Trip Reports

Review: Singapore Airlines B787 Economy Class Singapore to Bangkok

Economy Class isn't so bad after all. I lived to tell the tale.

Two Cabins, Two Hiltons: Introduction
Review: SATS Premier Lounge Changi T2
Review: Singapore Airlines 787 Economy Class Singapore to Bangkok
Review: Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok
Review: Conrad Bangkok
Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge Suvarnabhumi Airport


Flight Number: SQ970
Aircraft: Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Registration: 9V-SCA
Seat: 60A
Class of Service: Economy Class

After checking out the SATS Premier Lounge for a quick (but unsatisfactory) breakfast, I scuttled over to F54 to board my flight. By the time I got to the gate, the majority of the passengers had already boarded and the gate lounge was empty. Security at Changi in Terminals 1,2, and 3 are all handled at the gate so this was where you had to dispose of all LAGs more than 100mls.

Before boarding, I managed to snap this (pretty underwhelming) picture of the beauty that will be carrying me to Bangkok that morning.

9V-SCA in all its glorious beauty

As I was one of the last passengers to board, the cabin was quite full and I did not get an opportunity to snap a picture of the Economy Class cabin. Here’s a picture from Aaron’s ground review of the aircraft from last year:

Economy Class cabin on the Boeing 787-10

For quite some time now, Singapore Airlines has switched to the concept of earbuds instead of those crappy sounding over-ear headphones. These were placed outside the aircraft on the jetbridge just before the doors. If you did not BYO headphones, do remember to pick this up before you enter the aircraft. Newspapers were also available as usual.

Nothing like reading the tabloids at 39,000 feet

My seat, 60A, was located in the second economy class cabin section closer to the back of the aircraft and after the wings. If you want a good wing view, choose a seat in the forward cabin if possible.

View of the forward cabin from 60A

After settling down, the cabin crew came around to distribute hot towels and these were soon collected even before we pushed back. The flight was rather full that morning but thankfully the seat beside mine was empty for the flight (score!).

New style Economy Class seat shells which can be found on the Boeing 787-10s, Airbus A350-900 Regionals, Airbus A380-800 (new cabin products)

Now onto the seats itself. These seats were actually first introduced on the new Airbus A380-800s which were delivered to Singapore Airlines with the new Suites and new Business Class products. They can be found on these aircraft types:

  • Airbus A350-900 Regional (9V-SH series)
  • Airbus A380-800 with new cabin products
  • Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

However, there are subtle differences that can be found between these economy class seats across the three aircraft types. The seat itself is very similar except that it is a tad wider on the Airbus A350-900s and the Airbus A380-800s due to them having a wider fuselage. In addition, the in-flight entertainment screen and seatback placement of buttons are also slightly different across the three aircraft types.

The headrest was adjustable and could be folded inwards to create a little cradle for your head.

Seat pitch was very generous in my opinion, as with all Economy Class seats on Singapore Airlines. I’m 1.75m and have a nice belly (not due to beer) and even when I’m slouching on the seat, I am still fairly comfortable in it. One gripe I have with these seats are that the armrests are ridiculously thin, meaning if there was someone in the middle seat, you will have to battle it out with him to see whose elbow gets the armrest. Also, I noticed that there was no footrest available on this aircraft.

Here a photo of my SFW thighs, as you can see there was still quite a fair bit of leg room available:

You might have noticed that the seatback pocket of these new generation economy class seats still features extra pockets which come in handy for storing things like your wallet and passport. Just remember to retrieve them before you disembark. These pockets were deep and wide enough for my wallet, mobile phone, and a 30,000mAh power bank.

In the larger pocket, the usual combination of the air sickness bag, safety card, KrisWorld, SilverKris, and KrisShop magazines were stored there.

Seatback pockets

Empower power sockets can also be found in-between the seats. Meaning a row of 3 seats shares 2 Empower ports. These are international multi-plug ports so you won’t have to worry about needing an adapter for the plug. The power rating of these ports is at 110V/60Hz.

Empower Port

Moving back up, the tray table was pretty normal. When first unlatched and before folding it into its full size, you will find a cup holder and a vanity mirror.

The tray table when fully flipped open was a good size and is quite sturdy. Throughout the flight, there were many people working on their laptops and they did not look like they were going to flip the (tray) table at any point in time.

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As you could already see, a proper cup holder could be found to the right of the in-flight entertainment screen. Just below the in-flight entertainment screen, was a little receptacle where you could put your phone (in if it fits).

Here’s a complete view of the back of the seat in front of you, featuring the in-flight entertainment screen which was a very good size and of high quality.

In this new generation of Economy Class seats, Singapore Airlines has done away with remote controls and all interaction with the screen has to be done via touch. Just don’t stab it so hard until it disturbs the person in front of you.

Moving on to other features of the seat, on the Boeing 787-10, you will find the call buttons, reading light button, USB-A charging port (which charged my phone fairly quickly), and a two-prong headphone jack located just to the bottom left of the screen. That black ovalish object is not an NFC reader and I believe the Boeing 787-10s do not feature these NFC readers.

When charging, the USB port turns blue

The in-flight entertainment screen measures 11.6 inches and as mentioned earlier, was of high quality. On the Boeing 787-10, myKrisWorld is available and you are able to sync the IFE to your Singapore Airlines mobile application (which is still terrible) or your KrisFlyer membership number to save your playlists for viewing on your next Singapore Airlines flight.

As usual, the movie and TV show libraries on KrisWorld are stocked with fairly recent movies and contained more than enough films for your viewing pleasure. Oh and here are the new in-ear earbuds that SQ now provides for Economy Class passengers. I quite like these much more than the old over-ear types.

The monitor flips upwards by around 20-30 degrees which is useful when the seat in front of you decides to recline. The brightness of the screen was also very good although it can get a little too white-washed when you maximized the brightness of the screen. For those of you who are freaking out over the camera, it is disabled on all SQ seats which have them.

The inner child in me squealed a little when I saw that Worms was available on board. It really is sad that Singapore Airlines removed Pokemon and Super Mario games from its entertainment system back in 2007. It would have been really fun for those who are flying between Singapore and Newark to see if they could complete the Elite Four before they land in Newark if Pokemon was still available on KrisWorld. (I digress)

At around 0707, we pushed back from the gate and the safety video started to play.

As we taxied to the runway, 20C that morning, we passed by 9V-SYI parked at F41.

After a short taxi, we were cleared for take-off and once we were airborne there was an awesome view of Singapore which greeted me.

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Breakfast was served on the flight and we were presented with two options:

  • Nasi Lemak
  • Pancakes with Bananas

After seeing so many pictures of the Nasi Lemak from those who had BTC-ed it on their Business/First class flights, I was pretty curious as to how it will look like in Economy Class. Lowering my expectations, I was very pleased with my meal choice of Nasi Lemak that morning. I got a cup of coffee and some orange juice to accompany the meal.

The Nasi Lemak was served with a fruit cup as well as a soft bun. The rice was fluffy and very fragrant with just the right amount of coconut milk that was used to cook it in my opinion. The satay chicken thigh pieces were juicy and flavourful and tasted even better when paired with the dollop of sambal which was smothered all over the chicken. I believe the omelette is exactly the same as that served in Business Class and it was still moist and didn’t taste like it was nuked 10 times over in the microwave. The ikan bilis and peanuts were hidden under the chicken thigh pieces and surprisingly, the ikan bilis still had a nice crunch to it.

Drink refills were offered as the cabin crew came around to collect the meal trays and I regretted not trying my luck in asking for a second serving of the Pancakes with Banana.

On this flight, WiFi connectivity was available and if you are flying up in Business Class or are a PPS/Solitaire PPS member you will receive 30MB of free data.

Apologies for the blurred picture

In-flight connectivity was provided by Panasonic on the Boeing 787-10s and I believe across all aircraft with WiFi connectivity, WiFi is now volume based regardless of the WiFi provider.

As I was in the rear Economy Class section, I could choose from the lavatories that were 3 rows in front of me or at the back of the aircraft. Thankfully there was no queue for the lavatories throughout the flight as most people were still trying to catch some sleep before landing. The lavatories were well, your standard aircraft lavatories but it was well stocked with amenities.

Singapore Airlines provides toothbrushes in Economy Class even on these short-haul regional flights. In the event that you have to brush your teeth, I strongly suggest asking the crew for a cup of water to rinse your mouth. No-brand handwash, hand lotion, and eau de toilette are also available in the lavatories.

For the germaphobes, you’ll be pleased to know that the toilet and sink are equipped with motion sensors.

After exploring the toilets, we were about 30 minutes from landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. I really hate that on Singapore Airlines, the cabin has to be secured for arrival when we were still at cruising altitude and 30 minutes away from landing. Back when I was flying on SAS, even while we were descending past 20,000 feet we were still allowed to recline our seats and head to the toilets freely.

As we approached Bangkok, the skies were pretty clear that morning so we had a good clear view out the window.

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At around 0820 local time, we touched down in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. On the way to the gate, I managed to spot a Finnair A350 which was preparing for its departure back to Helsinki as well as a QSuite equipped Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER.

There was a slight delay getting to our gate but I didn’t mind as that meant I could continue watching Aquaman. Once we deplaned, I made a beeline for the e-gates and headed off into downtown Bangkok.

Concluding Thoughts

Being back in Economy Class isn’t actually that bad, especially on Singapore Airlines. The new Economy Class seats are actually pretty good and I would definitely want to try them out on a longer route.

Overall, I would not hesitate to fly with Singapore Airlines in Economy Class again. Great food, great seats, and an excellent in-flight entertainment system. My only gripe for the flight was that the meal portions did seem a little small.


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Damian
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Damian

SQ nasi lemak is quite good. In fact they somehow taste better in economy class than in Business class.
I had similar seats from Sydney back to Singapore last week and for a 7 hour flight it is decent to be in as well

Wong
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Wong

If the meal portion is small, can we possibly request for a 2nd meal?

Aaron
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Aaron

Correct me if I am wrong, a couple of refurbished 777-300ERs have installed these seats earlier this year.

Michael
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Michael

Fail for me: Took this exactly same flight in economy last week on 8 May, like 0710. 1) Seats were too hard (never mind the ugly blue “are we on KLM-now”? colour) 2) Armrest non-existent basically as you state, even the window seat 3) No pillows! Only blankets on offer in economy, checked with attendant, new policy? 4) Loath the 787 electric window, can never get full darkness and can’t control fully anyway as cockpit overrides. 5) At 40 minutes prior to landing, they prep cabin for landing on this half full flight, crazy early for a barely 2-hour trip,… Read more »

Hui
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Hui

I find the phrase “I could peruse of the lavatories” hard to understand. Are reading materials available in the lavatories?