Friday, 14 December 2012

Trip Report 13: SIN-MEL (SQ C)

On arriving at the Silver Kris Lounge in Terminal 3, I went and cigaretted mightily on the balcony by it. It was warm and rainy outside, which makes a change from freezing cold and rainy inside.

The Business Class section of the Silver Kris Lounge is a good lounge, it's almost at excellent lounge level, but needs a bit more work to reach that level (more plugs, a cigar lounge, better wi-fi), but for a four hour stay it will do nicely. I showered at a leisurely pace, continued with my hydration programme and caught up on emails etc, although the wifi was showing sighs of being overloaded. 

The food selections were plentiful, but few of them took my eye. I had a nibble at some chicken tikka (good) and a couple of forkfuls of pork with bitter gourds (not to my taste), but that was more time wasting than anything else to be honest.

Eventually, I got bored, had more cigarettes and went hunting through duty-free to see if I could get hold of any bargains. Prices weren't as keen as I remember them to be and as Australia now only allows 50 fags duty-free, I ended up buying nothing except a drink of teh tarik. After a short break in the butterfly garden, it was time to board, in fact I was running a teensy bit late.

Security was not a problem, I picked the wrong queue, where there was a family travelling with two small children and more hand luggage than I thought was humanly possible. But as my boarding pass was scanned, there was a beep. For one moment, one brief moment, I thought the impossible was going to happen and I was getting an upgrade to Suites. Alas, it was merely to tell me that the IFE wasn't working in my seat and that the Chief Purser would be along to see me later. This wasn't actually a problem, I haz iPad, but I probably would have watched it as KrisWorld has a very good selection of drama serials.

It's also obvious that the Business Class seats are starting to be ready for a refresh, they looked a little worn compared to when I first flew them four years ago, one or two corners looked like a deep clean might be useful and one or two of the many storage containers were a little more difficult to keep shut than they should be. However, the SQ 380 C seat remains in my opinion an excellent seat, although I do understand those who do have criticisms of it's positions other than fully-flat.

Service was friendly, willing but a tiny bit haphazard on this flight, which had slightly more Singapore Boys than usual. I had to refuse the bowl of nuts three times, but other than that dinner was just as I expected. (No pics due to dimmed cabin) A nice crabmeat timbale for a starter, the usual excellent garlic bread (no other airline gets garlic bread as well as SQ does), a lamb dish which looked dull, but turned out to be flavoursome, having much much more rosemary flavour than you would imagine and then some slightly naff cheese to finish with. All matched with a couple of glasses of what was NZ Sauvignon Blanc, but kept on being introduced as French Medoc (wrong colour, dear).

Just before I retired, the Chief Purser came and made one last attempt to get KrisWorld going and then handed out a reasonably substantial sum in duty-free vouchers which I shall spend on the way back to SIN on December 30th.

I flipped the seat to bed and had just managed to nod off when things got a bit bouncy, quite a bit bouncy and by the time that had subsided it was breakfast time. This is the problem with night flight to MEL. It was only 6:30, by the time you have cleared out dinner and served brekkie, you only really get about 2 hours potential sleep. Breakfast was a bit haphazard, the fruit was nice (but too cold) and the breads didn't turn up until very late because they didn't serve my aisle. Two attempts were made to give me someone else's cup of darjeeling, but on the positive side, I got two large refills of tomato juice.

Arrival at MEL was on time, but we did do a victory lap of the airport whilst taxiing and there was a bit of a farce waiting for the doors to open. However, quickly through immigration, my bag was already on the belt, not selected for customs inspection nor did I get to meet the cute spaniels they use as drug dogs. From landing to kerbside was 50 minutes, from doors open to kerbside was 22 minutes - that's excellent for an Australian arrival.

There were just about enough little niggles on this flight to take it from an excellent flight to merely a good flight. Some were more down to the hard product, some felt more like a bit of a crew problem. However, this is merely by rating them against other Singapore Airlines flights which have been uniformly of a very, very high standard.

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