Welcome to my trip report on Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8!
Flying on this route came to my mind when I had to clear my EVA Air Mileage points as it was expiring at the end of August. Checking the aircraft type on this route, most of the flights were operated by 737 MAX 8 and I knew I had to fly on Singapore Airlines' aircraft to compare the difference between the 737-800 and this aircraft model. As I had already flown on the MAX series, thanks to GOL and Copa Airlines, I knew what to expect when flying on this model. The difference is I get to experience one of the top airline's cabin experience as this aircraft is fitted with IFE individual screen and complimentary WiFi (For Krisflyer members).
Booking through EVA to redeem my miles on SQ's flights was not straight forward as it took me a few calls before I managed to do so. Just a few days before my flight, I had an offer to upgrade one or both of the flights to Business Class. Tempting it was but I can't justify the $320 for the one way upgrade for such a short flight. So after much consideration, I decided to stick to flying on Economy class on both sectors. Besides I had been "SQ-ed" before, meaning aircraft change so I do not want to risk paying for the upgrade only to find out the aircraft on that day was changed to the old business class product (737-800) and that is certainly not worth paying so much for.
I manage to score the bulkhead row seat, the very first row of the Economy Class section. There are pros and cons about this seat, more information to come in my later part of the trip report.
My seat selection
On the day of departure
I did a check on what aircraft I was flying on, and this photo (below) caught my attention! 7M1? Could it be a typo? It certainly cannot be 737-10 as the aircraft till today is still not certified to fly for airlines. Anyone has any idea?
My ride: 9V-MBG (Photo: Jhang Yao Yun)
My in-flight experience
On board I was greeted by the friendly and experienced crew and walking through the business class cabin, it certainly caught my attention. Singapore Airlines could have just done 2-2 seater for all 3 rows but I think that's a nice idea to have a one-seater for solo travellers. I have to say I am quite impressed with this business class product, I have to try it one day.
Anyway, I manage to explore the business class quickly before settling down. I had a chat with one of the crew and even told her my preference goes to the A320neo when comparing this aircraft with the Airbus aircraft. Fortunately she didn't "kick" (jokingly) me off the aircraft and even told me I wasn't the only one who told her that and she understand why.
I was overjoyed when the cabin door was closed, why? No one turned up at my row that means I had the whole row to myself. The airline could have possibly block out the seats or maybe the other passengers decided to sit elsewhere, but whatever it is, I am glad to be able to have the whole row to myself once again.
After the push back, it took a while for the engines to start up and get going. Once that was done, we spent about 1/4 of our flight time taxing to runway 20L. The weather that day in Singapore was great and we took off smoothly into the friendly skies.
Our in-flight snack and a choice of beverage was served not too long after the seat belt sign was turned off. My question to the airline is why curry puff? How about those who don't take spicy food. Perhaps a sandwich would be more suitable or at least give the passengers a choice between a curry puff and something else? I overhead a conversation between a crew and another passenger as the passenger asked whether there was another option instead of the curry puff. The crew was apologetic and couldn't do anything about it, this is completely understandable.
The captain made a couple of announcements including the welcome and thank you speeches and he also mentioned about some weather along the way. There was quite a bit of turbulence in the middle of the flight but landing in Penang was a smooth affair. Overall I was satisfied with the flight, the cabin crew were nice and the comfortable cabin that comes with individual IFE Screen and complimentary Wifi which the Boeing 737-800 cabin do not have.
These seats are designed by Factorydesign and are manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating. As the Boeing 737-8 is a single aisle narrow-body aircraft. The configuration of these are arranged in 2-2 (First row), 1-1 (Second row) and 2-2 (Third row), making it a total of 10 Business Class seats on this aircraft type. These seats has a seat width of 22 inches, comes with 44 inches of legroom space and converts to a flat bed which takes up to 76 inches of space. For the single seat on the 2nd row, it is known as the Throne Seat which is great for single travellers. That seat offers a lot of storage space but what I don't like about it is the seat position is far away from the window seat. Unless you use a Go pro camera that sticks on the window for window shot videos or photos, it is troublesome to take photos or videos manually.
In-Flight Entertainment System
Window view (Take off to Landing)
My flight summary
For my previous trip report, (Emirates A380 DXB-SIN), click here.
For my Part 2 of SQ's 737 MAX 8 trip report (PEN-SIN), click here.
Have a great one!