Welcome to my first trip report of 2024!
This trip came about when I spotted some good airfares from Singapore Airlines thanks to social media. The airfare for flights flying out from Kuala Lumpur to Europe was eye-catching airfare on both one-way and return flights and flying to Frankfurt caught my attention as I had not flown to this city before. The only troublesome part is I had to reposition myself to Kuala Lumpur and stay overnight as the flight starts in the morning. The total cost including flying to KUL and the overnight stay at the hotel wasn't worth it so I removed that plan and instead paid slightly more for the one-way ticket to Frankfurt. I could have done a return trip but as I had plans in Frankfurt and some friends were going to Athens, I decided to follow and make my own adventure home from Athens. Since I am there, I decided to spend a few days in Thessaloniki before returning home from Athens, trying out Sky Express and flying Aegean Airlines once again. After that to get home from Athens, I had 2 choices, Scoot or Gulf Air. Flying with Scoot would allow me to earn miles with SQ's Krisflyer but I have flown with the airline's 787 aircraft before so it won't be a new experience for me. While for Gulf Air, I get to stop over at Bahrain which would be a new airport for me and also adding a new airline to my list. The only disadvantage is I won't be able to earn any mileage points with the airlines I have accounts with. Despite the disadvantage, adding a new airline is more important and it is quite unlikely I will use Gulf Air for my flights to Europe.
This is my flight itinerary for my latest flying adventure!
SIN-FRA - Singapore Airlines A350-900
FRA-ATH - Aegean Airlines A320NEO
ATH-SKG - Sky Express A320NEO
SKG-ATH - Aegean Airlines A320CEO
ATH-BAH - Gulf Air A321NEO
BAH-SIN - Gulf Air B787-9
Reasons why I decided to switch from EVA Air Infinity Miles to SQ's Krisflyer programme
- I dislike the mobile app very much, the interface and everything about it, I was hoping for them to do an overhaul with the app but sadly that didn't happen.
- Redeeming miles with the airline was not straightforward for me and this is one of the contributing factors to my switching over.
- There are other better frequent flyer programmes in terms of redemption of miles and rewards.
SQ mileage programme seems to be more rewarding towards their paying customers and I appreciate the extra points I received for my birthday month. The website and mobile app are easier and better to use. Checking the stats of my account is more straightforward and certainly user-friendly.
Does this make EVA Air not my favourite airline anymore? Nah, they still are but I have to think for myself as a passenger, I need to join an airline program that benefits me more.
Booking with Singapore Airlines
Like my previous experience, I had no issues booking with the airline. However when you feel like changing seats, you need to do extra clicks just to get to the selection of seats which is troublesome.
I had a hard time deciding which seat to choose. For a 13-hour flight, choosing an aisle seat would be better as I could use the lavatory anytime I want however it would be my first time visiting Frankfurt and it would be nice to have the window seat. In the end, seeing the flight was not full, I decided to stay with 46C, which end up probably one of the worst seats in Economy Class in my opinion. I ended up with this seat because I wanted to recline without affecting the seatmate behind me.
It was nice to see the choices of meals for both lunch and dinner, however, it would be better if they display photos of the meals like how Starlux has done.
A good amount of choices of beverages were offered.
On the day of departure
This would be my 2nd time departing for Europe on an afternoon departure. The last time I did that was on Singapore Airlines A380 flight to London Heathrow. Once I reach the airport, it was off exploring the terminal for a bit after checking in before heading over to the airside. Maybe I am too used to this airport but I don't have that excitement anymore when travelling out of Changi Airport. Sorry to say! Anyway, I made my way to the gate and wait for departure, couldn't wait to get my flight started, it would be a long flight, in fact my longest A350 flight to date.
European flights with SQ departs from Terminal 3.
My flight was one of the very few to depart to Europe at this timing.
Using the self-check-in kiosk, this time I had no issue with checking in my luggage.
Checking the seat map, I was hoping the middle seat remained vacant.
My boarding pass to Europe and what a way to end 2023!
I decided to travel with a small carry-on luggage so that I wouldn't have to check in my luggage on my flights within Europe. However, for this flight, I decided to check in.
Interesting decoration at the departure hall, landside of terminal 3.
Checking what's today's ride? 9V-SJD. Checking from another source, I was supposed to be flying on 9V-SMY but I think there was a change in fleet planning as this aircraft was deployed on SIN-LAX route earlier than my flight.
9V-SJD arrived from Cebu the day before and enjoyed a good amount of rest before my flight.
The Lotte dutyfree shop undoubtedly caught my attention.
On my way to gate A3.
I spotted some benches with usb charging port, but charging process is very slow.
This is where my flight was departing from. This is the shared gate area where security check is done and passengers on these flights can hang around in the secured area with toilets and a snack counter in it.
At that time, there was also another flight departing and that aircraft was a Boeing 777-300ER bound for Sydney.
A3 was the assigned gate for my flight.
The lovely nose of the A350-900, 9V-SJD greeted me while walking down the jetway.
As much as I like to turn left, I had to walk straight to the correct cabin class.
My ride: 9V-SJD (Photo: Ivan Cabrero)
Airbus A350-941 (Owned aircraft)
Configuration: C42 W24 Y187
Engine: 2 X Roll Royce XWB-84
Delivered to airline on August 2022
569th Airbus A350 built
Age: 1+ years old (Jan 2024)
Flight route: SIN-FRA
Will I choose 46C on this aircraft configuration? Probably not.
After experiencing it myself, let me tell you why.
- No seat mate across the aisle.
- The seat is reclinable and you can do so without affecting anyone.
- The flush system from the lavatories are noisy.
- Storage compartment for the crew to store the jackets and other inventories is located across the aisle so they will come around a few times to sort out whatever they need to do.
- Lack of privacy with many passengers and crew walking along the aisle and some might hang around your area queueing up to use the lavatory.
Fortunately, I had the middle seat vacant so both my seat mate (window seat) and myself had more space to ourselves and during the time I slept, I reclined my seat and used the middle seat as the support for my pillow to enjoy some rest, so end up it wasn't too bad.
Date of departure: 30th December 2023
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900 (Long Haul configured aircraft)
Schedule departure: 1055
Push back: 1119
Take off: 1138
Flight time: 13 hours
Actual flight time: 13 hours 10 mins
Schedule arrival: 1730
Actual arrival: 1747
Departure runway: 02C
Arrival runway: 25L
My in-flight experience
We boarded early however we pushed back late as we waited for some connecting passengers arriving late from their previous flight, but fortunately the seat between my seatmate and I remained vacant, that was more important, I am sure we were able to make up for loss time. After take off, the ride was generally smooth but there was turbulence from time to time but the worst was flying over Bay of Bengal near India. The meal service was served by this particular crew who doesn't seem to be helpful as my seatmate requested for water but she was told that a bottle of water was already provided for her and for my requested drink, she took my empty cup and filled it up with the gingle ale. I was wondering was this lazy service? Most of the other crew were ok, but there wasn't any outstanding ones. At least the in-flight supervisor was nice to offer my seatmate a seat in front so that she can disembark earlier to catch her connecting flight. That benefits me as I could enjoy the window seat and see Frankfurt for the first time. I know one thing for sure is the next time I fly on SQ's long haul configured A350, I avoid row 46 aisle seat. What I enjoy most about being on this flight is the ability to use the complimentary WiFi for most parts of the flight and that's good to be able to communicate with my friends, enjoy social media and surf the web.
This is the 2013 Business Class product fitted on the long haul aircraft such as the A350-900 (This aircraft), the A350-900 ULR and the Boeing 777-300ER. These seats are configured in a 1-2-1 seating configuration with a seat width of 28 inches and as this is a flat bed, it can be reclined to a lie flat position during the flight for a good rest or sleep. The bed length has a total of 78 inches. As for the Entertainment system, each seat back features a 18 inches HD screeen and for the power source, it comes with 1 Universal and 2 USB power sockets.
What I don't like about the window seats is that you need to stretch out to be able to have a proper view of the world passing by during the flight.
Have you tried this product? Do you like it?
I can't comment as I haven't sample this airline's premium class products.
These seats were built by Zim Flugsitz and was launched in August 2015. Configured in a 2-4-2 seating configuration on the A350, each seat offers a generous legroom space of 38 inches and a seat width of 19.5 inches. The seat also comes with 2 USB and 1 Universal power sockets with footrest and each passenger gets his/her own armrest. For the entertainment system, it comes with the 13.3 inch HD touchscreen similar to the Economy Class and comes with a better quality noise-cancelling headphone.
The last row of the premium economy class seats is reclinable.
This is the 2nd best Premium Economy Class product according to Skytrax, do you agree?
One thing is for sure, this is more comfortable to fly in, especially on long-haul flights.
For this trip report, I will focus on Economy Class. I have flown on this product before on the airline's A350-900 (9V-SMS) from Jakarta to Singapore, you can check out the trip report over here.
The economy class seats are configured in a comfortable 3-3-3 comfiguration and each seat except for the emergency rows offer a legroom space of 32 inches. The seat width is 18 inches and can recline up to 6 inches. In addition, each seat back is fitted with an In-Flight entertainment system and has USB power plug with each row fitted with 2 universal power sockets.
This is seat 46A, I moved to this seat just before we started the descent into Frankfurt. The reason is that the nice cabin crew offered to move my seat mate which she accepted to the front so that she could get off as soon as she can to catch her connecting flight. As our flight landed later than the schedule time, she didn't have much connecting time but I am sure Lufthansa would take care of her if the worst happens.
As you can see there is some space between the seat and the wall and that allows the seat to recline.
The cabin during in-flight. It was nice to see some Christmas decoration hanging on the wall.
This was photographed after I moved into seat 46A.
The storage compartment
At this point, we were half way through our journey.
More photos of my seat
That is how close the lavatory behind me is.
Each row of seats has 2 universal ports.
Legroom space was at 32 inches.
What I like about the airline's product is it offers convenience to the passenger such as drink holder, a small little storage space, usb charging port, headphone port and the crew call and light buttons.
This drink holder reminds me of an incident which someone placed his hand through the drink holder and ended up having difficulty removing, so for the kids out there, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT!
The foldable tray.
There is even a mirror on the foldable tray holder.
What's provided for each Economy Class passenger?
A comfortable pillow
Instructions on how to use the in-flight Wifi
In-flight snack and meals
Before our first meal was served, we were given a packet of peas and crackers and a choice of beverage. I chose apple juice.
What's for lunch?
Barley and Cucumber Salad with Smoked Salmon mixed with diced sundried tomatoes (Appetiser)
I had a choice between Slow Roasted Turkey Breast or Fish in Hot Bean Sauce
I chose the Roasted Turkey Breast option.
For dessert, we were given a small tub of ice cream and cheese + cracker.
For beverages? I had my favourite Gingle Ale.
French Vanilla ice cream for us. When I opened up the plastic wrapper, the ice cream was melting.
We were given snacks between the meals. It's a pity I missed out on the sandwich which I prefer.
For dinner, this is what we had.
Coleslaw Salad with Grilled Chicken (Appetiser)
We had a choice of Baked Pasta, Chicken Tomato Ragout or Sweet & Sour Fish
I chose the Fish option.
For our dessert, we had the Mango Cream Cake and Cheese and Cracker.
Overall I find the meals alright, nothing to shout about. Between the Fish (Dinner) and Turkey (Lunch), I prefer the Fish as I didn't like the combination of the dried fruit, red cabbage and sweet potatoes for the Turkey option. I could have gone for the other option, Fish in Hot Bean sauce but I didn't feel like having hot bean sauce. So not much options here. As for the Sweet & Sour Fish, I find it to be quite delicious. So for the score of both meals, I give an overall rating of 3.5/5
In-Flight Entertainment System
I logged into my account but there doesn't seem to have any difference compared to using Krisworld without logging in.
After flying with many airlines recently, I find SQ's IFE system seems to be lacking of some convenient features such as the exterior camera to view outside, great for those without a windows seat, the disappointing in-flight map (lack of flight details) and I had to turn to my flightradar24 (Thanks to the wifi) for my flight status and the lack of PIP (Picture In Picture) option which allows me to view the flight map while watching a movie.
The safety video has been the same for quite some time, will the airline be updating this soon? I wonder.
I managed to catch up on 4 movies which I missed when they were released at the cinema. Sometimes it pays to wait, right?
This latest series of Mission Impossible is one of them!
During the flight, I used flightradar24 to check on the weather and our flight progress.
My aircraft was not far from FRA airport at this point. (below)
Our arrival at Frankfurt Airport! Hardly any clouds at that time and that allowed us to enjoy a good view of the city upon landing.
Thanks to the airline's WiFi, I managed to complete my Firefly ATR-72 ride trip report and upload it online. So for that I have to give the IFE system full marks for the convenience.
Lavatory in Economy Class
The lavatory was in top notch condition.
Window view photos
The blended winglets makes the A350 look even more outstanding in my opinion.
Lady lucky was on my side as I was able to enjoy the great view at seat 46A.
Good weather sometimes give you beautiful view like this.
At this point we were close to our final approach to FRA airport.
We had a smooth touched down.
After 10 minutes of taxi, we were at our assigned gate.
My flight summary
Unfortunately immigration process took about 40 minutes to clear. My luggage on the other hand didn't take long to appear at the carousel.
This is the land side of terminal 1.
There are signboards guiding you to where you want to go and it didn't take long for me to reach the train station.
It took me a while to figure out how to get to my destination mainly due to the language issue. Thanks to a helpful local, I was on my way after a few minutes trying to figure out the complicated train map.
The map of Frankfurt Metro! Complicated, right?
Airline's website/mobile app: 4/5
Singapore Terminal 3 Experience: 4/5
In-Flight Service: 3.5/5
Seat Comfort: 3.5/5
Cabin interior: 4/5
In-Flight Entertainment: 5/5
In-Flight Meals: 3/5
In-Flight Experience: 4/5
Overall rating: 39/50
Overall, it was a pleasant flight from Singapore to Frankfurt. I was fortunate not to have a seatmate beside me otherwise it would have been quite uncomfortable being stuck in the aisle seat sandwiched beside the passenger on the middle seat and the closet compartment. Not to mention, how noisy the flushing system was behind me.
For row 46, the window seat is fine however if you prefer the aisle seat, my recommendation is to choose one that is a few rows away from the lavatory. As for the in-flight service, it is certainly not the best and the same can be said about the in-flight meals. What I like about this flight is I was able to access the WiFi through out the flight and the connection was quite stable, not the fastest speed but was usable even for some online games which I had no issue playing. Krisworld once again didn't disappoint, with a lot of good selection of movies and I managed to catch up on those that came out in the cinemas earlier.
Singapore Airlines - A great way to fly? I agree however there are competitors that are just as good or even better for economy class service. You can find out more on my top 10 economy class experience over here.
Happy New Year 2024 to all you readers out there!
Hope you enjoyed my first trip report of the new year.
For my next trip report: Flying with Aegean Airlines A320NEO from Frankfurt to Athens, click here.
(At this point, I like to pay tribute to the victims and their families involved in the accident that occurred at Tokyo Haneda Airport, runway 34R. This is a very unfortunate accident involving the Airbus A350 and the Dash-8. You can read more on this report over here.)
Have a good one!