Louise Taylor flies SQ285 from Singapore to NZ
A Boeing 777-300ER. There are 27 in the Singapore Airlines fleet.
Class: Business. They introduced new First and Business Class cabins on many of their 777-300ERs and A380s over the past couple of years. These "next generation" cabins on the 777s have four First Class seats, 48 in Business Class, 28 Premium Economy and 184 back in Economy. The decor in the new Business Class cabin is slick and smart.
My seat: 23D - in the middle section of the last row in Business. Configuration is 1-2-1. When fully reclined the seat is 198cm long, with generous width.
Price: Tickets for Auckland-to-Singapore return, start from $4210, for travel in November.
Flight time: We took 9 hours, which was an hour and a bit shorter than the trip going up there due to tradewinds at our back. The flight left Singapore at 8.45pm and landed at 10.50am, which makes it a great choice for travellers.
Fellow passengers: Business people and a few travellers. The seat configuration is very private — when sitting back in my seat, I had real privacy. I could only see two other passengers if I made an effort and leaned forward.
How full: Only a couple of seats spare.
Entertainment: An 18-inch HD screen with movies galore.
The service: Warm and attentive. The most amusing moment during the flight was the attendant trying to covert my seat into a bed. The bottom part of the seat jammed slightly as it folded out into the leg room of the bed. The perfectly calm and graceful flight attendant had to sit on the bed and jump up and down a few times with force to get the bed out. She did it with total style and grace — not a hair out of place. She packed a mighty punch for such a dainty-looking woman.
Food and drink: We had a full dinner service just after take off. Entree of Parma ham and bocconcini cheese, tomatoes and balsamic dressing was superb, fresh and the creamy cheese a fine balance for the salty ham. Delicious. I was disappointed in my choice of main — salmon with warm salad of cannellini beans, celeriac puree and pistachio vinaigrette. The salmon was a bit tasteless. But all other courses were superb. White tablecloths and no trays, everything is arranged on your table.
The toilets: Perfect. Always as if no one else used them and they were your own private facilities.
The airport experience: I was keen to experience Singapore Airlines' business lounge in their home airport, Changi. But with my connecting flight delayed, I had no time to check it out other than poking my nose in — it's huge — grabbing a bottle of water and running to my flight. Disappointing, as it looked a promising place to spend a few hours between flights.
The bottomline: My only complaint was that the flight was too short. I could have used a few more hours to enjoy the entertainment and really get the most out of that lie-flat bed. It was all a bit rushed and left me wanting more.
The lie-flat bed was truly amazing — so much room and so comfortable. This was far and away the best sleep I have had in the air.