Mark Garrison flies from India to Singapore.
The plane: A Singapore Airlines A380. I love flying on the A380 and this aircraft was sparkling clean and looking brand new.
The seat: 57G. I was seated at a bulkhead seat on the aisle across from one of the mid-cabin emergency exits. The seat felt smaller than a comparable seat on Emirates' A380s but was still comfortable, although the entertainment screen seemed far away as it was attached to the bulkhead wall.
Class: Economy Class.
Price: Just over $1100 for my one-way ticket from New Delhi to Auckland. I flew on Air NZ for the final leg to Auckland.
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Entertainment: Singapore Airlines is renowned for its vast selection of entertainment. There are a lot of films and TV programmes (including box-sets) to choose from as well as music. The only issue was that I was never able to turn the sub-titles off and I found it impossible to pause a film without having to start it all over again and fast-forward through to get to where I left off. That was frustrating indeed.
Service: The cabin crew were generally polite but also very busy dealing with a full cabin. They generally lacked warmth and had a strange habit of racing down the aisle — which was fine until they ran into my tilting head as they passed. They didn't stop to apologise.
Food and drink: I was expecting so much more. Tales of Singapore Airlines' hospitality are legendary. Perhaps I expected too much. I was travelling in Economy after all and you get what you pay for. Dinner was pan-roasted chicken and herbs and it was okay, but certainly nothing to write home about. Two trips were made through the cabin for beverage service. I didn't particularly enjoy the Singapore sling and shifted to wine for dinner. Choice was limited to three options.
How full? The Economy cabin was completely full. Apparently everyone is travelling these days.
Toilets: Impeccably maintained throughout the flight and props for the complimentary combs and toothbrush/toothpaste sets in the bathroom. That said, the toothpaste and mouthwash are among the worst tasting products I have ever put in my mouth. Ugh.
Luggage: 30kg in Economy.
Airport experience: I had heard so much about Changi Airport in Singapore that I was excited to experience it. I only had a little more than two hours transit time and didn't have a lounge pass. I wandered through Terminal 3 and found the usual duty-free and restaurant offerings. I did check out the Butterfly Garden which was pleasant and then I staked out one of the massage chairs which are sprinkled throughout. Some didn't work, but once I got one that did I was reluctant to leave. Would I fly this again? Yes, although next time I am going to aim for Premium Economy. One day, if I dream hard enough maybe I will get to First Class...