Paul Harper flies SQ298 and SQ297 between Singapore and Christchurch.



Class: Business.

Price: $4893 return.


On time? Not much waiting at either end. Business class boarded immediately.

My seat: On the flight to Singapore, 13K, and 11K coming back, both window seats.

Singapore Airlines has recently refitted the Boeing 777-200ER, which services Christchurch-Singapore flights with upgraded seats and cabins. Even before the seat was converted to a bed there was plenty of leg space. When the bed was laid out there was enough room to lie in all different ways, so I had no trouble sleeping. It was pleasant not to have to deal with the squeeze as the passenger in front reclined their seat.

The 1-2-1 seat layout gives business passengers more space and, as everyone has aisle access, there is no climbing over others to go to the loo. There are plenty of compartments for carry-on luggage so I could keep personal items close at hand.

How full? Business class was three-quarters full both trips.

Fellow passengers: On the flight from Christchurch to Singapore there was one whining child in Business. Their caregiver seemed uninterested in quietening the brat. Surely there was space in the luggage hold for them.

Entertainment: Nothing special, just the usual movies (including new releases), television shows, documentaries and games. There was more than enough to keep me entertained for the 10-hour flight.

Food and drink: Top notch. We were served champagne before take-off; throughout both flights there was a steady stream of beverages. Food was also of a high standard, with a good selection of Western and Asian options. On the return flight I made the most of Singapore Airline's Book the Cook service and had the lobster thermidor, which was a real treat. The Book the Cook service is available only on flights departing from certain locations. Check the airline's website for details.


Service: Outstanding. The cabin crew were attentive, polite and pleasant. They seemed to know exactly when I wanted service and when I wanted to be left alone.

Toilets: Nice enough. They were equipped with perfumes and aftershaves.

Luggage: 40kg. More than enough for four days in Singapore.

Airport experience: I had access to the Koru Lounge in Christchurch and the SilverKris Lounge at Changi. The Changi lounge was particularly classy. I had no hassles with security at either airport.

Would I fly again? If I had the opportunity to fly Business class with Singapore Airlines again I certainly would. The memory of this trip will make my next long-distance flight in economy difficult to bear.

Paul Harper travelled as a guest of Singapore Airlines.