Andrew Alderson flies SQ285 from the Lion City to the City of Sails.

The plane:

Boeing 777-300ER

Class: Economy

Price: There's a sale on at the moment and you can get return Economy Class tickets for $980 (travel between February 1 and September 15).

Flight time: 9h 40m.


On time? Passed all necessary beep tests.

My seat: 60A for uh-oh. A window seat's all well and good, but I tend to experience ablution-phobia when a direct pathway to the dunny is cut off. Visions of launching a rhino-hoofed vault across the seats and crashing into my rowmates' laps played on my mind. Nadia Comaneci would have struggled to dismount from here. I threw the old-age-pensioner rug across my knees, chucked on Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb and tried to relax.

Fellow passengers: Early baby boomers Joyce and Jim, in 60B and 60C, proved delightful company. They earned further kudos by pretending to stay asleep as I trampled across them mid-flight. One disappointment was the absence of the Guinness Book of Records to record the decibel levels of a woman in row 58 who blew her nose like a vuvuzela throughout the flight.

The toilets: Relatively clean bogs. Always advisable to go earlier rather than later though.

The service: Singapore Airlines' staff are always composed. No problem is insurmountable.

How full: Sardine-like, but I appreciate every airline's got to operate at a profit to survive.

Food and drink: A let down. Encountered some grubby cutlery; the beef casserole was stewed gangster-tough, and does anyone really eat that pale chicken sausage for breakfast? If so, they must be hungrier than I was.

Entertainment: Impossible to exhaust the options here. Found myself captivated by Pawn Sacrifice, a biopic of Bobby Fischer's duels against the Soviet chess grandmasters during the Cold War, ending with the world championship match against Boris Spassky in Reykjavik. Talk about a tortured genius.

Luggage: I boarded late, but still had the luxury of depositing my carry-on bag above my head.

The airport experience: Changi remains spacious and efficient. One of the world's great travel hubs. If you have time between flights, the massages are recommended if preparing for half a day's solitary confinement.

Would I fly this again? Yes. Singapore Airlines consistently provide a quality flying experience, principally because their staff project genuine empathy to the passengers cooped within. There's nothing like top customer service to alleviate angst.