Mike Lane flies aboard Singapore Airlines flights SQ286 and SQ502 from Auckland to Bangalore.

The plane:

A Boeing 777-300 then 777-200.

Class: Economy on both legs.


Price: Economy Class return airfares from Auckland to Bangalore start from $1425, valid for travel until December 9.

Flight time: 10h 30m then 3h 50m. Both departed bang on time. With just a 20-minute layover in Changi, it was a tight transfer!

My seat: 47C and 46D.

Fellow passengers: There must have been a seniors special to Singapore — the flight was full of ruthless baby-booming seat recliners. This proved problematic when a particular elderly lady used the headrests to steady herself as she walked to the bathroom and inadvertently switched off every touchscreen she came into contact with. The Bangalore flight was a little different, full of Indians headed home and businesspeople headed to Bangalore to talk tech.

We were going to India to watch an IPL match as part of my day job with Radio Hauraki — breakfast show host Jeremy Wells stood us up ... so we took a cardboard cutout of the bloke.

How full: Not a spare seat in Economy for both flights.

Entertainment: Season nine of Curb Your Enthusiasm ticked all the boxes. Modern, 11" touchscreens that actually worked when you touched them ... so you didn't relentlessly have the back of your head punished by someone getting frustrated with the volume.

Also, I can report that inflight Wi-Fi is a revolution! You can sosh med and email galore.


The service: Very good — the hot towels and bathroom packs with socks are a nice perk rarely seen in Economy.

Food and drink: Didn't get drinks with dinner on the Singapore leg, which was a little odd, but the chicken pasta was delicious. The Bangalore leg was more basic but it was only a short flight.

The toilets: They were always clean.

Luggage: Very generous 30kg check-in.

The airport experience: Auckland is undergoing some renovations so it's hard to judge.

Changi on arrival is always great and Bangalore is surprisingly modern.

The bottomline: One of the better long-haul Economy experiences I have had. Well worth considering if you are headed to Asia or on to Europe.