STILL A GREAT WAY TO FLY
JENNY EVANS flies from Sydney to Singapore and rediscovers love in the air.
FLYING WITH Singapore Airlines for the first time post pandemic, I’m reminded why they’ve always been my favourite.
From the easy-to-use online booking system to the comfortable leg room seat, quick boarding and disembarkation, smooth flying and tasty food, this flight made it a pleasure to fly economy.
When checking in online, I had a shock to discover that Singapore has moved to digital arrival cards which are supposed to be completed three days prior to arrival.
The online arrival cards are easy to complete, however, and an email is sent confirming your eligibility to enter Singapore.
We completed the cards the day before the flight and there were no issues. In fact, signs at Singapore’s Changi Airport imply that the digital arrival card can be completed on arrival any time prior to reaching the immigration desks.
At Sydney Airport, Singapore Airlines has reverted to ‘standard’ check in desks, with no baggage drops or separate queues for those who have checked in online.
We arrived two-and-a-half hours before the flight and were heading to Departures within 30 minutes.
Passport control is now mostly automated machines; these were working well so it was a quick zoom through passport control. At security, there is no longer a need to remove electronics from bags before scanning, so no more faffing around with cumbersome laptops.
We were through and into the terminal 90 minutes before the flight. The kids were pleased to see that the McDonalds near gates 50-63 has reopened. In fact, all airport shops are now operational.
After an efficient boarding process, we took our seats in the first row behind the Premium Economy cabin and took off on time at 7:55am.
My seat provided generous legroom and the opportunity to put my feet up on the partition between the classes (long legged flyers only!) This has got to be my favourite seat in economy, right next to the wing, with two windows and no emergency exit in the way.
The only downside is that it is close to the crying babies in the centre aisle, but having been in that position myself, I am empathetic.
The only seats now included in a standard economy ticket are at the back of the plane. There is an extra charge for a forward zone seat and seats with legroom are extra again. The cost depends upon the length of the flight. For this flight, the extra legroom cost approximately $120.
Luckily, I had an empty seat next to me. I did feel a little guilty about this given that my husband and children were all jammed into the three seats behind me, but not enough to suggest that any of them move next to me!
Singapore Airlines now offers complimentary Wi-Fi even in economy. To be eligible, you need to have provided your KrisFlyer membership number when you booked the flight.
There is a page in the seat pocket that provides easy to follow steps on how to connect. The speed was good enough to read Traveltalk magazine and send email. I didn’t try streaming.
One hour into the flight, a snack of chicken or pumpkin roti was served. The main meal service was more than five hours in. There was a choice of chicken tikka masala or beef and potato with a bread roll, cheese and crackers and an ice cream. Soft drinks, beer and wine were available.
The cabin staff were beautifully turned out and pleasant. They appeared to be efficient, although my husband did ask for tomato juice which never appeared.
The flight was smooth and the plane quiet. We landed 30 minutes early after nearly eight hours in the air. The plane was at the gate within five minutes of landing.
Join Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer loyalty program (it’s free) and make sure you provide your KrisFlyer number when you book, which unlocks two hours of free Wi-Fi
Select your seat while booking
Make sure you know the arrival requirements at your destination on booking to ensure that appropriate applications are completed within specified time limits.
Seat Number: 41K (Economy Class)
Baggage Allowance: 25kg