Friday, October 14, 2011

the singapore airlines experience

i have been in london now for a good six hours, but haven't gone out for a romp yet. so while i'm relaxing, i'll share my first-ever flight with singapore airlines.

everyone keeps saying that singapore air is one of the best, and while i never really doubted it, i didn't realize what the difference really was until i got the SQ treatment. it wasn't anything mind-blowing, but i sure felt that i was taken care of. very thoughtful service characterized by touches of hospitality.

boarding from NAIA terminal 1 was surprising orderly; no people rushing to the front of the line or trying to board even though their row numbers haven't been called yet. boarding procedure was the same in changi. i've been on other carriers before, and while boarding wasn't chaotic, there was still a sense of being rushed that i didn't feel this time with singapore airlines.

the overhead bins also didn't get filled. i remember worrying about not having space to stow my carry-on luggage, because i've seen happen before. with SQ, it looks like i didn't have to worry about that. i initially thought it was just because the MNL-SIN flight wasn't full, but our SIN-LHR leg was, and the bins still weren't jam-packed.

passengers are given warm towels while waiting for take-off, and before meals. so far, the meals i've had were great, but my friend kate hasn't been so lucky. i do like that they give a lot of meal options as well as an extensive drinks list (that i didn't take advantage of).

in-flight entertainment quality was good, though i was disappointed about the absence of "community," when the SQ website indicated there was going to be at least one episode. nonetheless, i spent a good part of the flight being entertained by the pritchetts of modern family and leslie knope & co. of parks & rec.

all seats were equipped with a socket where you can charge your electronics, and the entertainment system even allows you to connect your PC or a USB flash drive to the screen so you can view your photos or files.

pillows and blankets were provided to all passengers as well, and both made the flight very comfortable. passengers were also given a small comfort kit with socks, a toothbrush, and toothpaste. this may not come as a surprise for some, but i didn't get this when i flew economy with KLM and air france.

the airbus a380 for the SIN-LHR leg had a pretty spacious lavatory, and in there, they provided mouthwash, dental kits (in case you lost yours from the kit they provided), shaving kits, and even sanitary napkins. that's a lot for an airplane lavatory.

since we only paid for standard seats, we got the usual legroom and comfort. for the MNL-SIN flight, we got seats that had one inch more pitch than the most standard seats on the flight, but for the SIN-LHR leg, it was just ordinary.

the staff was always very efficient and accommodating, and even when there was a bawling child in the cabin with us, they didn't lose their cool, and even assisted the mother in setting up a baby cot. a lot of the passengers also requested seat changes, and they were all handled quietly and effciently. even last-minute meal requests were handled well. no fuss at all.

so will i fly singapore airlines again? oh, you bet! but only if i can get it for the same price that i did for this trip. kate and i were very lucky to have gotten our fares for just USD 1130, and if i'm ever this lucky again, i'd go for SQ in a heartbeat. another plus for SQ is that flight connections usually take place in changi, a very well-planned, efficient airport.

next time you have a long-haul flight tp book, try checking out SQ fares, you never know when they're having some sort of promo.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

europe, once more

i'm hitting the road again tomorrow, and i'm hoping it will give me the push i need to breathe new life into this blog.

i've been in a very dark kind of funk the whole year--i snap and get stressed so easily, and i've discovered a baul-ful of things that frustrate me. it drove me into a cave, and i have to admit, while i was unproductive, i did enjoy staying indoors whenever i could.

but travel has always helped me gain perspective and balance, and i hope that they come to me now, when i need them most.

of course, aside from such a serious, soul-searching purpose, i know i will have fun on this trip. and i'm crossing my fingers that i can share that part of the trip with you while i'm on the road.

so if you still haven't grown weary of my empty promises to fill this blog with stories of my supposed adventures, then please, check back and stay tuned. :)