Traveling on Singapore Airlines for me was a bit of a surprise – but an exciting one! You see, our itinerary had us booked on Air New Zealand for the complete journey from Auckland through to Dubai, with a stopover in Singapore along the way. It was well worth the stop, and would’ve still been worth it if it was a quick stopover – just to see the airport!
It is just so breathtaking, we were awestruck.
The other amazing thing is that it was pristine clean, from the floors to the well appointed toilets, eating places and seating areas.
We naturally assumed that both legs of the flight would be on Air New Zealand, but that was not the case. Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines – along with others – are members of Star Alliance. This is a partnership that means that customers can enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits – like spending and earning loyalty points, for example. Customers can also use the lounge facilities reserved for Star Alliance members – and that is a real bonus!
There was another interesting fact – which I will now call a bonus. I wasn’t so sure at the time of booking, but the 2 airlines also operate code share flights. So even if you are booked on one airline, you may very well travel on the other. This is what happened to us. The Auckland to Singapore flight was indeed on Air New Zealand, but the Singapore to Dubai flight was on Singapore Airlines.
As I mentioned, to start with I wasn’t too sure about this, having never flown with Singapore Airlines before. I guess I’m just a creature of habit, feeling safe and secure with Air New Zealand. However, after the surprisingly uncomfortable flight experienced from Auckland to Singapore, I was more than ready to give Singapore Airlines a shot.
MY NEW FAVORITE AIRLINE?
Yes, Singapore Airlines was fantastic!
So lets take a look at them in accordance with our criteria.
The first thing I noticed was the space. Not just the space in between the seats, but the aisles were wider by far, meaning that it was a lot easier to pass a rather chunky flight attendant on my way to the toilet without either of us being embarrassed!
We’ve got to mention the awesome bonus: hot towels! Yes, a steaming hot flannel or facecloth given to every passenger on 2 occasions during the flight; fairly soon after departure and before the first meal is served, and again just prior to landing. It may seem like a small deal, but it really isn’t.
You’ve got no idea how welcomed these little cloths of joy are during a long haul flight. Refreshing to say the least, and very welcomed especially after an overnight flight when you first wake up in the morning. I guess most people are familiar with the bathrooms on a flight? Not exactly inviting to freshen up – but I can’t rave enough about these hot towels. I remember many years ago, these were a standard issue on a long haul flight. In fact, I can probably name on one hand the number of airlines that DIDN’T have them. But sadly, as the cost-cutting measures slowly crept in, these went by the wayside.
As I said, it seems like a little bonus, but it’s an example of those small, attentions to detail, that can make a break your impression of an airline.
The seats were really comfortable. I still used my Fabulous Tushy Cushy, but I think this was more to do with the discomfort I’d experienced beforehand and not necessarily because of the seats on Singapore Airlines.
I also still used my Fabulous Slingy Thingy – but no airline can be held accountable for my shortness!
Singapore Airlines ticket pricing on this particular trip didn’t really come into play because as I mentioned earlier, the complete booking from Auckland to Dubai was through Air New Zealand – a code share and Star Alliance partner. As far as I can gather since, their pricing is neither expensive nor cheap. A nice middle of the road price – and certainly value for money.
Within the meal criteria, Singapore Airlines was superior. They issued with a proper menu, which gave 3 choices of main course with a wide range so there is bound to be something that appeals to everyone.
Like most other airlines, Singapore Airlines can assist you with special meals for people who have specific dietary requirements. But something that I haven’t come across before – and this could be just me not being aware – is the ability to pre-select your meal once you have confirmed your booking. I really like this, because you know exactly what you will be getting, so it takes the guesswork out of whether to eat or snack at the airport (if that’s your thing).
As I mentioned before, Singapore Airlines seems to excel by paying attention to the little details. Another example of this is the use of real metal cutlery – not the plastic, flimsy stuff you get on some other services.
The meal quality itself is really great. It might be a little different depending on your flight time, but our experience was a drink and full meal served soon after takeoff, then a light breakfast a couple of hours before landing. This was great if you wanted to keep to your regular pattern, because as soon as meal service is over, the lights are dimmed and you can settle in to sleep. For those that can’t adjust their eating, there are always snacks available at all times from the galley – although generally snack foods, nothing of any substance. The light breakfast is also very much appreciated, because it means that you have something in your stomach as soon as you arrive (so you’re not frantically looking for food on arrival), but it’s light enough that you can eat sooner than you normally would if you need to get into different time zone habits.
SAFETY & RELIABILITY
With all the research I carried out while planning this trip, it is very safe to say that Singapore Airlines has an excellent record in the areas of safety and reliability.
The ways in which they excel and earn their stellar reputation are:
- On time performance
- Consistent ranking for the past 5 years as one of the top 3 airlines in the world
- Good quality of food…not exactly large portions, but plenty of selections
- Fabulous customer service
- Excellent assistance from initial booking procedures right through to safe landing and collection of luggage at your destination
- Variety in their infotainment system assures boredom won’t be an issue especially on a long haul flight.
Of all those points, the consistent ranking as one of the top airlines in the world for the past 5 years gives Singapore Airlines a big tick for me.