flying to Singapore

6 am. One last minute in the house. With luck we’ll be arriving the next day at 6.30pm. BART goes straight to the airport so no commute traffic to deal with today.

Check-in was painless. It seemed we missed the crowd, but came in at the same time as the flight crew.

 

 

United Business Club Lounge

Even though we’re not flying United business today, we used their lounge this morning thanks to passes.If you’re looking, the lounge is just past security at SFO International, before the first gate, G98.

We’ve been in this lounge many times before, and it’s pretty much the same as before. There’s a decent amount of seating. The food is pretty meh.The fruit was in a sorry state. There’s a bar at one end and some work desks if you need either of those.

If you’re using miles to splurge on first class, there’s a remodeled Polaris Class Lounge further down in the terminal. United has been with this rebrand, so it should be a bit more posh.

If your lurking outside in the corridor trying to catch a ride on their wifi, the password is business####, #### being a four digit number. That’s just a few thousand possibilities to try.

Singapore SQ031

Airbus A350-900

Singapore Airlines is one of our two favorite airlines (the other being Turkish Airlines) so we’re very glad it worked out this time.

They used to fly through Seoul when going from San Francisco to Singapore. That changed in October 2016 with nonstop service on an Airbus A350-900: an 8,474 mile flight that lasts 14.5 to 17.75 hours, depending on the weather. It is the longest route they fly.

Here you see a standard economy seat followed by Tom in the slightly nicer economy plus seat.In standard economy the seat layout is 3-3-3, in economy plus it’s 2-4-2. Definitely grab the bulkhead seats for the most room.

standard economy seat

economy plus seat

On the ground you should load up the KrisFlyer app (available for IOS and Android), It has a nifty section where you can link your phone or tablet to control the in-flight entertainment system. There are a lot of current films from the US, China, Korea, Japan, India and Europe. I was impressed to see complete live performances of a few operas (Traviata, Mefistofele, and Lohengrin) plus a couple of classical concerts. There are the usual music selections and a smattering of video games. Here’s a little of the interface.

Singapore SQ031 SFO to SIN

IMG_20170118_144711

 

Singapore SQ031 SFO to SIN

These noise reduction headphones are provided. They sounded a little tubby, so I preferred to use my own. Be aware of the oddball three-pronged plug they use. I can’t figure out what the third micro plug does. A two-prong airplane adapter works just fine. The noise reduction on their headphones works well enough by itself for blocking out some jet noise.

Confusingly, the seats have two kinds of usb ports: charging and data, which lets you hook your own files into the plane’s system. I didn’t test this because of security reasons. Device charging: the mass storage port is rated to deliver 500mA, but struggles to deliver any power at all. The charging port shows a capability of 1500 mA and delivers on the promise. (I used the Android Ampere app to test the ports.) They also have AC outlets accommodating Euro, UK, and US plugs. I assume that they are dual voltage.

The Food

Breakfast was a choice of pancakes & syrup, an omelette or dim sum!

breakfast - dim sum

I liked using a cabbage leaf to keep things from drying out.

breakfast - dim sum

Here we have sticky rice (great comfort food), radish cake and siu mai. The sticky rice was really good, the others fine. The rest of the tray was dreck.

Book The Chef: you can go online before your flight and choose your dinner. There was a choice of seafood pasta, some kind of chicken, beef and fish. If you wait until you’re onboard, there’s a completely different selection

Whatever your choice, it’s likely to be a dismal one:

IMG_20170118_100340

 

By the way, if you’re looking to use airlines miles for travel on Singapore Airlines, the only Star Alliance airline website to use is ANA Japan Airlines. You’ll need to sign up for a free frequent flyer number from them.

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