Friday, September 6, 2013

Singapore Airlines business class Beijing to Singapore

Air China business class Sapporo to Beijing
Singapore Airlines business class Beijing to Singapore
Singapore Airlines business class Singapore to Hong Kong
Thai Airways A380 business class Hong Kong to Bangkok
Thai Airways Bangkok to Sapporo

After a lengthy layover in Beijing, it was time for my redeye flight to Singapore.  As the second busiest airport in the world, PEK is infamously labeled as the airport with the worst delays.  The airport's design doesn't help either as it can take an hour to move between terminals.  Even though all Star Alliance international flights depart from terminal 2, finding your carrier can be an absolute maze in the midst of the countless check-in counters.

Being an elite flyer is crucial at the second busiest airport in the world if you want to avoid 2-hour wait times

Air China business class lounge

Air China isn't known for having superb services and amenities, whether in-flight or at the airport.  After getting through security and taking a monorail to the terminal, I headed directly to Star Alliance's token lounge.  Since it was already 10 pm, they had already stopped serving dinner.  What remained were snacks and light supper dishes.

Although the beverages and snacks were plentiful, the lounge boasted nothing unique.  It wasn't crowded, but it lacked the ambiance found at ANA and JAL lounges.

Mediocre alcohol selection

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the lounge was the passport requirement for using the WiFi.  After scanning your passport, the kiosk would then print you a unique WiFi password assigned to you.  This is their way of tracking the individual users from their respective countries.

And you thought the NSA violated your privacy
After downing some snacks and beverages, I took a shower.  The lounge's showers were the worst I've ever used as water leaked out of the shower and the lone towel that they give you can't keep you dry.  Don't know if I really came out cleaner or not.

Singapore Airlines business class

After showering, I headed to the gate and promptly boarded the Singapore Airlines B777.  The lie-flat seat was angled, but it featured more storage space and width than ANA, JAL, and AA's angled lie-flat seats.  The AVOD also put all the other carriers to shame with its huge screen and endless channels and movies.

I was given the option to be served a late-night meal after takeoff or breakfast shortly before landing.  Since I was dead tired, I opted for the breakfast wake-up service.  The flight attendant notified me that I had pre-ordered a seafood meal, and she asked me if I still wanted that option.  I asked her what the meal contained, and she returned a minute later with the frozen meal, which was a salmon fillet over rice.  I told her that I'd like to select from the breakfast menu instead, which consisted of a Singaporean seafood noodle soup.  Right after takeoff, I reclined my seat and passed out.

2 hours prior to landing, the flight attendant woke me up for breakfast.  If there's one thing that Singapore Airlines shines above other airlines, it's the cabin service.  The flight crew pretty much never takes their eyes off of you, and you feel as if they actually value you as a customer.  Unlike United CEO Jeff Smisek, who pretends that he values his customers yet strips them of their benefits and praises his crummy employees, Singapore Airlines has trained their employees to earnestly appreciate your business.

Oversize lavatory

Bottom Line

The Air China lounge is not something to show up early at the airport for.  As the primary hub for the country's flag carrier, Air China should be ashamed of themselves for their service and offerings both in the air and on land.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Singapore Airlines lives up to its name as the best airline in the world.  It's tough to beat service as great as JAL and ANA's, but Singapore Airlines brings it to a whole new level.  Sometimes, greatness is all in the soft product, and moreso than any other carrier on the planet, Singapore Airlines hits the spot.

Next: Singapore Airlines business class Singapore to Hong Kong

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