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Bom-Sin-Bom on SQ J Class (SQ 421/424 on 24th/27th Sept)

 
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15a
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 271
Location: Bangalore

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Bom-Sin-Bom on SQ J Class (SQ 421/424 on 24th/27th Sept) Reply with quote

Had to do a 3 day trip to Singapore for a training program. I opted for the daytime departure on the previous day itself because previous experience flying Blr-Sin on the overnight had given me enough trouble of arriving half sleepy for ur appointments in Singapore. Also, i was looking forward to enjoying the SQ facilities onboard - especially Krisworld and the food which u can really enjoy with a day time flight.


Onward – SQ 421
Reached Sahar at 9:45 for a 11:30 AM flight - pretty empty checkin counters manned by AI. Had pre-reserved a window seat. Had a hard time finding the lounge which SQ uses in 2A - literally in one end of the departure terminal near one of the extreme gates. Pretty ordinary lounge (i think the 9W lounges in domestic are far better).
Boarding and departure was on sched out of Gate 17. had a bit of a wait to get airborne. The drinks and snacks service started immediately. SQ has a rather strange practice – the Veg meal listed on the menu is sometimes different from the Asian Veg meal which all the veg eating passengers would have – so why not list the AVML meal option on the menu like 9W does. Since I had pre-ordered an Asian Veg Meal – the menu barring the dessert was rather useless.
The menu (and against that what I was served in AVML) was

To nibble on – Satay (Veg patty)

A savoury note – Murgh Tikka Chat (Salad greens)

The Main event – A choice from
Tandoori Prawn Zaffrani, Gajar Matar Nal Wadi, Dal Mizaz and brown onion rice
Lamb Goulash
Chicken in oriental black peppercorn sauce
Kaju khumb masala, gajar matar nal wadi, dal maziz and brown onion pulao with nuts

I was served a meal close to the last item but strangely enough with a white rice ! And there was Yogurt (which I appreciate)

The rest of the meal was

A Sweet note – Seasonal fresh fruit Kulfi (This was outstanding – easily a highlight of the meal)

The cheese board – Gourmet cheese with garnishes

Fruit – selection of fresh fruit

Connoisseurs choice – Gourmet Coffee, selection of tea and pralines.

I had another office colleague on the same flight – who also had AVML and who also does this sector once in 2 weeks who told me that the menu on this sector had not changed for the last 12-15 flights that he had taken – which I thought was rather strange – but I think SQ does this- even on Bangalore-Singapore-Singapore (a trip I have done 4-5 times on economy and business over 3 years), the menu rarely changed.

With the meal I watched Pirates of the Carribean 3 and then with an hour to go, watched an episode of House MD. Around 7 PM Singapore time, the captain made the pre-arrival announcements and then around 7:22 or so we landed in Changi, taxied to our gate. Strangely, the baggage took over 20 minutes to land up – so I ended up leaving the airport around 8:10 or so.

In all an enjoyable experience – decent food, good crew, good entertainment. If I had to spend a working day in flight, this would be a pretty good way to do it !

Return – SQ 424
6 months back I had done the same trip on 9W 11 which I found was very good service and I was keen to try SQ on the same sector and was hoping that with bigger aircraft, better IFE etc, I would have a much better flight (though I was trading off on miles). Most of my colleagues had caught the Jet flight (12 out of 16 pax in 9W J class that day were from my office) which leaves an hour earlier but I had opted for SQ and hoped that I would really enjoy it. I was unfortunately rather disappointed.

Reached Changi at 6:35 for an 8:20 departure. Was worried I would be late (real hassle catching a cab at that time which is what delayed me by 15 minutes) but thankfully I had a smooth and swift check in, cleared immigration and then went to the SQ lounge.
The lounge was rather crowded (in contrast, 9W uses the SATS lounge in T1 which is empty and rather quiet) with a rather average selection of food and beverages. Found a day old Times of India which I leafed through.
Then it was time to board which was reasonably efficient. On board, the disappointments started. The aircraft was an old 777-300 with the old style seating (similar to the 9W J Class in the old 737-800s) and (the sad part) the old IFE system with no AVOD and about 20 channels in all.
We were off gate on time and then did a long taxi to Runway 02L from which we departed, turned left towards Indonesia then did a U turn coming over Singapore and then onto Malaysia. There was turbulence pretty much over our entire sojourn through Malaysia so the fasten seat belt sign went off well over 1 hour into the flight. For some reason the In flight entertainment system hung, so for a long time the only thing to do was to keep re-reading the In flight magazine and a Financial times (the Indian newspapers were a day old – something I cant understand why).

Finally, around 9:30 PM Singapore time I think, the fasten seat belt sign went off and the FAs came around to take the drinks and dinner orders. The crew that served me was rather forgetful to say the least. I asked for a glass of white wine which took 25 minutes to come – and around me, people were having refills – which was rather irritating. The funny part was that I was served my snack immediately (some corn and potato thing)… and given how hungry I was (it was around 9:50 Singapore time) I finished that off…and then waited and waited for my drink. The funny was that when it came…a glass of white wine had magically morphed itself into a mango lassi..so I had politely tell the FA that I had asked for white wine…so again she disappeared and voila..5 minutes later..white wine !

Again the menu/AVML mismatch happened – the veg option on the menu sounded really good I remember (didn’t take this menu with me) but I was served the standard AVML meal – which this time was rather ordinary – it was bland and rather tasteless – so there was yellow coloured goop which was supposed to be dal and so on…the only 2 things that had any flavour were the pickle and the raita ! a pretty sad meal. Then after that, there was dessert (fruit, cheese and ice cream – I had the ice cream). And then coffee/tea/pralines- the pralines were not offered to everyone (including yours truly) – that kind of sealed it as far as my opinion of the crew was concerned.

Because of the rather limited IFE, I caught 2/3rd of a movie and then when it ended, I had to wait for the programming to start again (which it only does after all the programs have played once on their channels) and therefore for about half an hour or so, there was no IFE.

Anyways, we were overhead Mumbai on time, circled for about 20 minutes and then landed. Sped through immigration (really smooth in Mumbai – was very impressed), bags were already on the belt and then off home. Reached home around 12:30.

I was really disappointed with the return – and if I was to do this trip again, I would not hesitate to fly 9W – particularly if they upgrade their equipment to an A330. It’s a few of the small touches on 9W – the same days Indian newspaper (transferred from the Delhi flight that comes in the evening), the crew etc that just make it a better flying experience than SQ.

Do look forward to ur comments
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karatecatman
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR.

But have heard that of late that SQ takes India for granted. All depends on the mood of the crew.
A family who stay near us complained that the "child meals" they had ordered for their kids at the time of booking were listed as not available on board. The crew then made up their own child meal, from the galley and their own crew food, which the kids then refused to eat.
This is just one recent story.
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Nimish
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Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the report - As expected 9W is probably going to give SQ a run for their money. More high quality competition is going to help all of us raise the game.

And with IT coming on board, I see the game moving even higher.
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Megatop
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Location: Bangalore

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not good flts i understand, my SQ runs from BLR have been top notch though.

among the indian alternatives, i prefer IT to 9W any hour of the day, just wait for them to explode with their offering on intl flts.
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Birendra
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad to hear that SQ takes Indians for granted. Surely 9W must give them sleepless nights and as Nimish puts it, with IT in the fray, SQ either will have to shape up or ship out Mad
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Birendra

I agree since I travel often in SQ I used to have the same feeling that either the service is excellent or average but that was some six months back.

But my recent trips on SQ has been excellent. I will be flying them to BOM in december so let me see how the service is on that one. Of course I will be in economy. (:

Sri_Bom
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nalini123
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ 15a

I travelled J last month , B773 had AVOD , but the B772 on SIN - BLR did not have AVOD.

But I found SQ service very very good. Very Happy
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andrew
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I travel SIN - BOM on SQ (J) once every quarter and I have to agree that the service quality has dropped significantly on this sector when compared to CX to HKG. I have seen SQ's quaility drop due to cost cutting on all sectors though...

On one BOM - SIN flight I had only one toilet in J Class operational. I was told by the crew that they in fact had 5 toilets O/S on that aircraft that day.

On the same flight (BOM - SIN) - meal service was finally started only 1.5 hours prior to arrival in SIN - the response given, new crew with little experience took time getting their act together.

On the evening SIN - BOM sector, they perrenially miscalculate meal demand and run out of options very early (would be easier to provide pax an option during booking and pre load their order).

Crew always seem flumoxed, upset, unable to cope with the sector. Indian Pax tend to be more demanding than others, but the sector makes good money for SQ, so you would expect training accordingly.

Lastly - with the large number of veg meals on this sector, its amazing they dont change their meal service SOP for this sector - still treating Veg meals as special catering and taking time for individual delivery per pax, slowing down the service for the 20% of pax who are not veg on this sector (leading to things like them forgetting drink orders etc etc).

Overall I have to say, when 9W starts its 330 services, a lot of the SIN - BOM/ DEL VV terminating traffic will move to 9W - even more so if 9W joins One World. Today for all the problems, SQ still is unfortunately the best quality service on this sector.....
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:

Overall I have to say, when 9W starts its 330 services, a lot of the SIN - BOM/ DEL VV terminating traffic will move to 9W - even more so if 9W joins One World. Today for all the problems, SQ still is unfortunately the best quality service on this sector.....


What 9W will gain is on O&D to SIN and connecting pax to QF. Where they will loose is in all the other connecting pax via SIN, which SQ will continue to get - either to different points in Asia, or to North America. Plus depending on the QF vs. SQ quality on the SIN-OZ sectors, SQ might gain some of that traffic as well.
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COUGAR
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ ^ ^
I think 9W could build a scissor hub operation at SIN with continuing service to SYD and MEL.

So 2 daily departures: BOM-SIN-SYD and the other DEL-SIN-MEL, with both aircraft crossing at SIN allowing for greater connexn opportunities.

With 9W's service standards, they should do well, especially if they can get 5th freedom beyond SIN.
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nalini123
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can we have any other option than SIN ,.... I think KUL should be good one , if the Bialterals allow so.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

COUGAR wrote:
I think 9W could build a scissor hub operation at SIN with continuing service to SYD and MEL.
...
With 9W's service standards, they should do well, especially if they can get 5th freedom beyond SIN.

Good point - but I've not heard of this indicating that this is something they plan to do - esp as they'll have huge amount of competition on the SIN-OZ sectors, they might want to to stick to non-stops on BOM-SYD, MAA-MEL or similar?
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andrew
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think IT is considering the same, but paradoxically as a low cost service....

The Avalon airport in MEL is looking for new international low cost providers and mentioned IT as an option who they are speaking with...
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is sad to see SQ with inconsistent services , but I must say I had a nice time with them ..


anyways a nice TR!!!
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