Singapore Airlines Economy Review 787 and A330 Bali to Male, Maldives via Singapore
Singapore Airlines has been a long-standing contender for the Worlds' Best Airline awards and seems to have a reputation for great service and an excellent product. However, I always feel the airline overpromises and underdelivers. Singapore Airlines Economy Review Check-in Singapore Airlines does invest in a good number of check-in agents at Denpasar airport. There are separate lines for Premium Passengers and status holders. Check-in was fast and rather simple (so the agent was also trained properly). Security and Immigration were easy at this pre-lunch hour (rather low traffic at Bali International airport). We moved on to the T/G lounge at Bali International Airport which had good food and snacks for us. Singapore Airlines Economy 787 Denpasar to Singapore Singapore Airlines runs a brand new 787-1000 to Bali for one of their frequencies. What was off about this model was that the paint came off the wings in many spots. This seemed more akin to a very old plane and not a freshly delivered one. Otherwise, the plane was fresh and in a great state. The seats seemed like they were just installed. Boarding was exactly on-time and so was a departure from the airport. The cabin crew seemed professional but not exactly genuine. However, they made every effort to get the job done. Lunch service rolled around rather quickly but the items were rather poor. I refused to eat. The flight got into some turbulence a few minutes later and service stopped for 30 minutes that wasn't helping to get space for work with all the trays still around. We must have done 30 turns to get into Changi airport with the thunderstorms in the area. I swear we did not fly straight for more than 10 seconds for the last 30 minutes. In sum, I couldn't see anything exceptional about this flight but felt much better than with most Air Asia flights (which is often 5x cheaper). Singapore Airlines Economy Review There are several good Priority Pass lounges in Terminal 2 and # at Changi airport making it fun to 'lounge hop' with an unlimited Priority Pass for a few hours. Boarding for our flight to Male was on-time and seemed to come with unenforced Zone boarding (there are no more checks after you enter the gated off-boarding area at Changi airport). The A330 used is one of the oldest in the fleet (indeed it comes with a Star Alliance livery). The aircraft had seen better times but still comes with seatback entertainment and movies and TV shows. The flights were almost 100% full but I got no seatmate on this flight. The cabin crew seemed a better one at this flight was plenty of genuine care. Right from the get-go, we got into long stretches of turbulence which seated the cabin crew almost the entire flight. The dinner served was of better quality and certainly was edible - though I wasn't hungry. The cabin crew made good alcoholic drinks (including the signature Singapore Sling). The pilots kept us up-to-date about the route and turbulence got so bad we turned 90 back and forth over the Indian Ocean to find a space with no thunderstorms and less forgiving monsoon clouds. None of the turbulence was major but there was a constant major up-and-down movement that was hard to ignore and certainly unpleasant. Imagine a ship at the high season that does well but gets shaken constantly. With almost an hour of delay, we made it into Male right past a major rainstorm. I felt happy to be with an experienced crew that kept everyone informed about the journey and a 'battled' tested' aircraft for this ride. It was certainly not a flight I'd like to remember. Almost all of the negative circumstances of this flight were beyond Singapore Airlines' control. Indeed other airlines with less seniority may have had more trouble executing this flight safely. The onboard service was friendly and within the range of expectations. However, there was no 'wow-factor' from Singapore Airlines 'machine'. I wish it would be able to get this 'again'.