AVIATION TRIP REPORTS
This page contains a collection of aviation reports that pertain to flights and airport lounges.
Flight Reports and Reviews
As you may already know, flying to Hong Kong from Singapore is one of the cheapest ways to experience the Suites Class product on Singapore Airlines - just 37,500 KrisFlyer miles one-way. Since I have previously experienced the Suites Class product and have another one planned towards the end of the year, I have decided to check out the A350-900's New Business Class product on SQ856 instead.
I have grown to love Beijing quite a bit despite spending only less than a week there. Contrary to popular belief, the people were genuinely nice, the city is amazing in terms of technology (e.g mobile payment is available even at a roadside store) and the food is delicious. On my way out of Beijing, I was booked onto an Air China flight (my very first!) from Beijing to Singapore. I got to the Beijing Capital International Airport ahead of time (at least 2.5 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure) and was slightly startled by the number of people at the check-in counter. Check out my review of Air China CA969 in Business Class!
I traveled to Beijing in China for the first time recently and was booked in a codeshare flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ802) from SIN to PEK in Business Class. Since it operated out of Terminal 3 of Changi Airport, I took the opportunity to pick-up a StarHub prepaid card (which is great for roaming overseas for cheap) before heading to the SilverKris Lounge for some breakfast and Champagne (even though it was 7:00AM in the morning). Check out my trip review of SQ802 from Singapore to Beijing in Business Class.
On my latest trip to Taipei in April 2017, I tried out the famous Royal Laurel Class on EVA Air - this is essentially the airline's signature business class cabin. Ever since the devaluation of KrisFlyer Miles in March 2017, redeeming KrisFlyer Miles for partner airlines seem to make more sense as it allows you to try a different product without any penalty (you used to be able to save 15% off required miles for redemption on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir metal). Since Singapore Airlines operate the A330-300 (with a 2-2-2 arrangement) from Singapore to Taipei, I have decided to redeem my KrisFlyer Miles on EVA Air's Royal Laurel Class (1-2-1 arrangement) instead (find out how ExpertFlyer can help you find award space effectively).
There are no lack of flights out of Singapore to Bali but I wanted a short weekend getaway last minute and the fares were pretty astonishing for a 2.5 hours flight. Since the KrisFlyer miles devaluation is imminent, I have decided to fork out some miles to redeem for a flight from Singapore to Denpasar even though I generally do not like to use them on short-haul flights. Check out my experience on Singapore Airlines's Business Class on-board the A330-300 below!
Flying from Hong Kong to Singapore (or vice versa) is the cheapest Suite Class flight on Singapore Airlines that you can take on miles. It is also not terrible on Business Class as the applicable taxes are significantly lower than most redemption around the region. On my way back to Singapore from Hong Kong, I decided to check out the Singapore Airline's Airbus A380 on Business which at the time of writing, just costs 23,375 KrisFlyer Miles before applicable taxes.
When Singapore Airlines first announced the super luxurious Suites Class on the Airbus A380 in 2007, everyone who was even remotely interested in aviation went crazy for it. When I visited Auckland last month, I decided to give the Suites product a try (since it has been almost 10 years since it was first introduced) as there have been rumours of Singapore Airlines discontinuing this product. Read on to find out more about this ultra-exclusive cabin on my flight from Auckland to Singapore!
I checked out ANA's newest Dreamliner (787) product on Business Class when I flew from Haneda to Hong Kong in November 2016.
Review of the Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER from Singapore to Haneda (SQ632).
On my recent trip back to Singapore from Sydney, I managed to try out J Class (Business Class) on board the Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER (Three Class). While the airlines have won multiple awards over the years for being one of the best airlines in the world, I have been told that the business cabins are truly a league above the rest. Together with James Park Associates, Singapore Airlines has introduced brand new Business Class seats on board their 777-300ERs with a more contemporary design and the use of metallic colours (for all Apple fans, think Rose Gold).
Previously known as The Green Market, TGM is Plaza Premium Lounge's only airport lounge in Terminal 2 of the Singapore Changi Airport. TGM is probably one of the best-kept secrets in Changi Airport where airport lounges are concerned - it serves a mixture of Japanese and Korean Cuisine (as well as healthy options) here and it really resembles more of a restaurant than a typical airport lounge. TGM is located on Level 3, next to DFS's Whiskey House in Terminal 2 and it is accessible (and free!) to anyone with a valid Priority Pass Card or Plaza Premium Lounge access - TGM is also open to public and there is a rather extensive a la carte menu (chargeable) to select from.
The Qantas Singapore Lounge was one of the first airport lounges that I have ever stepped foot into - I used to have access to it on all my Australian flights as I was once a Gold Frequent Flyer on the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. While I did a small review of this beautiful space back in 2014 when it first opened, I felt the need to revisit this lounge since I actually do prefer it over the famous SilverKris Lounge which more Singaporeans have seen and grown to love.
After a few impressive first experiences with the Plaza Premium Group (in terms of the beautiful Aerotel Singapore in Changi Airport as well as the Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore), I was very curious to check out the Plaza Premium Lounge in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport - it is worth noting that at the time of writing, there are four different lounges that travellers may gain access to. Since I had an OCBC VOYAGE Card with me, I could bring a guest to enjoy unlimited access to all participating Plaza Premium Lounges around the world.
The SilverKris Lounge in Changi Airport is reserved for Star Alliance passengers travelling on Business and First Class (there are separate lounges within the lounge itself) as well as esteemed Solitaire PPS Club members. If you are a KrisFlyer Gold Elite (or Star Alliance Gold) member traveling in Economy or Premium Economy class, you will have to make your way down to the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge (which does not stock Champagne) instead. Check out my review of the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3 of the Singapore Changi Airport.
When I traveled from Auckland to Singapore via Singapore Airlines on Suites back in November 2016, I had access to the relatively new Air New Zealand Auckland International Lounge. This Air New Zealand flagship lounge which opened in late 2015 features a clean and modern design with various seating zones and configurations that will cater to different travellers. Eligible passengers who also hold a Star Alliance Gold status may access this lounge as well.
On my latest flight from Haneda to Hong Kong on ANA's Business Class, I had access to the ANA Lounge. As you approach the ANA Lounge (which has been refreshed in 2014) in the International Terminal of Haneda Airport, you will notice that there are actually two separate lounges - the ANA Lounge (which I will review here) and the ANA SUITE LOUNGE which is reserved for First Class and ANA Diamond Service members on eligible ANA or Star Alliance flights.
The Private Room is arguably the most exclusive airport lounge in the whole of Changi Airport. While the airport is home to many brilliant airport lounges (even paid ones like the Plaza Premium Lounge!), The Private Room is by far the most privileged one that I have visited. Having Star Alliance Gold will not even get you close to this lounge if you are not traveling on First Class. The Private Room is tucked away quietly inside the First Class Lounge of the SilverKris Lounge so yes, it is indeed a lounge within a lounge. Check out my first experience here!
I recently traveled down to Cebu in Philippines over the weekend and since there are no Star Alliance flights that operate between Singapore and Cebu, I did not have any lounge access for the trip. Therefore, I decided to make use of the opportunity to check out the relatively new Plaza Premium Lounge in Singapore Changi Airport which I heard was beautiful.
Previously known as the Bayan Lepas International Airport, Penang International Airport is located approximately 30 minutes away from Georgetown. I stayed at the beautiful Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (review soon to come!) when I visited last month and if you are coming from there, the ride should take you about an hour. Since I was flying on SilkAir and my Star Alliance Gold status was not with Singapore Airlines, I did not have lounge access on my flight back from PEN to SIN as such, I looked at my options and found the Plaza Premium Lounge at the Penang International Airport instead.
I checked out the previous Emirates Lounge at the Melbourne Tullamarine Airport back in 2014 when I visited the city for a friend's wedding. While the lounge had a great selection of food and drinks, the overall decor was tired and in need of a refresh. When I visited Melbourne city again this April (2016), I have had the pleasure of visiting the Emirates Lounge once again (without knowing it was refurbished) and I was pleasantly surprised by the changes.