AVIATION TRIP REPORTS
This page contains a collection of aviation reports that pertain to flights and airport lounges.
Flight Reports and Reviews
I traveled from Auckland to Singapore on a direct Singapore Airlines flight in Business Class and was served one of the best Book The Cook meals that I have ever eaten in the sky. Find out how this 10-hour journey looks like in photos and why you should always endeavor to save your miles for longer haul flights like these!
made my way back to the Beijing Capital International Airport for my flight back to Singapore. Since my experience at the Air China Business Class Lounge (which I checked out in July 2017) previously has been fairly lacklustre, I have decided to try the Air China First Class Lounge instead - review of this lounge soon to come! It is definitely worth nothing that while the Air China First Class Lounge is reserved to passengers traveling on Air China and Star Alliance partners in First Class only, it is also a Priority Pass Lounge - this means to say that you will be able to access this 'esteemed' lounge if you have a valid Priority Pass membership (there is no reason why you do not have one if you hold any one of these eligible credit cards which give you free lounge access).
I flew from Singapore to Auckland (and back) on Singapore Airlines' Suites last year and have recently relived some of those happy moments from Singapore to Beijing where I enjoyed over a bottle of vintage Krug 2004 all to myself. Since I was booked a Premium Economy flight from Singapore to Auckland, I have waitlisted an upgrade from Premium Economy to Business Class for 35,000 KrisFlyer Miles and it cleared prior to the date of travel.
It has been slightly under a year since my last flight on Singapore Airlines' famous Suites and having seen the new A380 Suites (which will be debuting on 18 December 2017), I wanted to make sure that I had at least one more experience in the current Suites (which I personally prefer, in terms of the way it looks) before the existing A380s get retrofitted with the new cabin products by the end of 2020. I arranged for the limousine to drop me off at the First Class Check-in Reception of Terminal 3 where I was quickly greeted by a porter (who proceeded to take my luggage) before being ushered to the check-in desk where my boarding passes were printed and handed over to me alongside the famous golden ticket (an invitation to The Private Room). There is no reason to stay any longer at the First Class Check-in Reception and so I went through a private immigration area to quickly find myself near the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 3.
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 I visited Beijing back in July this year, I flew back from Beijing to Singapore on Air China's Business Class - it was my very first experience with Air China and even though it was quite a good flight (albeit being delayed for 3 hours), it was very different from what you would expect on a Singapore Airlines flight. Since I visited the Air China Business Class Lounge previously and have experienced firsthand at how busy it can actually get, I made plans to check out the arguably more exclusive Air China First Class Lounge instead this time.
When I flew back from Phuket to Singapore on SilkAir, I noticed that the terminal building was different from the one that I was in back in 2015 when I visited the Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort. Apparently, this relatively new terminal building at the Phuket International Airport was only completed back in 2016 - capacity is estimated to be at five million passengers per year. While looking for access to The Coral First Class Lounge, I realised that the The Coral Executive Lounge also provided a First Class VIP Departure Fast Track Service that I took the opportunity to check out during my visit.
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.