AVIATION TRIP REPORTS
This page contains a collection of aviation reports that pertain to flights and airport lounges.
Flight Reports and Reviews
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).
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.
Like most Singaporeans, I travel to Bangkok quite a fair number of times a year (mainly the weekends) and since I have Star Alliance Gold, I tend to spend most of my time in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport in either the Thai Airways Lounge or the SilverKris Lounge. Since I had some time to kill during my latest trip from Bangkok to Singapore, I decided to check out the newest Star Alliance Lounge in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport - the EVA Air Lounge - which is the best airport lounge Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport has seen so far!
During my last trip to Taipei, I stayed at the beautiful Grand Hyatt Taipei (which is rumoured to be Taipei's most haunted hotel) and the amazingly opulent Mandarin Oriental, Taipei. On my way back to Singapore, I checked out the China Airlines Dynasty Business Class Lounge Taipei and was immediately blown away by how beautiful it is. As part of the benefits for holding an ANZ Travel Visa Signature Card, I have unlimited access to Veloce Lounges around the world and this lounge used to be part of that list - it is sadly now being removed.