Effective immediately, you will now be able to check-in to your next Emirates flight 48 hours (up from 24 hours) before departure via desktop or your mobile devices. Online check-in will close 90 minutes before flight departure but having that increased lead time means you will now have greater flexibility in choosing the seats you want (and more importantly, to beat that snaking queue at the airport)! Upon checking-in online and printing your boarding passes, passengers can proceed to drop their luggage at the online check-in counters (usually much shorter queues!) before heading down to immigration and security. If your Emirates flight does arrive and depart from the United States, boarding passes will only be issued 24 hours in advance (even though you can still check-in 48 hours prior to departure).
This extended check-in time will mean better availability of upgrades for Emirates Skywards members. Should there be any unexpected flight delays or disruptions, the 48 hour window will also allow these to be better communicated. Emirates has also introduced the "Hold My Fare" option which gives ticket-hunters the opportunity to lock in the fare for a nominal fee - this has now been extended to 72 hours!
Additionally, Emirates also operates car park check-in facilities around the clock at the famous Dubai hub. Flyers will have the option to check-in and drop off their luggage at the car park check-in facilities from 24 hours to 6 hours before departure. If you are traveling out of Dubai, you may also drop off your luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters in Economy Class or separate counters in First Class and Business Class at Dubai International Airport from 6 hours to 90 minutes prior to departure.
Singapore Airlines offered Business Class, First Class and Suites passengers the option to get confirmed meal choices (that are not part of Book the Cook) up to 24 hours prior to the flight's scheduled time of departure. Today, the flag carrier airline of Singapore has announced at the World Gourmet Forum that it will be the first airline to enable Premium Economy Class passengers to pre-order main courses from its in-flight menu from anywhere in the airline's global network from 01 May 2019.
Singapore Airlines and wellness brand COMO Shambhala (which forms part of the COMO Group) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a wide-ranging partnership aimed at enhancing the customer experience for travellers. This partnership will see the award-winning wellness cuisine to be introduced on selected Singapore Airlines flights in the second half of this year.
The first ever YOTELAIR property in Asia will finally open in Singapore in the brand new Jewel Changi Airport on 12 April 2019. The YOTELAIR Singapore Changi Airport will be accessible from all four terminals of Singapore Changi Airport and it will feature 130 smartly-designed cabins that are bookable by the hour (minimum stay of four hours) which makes it perfect for travellers who wish to freshen up (or catch up on some sleep) while transiting in Singapore.
After departing from the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark72, I arrived at the Noi Bai International Airport ahead of time and had access to the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge as a Business Class passenger of Singapore Airlines. Unfortunately, that lounge was not exactly ideal to spend time in since the food options were unattractive and the drinks could seriously do with some finesse (or ice for a start). As such, I made my way to the Song Hong Business Lounge next door (access via Priority Pass membership - there are various credit cards in Singapore that will give you free airport lounge access) and was pleasantly impressed by the space here.
Singapore Airlines is celebrating the official launch of KrisFlyer Spontaneous Escapes for travels in March 2019 with a shocking 50% redemption discount off Economy Saver award rates and Business Class redemption at Economy Saver rates on selected routes. This offer is valid for redemption flights to selected destinations across the Singapore Airlines and SilkAir network, for travel from 1 to 31 March 2019 inclusive. Online redemption has to be done before the end of 28 February 2019. For non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles between 01 March 2019 and 30 April 2019, Premium Economy Class seats can be redeemed at Economy Class Saver rates.
Last year, Qantas announced that it will be opening a second lounge in Singapore Changi Airport for First Class passengers - the brand new lounge (set to open at the end of 2019) will feature a luxurious setting for 240 customers and it will come complete with shower facilities, a la carte dining options with an open kitchen, a cocktail bar as well as plenty of device charging stations. Today, Qantas has finally unveiled the visual concept of the upcoming First Class Lounge and it has been designed by David Caon in collaboration with Akin Atelier.
Japan Airlines (JAL) has just announced that they will be changing the reservation start date for international flights from 330 days to 360 days prior to departure).
Back in May 2018, SilkAir announced that it will receive cabin product upgrades before being merged into Singapore Airlines eventually. Today, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, has announced that Thompson Aero Seating has been selected for the upgrade of Business Class seats on its Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet.
When I flew out of Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) on Singapore Airlines in Business Class, I had access to Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge (sometimes referred to as NASCO Lounge) before departure. Even though Vietnam Airlines is not part of Star Alliance (it is actually part of the SkyTeam Alliance), most of the star alliance partner airlines use this lounge for their premium cabin passengers. Located in the International Departures Terminal above Gate 28, the Vietnam Airlines Lotus Lounge is open from 6:00AM to 2:00AM daily.
To get from Singapore to Hanoi earlier this month, I decided to travel on Vietnam Airlines’ Business Class product for a number of reasons - it departs from Terminal 4 of Singapore Changi Airport (where the Blossom – SATS & Plaza Premium Lounge is) and more importantly, I have not actually flown on Vietnam Airlines before. Additionally, I wanted to make full use of a stopover on a Singapore Airlines redemption (before the new redemption rates kicked in) so I needed to position myself in Zone 3 first. Check out my review of Vietnam Airlines’ Business Class product.