Airline: Singapore Airlines | Aircraft: A330-300 | Class: Business | Flight: SQ942 (SIN-DPS)
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.
The main reason I have decided to redeem on Business is because the Economy flights on Singapore Airlines were ridiculously expensive for a Friday morning depart - I guess it is partially due to the proximity of travel date (since booking last-minute probably means you are desperate - which I was!). Also, SilkAir and Singapore Airlines both operates flights to Denpasar from Singapore so if you are thinking about redeeming, make sure it is on SQ metal for a more complete and valuable experience.
Flying on Business Class meant access to the SilverKris Lounge (you will have access if you are a PPS Club member) and since the flight departs from Terminal 2 in Changi Airport, I've decided not to drop by the Terminal 3 SilverKris Lounge (which I personally prefer) but make do with the smaller SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 2 instead. I did not take many photos of the SilverKris Lounge in Terminal 2 but the design is fairly similar to Terminal 3 - the lighting is warm, the food option is decent and there's even Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne (yes I understand it is 8:00AM) which you may or may not have to ask for.
The flight time from Singapore to Denpasar is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes (even though you probably spend only about 2 hours in the air) according to Singapore Airlines. I have been on Business in the 777-300ER cabin (both new and old) and the A380-800 but this was my first time traveling in Business on the A330-300. There is one major business cabin on-board Singapore Airlines' A330-300 - there are 30 Business Class seats in a 2-2-2 arrangement. In comparison, there are 255 Economy Class seats on the same plane and most of them are in a 2-4-2 arrangement (a narrower 2-3-2 towards the aft of the cabin). Since it was a relatively short flight, I decided that the bulkhead seats' proximity to the galley in Row 11 might be annoying so I have decided to sit in 14H (aisle seat) instead.
The seats on-board Singapore Airlines's Regional Business Class (A330-300) have a seat width of 24.5 and a pitch of 60. The seat width is nowhere near as wide as the A380-800 and the 777-300ER but it's ample and definitely comfortable. I actually do have the habit of placing my huge camera next to me whenever I fly in Business Class but this proved to be a challenge on-board the A330-300 (but hey how relevant is this actually?!). The storage spaces on Singapore Airlines's A330-300 Business Class have also been criticised often for being odd shaped - I've found them to be alright as it stores both my phone and passport - you can also leave them open if you like to use them as a regular seat pocket.
The leather seat converts into a flat bed with a gentle incline if needed - the controls are located by the seat and the shell-like shape of the seat maintains a reasonable degree of privacy for all you sleepy travellers. Going from 'seat' to 'flat bed' will not require any assistance from the friendly stewards and stewardesses (it isn't as complicated as Suites on-board the A380-800) but hey if you do not even wish to push the button, feel free to approach them. If you wish to charge your device(s), a power socket and usb ports are on the side of your seat (you might miss them if you are not looking).
Since it was a late morning flight, brunch (instead of breakfast) was served on-board the SQ942 - one good thing about brunch service is that there are a lot more options to choose from if you do decide to take advantage of the Book The Cook (BTC) feature. Remember you can reserve your main course up to 24 hours prior to the flight departure so if you have not tried the famous Lobster Thermidor, you can do so on this flight! Remember Lobster Thermidor is not served on the earlier breakfast-service flights from Singapore to Denpasar. I decided to watch Arrival on the flight and as I have covered on previous trip reports on Singapore Airlines's Business Class, the noise-cancelling headphones you get are Phitek-branded and are average at best.
Due to the short duration of the flight, the different meal courses were not served separately but they were served all at once instead - your mains and bread come in a little later but the tray remains. The brunch service on-board SQ942 came with six major courses:
- Fresh Juice (I chose Champagne, of course)
- Main Course
- Braised Udon Noodles with Sliced Beef
- Nasi Uduk Dengan Ayam Dan Telur
- Baked Crepe filled with Scrambled Eggs
- Bread Rolls and Croissant
- Coffee and Tea
While the actual menu does not look bad (I would have gone for the Braised Udon Noodles with Sliced Beef had I not made a BTC booking), I have already gone ahead to put in a BTC request for the U.S. Grilled Beef Fillet. As I have mentioned previously, the ever-popular Lobster Thermidor is also available on this flight since brunch is served over breakfast. While the beef fillet wasn't cooked nicely like the one I had on Suites from Auckland or the other Business flight from Sydney, it was still decent but it is definitely on the overcooked side (hey this is not a steakhouse after all). The asparagus on the other hand were immensely soft and I did not bother to eat them since there is absolutely no joy in eating soggy vegetables.
While I was having my main, I was offered a choice of bread - I went for the croissant since Singapore Airlines do not serve the famous garlic bread during breakfast and brunch service. The croissant was served warm with a side of butter - another small detail that many international airlines overlook but Singapore Airlines remains consistent on.
I was constantly offered more Champagne throughout the meal service and I didn't have to ask for a top-up at all (this is just one of many things that I appreciate about Singapore Airlines!). Once the lunch meal service has ended, I was offered a coffee or tea and decided to go for a cappuccino instead. It is worth noting that it is possible to get an espresso-based coffee (from illy) on Business Class and this makes all the difference!
While the regional Business Class product has been in the market for quite sometime now, I truly believe that it is one of the best in the region. Rumour has it that Singapore Airlines will be unveiling their new regional Business Class product late this year so that's really exciting but as I have mentioned earlier, miles should not be squandered away - you should use them for mid-haul and long-haul flights to maximise the value. With that being said, since my booking was made only weeks before the travel date, all the available flights that suit my travel preferences were overpriced. I do not regret using 14,875 KrisFlyer miles (it will soon be 17,500 KrisFlyer miles with no YQ tax) for this flight since it definitely set the mood for a luxurious weekend escape to Bali. The flight was enjoyable, the space was decent and since the flight operates on SQ-metal, I was happy to use my miles. The service on-board the SQ942 to Denpasar was delightful - the stewardesses and stewards addressed me by name (even on Business which is typically not required for the whole flight) and they were proactive in refilling my drinks and clearing the trays - honestly there is nothing more I can ask for in this short-haul flight!