Singapore Airlines Flight Review: Manila to Bangkok via Singapore (Business Class)

This was a two-stage flight in Business Class aboard Singapore Airlines from Manila to Bangkok, with an overnight stop in Singapore. Conditions in the airport terminals at Manila, Singapore and Bangkok will be covered in separate reports.

singapore airlines manila
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG

Manila to Singapore

The flight from Manila to Singapore was operated by a recently re-configured Boeing 777-200. In the updated configuration, Singapore Airlines uses a more comfortable 2-2-2 seating in business class. The updated cabins are more spacious and offer considerable comfort and privacy to the individual passenger. The business cabin on this particular aircraft is split into two sections, offering three rows in each section.

singapore airlines economy
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
TIP: Try to be seated in the forward cabin as the second cabin is right alongside the Boeing’s huge engines and is noisier than the forward cabin. Note that there are 6 versions of the Boeing 777-200 currently in service with Singapore Airlines and seats can be selected at the time of booking.


singapore airlines economy
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
The design of the seats is excellent and offers a very adequate pitch of 57 inches, plenty of space, and a very generous width of 27”. The seats are upholstered in soft, light brown leather. I selected a seat in the middle section, meaning that I had to step over no one and had no one stepping over me during the flight – something I recommend. The seat can be set to an infinite number of positions by electric controls in the arm rest and reclines to an angled flat bed for those who want to sleep. I appreciated the fact that the seat could be arranged as a comfortable arm chair, offering good back support. There is in seat power for those who need to charge laptops or mobile phones. Directly in front of each passenger is a secure space for storage of personal items. Singapore Airlines' Kris World in-flight entertainment system is top class offering a wide selection of up to date entertainment. The earphones supplied are noise cancelling and the sound reproduction is excellent.

singapore airlines meal
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
Prior to push back from the gate, a refreshing drink was served, hot towels offered, and orders for drinks after take-off were taken. Departure was delayed by about 10 minutes. However, takeoff was swift and as in flight conditions were stable, the seat belt sign was turned off within 10 minutes of rotation.

 The entertainment system was active just after takeoff and I selected a 2 hour movie, The Railroad Man, which kept me engrossed for the majority of the 3 hours in flight. In flight service also commenced shortly after the seat belt sign was switched off and stockings offered for passengers' feet. Singapore Airlines offer 3 main courses in business class and I selected Moroccan Spiced Chicken, which was good.

singapore airlines dinner
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
But the real treat of the meal was the dessert, Crepe Samurai. I do not drink alcoholic beverages in flight, but am well aware that Singapore Airlines do offer a good selection of complimentary wines to accompany meals.

singapore airlines meal
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
Restrooms on board are spacious and are supplied with amenities. One nice thing I appreciate on Singapore Airlines is the fact that they do offer real linen towels in the bathrooms of their aircraft in business and first class.

The flight proceeded smoothly and we arrived in Singapore on time, 3 hours and 5 minutes later.

Singapore to Bangkok

My flight from Singapore to Bangkok was the next afternoon and for this sector, one of Singapore Airlines' recently acquired Airbus A330-300 aircraft was used.

Copyright Image: Inuksuk/Deviant Art
The layout of the A330 in business class is very similar to that of the Boeing 777 with the exception that business class is all in one cabin and currently, all SIA A330’s have the same lay out in business class. The seats are very similar, but narrower, 24.5 inches, due to the fact that the A330 is a narrower aircraft than the Boeing 777. However, the pitch is 60 inches, offering 3 inches more leg room. Business class is in a single cabin of 5 rows arranged 2-2-2. I again selected a seat in the centre section.

singapore airlines business class
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
Boarding at Singapore was prompt, refreshments and towels were offered, and drink orders taken. Singapore Airlines' crews address passengers by name as a courtesy on all flights. Take off was prompt with an on-time departure. There was some turbulence following take off and we had to wait slightly longer for the seat belt signs to be switched off. In flight service began promptly thereafter.

singapore airlines meal
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
Singapore Airlines offers a service called “Book the Cook” for business and first class passengers on flights departing Singapore and certain key destinations (but not Manila). Book the Cook allows passengers to select the meal they want to be served in flight as an alternative to the menu offered on flights. I ordered a 6 ounce steak, but although flavourful, I found the steak to be somewhat tough.

singapore airlines meal
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
I watched part of a movie for the relatively short 2 hour flight to Bangkok and I must say that the comfort of the adequately padded leather seats and the in flight entertainment offered on Singapore Airlines do make the flight seem faster. Arrival at Bangkok was easy although due to cross winds, we had a rather bumpy landing. The aircraft taxied straight to our gate and disembarkation at Bangkok’s new airport was carried out shortly thereafter.

singapore airlines a330
Copyright Photo: Tamarind Walk/PFN
My summary of both flights is that they reflected the quality of service that Singapore Airlines is well-known to offer. The staff are well-trained, efficient, and courteous and the aircraft are immaculately maintained. Seating is comfortable and pillows and blankets are provided on all flights.
  
While Singapore Airlines airfares tend to be higher than most carriers, the airline has developed a level of service that is well known and among the best.. There are only two slightly negative remarks about these particular flights: a) the seat pockets and magazines were in disorder on the Manila to Singapore sector and b) my steak was kind of tough on the Singapore to Bangkok sector. 

However, neither of these issues was sufficient to spoil my overall experience. The conversion of SIA’s Boeing 777’s business class from 2-3-2 seating to 2-2-2 is a major plus for comfort and privacy and in consonance with current trends. Overall, both flights were excellent.

-Tamarind Walk

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