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Singapore Airlines – Dubai, UAE (DXB) to Singapore (SIN) – Flight SQ 491

Not the First Class Experience I Was Hoping For

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Singapore Airlines – Dubai, UAE (DXB) to Singapore (SIN) – Flight SQ 491: Self-proclaimed as “The World’s Most Awarded Airline,” Singapore Airlines is one of the world’s leading carriers with some of the most advanced fleet in the industry. This Airline is known to be a trendsetter in the aviation industry, particularly in terms of service, safety, and in-flight luxury. (Click here to read our Dubai resort and restaurant reviews and click here to read our Singapore hotel and restaurant reviews.)

Our Dubai to Singapore flight was the first segment in our ‘Around the World’ (RTW) Ticket, First Class. The travel time was approximately six hours.

Check-In: There was a dedicated first class check-in counter at the Dubai International Airport. While the airline staff was efficient and professional, they were not exactly warm and welcoming.

The Lounge: The Star Alliance Lounge at the Dubai Lounge was huge but was divided into two areas: the Business Class and the First Class area. The 1st class lounge had room for only about 20 people and the seating was cramped and far from quiet and relaxing. It was just as well to have relaxed in an economy lounge.

There was a self-service bar in the lounge area where you can get yourself some coffee, water, soft drinks, and low-tier liquors, including a bottle of Champagne that I have never heard of. Also available were small servings of nuts, chips, miniature sandwiches, pretzels, and other bite-sized snacks.

Overall, it was not an impressive lounge for the Star Alliance, let alone a First Class Lounge!

First Impressions: As we boarded the plane, I was expecting topnotch service similar to what I experienced the first time I flew First Class with Singapore Airlines. Unfortunately, all I got this time was mere finger pointing and indicating that “your seat is over there”. Definitely not first class service.

The Cabin: Our plane was a Boeing 777-300 (773) with a seating configuration arranged in three rows. The seats were purple in color with gold embroidery—very outdated in look and feel. Unlike other first class cabin seats in Singapore airlines (some of which are also B777-300 planes), the seats here are not lie-flat beds. Instead, they are sleeper seats that are 21 inches wide with a 2x2x2 configuration. Apparently, these ‘lower form’ seats are mainly designated for regional flights while the more luxurious first class seats are reserved for international flights. How dismaying!

Overall, the cabin looked old, outdated and worn.

The Flight (Service/Food/Drink): Finally, after being on board for a full ten minutes, a flight attendant came around and took our drink orders offering water, soft drinks, cocktails or Champagne (Dom Perignon 2000). The same attendant also offered us newspapers and magazines, and provided us with Givenchy sleepwear and a Ferragamo toiletry kit. Included in the kit were Ferragamo cologne, EDP Incanto Homme, Lip Balm, Facial Mist, Hand Cream, SIA Razor, and SIA Shaving Foam.

Just before takeoff, flight attendants went around again to clear the glasses and hand out warm wet cloths to refresh ourselves.

I slipped into my Givenchy sleepwear after the take-off and prepared for dinner.

Dinner consisted of six courses:

Appetizers - Duck liver terrine with kumquat compote, toasted brioche, and green salad with a thick balsamic dressing, Confit of salmon Nicoise

Soup - Saffron infused seafood broth with a puff pastry twist and Roasted tomato soup with goat cheese tortellini, basil oil and cherry tomato—excellent! One of the best tomato soups I’ve ever had (especially at 30,000 feet).

Salad - Frisee (a bitter lettuce, part of the chicory family) and lollo rosso (a loose leaf lettuce) with baby corn, cherry tomatoes and black olives with a yoghurt dressing—the yoghurt dressing took away some of the bitterness of the salad making it refreshingly delightful.

Main Course - We had four choices: Perch Fillet, Beef Noodle Soup, Chicken Pasta and a Middle Eastern Lamb Shank. We went with the beef noodle soup. It was full of flavor, on par with what you would get at any upscale Asian restaurant.

Desert - Pear and plum crumble with crème fraiche sorbet, which I skipped and proceeded to the selection of four types of cheeses, served with dried fruits (apricot, fig, raisins), nuts and crackers, along with a glass of port (Dow’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port). It was a perfect end to a fabulous dinner.

After dinner, I settled into my ‘pseudo’ lie-flat bed, flipped.

Besides the wonderful first-rate food, our flight also offered excellent entertainment options with 100 movies, 180 television programs OnDemand, 700 audio CDs and 22 audio programs OnDemand to choose from.

Arrival: We arrived in Singapore shortly after 7:00 AM—a few minutes ahead of schedule— allowing us a little extra time to catch our connecting Singapore Air flight from Singapore to Penang, Malaysia.

Overall Impression Compared to my previous flight with Singapore Airlines, this flight just did not measure up. The in-flight service was slow in the beginning but did end up getting better as the flight went on. Still, the first impressions were hard to recover from. While the interior itself was worn and dated, the first-class food and updated entertainment system helped to compensate.

Overall, the flight was nice, but not what I have come to expect from Singapore Airlines, which usually provides flawless service and an unforgettable experience. My rating for this flight is Between Bombastic and Not.

Additional Information:
Flight Time: 5 Hours, 55 Minutes

Airline Partners:: Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, BMI, Egyptair, Lot Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, South African Airways, Spainair, Swiss Air, TAP Portugal, Thai Air, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways, Air China, Shanghai Airlines. Other Airline Partners: Delta, Mexicana, SilkAir, Virgin

Airport Codes:
Dubai – DXB
Singapore – SIN

Be sure to read our Dubai resort and restaurant reviews and our Singapore hotel and restaurant reviews.

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