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Old 7th July 2018, 09:54 PM   #31
yflyer
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After dinner (And another drink), I went to sleep...

Cabin ambience in this upper deck cabin was great...



The cabin crew on this sector were outstanding as well...warm and very attentive...
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Old 7th July 2018, 09:56 PM   #32
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A pre-dawn arrival into Singapore, ahead of schedule...





...and at the gate...



Overall, yet another excellent flight on SQ in A380 economy...

So on my earlier sector, I flew a refitted Boeng 773 on a red-eye from BOM to SIN in Economy, and then out of Delhi, an Airbus A380 economy overnight sector to Singapore.

How would I compare these?

In terms of cabin product, the 2006 Y product on the A380 is superior to the refitted Y on the 773. Although both Y seats are very wide, the 773 Y seat is quite firm, and I much prefer the comfort level of the A380 Y seat. While I can sleep on Y on either seat, I find the A380 Y seat more comfortable.

As far as IFE is concerned, if you are one of those people who cannot sleep in Y, and spend time on IFE, the choice is clear: A380 IFE is far superior to the old IFE screens in the refitted 773 Y cabin.

In a nutshell, schedule considerations aside, on red-eye flights between Singapore and India, I would pick the A380 over the 773 every time - the cabin product is superior in all respects.

But red-eye's are not the only option from India to Singapore, there is also a day-time BOM-SIN service, SQ421 operated by SQ's Airbus A350. My impressions of SQ421 coming up!

Last edited by yflyer; 8th July 2018 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 8th July 2018, 02:09 PM   #33
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I arrived in Singapore on Saturday morning, off SQ406, and headed straight to the transit counter to pick up my boarding pass for SQ424 to Mumbai the next day, a Sunday evening 7pm departure.

With my next boarding pass in hand, I headed home to spend what was left of the weekend in Singapore.

All too soon the next day, it was time to head back to Changi T3, for a date with 9V-SKH to Mumbai.



In Mumbai, I stayed at the St Regis...



...and spent time after hours in Luna Bar, watching a couple of World Cup group matches...



...while reacquainting myself with Mumbai Mary...



...and eating tacos...



...and burrata tortellini...

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Old 8th July 2018, 02:20 PM   #34
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SQ421 has a very convenient departure time of 11.45am, arriving in Singapore at 7.50pm the same evening.

Mumbai Airport is just as impressive in the daytime as it is at night...



Queues were not long at check-in at 10am...



Great shopping (and dining) in the airside areas...



At the gate, 9V-SMF...



This aircraft was first delivered in October 2016, and has the distinction of being the 10,000th Airbus aircraft delivered.

This fact is proudly emblazoned on the fuselage...

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Old 8th July 2018, 02:24 PM   #35
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Of course, inside the plane, it was like every other SQ A350, with 42 Business Class Seats (1-2-1 layout), 24 Premium Economy Seats (2-4-2), and 187 Economy Seats (3-3-3).

Bulkhead J seats, without the front cubby hole...





And the regular J seats...





There is an ongoing debate among SQ frequent flyers about the merits of the A350 J seat vs the similar, but slightly larger J seat on the 77WR (These are the so-called 2013 J seats), as well as comparisons with the newest generation 2017 long haul J seat, codenamed "Monocoque", currently available only on the newest A380's. I'll have to abstain from this debate, as I have not yet tried these A350 J seats on an actual flight. But at least sitting in them for a few moments, while the aircraft was on the ground, these seats seemed to be spacious and comfortable.

Last edited by yflyer; 8th July 2018 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 8th July 2018, 03:59 PM   #36
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Next up, the premium economy cabin on the A350, laid out 2-4-2.



In a previous TR, I felt the SQ A350 PEY product to be average. I quite like SQ's A380 PEY (Which has a different, larger, seat frame than A350 PEY), and SQ 77WR's PEY looks decent as well. Why they would offer such a mediocre premium economy on the A350 is something I have been scratching my head over, especially since they operate the A350 on long haul and even ULR routes, where a class-leading PEY product would surely be something to aspire to.
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Old 8th July 2018, 04:07 PM   #37
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No such reservations over the SQ A350 economy cabin, which is top notch...



Large windows, fairly wide seats in a comfortable 3-3-3 layout.

The seatback has a large, vivid IFE touch screen, as well as USB power.





Universal A/C power socket...



No underseat obstructions. Useful retractable paddle-shaped footrest...



Recline is superb for a Y seat...



A little button under the aisle seat armrest allows you to raise the armrest.

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Old 8th July 2018, 04:11 PM   #38
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Some interesting new items in the duty free shopping catalog...

A 787-10 model...



And a new Precious Moments Singapore Girl, complete with catering cart...



The kebaya print on the doll didn't look quite right, but apart from that I thought this was a nice addition to the growing list of Singapore Girl collectibles...

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Old 8th July 2018, 04:21 PM   #39
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Just under 5 hours flight time to Singapore today...



Drink service first, starting with PEY, with a bottle of Champagne on the drink cart (This was removed and stowed when the cart reached the Y cabin...)



I opted for tomato juice today, and this came with a packet of peas and crackers.



Today's menu...





This time I opted for the Indian non-vegetarian selection...



This was superb...

Milie Julie Chat starter, made from lentils, potato, and masala chat...



...and Awadhi style chicken curry and fenugreek rice, which was delicious...



Cottage cheese puffs in a milk syrup for dessert...



The seatbelt signs were on during meal service, so no hot beverages could be served, but the wonderful cabin crew member serving my section of the cabin noted down everyone who wanted tea and coffee, and as soon as the seatbelt signs went off, she came round with cups of tea and coffee for those who had earlier requested it.


Last edited by yflyer; 8th July 2018 at 10:44 PM..
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Old 8th July 2018, 04:41 PM   #40
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The IFE on this aircraft was the superb new Krisworld system, with a massive selection of movies, TV and music (And games too), all accessible using a very simple touchscreen interface.

One of the movies playing this month was Journey's End...



This is a movie, based on a play, set in World War I. Far from being an action flick, this was a very serious and moving depiction of what men go through in times of war: unrelenting stress, tension and horror, with only brief moments of ironic humour to lighten the mood. Marvellous script, based closely on the original play, and strong performances by all members of the cast. I found this to be a very moving and gripping movie to watch.

Moving to non-fiction, another movie screening was "Neat", which tells the story of Kentucky Bourbon...a very interesting documentary for anyone interested in this subject



On a sadder note, earlier this year, we lost Anthony Bourdain, a writer, traveller, and television host who somehow become much more than a food personality...his shows were a constant companion for me on SQ's IFE, and on the ground as well, either at home or in hotels, where I have watched practically every episode of his programs at some point or other...

Perhaps thanks to him, so many other celebrity chefs now have programs as well.

This month alone, on SQ we had a show by Emeril Lagasse...





...and another from Bourdain's close friend Eric Ripert...





These other programs from other celebrity chefs were ok, even watchable, but none of them came close to the standards set by Anthony Bourdain, not just in terms of the content, flow and seeming spontaneity and authenticity of his shows, but by the sheer connection that Bourdain was able to make with the viewer.

Fortunately, some of Bourdain's shows are still on Krisworld, and I rewatched some of these episodes on my flight...







Bourdain's show wasn't just about food, and it certainly wasn't about some kind of idealized, high-flying "lifestyle". Bourdain's programs were really about life, society, and both the joys and the challenges that came along with it. At times he celebrated the best of the best, for example his show's on Ferran Adria's El Bulli, and Rene Redzepi's Noma. But often his programs showing you the unvarnished truth (As he saw it) and hardship and sadness that often lay just under the surface of every day life in different places, and along the way, he showed the world that good food was much more than fancy restaurants or Michelin stars...that street food was often something to be cherished as well (Especially so in places like Singapore!).

Last edited by yflyer; 8th July 2018 at 05:18 PM..
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Old 8th July 2018, 04:48 PM   #41
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There was wifi onboard, priced based on data usage, with a variety of plans available...







None of these packages offer a generous amount of data...even so-called premium, at 100MB, is a miniscule amount by today's standards. 100MB of data would be used up in a flash for any kind of normal notebook PC, tablet or smartphone usage. I wonder why they don't just offer flat rate time-based plans.

All that said, I found that these plans are ok for one thing, simply using WhatsApp to catch up with folks on the ground, and maybe share a few pictures. Used that way, and judiciously connecting to wifi only when checking WhatsApp, and temporarily disconnecting afterwards, it was possible to make this tiny data allowance last through most of the flight.
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Old 8th July 2018, 04:53 PM   #42
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Great cabin ambience in the Y cabin, despite it being a full flight...



Toilets were periodically refreshed during the flight, and remained very clean for the duration...



Much of the flight was flown in daylight...





...although the sun began to set as we approached Singapore...



...the next picture, at dusk, highlights the very large windows of the A350...



Great views of the Singapore coastline out of the left side windows, as we landed...



At the gate in Changi...



Overall, a superb flight once again...the wonderful new A350 economy cabin product combined with superb cabin crew to make this a near flawless experience.

Of the SQ economy class products described in this TR, I found SQ's A350 economy class to be the best. The A350 economy seat, which is roughly of the 2013 Y generation (But different from 2013 Y on the 77WR), is the newest of the 3 cabin products described in this TR, and it shows. It is clearly better than 2006 Y on the A380, and far ahead of the Y seats on SQ's refitted 773.

IFE, seat and cabin ambience aside, I did find that the lower cabin pressure of the A350 to be more comfortable as well...I did not get that "dry throat" feeling that I sometimes felt on other equipment types at the end of a flight.

That said, the 2006 Y product on the A380 has stood the test remarkably well -- I would still consider it a very strong product. Just not at the same level as SQ's 2013 Y on the A350, and on the 77WR.

Do note as well that the 773 sampled in this TR is a refitted 777-300. This is different from SQ's 777-300ER's, denoted either as 77W, 77WN or 77WR. Of these, the 77Ws have the 2006 cabin products, and the 77WN/77WRs have the the excellent 2013 cabin products.

While all the flights on SQ in this TR were good, I enjoyed the A350 flight the most. Part of this was the A350 cabin product, but I also found the daytime flight timing to be preferable to an overnight flight as well. Although catching SQ421 from BOM to SIN means that I spend much of a day in a plane, I might consider booking this flight more often from now on, compared to my previously preferred BOM-SIN red-eye flights.

Note that from July 2018, SQ's SIN-BOM-SIN flights will be operated by 777-300ERs, A330s and A350...a very different line-up of equipment types compared to what was flown prior to July. Sounds like another comparison TR is needed at some point in the future!

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by yflyer; 8th July 2018 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 10th July 2018, 04:00 PM   #43
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Great TR as always yflyer. As I said before I hope to visit BOM again in the future, the airport is very nice, much more modern compared to the time I went in 2004.

Excellent pics of the aircraft, India, and the food. It is interesting that even Panasonic Wifi is volume based. But for some more MB, OnAir seems to be cheaper. It will only be a matter of time that all of their 77W will contain the OnAir radome.
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Old 18th July 2018, 09:42 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQfanatic View Post
Great TR as always yflyer. As I said before I hope to visit BOM again in the future, the airport is very nice, much more modern compared to the time I went in 2004.
Thanks, SQfanatic! The airport is great. One of the most impressive terminal buildings I have visited, aesthetically speaking.
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