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Old 19th May 2018, 05:02 PM   #16
yflyer
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The Krisworld IFE selection was huge.



Audio and video quality were top notch.



Apart from new releases, there were great movies to watch in the Awards Showcase section...



...not to mention a separate Star Wars section...



...with only the episodes worth watching listed i.e. Episodes IV, V, VI, as well as VII, VIII. No need to waste Krisworld video server memory for Episodes I,II,III

I also like the fact that SQ usually features programmes and concerts by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), and this month was no exception...



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Old 19th May 2018, 05:33 PM   #17
yflyer
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The cabin lights were dimmed, and window shades drawn down for much of the flight, as we flew into the night...



Our flight path for most of the flight was over the Pacific Ocean, first off the East Coast of Japan...



...at some point during this long overwater segment, I headed to the galley in search of a drink and a snack.

There was a snack selection laid out in the galley...



A nice selection of savoury sandwitches, snacks and fruit...



I also took the opportunity to ask for a glass of champagne. There was an unopened bottle of Nicolas Feuillette on the counter, which the cabin crew were happy to open on the spot...

From the rear galley, the unmistakeable pop of the champagne cork resonated through the dark, quiet cabin...



"That's it! Now everyone is going to head to the galley for a glass of champagne!"...I said with a grin...

That pop must have triggered some sort of Pavlovian response...I got even more hungry and thirsty...

I guzzled my first bubbly, and with a refill in one hand, and a savoury wrap in the other, I headed back through the cabin to my seat...



...the flight proceeded in total darkness, on a very northerly routing, close to the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands...



...where at some point we crossed the International Date Line...



Later on, I got hungry again (It was dinner time in Singapore...) and I brought my own pack of Cup Noodles to the galley for hot water...



"Do you have cup noodles on board?", I asked S, a very warm and engaging LSS (LSS - Leading Stewardess, in the green kebayas), who was in the galley at the time...

"Yes we do, but a smaller selection, and not as nice as yours!"...she helped me with hot water, and then searched the galley compartments to find me a pair of wooden chopsticks as well.

We chatted briefly...it was her first time working this non-stop SIN-SFO service...I mentioned that I had done the UA non-stop but this was also my first time on the SQ non-stop service...

While SQ cabin crew are generally excellent, it was always nice to meet exceptional cabin crew like S, whose spontaneity and charm could not have been anything other than genuine.

And of course, a 14+ hour flight did offer sufficient time for everyone onboard (Whether pax or crew...) to get to know each other, at least a little...

Later on, I headed back to the galley to ask for a glass of whisky on the rocks...

"Earlier drinks had no effect?" asked S, with a smile...she must have read this passenger very well (An important soft skill for cabin crew!), and figured she could joke with me...she was right!

Soon, it was time for the 2nd meal service, and another round of hot towels were served...


Last edited by yflyer; 20th May 2018 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 19th May 2018, 05:42 PM   #18
yflyer
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By then, it was coming up to sunrise...



...lights came on for breakfast service...

Port side passengers were treated to stunning sunrise views out the large windows...



I opted for the Singapore Fried Carrot Cake...



This was delicious...hot and savoury...



I was especially happy with the fact that the dish came with a tangy, spicy chilli sauce -- an essential condiment for chye tow kway!

Last edited by yflyer; 20th May 2018 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 19th May 2018, 05:48 PM   #19
yflyer
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By now, the cabin was bathed in sunlight...



Just an hour to run before landing at SFO...



There was thick cloud cover over the West Coast of California, as we descended...



I had to rely on the IFE for views of our descent and approach...





A smooth landing, ahead of schedule, at 9:06am local San Francisco time...



SFO arrival immigration queues can be unpredictable, but we were lucky that morning...minimal queues that day, and without any checked baggage, I was through immigration/customs and out of the terminal by 9.40am.

A final picture of 9V-SMT parked at the gate, flanked by a pair of United Dreamliners....


Last edited by yflyer; 20th May 2018 at 05:20 PM..
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Old 19th May 2018, 05:56 PM   #20
yflyer
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Reflections on this sector?

The novelty of departing from Singapore and deplaning in San Francisco Airport without an intermediate stop has not yet worn off. It still feels amazing...

As for the flight itself, SQ once again delivered the goods: the Airbus A350 is a very comfortable aircraft for long and ultra long haul, even in it's current non-ULR configuration.

At least part of the credit for this comfort must go to the lower pressurisation and higher humidity of the A350 cabin, compared to older generation aircraft. For a long sector like this, the difference at the end of the flight, where your throat and nasal passages felt less dried out, was noticeable to me. The quietness of the cabin probably also helped.

I enjoyed both the hard product and the soft product on this flight, and deplaned from the aircraft feeling quite well rested and refreshed -- no mean feat considering that this was a 14 hour 15 minute flight.

Compared to a one-stop service, a non-stop not only saved time, but the hassle of a transit stop, even if this transit stop was in a modern, efficient airport like HKG, ICN or NRT. After experiencing the convenience of a nonstop, I would not want to fly a one-stop unless I had a very good reason to (Perhaps an ultra-low price?).

Overall an excellent flight. SQ32, operated by the A350 would be my first choice from Singapore to San Francisco moving forward, whichever cabin class I was travelling in.

"Hang on a minute...", regular readers might think. Didn't I just say, in a previous TR, that I thought SQ A350 PEY was just average? How did it suddenly become "excellent"?

Let me explain...

Taken as an overall product offering, I still see SQ's A350 PEY as average, for the reasons stated in previous TR's: The seat is noticeably smaller than SQ's A380 and 77WR PEY, and the catering is closer to Y than many other carriers' PEY catering.

But on the SIN-SFO non-stop sector, the only current competition is with UA's non-stop Dreamliner service UA1/2. 9-abreast Y on SQ's A350 is far preferable to 9-abreast on the narrower UA 787 cabin. And UA doesn't offer true PEY: just Economy Plus, which is the same 9-abreast Y but with added legroom.

For me, non-stop is better than one-stop, and SQ PEY/Y is better than UA Y+/Y...so until more competition appears on this route, SIA's A350 non-stop would be my top choice to get from Singapore to San Francisco.

Last edited by yflyer; 20th May 2018 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:01 PM   #21
yflyer
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Out of the airport, I headed to the SFO BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station to catch the train to downtown San Francisco.



It was convenient, and inexpensive, to buy a stored value BART ticket (Usable for BART rides in SF as well) and catch the train for the 30 minute ride down town.





I got off the BART at Powell Station, close to the Cable Car station and Union Square.

It was now 10.20am local time on an overcast Saturday morning -- considering a departure out of Singapore at 9.25am on Saturday, this was not a bad door-to-door timing from sunny Singapore to downtown San Francisco!



From there, I took a short uphill walk past Union Square...



...to my hotel, the Marriott San Francisco Union Square.


Last edited by yflyer; 20th May 2018 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 20th May 2018, 05:14 PM   #22
yflyer
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The Marriott is at a great location at 480 Sutter Street, just a block away from Union Square.



Location aside, I experienced a sense of nostalgia staying at this hotel again: I had first stayed here many years ago, when it was still branded the Crowne Plaza Union Square. Back then, there was still a large Borders bookstore across the street, and I had flown into San Francisco on an SQ 744 Megatop before checking in. Those were the days...

Right now, the same hotel, with exterior unchanged, was now the Marriott, and there was a room refurbishment underway. Tripadvisor had warned of noise during the day, as the refurbishment took place, however as a Marriott Platinum guest, I was upgraded to an already-renovated corner room on a high floor, far away from the ongoing renovations.

Thankfully the room was already available, although it was around 10.45am on a Saturday morning.



This was a bright, beautifully styled room...



I took a shower...





...and a 2 hour nap...

...before changing into PT kit and heading out by Uber to the Golden Gate Welcome Center for the perfect jetlag cure: a long run...

To be continued!

Last edited by yflyer; 20th May 2018 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 21st May 2018, 09:20 AM   #23
orionmiz
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If you have noted, SQ32 (and SQ31) doesn't have KrisShop services (and KrisShop) magazine.

Hmm the last time I took SQ32 (more than a year ago), they served "breakfast" first (which is called "after-take-off"), followed by "lunch".
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Old 21st May 2018, 11:27 AM   #24
yflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionmiz View Post
If you have noted, SQ32 (and SQ31) doesn't have KrisShop services (and KrisShop) magazine.
Thanks for pointing that out, orionmiz! Yes, I did notice there was no duty free onboard. I heard it was to reduce weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orionmiz View Post
Hmm the last time I took SQ32 (more than a year ago), they served "breakfast" first (which is called "after-take-off"), followed by "lunch".
Guess they are still tweaking the meal service format. No easy solution given the timezone changes.

In the current SQ32 "Lunch" and "Breakfast" meal service format, they have conveniently left out "Dinner", and "Breakfast" happens at around 9pm Singapore time...

There is quite a large gap between "Lunch" and "Breakfast", which is where my personal cup noodles came in handy i.e. at the regular Singapore dinner time.

I was wondering if it made sense to do a full dinner service onboard as well mid way during the flight, as that would fit most people's regular dining schedules, and then maybe a light snack prior to arrival (i.e. 2 full meals plus one refreshment), but the argument against that may be that folks may want to rest in the middle of the flight.

In any case, refreshments/snacks were available for anyone who needed to eat something at the regular Singapore dinner time. And for me, I knew I would be hungry, hence the jumbo cup noodles I brought onboard...
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Old 23rd May 2018, 02:03 AM   #25
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Great TR yflyer and excellent pics of San Francisco. Glad you got to spend some time in the Bay Area. Keep up the TRs as always.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 02:05 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orionmiz View Post
If you have noted, SQ32 (and SQ31) doesn't have KrisShop services (and KrisShop) magazine.

Hmm the last time I took SQ32 (more than a year ago), they served "breakfast" first (which is called "after-take-off"), followed by "lunch".
If I recall from this thread, SQ32/31 do NOT have duty free shopping on their flights compared to most. I believe it's because they want to reduce the aircraft's payload since it is a nonstop flight.

If SFO does get the ULR, which I guess will happen in the near future, it will cut down on payload restrictions.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 01:04 PM   #27
banoffi
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Following! have been wondering about the SQ non stop to SFO, since that's one of my favourite cities in the world.

Really appreciate the insights into flight SQ32 ( as well as your previous report on the UA non stop).
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Old 23rd May 2018, 07:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQfanatic View Post
If I recall from this thread, SQ32/31 do NOT have duty free shopping on their flights compared to most. I believe it's because they want to reduce the aircraft's payload since it is a nonstop flight.
This was just mentioned like 2 conversations above by yflyer?

On a sidenote, I always wondered how much duty free shopping stock do they bring on board. I have made several purchases on board different flights and they always seemed to be able to dig them out, despite the Kris Shop online showing the product as 'out of stock'.
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Old 23rd May 2018, 10:31 PM   #29
9V-SIA
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I can see myself taking this flight in the near future

Thanks for another great TR

The plane is strangely familiar
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Old 25th May 2018, 10:10 PM   #30
yflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQfanatic View Post
Great TR yflyer and excellent pics of San Francisco. Glad you got to spend some time in the Bay Area. Keep up the TRs as always.
Thanks, SQfanatic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by banoffi View Post
Following! have been wondering about the SQ non stop to SFO, since that's one of my favourite cities in the world.

Really appreciate the insights into flight SQ32 ( as well as your previous report on the UA non stop).
Thanks, banoffi! SF is also one of my favourite cities to visit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPSFlyer View Post
On a sidenote, I always wondered how much duty free shopping stock do they bring on board. I have made several purchases on board different flights and they always seemed to be able to dig them out, despite the Kris Shop online showing the product as 'out of stock'.
I was also surprised that a few carts of duty free (Assuming it's more than one cart...) would make that much difference in weight, but I guess for a regular A350, every kilogram counts! I didn't see any real glasses in Y or PEY either, just plastic, so that probably also saves some weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9V-SIA View Post
I can see myself taking this flight in the near future

Thanks for another great TR
Thanks, 9V-SIA! Best way to get from SIN to SFO at the moment, in my opinion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9V-SIA View Post
The plane is strangely familiar
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