When I booked this trip, the only available time confirmable in business class for my final JFK-LAX leg was the last departure of the night at 8:35pm. That meant a layover in excess of eight hours, but it ended up working out to my benefit as I needed to be online and phone call ready to get some work done for CNBC.
Singapore Airlines couldn’t print my United boarding pass in advance in Frankfurt, so I had to check-in again at the United counter in Terminal 7. I’m a kiosk-loving guy and after plugging in my MileagePlus number, it immediately offered earlier flights, confirmable in business class. Both the 3:30ish and 5:55pm flight were available and I stewed over it for a while. Too long, in fact, that the system automatically exited the check-in process.
Not wanting to arrive back in LAX at midnight and figuring I could get my work done well before the late flight, I started check-in again and switched to the 5:55pm departure. I was even able to score exit row window seat 9D. Security was a breeze that time of day (about 12:30pm) and I went upstairs to the club, settled in and began working.
As it turned out, I probably could have caught the 3:30 flight if I rushed, but was happy enough with my new flight. I love United at JFK as boarding is so civilized compared to many stations. Even though the “new” numerical boarding method was in place by this point, they still called Global Services and first class first, followed by 1Ks and business class.
As usual on p.s. flights, flight attendants came around with pre-departure beverages, menus, earplugs and eyeshades. By the time we took off, I was completely wiped out and looking forward to a nap. After we hit 10,000 feet, I reclined all the way back and settled in. Well, let’s just say that was the fasted trancon flight I’ve experienced as before I knew it, we were on final approach to LAX. I slept through the whole flight, missing the meal service and all. I did snag the menu, though:
So… I’m sorry to disappoint with a lackluster review of this flight. I do, however, want to share my overall thoughts about Singapore Airlines and the A380.
Having heard so many amazing things about Singapore Airlines, I was expecting to be blown away by the service. If you read my SQ25 and SQ26 posts, you know I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, service was good, or shall I say very good, but fairly impersonal and rushed at times. I don’t expect constant attention, nor can I really pinpoint anything bad about the service, but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. Perhaps I set them too high.
The A380 is an impressive plane – simply gigantic, and in my opinion, too much so. Boarding gates were over-packed and I’m sure the size of the business class cabin led to my lowered impression of overall service. The overhead bins on the upper deck are too small and I also didn’t like how much of a gap there was from the exterior window to where the cabin window covering began.
Here I am… complaining about a business class flight on a premier airline. I should just shut up now and simply say I’m happy to have finally flown on an A380 and experience Singapore Airlines for the first time. It just simply didn’t give me the “Wow!” factor that I was expecting.