SilkAir Business Class to Bali on the 737-800 review

I redeemed this business class flight at a super discounted rate (50%) through krisFlyer’s Spontaneous Escapes. I’ve waited for a discount like this for almost a year and that wait has paid off. It cost me 8750 x 2 miles (original redemption is 17,500 x 2) for two one way tickets for my wife and I. When I first found about this deal, I had already exhausted most of my miles on my double business return trip to Bangkok. I still have a healthy stash; it just hasn’t been transferred from the various banks.

silkair paid
Cost of a return ticket = $1118 (Or $559 for one leg of the trip) Minus taxes, each mile was worth about 5.8 cents

SilkAir is owned by SIA, so except for the actual product, you’ll still get the same level of service at the pre boarding stage. This means you’ll still be able to access the T2 Silverkris Lounge, or even at T3, if you’re as crazy as me to sleep over at T3 Silverkris.

For this flight, I underestimated the time I needed to wash up and be ready to transit from T3 to T2, hence we found ourselves rushing over to T2 like crazy rich asians. SilkAir narrow body aircrafts only have one entrance, hence I found myself queuing behind the economy class people upon boarding because I didn’t utilise the initial priority boarding. I repent and promise never to be late again!

The sight that greeted me when I first stepped in

The silver line was that business class was completely empty save for a couple. What a relief! I usually try to reach the aircraft first to be able to snap empty shots (and to protect their privacy.) 4 out of the 12 seats (includes us) were taken. This leaves me plenty of space to ‘go photo crazy’.

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 12.48.32 PM
Intimate business class area. Screen grab photo credit: Seat Guru

The 737-800 is a narrow body aircraft with a 2 2 seating arrangement. This means that if you’re a solo traveller sitting at the window seat, you’ll need to trouble your fellow passenger if you want to utilise the restroom. Seat pitch is at 39 inches, a 25% increase in space over economy’s 31 inch. We were supposed to be seated at Seat 2C & D but since there was absolutely no one, I requested to sit at the bulkhead seats which provides ample legroom.

So much space at the bulkhead seats!
Seat 3C & D

SilkAir business is akin to seating in domestic first class in US. It’s comfortable, but still pales with its cousin, SQ. In SQ, you’ll be able to utilise Book The Cook (BTC) and your seats have a greater seat pitch.

Before take off, we were given a menu; it was not impressive.

Is there even a difference between economy and business?

I chose the mee goreng whilst my wife chose the western breakfast. I requested for champagne because it is never too early for champagne! I was surprised that they actually had a decent bottle on board!

I didn’t drink much; just wanted to try and so that my readers know that they have this on board!
Notice that champagne* is only available on selected flights. I guess they know people who go to Bali like to enjoy themselves XD!

I tried the entertainment system aka Lenovo tablet. True to some what travel bloggers said, it was not user friendly. I spent some time figuring out how to turn it on, and when I chose a movie, I couldn’t get it to enlarge. In addition, it was impossible to watch while dining.

The tablet and the headphones

The headphones did its job well, but it’s no where close to the one provided on SQ

Our chosen meals were served shortly after:

Mee Goreng. If this is what business passengers get, I pity economy class. Or maybe we get the same thing, just nicer plating

The noodles were bland and slightly soggy. You can’t go wrong with those kind of treated prawns. I enjoyed the croissant the most.

My wife said this was “ok”
No space for the tablet

After lunch, I proceeded to watch a movie whilst helping my wife get comfy. Recline is ok but definitely a far cry from SQ’s business.

Not the most technologically advanced
Back view of the curtain separating economy from business

When it was time to disembark, a stewardess closed the curtain. It was probably the most pleasant experience. I paid for this. No rush, no people… only to queue behind  immigration again. But at least I’m in front of hundred over people (from my flight).


Overall Conclusion

I enjoyed my flight. Service was decent, but I’ve experienced better at SQ. Food and entertainment could be improved. Seats were comfortable so no complains there.

The big question: would I fly on SilkAir business again? Only if it’s on 50% discount because the ground experience is the same. I’ve always advocated that flying isn’t only about the seats. If SQ is on 30% discount to Bali and there’s a 50% discount on SilkAir, I’d still choose SilkAir. But if I badly want to go to Bali on saver redemptions without discount, it’ll definitely be 100% SQ. Anyway, there are limited opportunities to try SilkAir as it will be merging with SIA, starting 2020.

Pay or redeem in full on SilkAir? You must be a Crazy Rich Asian (CRA) to do so. Then again, CRA will probably go for non discounted SQ business flights to bali or even charter their own plane.

Cheers from Bali! (writing from a beach resort).


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