Same Day Return Business to HK and back on the A350-900 & A380-800 – A story of epic proportions Part 1

When the destination deals for Krisflyer Spontaneous Escapes October first came out, I thought to myself that if I wanted to do an epic crazy YOLO trip to go to Hong Kong (HK) for dim sum and come back, it would be now or never. It’s not unusual for people to go over to HK for the weekend to eat and shop, but to do a return business flight on business class just for a single dim sum meal – I would like to believe it hasn’t been done before.

I begin to search for Saturday return flights across October and managed to come up with this date: 20th Oct.

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It’s not everyday that you see the same date on the booking screen!

I booked myself on the A350-900 to HK at 08:50 (arrive at 12:40) and booked myself a flight back to SG at 18:40. This gives me a comfortable 2 hour time frame in the heart of the city (Yau Ma Tei, Tsim Sha Tsui) to have my fill of dim sum before heading back to the airport. Only problem is, I soon recall that my close friend’s wedding is in the evening! Panic and regret ensues…

After an email to SQ’s customer service team two week prior, I managed to change to 15:40 departure  (Thank you SIA ^^). The flight arrives at 19:35, and hopefully I’m not too late for my friend’s wedding at Goodwood park hotel. [Update: I made it to my friend’s wedding at 8.10pm!] In addition, I’ll get to review SQ’s new business class on the A380-800. A blessing in disguise! I made changes to my seating arrangement just two days prior in hope that I’ll get the whole back cabin to myself and be able to try out the ‘double bed.’


It’s 07:00, I’m here at Changi’s T3. Check in is a breeze as usual. I proceeded to T3 SilverKris Lounge for breakfast.

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Breakfast at SilverKris T3 lounge
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If you travel enough, you’ll start to memorise the gate locations at T3

I went over to the boarding gate punctually. Surprisingly, people were already lining up to board. Since young, I decided that I don’t do queues. Even when I take economy, I rather sit and wait for the queue to shorten; I don’t need more time in the squeezy seats!

I breezed straight through priority boarding. A passenger from economy was ahead of me at the merge boarding area but the staff immediately let me through first.

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I pay extra for business class because I don’t like queuing

The last time I went to Hong Kong, I was in First Class Suites. So this is actually a downgrade. Well, business class is still luxurious and I’m grateful. As I entered the aircraft, I remembered my internet ‘mentors’ saying that my attitude makes all the difference. I proceeded into the aircraft with a smile and a “how are you” What a difference that made! The steward and stewardess offered a selfie together, which really made my day as a travel blogger.

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Top 25% service of all my business class flights! SIA, promote these guys already!

I proceeded to do the travel blogger thingy: snapping pictures of the cabin whilst trying to avoid fellow passengers in the picture frame. I must say, I quite enjoy being in the business A350 cabin. Despite not travelling for any reason, I felt really comfortable.

The business class on the A350-900 in the forward cabin is in a 1-2-1 layout. This means that every passenger gets to access the aisle unlike the old regional A330-300. Seat width and pitch is at 28″ and 60″ respectively. In economy, seat width is 18″ and pitch is at 32″. This is PLENTY leg room for a thin and short person like me. Tall and/or pudgy people will definitely appreciate the huge space.

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Seat 15A. My seat for the next 4 hours
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18″ screen. The TV experience is beautiful
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The middle seats, defined with a purple hue
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Headphones are located on the left armrest. No problems with the headphones this time!
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Bottom: Drinks holder. Top: Storage for belongings

One things that business class really caters for are the many thoughtful spaces for your belongings. My only fear is leaving those belonging behind and I’m sure it’s not uncommon for people to do so.

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Meal table is on the side. “Push to release”
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Side lights on the right (or left depending on where you’re seated)
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SIA business class: Leaps ahead of other airlines
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Restroom: Facial mist! I’ve learnt to use this because of my wife

Like clockwork, it was time for mealtime. Fruits and bread were served first:

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Business Class Menu Card
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Selection of bread
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Pomelo slice, watermelon and grapes. I requested for the croissant

This was followed by the main meal. I utilised the book the cook (BTC) service and chose something I’ve never tried before.

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Book The Cook from Singapore: 6 Oz Ribeye Steak

The steak was done medium well. For a person that eats steak rare to medium rare, this is definitely disappointing. This does not do justice to the poor cow. But I understand it has to be cooked this way from the food safety perspective. Worth a try for my ‘portfolio’ nonetheless.

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Medium well or some may even say it’s well done; pun intended. My dad would definitely love this. Not me however.

I requested for red wine to go with my steak and the options that were presented were all pretty decent. Love the first one!

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My favourite of all the reds on offer
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Love French wines
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Some jelly dessert. I would rather have super cold ice cream for dessert instead

I continued with my movie after brunch. It doesn’t even feel like I’m on a flight. I felt right at home. I often enjoy the process more than the destination.

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Last hour into the flight

Summary

Food: My BTC steak was okay but I would rather stick with the lobster thermidor or the chilean cod. Ice cream is always a winner so don’t be stingy with that SIA. Wine was decent and I know for sure that SQ has really done a lot of research and planning in this area to suit taste buds 30,000 feet above the ground.

Space: The A350-900 is also used for ultra long haul flights to San Francisco, United States. It’s a plane one could feel completely at home with. The only issue is that you have to slant your legs in a diagonal position. This problem can be solved by choosing the bulkhead seats but that’s not always available.

Service: SQ is known for its service. Kudos to the crew for making me feel right at home. The benchmark though, all things equal is the service I received on my Osaka business class trip.

Overall, this was a beautiful flight with great service. Stay tuned for part Part II on the A380-800. Going to try the double bed on business class. Super stoked!

 

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