I have hinted in a previous post that I got transfered to Business Class on my Singapore-Manila flight onboard Singapore Airlines. Not surprisingly, I got plenty of questions asking how that happened, and how the experience was.
Let’s just say, I got lucky. I checked in online for my flight and chose my seat. I picked the last row because it only has two seats, instead of 3. Though Singapore Airlines has relatively generous legroom in economy class, it’s still a hassle to get out of the row if you’re in the window seat. SeatGuru.com classify last row seats as half good seat and half “be aware,” because of its limited recline. I didn’t mind the limited recline as it’s only a 3-hour flight, whereas during my 7-hour flight from Melbourne to Singapore, I didn’t even recline my seat. Besides, this way, there’s no passenger behind me to contend with.
When I got to the check-in booth to drop my bags, I was charged for the excess baggage. After three flight segments of overweight luggage, I finally get charged for it. Oh well, three out of four isn’t so bad. As I was boarding the plane, I showed the stewarded my boarding pass. Upon seeing my seat number, she advised me that somebody wants to change seats with me. I merely nodded and said “okay,” but in my head, I was thinking “frick! I carefully picked that seat! I don’t want to get tranfered to a middle seat! #*(&@#*&!@#!!!!”
When I got to the very back of the plane, my seatmate was already in her seat. She told me that she’s not feeling well. She had a miscarriage in India, and flew as soon as she can to Singapore. Though Singapore has excellent health services, she won’t be at ease until she’s with her family in Manila. In her weakened state, her husband flew in to Singapore just to fetch her. Would I be kind enough to transfer to Business Class where her husband is seated so they can sit together? How can I deny a sick woman’s request?
As luck would have it, her husband had a middle row seat — the middle of the middle row, in fact. But, I am not complaining… I’m in business class!
Since I transfered when everybody in economy has finished boarding, the plane has already pushed off by the time I settled in my seat. It was too late to be given champagne, but they still gave me the beverage menu so I can serve me as soon as we reach cruising altitude. The menu was a pretty long list of drinks you can order on board. Champagne, red wine, white wine, juices, sparkling water, coffee. I have never developed an affinity for wines, so I just settled on a cup of hot mocha.
The seats are definitely wider than that of the economy seats, and the pillows are slightly bigger as well. If in economy there’s only one button to recline your seat, in business there’s about 5 or so buttons that lets you recline your seat (fyi, it reclines pretty low), adjust the height of the footrest and some other functions I wasn’t able to discover.
It has been said that the difference in the food served in economy, business class and first class is the tableware. To some extent, this is true. In economy, there are two choices of meat (unless you requested for a special meal), served in the standard plastic airline tableware, all squeezed in one tiny tray. In business class, the meal is definitely not served on plastic ware. Though it’s not the finest china, it’s still a pretty good change from eating out of a cramped tray. Each tray has the main course, one side dish, one salad, a small bowl of butter, two wine glasses and a salt & pepper shaker. Dinner rolls are served seperately, and you even have a choice of about 5 kinds of bread (there are breadsticks, garlic bread, whole wheat roll, etc.), and you can even have a tiny bottle of olive oil if you don’t like butter. For the life of me, I can’t remember which meal I ordered. I *do* however, remember my seatmate’s meal. Frankly because it’s the same meal I ordered on the flight to Singapore.
Another memorable food I had in that flight was the complimentary bag of mixed nuts. Memorable because there was this nut covered with wasabi that drove me crazy. I have a low tolerance for spice, and can’t handle wasabi nuts. This nut however, surprised me because though I can taste the wasabi, there wasn’t any spiciness in it. It was weird, but it was pretty good. The ice cream they served us was different from the ice cream served in economy, I think. In economy, they served ice cream sticks, but in business, they served ice cream scoops in a bowl.
The flight attendants were really attentive and are always looking out for their charges. Well, I guess it’s because they have to be that attentive, plus, the ratio for flight attendants to passengers is bigger than in economy. They were always asking if we need anything (I got so full on water…flew on business class and got drunk on water. I’m an idiot.), and when we disembarked, one of the steward got my carry-on trolley for me (because I was late in transfering, there wasn’t any available overhead stowage in business class, they put it in first class), and insisted he carry it to the jetway for me.
I have always been shocked at the difference in prices of business and first class tickets from economy. It’s great to finally see why. Now, if only I can save up for a first class ticket…