After visiting Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room and the Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge, it was time to continue my long journey to Abu Dhabi, by flying Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER first class from Singapore to Jakarta.
Singapore Airlines is one of my favorite airlines in the world, and in this case I was flying the carrier on its shortest flight with first class service, on the 80-minute hop to Jakarta. My gosh, what an absolute delight this flight was, from the impeccable service, to the delicious food, to the choice of three champagnes.
As I always say, it’s so hard to go back to flying premium cabins within the United States after experiencing travel in Asia. It’s just a whole different world. Let’s get into the review…
How I booked my Singapore Airlines first class ticket
The reason I flew Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Jakarta was because I wanted to experience the carrier’s new premium lounges in Singapore, and the cheapest way to do that was by taking Singapore Airlines’ shortest first class flight. I managed to book the following for 30,500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles plus $46.71 in taxes and fees:
12/03 SQ950 Singapore to Jakarta departing 6:50AM arriving 7:35AM
Singapore Airlines first class awards are generally restricted to members of the KrisFlyer program. Fortunately Singapore Airlines partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, so the miles are easy to come by.
Singapore Airlines first class lounge & boarding
My friend Toby was joining me on this flight in first class (he happened to be in Singapore, so he flew with me to Jakarta, and then continued his own journey). We had spent the night exploring Singapore Airlines’ The Private Room and the Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge in Terminal 3, which are the carrier’s best lounges.
In the morning, our flight to Jakarta was departing from Terminal 2, which is just a short train ride away. Our 6:50AM flight was scheduled to board 30 minutes before departure (at 6:20AM) at gate F58.
In Changi Airport Terminal 2, security is at each individual gate. I find the process to usually be quite efficient, though I don’t love this as a concept, especially since there’s no priority screening for premium passengers. Fortunately we got through security pretty quickly.
At that point our boarding passes were scanned, and we were in the “holding pen” for the flight.
Boarding started a bit ahead of schedule, around 6:10AM, with first class passengers being invited to board first.
Singapore Airlines 777 first class cabin & seats
Within a moment of boarding through the forward door, I could tell it would be an amazing flight, thanks to the superstar crew working in first class. We were escorted into the first class cabin, which is quite intimate on Singapore Airlines’ 777s, with just four seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration.
I had assigned myself seat 1F, the window seat on the right side. Meanwhile Toby was right across the aisle from me, in seat 1D.
Singapore Airlines has some of the widest first class seats in the world on its 777s, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
While a wide sleeping surface is great, in order to get comfortable while sitting you really have to use the provided pillow as an armrest on one side, as there’s no way you can otherwise support your arms on both armrests at the same time.
Each first class seat features a 24″ HD monitor, and next to that is a vanity behind a panel.
Underneath the entertainment screen is a huge ottoman. Note that the cabin doesn’t have any overhead bins, so that it feels more spacious. As a result, there’s a large exposed area underneath the ottoman, where you can place luggage.
To the left of the ottoman is additional storage, which isn’t quite large enough for a laptop, but can store smaller personal items.
To the right of the ottoman is an AC power outlet, as well as an HDMI plug.
The tray table is huge, and folds out from right above the ottoman. It’s quite flexible, as you can extend it out quite far, and can also easily raise or lower it. As a result, it’s easy to get up while the tray table is extended, which is handy.
Immediately to the left of the seat is a panel with seat controls, allowing you to recline your seat, press the flight attendant call button, and even turn off the entertainment screen.
To the side of the seat is yet another cabinet with a small storage compartment, plus USB-A outlets. Unfortunately the seats don’t have any USB-C outlets.
The cabin doesn’t have any individual air nozzles, which isn’t surprising, given how high the ceilings are, due to the lack of overhead bins.
One other interesting quirk about the cabin is the huge walkway located behind the center seats. While so many airlines try to optimize layouts and make a cabin overly crowded, this seems like a rather unnecessary passageway, since the galley is right in front of the cabin. It is a nice place to stretch your legs during the flight, though (not that this was needed on the short flight I was on!).
Another cute thing worth mentioning is how Singapore Airlines decorates its cabins for the holidays. There aren’t many airlines that do that, and it’s a cute touch.
While I prefer Singapore Airlines’ A380 Suites Class, Singapore Airlines’ 777 first class also offers a lovely experience.
Singapore Airlines first class amenities
Since I was traveling on such a short flight, amenities were fairly limited — there was no amenity kit, no pajamas, etc. However, there were still some goodies. For one, Singapore Airlines offers excellent Bang & Olufsen headphones in first class, which are among the best you’ll find on any airline.
There was also a beautiful menu, which you could easily spend the whole flight reading, based on how big it is.
Within moments of settling in, both Cheryl and Keith came by to introduce themselves and welcome us onboard, as they were the two flight attendants working first class. Stephanie, the crew in charge, also welcomed us onboard, and informed us of the flight time of 80 minutes, and wished us a pleasant journey.
We were offered pre-departure drinks of choice. Singapore Airlines offers three different kinds of champagne in first class, so we figured we’d start with the lovely 2012 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.
My only complaint about the service on this flight is that Singapore Airlines flight attendants are way too attentive and never let your glass get anywhere close to empty, which is a problem when it’s just after 6AM, and you have a long day ahead of yourself. 😉
Warm towels were also offered toward the end of boarding.
Singapore Airlines 777 first class entertainment & Wi-Fi
Singapore Airlines has its KrisWorld entertainment system, which is among the best inflight entertainment you’ll find on any airline. Singapore Airlines has an endless selection of movies, TV shows, live TV, music, games, and more. As someone who prefers TV shows to movies, I love how Singapore Airlines has entire seasons of TV shows, making it easy to binge watch when on an ultra long haul flight.
There are some airlines where it’s best to bring your own entertainment and not rely on the carrier’s library… Singapore Airlines isn’t one of those airlines.
Singapore Airlines of course also has a map feature in its inflight entertainment, which is what I had on for most of the flight.
I do have two minor criticisms of the inflight entertainment on the 777. For one, I find the screens on this plane to have quite a bit of glare, so it’s not ideal when the cabin is bright (as you can probably tell based on the pictures). Furthermore, I wish the monitor were touchscreen, so that you don’t have to use the controller to make your selections. Those are both minor points in the scheme of things, though.
Beyond the seat back entertainment, Singapore Airlines nowadays offers unlimited free Wi-Fi to all passengers. Premium cabin passengers automatically get it for free, while others just need to be members of the KrisFlyer frequent flyer program.
I was able to log-in with just my email address, last name, and seat number, and I found the speeds to be quite good.
Singapore Airlines 777 departure from Singapore
It was a pretty full flight to Jakarta this morning, with all seats in first class being taken. At 6:40AM the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time, and an anticipated mostly smooth ride, aside from some bumps on departure and approach. The door closed exactly on schedule, at 6:50AM.
Then at 6:55AM Singapore Airlines’ soothing safety video was screened, and five minutes after that we began our pushback.
At 7:05AM we started taxiing, and it took about 10 minutes for us to get to our departure runway.
We were cleared for takeoff at 7:15AM, and rocketed off into the morning. The 777 sure has quite some power when it’s only flying such a short distance, and nowhere close to the maximum takeoff weight.
I don’t know how many times I’ve traveled through Singapore over the years, but there’s something I find so oddly soothing and familiar about taking off from here and gazing out the window. Ahhh…
We hit some bumps on the initial climb out, and about 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, at which point the inflight service began.
Singapore Airlines first class meal service
So, what’s service like on this short 80-minute flight? Below you can find the first class menu, and then the drink list.
Keep in mind that in addition to the standard menu, Singapore Airlines also has its Book the Cook program, where you can order from a huge selection of options in advance.
But first thing’s first, it was time for another drink. I take my job of reviewing airlines seriously, so of course I had to sample another champagne. This time I went with the 2007 Blanc des Millenaires.
I decided not to use the Book the Cook feature, as I viewed the inflight menu in advance, and one of the options onboard sounded great. Specifically, I selected the nasi uduk, ikan goreng, and sambal udang. This came with a side of fresh fruit, fruit yogurt, and a selection from the bread basket. It was absolutely delicious, and oh-so-spicy.
I was also offered a selection from the bread basket, but passed. It was more of a liquid calorie kind of morning.
Toby, meanwhile, ordered the chicken satay from the Book the Cook program, and it looked great.
After a couple of glasses of champagne inflight, I ordered a cappuccino, which was also tasty.
The service concluded with a warm towel.
Singapore Airlines 777 first class lavatories
Singapore Airlines has two lavatories at the front of the first class cabin on the Boeing 777, with one being on each side. The lavatories are large, and as you’d expect, are so clean that you could eat off the floor.
The lavatories had toiletries from Lalique, and also had proper cloth towels, rather than just paper towels.
Singapore Airlines first class service
What makes Singapore Airlines one of the world’s best airline brands, and what really sets the carrier apart, is the service. Singapore Airlines flight attendants just operate on a different level, and this flight was no exception.
They have such an incredible eye for detail, so that premium cabin service on the airline almost feels more like a synchronized performance than service. Most impressive of all, Singapore Airlines crews consistently operate at such a high level, all while making it seem completely effortless.
There’s not an airline where I’ve found service to be as consistently great as on Singapore Airlines, and that’s what makes the airline such a pleasure to fly. I’m happy to see that even after the pandemic, the carrier’s service level hasn’t slipped one bit. I was especially excited to experience service on the carrier’s shortest first class flight, and it didn’t disappoint. Thanks to Cheryl, Keith, and Stephanie, for being such top notch professionals.
Singapore Airlines 777 arrival in Jakarta
Just 45 minutes after takeoff, the captain was back on the PA to advise that we were starting our descent, and would be landing in around 30 minutes, and he advised the crew to prepare the cabin for arrival. The seatbelt sign ended up being turned on around five minutes later due to turbulence, and then stayed on for the remainder of the flight. So yeah, all of the above service happened within 45 minutes of takeoff.
I enjoyed the views as we approached the coastline — anyone know what those things are in the water along the coast? I assume fishing, or something?
We touched down in Jakarta at 7:30AM (there was a one hour time change), and then taxied to our arrival gate.
On the taxi in, I particularly enjoyed seeing the TransNusa Comac ARJ21-700, as the Indonesian carrier is the first foreign airline to fly this Chinese jet.
The airline also flies A320s, which are a bit less exciting…
Anyway, we pulled into our arrival gate at 7:35AM, and parked next to a Saudia Boeing 777, headed to the same destination as me (Jeddah).
Upon arrival we found ourselves dealing with a bizarre transit experience, prior to checking out the Garuda Indonesia Lounge and Plaza Premium Lounge.
I had a spectacular flight in Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777 first class. The carrier’s shortest first class flight has long been on my bucket list, so I’m happy I had the chance to experience it. What a treat this was, from the friendly service, to the huge seats, to the great food and champagne selection.
Flying within Asia in premium cabins is consistently delightful, and this probably my best short haul intra-Asia flight ever.
What’s your take on Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777 first class?