- Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
- Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
- Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
- The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
- A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Eating in Singapore
- Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
- Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
- Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
- Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
- Conrad Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
- American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home
We walked up to the Singapore Airlines check-in counter, which is manned by contract staff. There were two men sitting behind computer terminals and no passenger lines yet.
I pulled out my documents at the business class counter, and the agent said he couldn’t help us yet. “Not until 3 hours before the flight.”
I looked up at the clock behind him. I was perplexed. “But isn’t it 3 hours before the flight?” I asked.
The agent looks at the clock as well and says, “Four minutes.”
Now, he and his buddy weren’t doing anything. They were just sitting there. He told me I had to stand back and wait… for four minutes.
For good measure I let 5 or 6 minutes pass, I wouldn’t want to be scolded again. When it was safely inside the 3 hour window I re-approached the desk, handed over passports, and turned over my checked luggage.
I asked them to interline my bags, since I’d be connecting to Cathay. Really what I wanted them to do was check the bags all the way back to the States, but since that involved an overnight in Hong Kong they wouldn’t do it. No worries, I’d get Cathay to re-tag the bags when I reached Singapore. I just didn’t want to have to pick them up, and as long as they checked them to Hong Kong I wouldn’t need to worry about it, and when I reached a Cathay agent I wouldn’t need to pick them up in Hong Kong, either.
They fussed with the bags for quite awhile, not quite sure how to handle the interlining, but eventually they spit out a couple of baggage tags showing Hong Kong and not just Singapore as the destination. We were handed lounge passes and were on our way to head through immigration and security.
We headed over to the Plaza Premium lounge nearest our gate, and settled in for a couple hour visit. The furniture was comfortable, the internet serviceable, and that’s really all that I needed.
There was a separate room that was designated for Emirates first class, but it was nearly identical to the main lounge. When we arrived the lounge was almost empty but it quickly filled up, and I quickly realized that the main benefit of a separate room for Emirates first class was that there would likely be seats for late arriving passengers.
The lounge featured a buffet that was modest, though with some hot food, but I gave it all a miss. I tend to avoid hot food items in Central Asian lounges.
At boarding time we walked out of the lounge and down the stairs to our departure gate, and then out onto the tarmac to head out to our Singapore Airlines plane.
I was looking forward to trying out the angled-flat seats on our roughly four hour redeye. The seats are beautiful, but how would they sleep?
The answer is “ok.” They’re angled flat seats. They’re a bit narrow, they’re lumpy, but they’re a whole lot better than coach for catching a nap!
There were only about 8 of us in the cabin, but there was a bit of a fuss when a couple of passengers who apparently weren’t ticketed in business class tried to take a couple of the seats. The lead flight attendant confronted them, demanding to see their boarding passes. The passengers became irate, taking offense at the suggestion, but ultimately shrugging their shoulders and returning to the back of the plane.
Shortly after takeoff, a light dinner was served. Oddly enough, the printed menu said “lunch.”
With onion, cucumber, and spicey peanut sauce
Caesar salad with roast chicken
Romaine lettuce, roast chicken and parmesan cheese
Provence style salmon fillet with basil tomato coulis, ratatouille and steamed potato
Braised beef rice noodle soup with Chinese vegetables and mushrooms
Thai curry chicken with seasonal vegetables and steamed rice
Roast lamb loin with thyme jus, buttered vegetable and mashed garlic potatoes
Mango crème brulee
Gourmet cheese with garnishes
A selection of fresh fruit
Gourmet coffee and selection of fine teas, with pralines
I had the Caesar salad and then the braised beef rice noodle soup.
Then it was off to a couple hours’ nap. I woke up as the plane was entering its descent into Singapore, and I couldn’t get my seat back into its upright position. I asked a flight attendant to help, who asked a colleague of hers to help, while I retreated to the empty row behind me. Soon there were 3 crew pulling, yanking, pushing on the seat, and after what seemed like an eternity but was almost certainly less than 10 minutes (since we weren’t on the ground yet!) they got it back into position. I took my seat, we landed, and suddenly we were back in what has to be the most amazing airport in the world.