Singapore Airlines does an outstanding job in the air (though service is usually phenomenal long haul it does vary and can be quite mixed flying short haul). Their food is very good as well.
But Singapore Airlines does not match the quality of its inflight product with its ground services. Even most of its lounges in Singapore are just ‘fine’. Lounges outside of Singapore? Not nearly so impressive.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Hong Kong. Singapore Airlines has a fairly large presence in Hong Kong with 7 daily roundtrips between Hong Kong and Singapore. One of their flights heads onward to San Francisco. San Francisco – Hong Kong – Singapore and return flights are dubbed SQ1 and SQ2. This flight has seasonally been served by an A380 with ‘Suites class’.
And yet… the lounge has no showers. Not only that, it does not even have bathrooms.
I get that complaints about a lounge for elite frequent flyers and premium cabin travelers represents the archetyptical first world problems, but truly it’s out of character with the rest of Singapore Airlines and even out of character with the offerings of their competition. Flying Thai Airways through Hong Kong — or United — you can go to the lounge and still use the bathroom.
The lounge is across from the bank of gates that Singapore Airlines generally uses.
There’s ample seating and internet.
And there’s a separate seating area for first class and top tier elite passengers, though there’s nothing actually different about the area (other than perhaps fewer people) and no checking of credentials to use it.
There’s a sit down dining area with a buffet, which I suppose makes the lounge much better supplied than the offerings of just about every US airline’s lounges anywhere.
There’s different food at breakfast…
.. than at dinner.
All of which would make the lounge fine, perfectly serviceable, and about average for the region if only they had bathrooms. Sure, if you need to use the toilet there’s a public restroom just outside the lounge.
But after a flight from San Francisco, connecting on to Singapore, all you want is a shower. And after an intra-Asia flight and a connection from Singapore to Hong Kong before boarding a transpacific flight to San Francisco a shower would be nice as well. Not only don’t they offer it in their lounge, they’ve made no provisions elsewhere and there’s really no reasonable way to access one elsewhere in the airport that’ you can expect to travel to and back in time for a flight.
I share this because believe it or not it’s one of the really common questions I get asked by folks using my award booking service, usually using American Express Membership Rewards points transferred to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer to booking Singapore Airlines first class awards… Flight SQ1 from San Francisco to Hong Kong is a supper rather than dinner service with no satay or caviar, already feeling cheated folks are usually surprised to learn they don’t get to shower in Hong Kong either.