Flight Review: Singapore Airlines Flight 728
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Route: Singapore (SIN) – Phuket (HKT)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8SA
Class of Travel: Economy
Seat Number: 53K
Recently, I successfully passed out from Basic Military Training, which, I must admit, proved to be a strenuous and challenging four-month endeavour. Consequently, during my one-week block leave last week, I made the deliberate choice to embark on a short vacation to Phuket, Thailand, to rejuvenate myself before resuming my training commitments.
After careful contemplation of various travel options available to me, I ultimately made a reservation for a one-way flight to Phuket aboard a Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-800. My decision was motivated by a desire to experience Singapore Airlines’ smaller Boeing aircraft, as I had not had the opportunity to do so before and was eager to give it a try. I have also made arrangements for my return journey, which will be abord Scoot’s Airbus A321NEO. However, I intent to reserve my flight review of that flight for future travel experience.
Flying through Changi Airport Terminal 2
In tandem with the reopening of the recently refurbished Terminal 2, Singapore Airlines has chosen to relocate its flights to Southeast Asian destinations from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2. This decision was prompted by the extensive upgrades that Terminal 2 underwent, a project initiated in May 2020, owing to the sharp decline in air travel demand brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The process of reopening Terminal 2 has been executed progressively, commencing in May 2022.
For passenger check-in at Terminal 2, Singapore Airlines has designated Rows 7, 8, and 9. Much like Terminal 3, travellers are strongly encouraged to utilise the self-service check-in kiosks for a swift and efficient travel experience. It is worth noting that, as of the present moment, Singapore Airlines exclusively operates flights to destinations within Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka from Terminal 2.
Currently, only the southern wing of Terminal 2 is accessible, yet it provides a diverse range of dining and retail options, both in the public and transit areas. In contrast to my previous visit on Firefly’s inaugural flight to Terminal 2, a mere five months ago, the terminal exhibited a somewhat lacklustre ambience. Only a limited number of shops had resumed operations and navigating through Terminal 2 was a subdued experience.
However, within this short span of five months, the newly renovated Terminal 2 has undergone remarkable transformation, exuding a significantly more vibrant atmosphere. Terminal 2 now offers an extensive array of shopping options for travellers, encompassing duty-free outlets, dining establishments, and luxury boutiques. Although some sections remains temporarily closed for ongoing renovation projects, Terminal 2 has unmistakably evolved into a more lively, contemporary, and inviting environment for travellers passing through Changi Airport.
Flying onboard Singapore Airline’s baby Boeing
After the merger between Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, Singapore Airlines integrated SilkAir’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft into their fleet and proceeded to refurbish the cabin with updated seating. Presently, Singapore Airlines operates a total of seven Boeing 737-800 aircraft, out of the thirteen that were transferred from SilkAir. The Boeing 737-800 in Singapore Airlines’ fleet is configured with 12 Business Class seats and 150 Economy Class seats, featuring a 2-2 configuration in Business Class and the standard 3-3 configuration in Economy Class.
The aircraft taking me to Phuket today is an 8-year-old Boeing 737-800 with the registration 9V-MGL. Remarkably, Singapore Airlines retained the original SilkAir registration when they took over this aircraft in March 2021. A quick observation reveals that Singapore Airlines has adopted a standardised colour them across both their widebody and narrowbody aircraft fleets. In the Economy Class cabin of SIA’s 737-800, one can discern the airline’s distinctive blue and grey colour scheme. The most conspicuous divergence between SIA’s 737-800 Economy Class and other Economy products is the absence of personal inflight entertainment screens. Remarkably, this mirrors the seating arrangements that was previously characteristic of SilkAir, albeit with new upholstery.
Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 Economy Class seats offer a relatively snug 30-inch seat pitch and a 117-inch seat width. The configuration may impart a somewhat confined sensation, especially for those accustomed to the roomier conditions found on their widebody aircraft such as the A350, which provides 32-inch legroom. Additionally, SIA’s 737-800 is equipped with Boeing’s Sky Interior, featuring LED mood lighting and larger overhead bins for increased storage capacity. As we prepared for departure, the cabin crew lowered the communal overhead screen to present the safety video. Throughout the flight, this communal screen continued to be utilised, displaying a selection of movies for passengers to enjoy.
As this flight was relatively short, the cabin crew promptly initiated the meal service shortly after take-off. The menu presented a choice between Chicken Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Seafood Tom Yum Vermicelli. Opting for the latter, as it appeared more appeal, I made my selection.
The meal was accompanied by a bread roll and butter, as well as a Magnum chocolate ice cream. For beverages, I adhered to my customary preference for apple juice, and when travelling with Singapore Airlines, I highly recommend trying their signature Singapore Sling too.
The Seafood Tom Yum Vermicelli delivered a delightful blend of spiciness and tanginess, boasting an array of vibrant flavours. Furthermore, it featured a respectable quantity of shrimp and seafood. While the vermicelli on the side of the box had a slightly overcooked texture, it resembled chaota beehoon, which was not altogether disagreeable. In sum, it constituted a satisfying meal and, in my opinion, ranks among the superior culinary choices offered by Singapore Airlines. I also wish to commend the cabin crew for their patience and attentiveness to passenger requests, a noteworthy aspect of their service even on this abbreviated flight.
Prior to this, my most recent experience with Singapore Airlines took place just a year ago when I travelled to Bangkok aboard their Airbus A350. In terms of service, I noticed that the cabin crew exhibited a high level of patience and attentiveness to passenger’s requests and needs, even though this flight was shorter in duration than my trip to Bangkok. The cabin crew members were notably friendly, and the quality of the meal served was excellent. However, it is worth noting that the overall experience closely resembled that of flying with SilkAir.
Given that I only paid $150 for a 1.5-hour flight, I would consider this to be a reasonably priced journey. I will contemplate selecting Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 737 for future flights if the pricing aligns with my budget and requirements.
Inflight Service | 9/10
Inflight Entertainment | 6/10
Meal Service | 8/10
Seat | 7/10
Aircraft Cleanliness | 7/10