Review – Singapore Airlines First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco

Returning from our latest trip to Hong Kong we had the pleasure of flying Singapore Airlines first class on their 777 aircraft. We had flown Singapore Airlines’ A380 suites on our trip to Japan last year, and while the 777 does not feature their signature suites, I was nonetheless excited about flying them again, given how great their food and service are and our fantastic experience with our prior flight.

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We booked the tickets using our Krisflyer miles, earned from transferring our Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  The award price was 70,125 Krisflyer miles, which included the final 15% miles discount for booking directly with them. Here’s a short primer on how to book using their miles.

We arrived at Hong Kong airport about 5 hours before our flight, so we spent quite a bit of time at the Krisflyer first class lounge, had dinner at the lounge as soon as we arrived at the airport, and took a shower before the 13 or so hours flight. The food and service were great, and for the first time I had a Singapore sling, although I didn’t like that the lounge lacked windows, which made it impossible to plane spot during our wait.

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The flight had a scheduled departure of 11:40 p.m., which was great because it would guarantee good sleep during the trip. A few minutes before boarding time we headed out to the gate, which was pretty busy. After a few minutes boarding was announced and we were the first ones to board the plane.

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We were greeted at the jet bridge by the flight attendants, who showed us to our seats at the pointy end of the plane. The first class cabin was essentially empty, and out of the 8 seats (2 rows on a 1-2-1 configuration), only one other seat was occupied besides ours, with the other 5 seats going empty. The flight crew used a couple of those seats during their rest period.

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Prior to departure we were offered pre-departure beverages, and we both chose the 2006 Dom Perignon (duh!). I also spent a few minutes familiarizing myself with the seat and storage features.

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As soon as everyone boarded the door was closed, the captain made the customary announcements and we were ready for push back, and after a short taxi through the tarmac we were quickly airborne.

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After we reached 10,000 feet the seatbelt sign was turned off, and the flight attendants came by to bring warm nuts, pajamas and our amenity kits, and we went to the lavatory and changed into our pajamas. Singapore amenity kits are very light, consisting only of cologne/perfume, after-shave and lip balm, since everything else is in the lavatory, including toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving kits, etc.

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We had preordered our dinner via their Book-The-Cook service, and we had both booked the lobster Thermidor, so we both stuck with that decision. We also had ahi tuna and caviar as an appetizer. Everything was excellent. My wife skipped dessert, and I had ice cream on a stick.

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After dinner we had our beds made and went straight to sleep. I had a solid 6-7 hours of shuteye. Singapore bedding is some of the best I’ve slept on, and the seat is huge, which makes it very comfortable to sleep.

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I woke up a few hours later and was hungry, so I ordered some udon noodles, which are some of my favorite.

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After dinner I lounged a bit on my seat and watched some documentaries and listened to some music. A couple of hours out of SFO the crew started preparing the cabin for dinner/breakfast. We had pre-ordered the chicken and rice congee, but just because it was the only option on the Book-The-Cook menu. I really didn’t feel like eating it, and since we had a few hours in San Francisco and we were planning on visiting the Centurion Lounge, I skipped it. The crew seemed disappointed that I did not want to eat. On Singapore they love feeding you until you’re ready to pop. Since I wasn’t extremely hungry, I just ordered some fruit with cottage cheese, vanilla yogurt and a double espresso. My wife had the congee she had preordered, which I had a sample of and found to be very good. The crew kept my glass full with Dom the entire time.

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Before we knew it we were on final approach to SFO, so I went and changed back into my street clothes and a few minutes before final approach I switched to a window seat to watch a beautiful sunset on the approach into SFO.

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After a smooth approach and landing we taxied to the gate and deplaned into the international terminal. The airport wasn’t busy at the time and we quickly cleared customs with our Global Entry memberships.

Overall impression:

Both times I have flown Singapore I have not been disappointed. Both experiences have been fantastic, and since it’s so easy to accumulate Krisflyer miles, they are one of the first airlines I would consider when planning trips. I hope to fly them again in the future, and possibly try their business class product, which looks just as comfortable.

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