Singapore Airlines operates a daily flight between Los Angeles and Singapore via Tokyo (Narita). There used to be a second one-stop flight between the two cities via Seoul, but this has since ceased with effect from 30 Nov 2018. To ensure sufficient capacity, Singapore Airlines has now a non-stop flight option as well, providing customers with greater convenience for travel between Los Angeles and Singapore.
As with most other international flights, Singapore Airlines operates out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at LAX. As such, the terminal is somewhat more appealing with seemingly more shops and food options, as well as newer lounges, compared to the other terminals.
In fact, in anticipation of a surge in passenger handling numbers, the terminal underwent massive upgrading works years ago, including the construction of larger gates to accommodate the A380 aircraft.
Singapore Airlines used to operate the A380 on the route via Tokyo (Narita), but has since been operating the B777-300ER for years now. Presently, Singapore Airlines only operates one single flight from Singapore to continental United States using the A380 to New York JFK (via Frankfurt), presenting the only way to travel in Suites to the US.
The TBIT has a massive check-in area. For Singapore Airlines, the premium check-in rows were more than sufficient to handle Suites and Business Class passengers.
Following the check-in, I proceeded to the Star Alliance lounge to enjoy some light refreshments and beverages.
As many Star Alliance flights operate out of TBIT, the lounge may get a little crowded at times, but it’s not something that the lounge can’t handle.
There was a very decent selection of hot and cold foods to choose from, but I didn’t have too much to eat since there was a meal to be served on board soon after take-off.
With an almost full flight in operation that day, I decided to head to the gate a little earlier.
The boarding process commenced on time, and in a very orderly fashion, since there were clearly demarcated lines to form for the various boarding groups.
Business Class passengers were called upon to board immediately after Suites passengers. Once on board, I settled into seat 21K, and was handed a hot towel and a welcome drink.
I also had a look at the menu and decided on what to have for both meal services on this flight.
The doors were closed soon after all passengers were on board. During pushback, the safety video presentation was played on the screens while the cabin crew did their final checks before take-off.
After a short taxi, we were on our way. From my seat, I had a beautiful view of the coastline as we took off heading west towards the Pacific Ocean.
The 2006 Business Class seat is still fitted on most A380-800 aircraft in the Singapore Airlines fleet. While only the 5 new A380-800 aircraft have been fitted with the latest 2017 Business Class seats, these continue to provide extraordinary comfort and space for passengers. Of course, these seats will be progressively phased out when the airline retrofits the existing fleet with the newer 2017 seats.
Dinner service commenced soon after, starting with a tian of crabmeat with avocado and cold spicy gazpacho.
For the main course, I chose the gyuniku rosu nanbuyaki, or grilled beef with sesame sauce and spring onion, served with vegetables and rice. The beef was prepared well, and it was served juicy and tender.
To round off the meal, I had the Yuletide log cake, which I thoroughly enjoyed since it wasn’t too sweet.
As we cruised across the Pacific, I decided to get some sleep in. Some reviewers have mentioned that the seat and the converted bed on Singapore Airlines can be a little firm.
I guess it’s all a matter of personal preference when it comes to this, as I find the seats on Singapore Airlines just fine. Perhaps to address this, optional additional bedding can be provided for passengers who prefer a softer touch for a more comfortable sleep.
Business Class passengers can choose from a list of light bites should they feel hungry mid-flight. For me, I decided on some kitsune noodles with prawn and vegetables, something soupy and light, just to satisfy my hunger.
I managed to get a few more hours of sleep before the cabin lights were progressively turned on to prepare for the light meal service prior to landing.
Before food was served, I was handed a hot towel to freshen up. For this meal, I decided on the Japanese Hanakoireki option. There was sakizuke (mountain yam jelly and assorted pickles), takiawase (fried tofu with beef sauce), yakimono (grilled duck with teriyaki sauce), gohan (steamed rice with sweet potato), and tome-wan (miso soup). All the individual elements came very nicely together.
After my table was cleared, the Captain provided the latest arrival and weather information for Tokyo (Narita). Passengers travelling on the onward sector to Singapore will have to disembark and re-clear security before re-boarding. For me, it was a great opportunity to stretch my legs and visit the lounge for some light refreshments before continuing on my journey. I guess that’s why some people prefer one-stop flights over non-stop ones.