Singapore Airlines operates several daily flights between Jakarta and Singapore, and this time I decided to take the evening hop back. Flights were running on schedule and as these flights were spaced sufficiently apart, the check-in desks were almost always free from crowds. Singapore Airlines operates out of Terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
As my boarding pass was being issued, I was informed that Business Class passengers would be able to use the Plaza Premium Lounge prior to boarding, but more on that in another post.
Upon arriving at the gate for boarding, I managed to catch a glimpse of my ride to Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a range of aircraft to Jakarta, such as the B777-300, B777-300ER, and the A350-900. This flight was operated by the medium-haul A350-900 aircraft, featuring the latest medium-haul cabin products.
Boarding commenced right on schedule, where Business Class passengers together with PPS Club members were called forward for priority boarding.
Boarding lanes were clearly indicated so the entire process was very orderly, thanks to better positioned gates in the new Terminal 3, unlike my previous experience when departing out of the older Terminal 2.
I had specially requested for the bulkhead row this time for me to enjoy a little more space. The A350-900 medium-haul aircraft has 40 seats in Business Class arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. Bulkhead row seats are available right at the front in row 11 just behind doors 1 L/R, and also in row 19 behind doors 2 L/R.
These regional Business Class seats were introduced into the fleet in 2018, and are similar to those found on board the B787-10 aircraft as well. Even though all seats enjoy aisle access, the seat positions are staggered such that seats in the middle alternate between being closer (perfect for couples), or farther apart with the consoles in between (great for more privacy for solo travellers).
Of course, solo travellers should opt for the window seats for more privacy if possible.
I arrived at my seat to find a plush pillow and blanket on my seat, with noise-cancelling headphones and the menu card neatly stowed in the seat compartment. Note that even for these couple seats, the “wings” that wrap around the headrest offer adequate privacy so you’ll feel enclosed in your little cocoon.
Alternatively, you may also raise the centre divider for additional privacy.
The compartment on the console fits small items like the noise-cancelling headphones nicely, but bulkier items should go under the ottoman or in the overhead compartments. You’ll also find your charging ports for your electronic devices here.
The little knob you see is a neat hook for your noise-cancelling headphones when they’re not in use during the flight. A vanity mirror is also available to make sure you look your freshest upon arrival.
Here’s a different view of the seat. Notice the additional legroom for this bulkhead seat, where you won’t have to contend with the curve of the seatback shell of the seat in front of you. Your feet will slot nicely in the cubby as your seat is reclined, while the compartment below the ottoman can accommodate small handcarry items.
The tray table is stowed beneath the IFE screen, and when fully deployed provides a sturdy surface when dining or even when you’re working on your laptop.
The literature pocket is flush against the front console and well within reach while seated.
The coat hook is also useful for you to keep your jacket or cardigan with you, just in case it gets a little chilly during the flight.
The IFE controller can be found on the side console, and when fully stowed it lies fully recessed and won’t get in your way.
Right above it, you’ll find the touchscreen seat controls, which are very intuitive and sensitive to the touch. You’ll also find the Do Not Disturb, Attendant Call, and reading light buttons here.
Boarding was complete in time for our scheduled departure time. We were airborne after a quick taxi to the runway. Given the short flight, there was no Book the Cook available, so I had to select from the given options on the menu card during the climb out.
Dinner service commenced immediately after the seatbelt sign was switched off. I chose the wok-fried chicken with bamboo shoots and dried shrimps, served with seasonal vegetables and fried egg noodles. The dish was packed with flavour and it was nice to be able to have the gravy on the side as well.
For dessert, I had the lime cheesecake, which had just the right balance of citrus with the richness of the slice.
There wasn’t enough time to enjoy the IFE, but I would like to mention that the user interface was very responsive, and you can have full control over your IFE system within the palm of your hand.
Here’s how the seat looks like when fully reclined. Note that the armrest can be lowered to provide some additional room when you’re lying down.
Of course it wasn’t possible to maximise the use of the seat for such a short flight. However, I can safely say that Singapore Airlines is doing the right thing by introducing lie-flat seats even on its shortest flights! At least Business Class passengers know that they’ll be travelling in comfort no matter where they’re headed to within the Singapore Airlines route network.