Singapore Airlines operates out of Terminal 3 of Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the newest and largest terminal in the NAIA complex. The ride to the airport was rather smooth from the city, but when approaching the terminal building, it felt slightly chaotic with a strange jam upon entering the terminal driveway.
I suppose this might be the reason. Only passengers are allowed into the terminal building. So everyone else had to say their goodbyes from their cars or on the driveway itself.
To enter the terminal, I needed to show my flight itinerary for a current departure. The security personnel was not interested in my mobile itinerary or boarding pass too, so it was a bit of a fumble just before entering the building while retrieving my A4 itinerary printout from my carry on bag.
Once satisfied, I kept my itinerary printout (ugh.) to go through the first security screening right there and then for my bags and myself.
Singapore Airlines’ check-in row at NAIA Terminal 3 is at Row B (1-15).
There was a bit of a line at the Economy Class counters.
However, since I did my online check-in the night before, I was up next in the line for the two dedicated internet check-in counters. Thankfully, check-in was smooth as usual, without the need for an itinerary printout.
My boarding pass for my Singapore Airlines SQ917 flight back to Singapore.
Once done, head over to the immigration counters to get stamped out of the Philippines, and get security-screened for a second time.
I arrived at the airport slightly earlier to gear myself out for the
chaos queues that I was informed of, but it was surprisingly a lot smoother than I expected. (Either that or my expectations were lowered to almost zero.)
I spent about 3 minutes walking through the shops of NAIA Terminal 3, and I was done – that was all to walk around about.
Since I wasn’t banking on SQ’s really late lunch/really early dinner to get me through the afternoon considering how the breakfast on the flight to Manila turned out, I had a bowl of ramen at one of the food outlets in the transit area while waiting for my flight. Not the best, but still comparable to typical food courts in Singapore.
Once done, I headed to Gate 113, just behind the ramen place. Boarding passes are checked before entering the gate hold room (?).
What’s left of my boarding pass after the ground staff took the big portion of it.
My plane, hiding behind the aerobridge.
As I was seated in the Forward Zone, I was one of the last passengers to board the plane.
Despite being one of the last to board, the ground staff still checked for the boarding group written on the boarding pass.
Another quick check here by a roving staff and it’s off to finally head on the plane.
Total number of boarding pass checks at the gate: 3
Heading down to the aerobridge.
9V-SYI on duty to take me home.
Once again, earpieces were free to take just before boarding the aircraft. Seems like there was a raid on all the newspapers though, but not that I was interested in reading a copy anyway.
Passing through the Business Class section of the Boeing 777-300.
Once the doors were armed, the cabin crew commenced their Oshibori (hot towel) service. In tandem, the pilot announced that there would be a delay due to the Singapore Airshow – we would sit around at the gate in Manila for a little while more as even if we took off, we would still be flying around Singapore for quite a while as there would be a long queue of planes waiting to land.
Deja vu feeling of my flight back from Penang on Scoot. Oh well, at least I have entertainment while waiting this time.
The Economy Class legroom on the Boeing 777-300, similar to the Boeing 777-200.
The space available in front of me.
The view out of the window from the aisle seat.
Once the seatbelt signs were off, the crew started preparing for lunch. I chose the Beef Stroganoff over the other Asian option (which I forgot what it was).
I wasn’t super hungry since I had my ramen before the flight at NAIA, but this was actually quite good. There were 4 tender and meaty chunks of beef with double the amount of potatoes as compared to the breakfast from Singapore. I didn’t have much of the cold mango salad though.
Once the meal was done, the cabin crew came around with rock-hard Cornetto Cookies and Dream ice cream cones. No typos there, check this out:
That’s right, my Cornetto would have costed 20 pesos (~S$0.51) if I purchased it myself on the ground in the Philippines. What happened to Häagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s?
A quick toilet visit on the Boeing 777-300. The toothbrushes and combs are found in the amenities drawer.
I opted for a Singapore Sling just before the captain announced that we were going to be slightly delayed for arrival as there was still a queue of planes before us.
Thank you, Singapore Airshow. 🙄
Arrived at Terminal 3* Gate A12, the dilemma gate where walking all the way to arrival immigration would take around the same time as walking back to the Skytrain station for Gates A16 to A21 and then getting the Skytrain over to arrival immigration.
*While Singapore Airlines operates from Changi Airport Terminals 2 and 3 depending on the destination, for arriving flights, the arrival terminal will only be confirmed about 1 to 2 hours before the actual arrival.
I chose to walk. Sigh.
A quick check on Flightradar24 while waiting for my bags showed that my plane was on hold above Bintan while waiting to land.
Thank you, Singapore Airshow. 🙄
Just like my previous flight from Jakarta, there was a strange long wait at the belt for my bags too, despite the long trek from the gate to arrival immigration. Not sure what’s happening to Changi Airport lately. Perhaps flying budget with just a 7kg carry-on is the way to go since you don’t have to wait for your bags?
Overall, this flight was better than my onward flight with a nice meal which lasted me as my dinner and great service by the cabin crew, especially when requesting for the Singapore Sling after all the trays were cleared and everyone else’s tables stowed. However, the seats on the Boeing 777 were not as comfortable as the A350, and with a full flight with 3 crying babies around me (with one particular set of parents not doing anything but just staring at their kid while he was crying), it wasn’t the most pleasant flight out there. Not forgetting the delays thanks to the Singapore Airshow. Nevertheless, I was glad to be on SQ since it made the delays and the unpleasantness around me a little bit more bearable with me zoning out into my own world with the IFE and a comfortable bit of legroom around.