Flight Review – Singapore Airlines SQ861: Hong Kong to Singapore by Airbus A380-800 (Version 3 – with new A380 cabin products)

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Singapore Airlines SQ861 is one of seven daily flights from Hong Kong to Singapore, departing at 3.45pm. On top of the convenient flight timing, I picked SQ861 because it was using the Airbus A380-800. Despite having flown since 2005 and the first-ever Airbus A380 having been scrapped already, this was actually going to be my first time flying on the super jumbo, which is one of the motivations for me to continue my plan to fly to Hong Kong anyway.

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Heading up the travellator to the departure check-in hall from the elevator.

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No passengers are walking down from the departure driveway as almost entrances are closed.

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A replica of an early Wright Brothers flyer “flying” above the arrival hall.

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Heading to Row D to check in for my Singapore Airlines flight.

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Thankfully, there was no one in the queue for check-in, as I was running slightly late. As I had already done an online check-in, the process here was quick and simple.

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My boarding pass for my Singapore Airlines SQ861 flight from Hong Kong to Singapore.

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My baggage tags were provided on a separate baggage check receipt.

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Heading for departure immigration, barely an hour after using arrival immigration from Macau.

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Immigration and security was fuss-free too, thanks to the e-Channel Services for Visitors.

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Double-checking my flight details on the departure screen.

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Yup, still at Gate 5.

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Gate 5 is located on the North Concourse.

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Heading on to Gate 5.

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Spotting my aircraft at a small lane behind the duty free shops. 9V-SKV will be taking me on my very first Airbus A380 flight and back to Singapore.

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Spotting the bi-directional North Satellite Concourse shuttle bus with two driving cabs from this unintentional viewing area.

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Cathay Dragon Airbus A320s at the North Satellite Concourse in both current and old Dragonair liveries.

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The North Satellite Concourse shuttle bus dedicated shortcut lane across the tarmac.

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Heading on to Gate 5, passing by the SilverKris Lounge. So that’s why Singapore Airlines flights are always parked at the North Concourse.

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Passengers on my flight waiting at Gate 5. Looks like a full flight to Singapore.

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The boarding information as posted at Gate 5.

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9V-SKV as seen from Gate 5.

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As I was seated in the Forward Zone, I was the last to be called to board. Not that it matters since I prefer to be last to board on a longer flight anyway.

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Heading down the aerobridge to board my first Airbus A380 flight in my life.

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Heading to the Economy Class aerobridge.

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Due to the size of the whale plane, Economy Class passengers are also directed to use the Premium Economy entrance, based on their seat suffix.

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Heading down the regular Economy Class aerobridge as I was in Seat 47D.

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Despite being such a huge plane, the queue of backlogged passengers from the entrance door was surprisingly shorter than I had expected.

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Picking up a set of earphones for the flight. Newspapers are also available, but clearly not as popular as before considering how much leftover there is when I’m one of the last ones to board.

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Heading into the Economy Class cabin.

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And… My Forward Zone seat is just here. A pillow and blanket has already been laid out on my seat.

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The excellent legroom on board the Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800 (Version 3 – with new A380 cabin products). This is the same seat product as the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner which I flew on from Bangkok, but this is in a 3-4-3 configuration due to the wide fuselage.

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The myKrisWorld welcome screen of the IFE which allows for a personalised inflight entertainment experience including personal recommendations and bookmarking your show to continue watching in on your next flight.

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All control buttons are located on the left side of the seat back. A USB charging socket is also available to charge your phone and to link it to myKrisWorld.

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The highlight movies loaded on the KrisWorld IFE.

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Launching the in-flight route map.

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The estimated flight path from Hong Kong to Singapore.

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Once everyone was on board, the hotel towel service commenced.

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The usual safety video being played during pushback.

Watch the Singapore Airlines safety video here:

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The cabin lights were changed to a daytime shade after the safety video for take-off.

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Menu books were distributed to all passengers.

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The Western option on this flight is the Seared Chicken in Herb Jus (yum) and the Asian option is the Deep Fried Pork with Mandarin Peel Sauce (why is it sweet and salty). I think I know what I’m having.

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The beverage menu on the next page, along with the Brunch menu, probably used on the earlier outbound flight. Drinks on offer include red wine, white wine, Singapore Sling (and other cocktails), Whisky, Cognac, Gin, Vodka, Liquers, Beer, soft drinks, juices, coffee and teas.

I wonder if by “other cocktails”, are Economy Class passengers allowed to order from the more premium Business Class cocktail menu if they are in the know? Hmm…

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As it was a strange take-off timing too early for dinner, a round of drinks were served first, along with a packet of Peas and Crackers. I opted for a simple apple juice despite the many beverage options on offer on the trolley. Sorry I didn’t try ordering from the Business Class menu.

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After about an hour, dinner was served.

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No surprises that I opted for the Western Seared Chicken in Herb Jus option. The meal comes with a side of Shrimp with Cucumber Yoghurt Salad, a bread roll and butter, and a pre-cupped Spritzer all the way from Taiping, Malaysia. This means that Singapore Airlines most likely orders fresh Hong Kong meals from Cathay Pacific Catering Services rather than bringing in meals from Singapore, which is absolutely fantastic.

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The Seared Chicken in Herb Jus was excellent, with the chicken cut in nice bite-sized pieces so that I didn’t need to use the knife at all. The mashed garlic potatoes were also sufficiently creamy with just a very small hint of dryness associated with airplane food (but that’s pretty understandable). Vegetables were soft too.

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After the meal, Häagen-Dazs Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream were distributed. Yup, definitely Cathay Pacific catering then, since it would have been the annoying SATS one if it’s from Singapore.

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Heading to check out the toilet after my meal. Interestingly, the toilet uses two colour shades of white and brown, rather than the usual all-white.

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The big sink in the A380 toilet.

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The mirror comes with Hollywood-like spotlights to shine on you in case you would like to put on some make-up.

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No make up? No problem, at least there’s some cologne and moisturiser available. (The mouthwash is provided beside the sink.)

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Checking out the amenities drawers. Toothbrush kits are readily available.

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Combs, not so.

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Heading back with a dimmed cabin for those who would like a quick nap.

Announcements were made before descending that the flight will arrive at Changi Airport Terminal 3. Arrival terminals are generally only confirmed 2 hours before landing, although sometimes it is 80% predictable based on the aircraft type.

The plane landed at Changi Airport at 7.29pm – 6 minutes early.

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Heading out through the Premium Economy section at the front of the aircraft.

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The staircase to the upper deck where New A380 Suites and New A380 Business Class are located, though this is not generally used by passengers since the Airbus A380 had 3 aerobridges so each deck disembarks using their own.

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Disembarking from the Premium Economy aerobridge.

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Thank you 9V-SKV for my first Airbus A380 flight.

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Heading out of the gate, skirting around the centralised gate hold room.

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Heading down to arrival immigration.

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The empty immigration queues at Terminal 3 as usual. I guess most passengers were just transiting through Singapore.

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Heading to the baggage reclaim area after immigration.

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Baggage for my flight were going to be unloaded at Belt 47. As I was parked close to immigration, with a forward Zone seat, and with empty immigration, I had to wait about 5 minutes for my bag.

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Heading out through Customs.

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Heading straight to the MRT station to catch the train back home.

Overall, a rather pleasant flight on board Singapore Airlines as usual. The Airbus A380 definitely felt big and a bit more spacious, but it could also be due to the fact that the seat beside mine was empty. The 10-abreast seating configuration did not feel as crammed as I thought it might have been. The boarding and disembarking speed was also pretty quick, though this perception may also be warped by my Forward Zone seat.

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