If the business class cabin of the Singapore Airlines 737Max is very nice, the service on board is disappointing even for such a short flight.
My flight from Copenhagen arrived late and I only had 10 minutes before boarding for Kuala Lumpur. Fortunately the two gates were very close so I wasn’t worried at all. However, I had the feeling that I had inherited the role of the black cat and that once again this year, and especially for the second time in 48 hours, my luggage was not going to arrive at its destination at the same time as me. Anyway, I trust Singapore Airlines to handle this if it happens and think instead of this Boeing 737 Max that I’m about to discover.
My departure gate was a few dozen meters from my arrival gate, a real chance because in Singapore you can have to walk a lot. So the 10 minutes before boarding were more than enough, especially with the help of the travelators.
The only problem is that in Singapore the security checks are done before entering the boarding lounge but once you are in the queue you will be waited. Moreover, I am far from being the last one.
However, only one checkpoint is open out of the two available so it will take an unnecessary amount of time but nothing serious.
The boarding starts while I’m still in the security line so I’ll go directly from the controls to the plane without having to wait in the lounge. It is a blessing in disguise.
I take the opportunity to take a picture of our 737MAX.
Considering the context, it’s a bit clogged at the gate but after a minute I’ll be in the cabin.
The business class cabin of the Singapore Airlines 737Max
The reason why I was eager to fly is that Singapore Airlines is one of the few airlines to have a specific business class cabin on its single-aisle medium-haul aircraft. Of course there are medium-haul aircraft operated by twin-aisle aircraft that have a long-haul business class cabin (like this B787 on Singapore-Bali or this A350 on Singapore-Kuala Lumpur), single-aisle long-haul aircraft (like this A321 TAP between Lisbon and Boston) but on single-aisle medium-haul aircraft except for Turkish Airlines (here on Istanbul-Gothenburg in a B737) I don’t have another example that comes to mind.
And here is the cabin of this 737.
The rows in a 2-2 configuration alternate with those in a 1-1 configuration where there is a throne seat on each side of the aisle. Unfortunately I could not reserve such a seat, they were already taken.
The legroom is very comfortable and the screen is a good size. It is touch-sensitive unlike the one on the A350 that I just took.
The seat controls are simple.
We have a reading light at our disposal.
A very nice cabin to which I will perhaps make only one reproach: the lack of width at the level of the elbows. But considering the duration of the flight it is anecdotal.
The flight and the service
During the boarding a welcome drink (non alcoholic) is offered to us: apple or orange juice. The order is also taken for the meal served in flight: considering the duration of the flight as much not to waste time. You can choose between foccaccia with vegetables or chicken. I’ll have the chicken.
Meanwhile I look out the window and see the A350 that brought me from Copenhagen.
But I’m under no illusion: unless there is a board to board transfer for short connecting bags, I don’t think I’ll have any chance of finding mine on the carousel in Kuala Lumpur.
We leave on time and take off for this hop.
The plane makes a loop over the airport to leave in the direction of Malaysia, which allows me to take some views of the Singapore Changi airport and the cargo ships waiting at the port.
Le service commence rapidement. Even for such a short flight they put a tablecloth, it’s good. On the other hand the dish is really disappointing.
It is basic and has almost no taste. So of course on a 40 minutes flight it doesn’t matter too much and you will say that I am picky. Mais déjà j’ai noté le même style de remarques négatives de la part de plusieurs passagers qui avaient pris un vol court intra-européen en 5th freedom on Singapore Airlines, and moreover you will see that 24 hours later on a domestic flight of the same or even shorter duration, Malaysia Airlines will offer something much more interesting.
I don’t have time to meditate too much on the subject, our descent begins.
What can I say about such a short flight? Efficient.
Landing and arrival
We arrive safely in Kuala Lumpur and after a very short drive we are at our parking gate.
I head to immigration and the queue is long. On the other hand, I will be alone in the priority line dedicated to business class and whose signage is very unclear as to who can use it. I tried, I passed.
As soon as we arrived at the carousel the luggage of our flight started to arrive but at the same time I received an e-mail.
This time I won’t say that I didn’t expect it. After the lamentable episode with TAP in spring and especially the delayed suitcase the day before on my Frankfurt-Gothenburg flight, here is my 2nd baggage delay of the year, the 2nd in 48h.
The first one resulted in the theft of my luggage under the responsibility of TAP, a flight that the airline still refuses to compensate.
The second incident was remarkably managed by Lufthansa and the SAS handler even if I only got my luggage back the next day.
What will happen this time?
Following the instructions I go to the baggage incident office, fill out a form and they confirm that my suitcase will be delivered to my hotel around 3:00 pm. So I will wait at my hotel.
At the scheduled time the next Singapore Airlines flight brings it to Kuala Lumpur. This is confirmed by my airtag.
3:00pm it did not move from the airport. 4:00 pm either. 5:00 pm either. And yet the online status says “delivery in progress”. It starts to irritate me especially since it’s been 2 days that I could not change because of the first delay and the next morning I leave for Langkawi and I do not want to meet my suitcase on the road.
While having a drink at the hotel bar I check again…and let out a curse when I see that nothing is moving. A gentleman who was talking to the bartender asked me if I had a problem and if he could help me. It is the concierge of the hotel. I explain to him and add that I have called several times to the phone number given to me and nobody answers. He invites me to follow him.
He tells me that he has “better” phone numbers and that this is the kind of situation he deals with daily. He calls, raises the tone a little, says to them that one sees well that the luggage did not move contrary to what they say and that if the hotel must send a car to seek it they will do it.
Strangely enough, after about ten minutes, the luggage finally starts to move. It will still take some time to get to the hotel because they had to deal with many on the same tour but at 9:30 pm it is finally delivered. It’s Saturday night, I haven’t changed since Thursday morning but I can see the end of the tunnel.
This concierge was, as you will see, probably the only positive point of my stay in this Ritz Carlton really not up to par.
A very pleasant cabin for a single-aisle aircraft but a service below expectations.
The delay of the luggage was inevitable and it was very well managed by Singapore Airlines who, like Lufthansa the day before, proactively alerted me and did their job. Then there is just the baggage service in Kuala Lumpur which took a bit of time and certainly had many suitcases to deal with and I would not have been too moved if it was not the second delay in a row and if I did not leave the next morning.
Good flight and well managed incident.