Posted June 2, 2010 by BookingBuddy
airlines were created equal, and this becomes especially obvious after a long
haul flight. The in-flight experience can often make a difference to whether
you enjoy your dream holiday, or suffer a nightmare journey. So it goes without
saying that many passengers will have certain preferences when choosing a
So which airlines are firm favourites, and which ones haven’t
made the grade? According to Choice, an Australian consumer advice
organisation, Singapore Airlines has topped the polls as most people’s
favourite airline to fly with. The survey asked 9000 Choice members to rate the
airlines on a number of factors, including in-flight service, food quality,
comfort, and the check-in process.
On the other end of the scale was British Airways, which came
in behind Emirates and Japan Airlines. Australian carrier Qantas also did
poorly, with those surveyed criticising it for its lack of in-flight service.
Posted November 6, 2008 by BookingBuddy
They may have been the first off the blocks with the Airbus A380s a year ago, but these days, Singapore Airlines are facing some rather formidable opponents. Both Emirates and Qantas have recently also taken delivery of their first few A380s, and offer some fairly attractive features as well, especially in their business- and first-class cabins.
However, Singapore Airlines are still confident that they have a lead over their competitors. After all, they now have six of the giant airplanes to themselves for over a year, while Qantas have only just got their hands on the supersized machines. On top of that, the ‘roo-emblazoned carrier’s A380 services have only just started in October, with a route that takes them between Melbourne and Los Angeles. SIA is likely to start feeling the heat only in January, when Qantas start flying their A380s between Sydney and London via Singapore.
Emirates are even slower to start their A380 service, with the first of the giants only taking off in February 2009. However, Emirates might have an edge over the other two companies, as they have announced that they will not be charging a premium for seats on their services.
Will extra features such as private cabins and showers matter, or is price all you’re concerned with? When all three companies start running their A380 service at the same time, it’s likely that passengers will benefit from the competition, as each company tries to outdo each other. So, who will you opt for when you’re travelling on the A380?
(Photo: Singapore Airlines)
Posted October 28, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Have you ever wondered what job options are open to celebrities who aren’t getting too much exposure in Hello magazine these days? Well, they usually pop back up on reality TV. Sometimes they learn to dance, sometimes they go into rehab, and sometimes, they try to become cabin crew on an airplane. But what happens when even reality TV rejects them?
Well, I guess some of them get hired for ‘meet-and-greet’ duties at airports. Singapore’s Changi Airport—perhaps in an effort to wrestle the title of world’s best airport back from the clutches of Hong Kong’s international airport—has hired celebrities to welcome passengers to Singapore.
And when I say celebrities, I don’t mean any old local superstar. No, Changi has spared no expense, and gone out of their way to hire international celebrities, of the calibre of ... Tommy Lee. Of Motley Crue fame, previously. But more likely to be remembered these days as the ex Mr Pamela Anderson, and co-star of that video (come on, do I need to explain? As if you haven’t seen it ... ). Whether weary passengers stumbling off a long-haul Singapore Airlines flight want to shake hands and have their photographs taken with a pierced, tattooed, rock star waving devil horns in your face is another matter.
However, if the idea of being greeted by a heavy metal drummer doesn’t necessarily appeal to you, you can always choose to be serenaded by the soft rock powerhouse Air Supply. Or even have the Backstreet Boys (who must surely be men by now) celebrate your arrival by performing a synchronised dance move.
Nice to know there’s now somewhere for aging musicians to retire to besides the bargain bin of your local music store.
(Photo: Al Schultz Talent)
Posted August 19, 2008 by BookingBuddy
As reported a few months back, the ever-innovative Singapore Airlines have raised the comfort levels for participants in the mile-high club by introducing double-bedded private cabins aboard some of their new A380s. Now, with competition coming from all angles, perhaps the company should go the whole hog and get some Mile High Beds.
Constructed from two DC-9 rear stabilizers and a C-130 inner flap, these beds allow people to be in a plane without being 10 000 feet in the air. Perfect for those with a fear of flying, yet who still wish to join the mile high club. That, and a copy of Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Flying Without Fear’ book, and they’re all set.
Space and weight constraints, however, probably prevent Singapore Airlines or any of their competitors from installing these babies in their aircraft, though. Unless the carrier decides to get rid of all those other seats back in cattle—oops, I meant economy—class, potential members of the mile high club will still have to risk getting their feet stuck in the toilet while getting their, erm, highs. That, or buy one of these beds for their own homes.
Posted June 12, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Those go-getters at Singapore Airlines—never ones to lag behind when it comes to being the first in something—have gone and launched an all-business-class service for the lucky passengers flying from Singapore to New York.
All very well and good, I guess, but what about the sense of exclusivity and entitlement that comes with being a business-class passenger? I always thought part of the fun of getting a seat up front was that you got to sneer at all the plebs you’ve left behind you, all cramped up like cattle, eating dried-up in-flight food and drinking plonk from a box.
So when you board a flight that’s all business class, it's essentially as ‘special’ as getting a cheapo Ryanair seat. After all, everyone on the plane gets the same standard of service, and won't get to feel superior to the huddled masses in steerage. Now where’s the fun in that?
(Photo: Singapore Airlines)
Posted May 29, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Singapore Airlines has added another ‘first’ to its list—this time by letting business-class customers on flights between Singapore and New York plug their iPods into the in-flight entertainment system, thus allowing them to watch their own choice of movies or listen to their own music.
However, given that an iPod is itself already a personal entertainment system (in-flight or not), this service seems a tad unnecessary. If any airline re-design teams are reading this, these are what I would really like to be added onto my flight instead:
- Cry-rooms for babies: Back in the days when I was a law-abiding, God-fearing citizen, I used to go to church with my parents. In these churches, there was a certain room set apart for parents with young babies, so they could listen to the sermons without the cries of their little dears disturbing anyone else’s worship. While babies are supposedly cute and cuddly, they also make quite a racket, and it’s not always the most welcome thing when you’re sitting in a metal container 10 000 feet in the air, especially if you’re going to be listening to that noise for the next 18 hours.
- Decent pillows: And I mean properly sized ones, not the four-inch squares of padded cotton we get on most flights. I want big, lush downy pillows to sink into for my long-haul trip, not a tiny wad of stuffing that leaves my neck at a semi-permanent 90-degree angle if I so much as attempt to lay my head on it.
- No more James Blunt on the in-flight entertainment system. Keep him on your own iPod, please.
(Photo: Singapore Airlines)
Posted April 29, 2008 by BookingBuddy
Bringing us a whole new spin on the good ol’ "mile-high club" idea is ever-generous Singapore Airlines, which has introduced private suites with double beds in some of its cabins.
However, before some of us (yes, they’re keeping an eye on you, Ralph Fiennes) get too excited about the inherent possibilities, a spokesprude for the airlines has already wagged a stern finger and warned the frisky ones that "If couples used our double beds to engage in inappropriate activity, we would politely ask them to desist."
So, hold on a minute. The airlines is offering double beds, in private suites, with closed doors. And then asking people not to do what comes naturally in such a situation. I’m guessing this might be a little tougher to stop than Singapore wishes, seeing as most people have been content to "engage in inappropriate activity" in cramped, awkward cells (also known as airplane lavatories) for however long plane travel has been popular.
I’m not holding out much hope of stopping anything ... so when the plane’s a-rocking, I won’t come a-knocking on any closed doors. Find cheap flights to Singapore or should that be 'Sin'apore... :)
Posted April 3, 2008 by Andrew Wong
Thin is in, and one needs only to look at Kate Moss to see how true this still is. Which makes it all the more amazing that the plane with the most buzz is so tubby. Yes, the Airbus A380 with its passenger capacity of up to 853, finally had its inaugural waddle, er…flight, into London Heathrow last month. After all these years of scepticism about whether this massive bird would fly, it was finally before my eyes.
Of course my colleague Jaklien and I challenged each other to see who the best plane spotter was (hey, it's a legitimate hobby!) in preparation for the A380 to arrive from Singapore. “Virgin 340-600!” I called. Jaklien wasn’t sure but then spotted a British Airways A320, not as exciting as a bigger plane but I gave him 10 points nonetheless. Sure enough, there was a constant stream of aircraft seemingly coming from all directions and altitudes to join up on the flight path to Heathrow. But these were just boring old planes. We wanted the mother ship.
It almost seemed like an eternity standing at the end of the hall peering out of the window. Office workers coming from the elevators must have thought we were mad and/or unemployed. Finally, just before we thought we had missed it, the giant turkey that is the A380 swooped past our building in the West End and made a sharp but graceful turn to fly in the direction of Heathrow. “Thick” was the word that came to mind, as you could see two rows or windows and extra large lettering for the Singapore logo. People passing by us in the hall stopped to watch as well and you could hear the collective ‘ooughs’ and ‘aaaah’s even from non-airline nerds such as Jaklien and I.
The plane remained in eye shot for a good 30 seconds before it disappeared into the distance. We could spot the gear coming down as it was probably on its final approach to Heathrow and then it was gone. History made! Nerds win!