Is this a dream? Is this finally happening? I was literally in a daze as I walked towards the humongous A380. The last thing I remembered was being called by my last name even before stepping foot onto the plane. Mr Khoo! The flight attendant said enthusiastically. So glad to have you flying with us today, as he excitedly walked us on board and ushered us to our seats, or more like my tiny apartment which I would call home for the next 10 hours.
The clicking of my camera came instantaneously the moment we sat down. One of the crew was attentive enough to figure out we were failing at trying to capture our own selfies, so he offered to snap one of us. Thank you Adrian !
He soon came by to ask us for our choice of beverage, I finally snapped back to reality and came to terms that this was not a drill, it’s happening. I smiled sheepishly at him, and before I could say anything he insisted we have champagne. I mean, who am I to say no to that? Bring it on. He came back with 2 bottles in his hands. Mr Khoo, would you prefer the Dom Pérignon or the Krug? Can I try both? I blurted out. Certainly, my pleasure. With that, a guzzling sound filled the cabin as he poured liquid gold generously into the glasses, and even laid the bottles down next to me when he noticed I was shyly raising my camera to get a shot of it.
When he left, I knew my mission was to inspect every nook and cranny of the cabin to make sure I didn’t miss out on anything. It was my first time in Suites after all, and also my very first flight onboard an Airbus A380.
The seat itself was HUGE! I could easily sit comfortably with my backpack placed next to me, as I tried to stretch my feet to the end of the wall in front I could barely reach it. The missing overhead compartment bins further enhanced the surrounding spaciousness of the cabin. As I just looked around in admiration I started to fidget with the seat controls, sliding forwards & backwards till the large IFE screen in front distracted me next. A whopping 23 inch LCD screen that also came with Bose noise cancelling headphones. Sweet !
The leading stewardess Zarina then came by to introduce herself, and to also distribute our amenity kits & pyjamas. Presents for me? A fancy Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit? Is it Christmas already? Never have I felt so pampered on a flight before, and we haven’t even started flying yet. Menus were soon distributed as the crew made preparations for push back. While flipping through the menu I realised that a 6 course dinner will soon be served shortly upon take off. Holy hell, why did I inhale so much food at the lounge prior to this? Greed, I blame greed. After making a mental note on what to order, it was now time to sit back, relax and enjoy the smooth take off into the skies.
Zarina came back with a bowl of warm nuts and some sparkling water right after the seat belt sign was switched off. She caught me in the midst of rummaging through the amenity kit, drawing out items with a child like smile on my face with each discovery. Safe to say I think she was more amused with my reaction, vs. how amused I was over the tiny gifts in the bag. She then chuckled and handed us our socks, soft slippers & an eye mask. More gifts?! Thank you kind lady, I shall cherish them. For now, it’s time to devour these little warm snacks.
What would you gentleman like to have tonight? she asked. After taking notes on our orders, she smiled and retreated back to the galley. After 20 minutes or so, the performance started to take place. The table was set, fresh linens to lace the table with, shiny silverware and fine bone chinaware shimmered in the light. With a short description of the meal at hand, she placed it in front of us and wished us bon appétit.
Our first dish, caviar to start with. I suppose a little bit of everything and a generous dollop of caviar to go with the toast. A sense of confusion and satisfaction came over me as those little beads rolled across my tongue popping with each crunch i took. Right after cleaning up the plate a little voice in my head cried out “please sir, I want some more”.
Next up, the soup course. It wasn’t exactly how I imagined it would taste, but it’s something I doubt I would ever order again. To be fair, I probably should have kept on reading the description of the dish on the menu before being swayed just by the mention of ‘cream soup’.
After barely finishing up my soup, she came back and asked if we would like to have the salad course. It sounded quite good, but to be honest I was almost full from the bread, caviar & soup. Could we please just get our main course instead? Certainly.
Now, this was the legendary dish that has been flaunted around for years. Boasted on many review websites about how wonderful it was if cooked properly. The Boston lobster thermidor. This dish is available through the ‘Book The Cook‘ service that Singapore Airlines offers for passengers on Business/First class flights. Before Zarina placed the meal in front of me she uttered “your lobster is ready, but I have to warn you, it is rather large”. Holy moly, it was like a baby shark on my plate, it was massive. I couldn’t stop smiling, and greedily anticipated how it would taste it. It did not disappoint in the least bit. Completely flavourful, cooked to perfection, succulent, fragrant, I could go on, but first let me wipe off the pool of drool on my keyboard as I stare at the picture one more time.
Right after having a feast fit for the gods, the next move was to obviously slump and melt into the chair, and recline into a more comfortable position. Within a moments notice, Zarina came back to clear the plates and tried to offer us dessert. I declined all offers of food after having such a heavy meal, but she insisted we try the 2 desserts they had already had prepared for us. She tried to sway us into saying yes, by mentioning how petite and tiny the sweets were. I caved in at the mention of tart with a side of ice cream. 2 of each coming right up she proclaimed. They were neither petite, nor were they tiny when she placed both plates down in front of us. I was tricked.
I think I’ve gained about 3 pounds since getting on board the aircraft. Not complaining, but we really do need a break from all the food. Zarina came with a smile and offered us a cheese platter. As lovely as she was in trying to fatten us up, I had to firmly decline. We couldn’t physically fit anymore food inside. At least we managed to inhale 4 out of the 6 courses that was offered. It was no easy feat. Instead I countered her offer of cheese with a cup of coffee. Would you like to sample our Jamaican blue mountain Mr Khoo? It’s the best we have. Why YES please !
Soon Adrian started walking around the cabin with a fruit basket offering everyone on what I presume would be the FINAL meal of the evening. Couldn’t help myself when I saw my favourite rock melon being offered.
It was time to finally get settled into bed. Zarina noticed me standing up and swiftly came to inquire if I would like the bed made. I’m pretty sure at that point, it was safe to assume that she was also telepathic. The level of attentiveness that the crew had was just astounding. She offered to check if the lavatory was vacant, when she saw me holding my pyjamas. Mr Khoo, let me make your bed for you while you get changed into something more comfortable. She escorted me to the lavatory, and closed the door. This is what it must feel like to be the Queen of England. After slipping into the pyjamas I came out to find Zarina putting the final touches on my bed, which she magically pulled out from the wall, something like a murphy bed of sorts. As she smoothen out the creases on the sheets, she turned around and said “have a good rest Mr Khoo, see you for breakfast”. I was lost for words looking at my bed. Finally I get to experience what sleeping on a real mattress is like, while cruising 35 thousand feet up in the skies.
The doors were shut, the window blinds pulled down, and the lights were switched off. As I lay in bed, the big silly grin on my face came back. I’ll be sleeping very comfortably for the next few hours I said to myself.
The next thing I remembered was light a knocking on the door, with someone saying “Mr Khoo, Mr Khoo, it’s time for breakfast”. I lifted up my eye mask and groggily answered with a husky voice “come in”. Zarina was standing at the doors, with a hot steaming face towel held in front of my face. “Slept well Mr Khoo? ready for breakfast?”
What time was it? It felt as though I’ve just eaten a while ago. Fair enough, the slumber only lasted for about 5 hours after checking the time. I smiled back and uttered “sure breakfast sounds great”. She then opened the windows to let in some morning light, as I marched to the bathroom to freshen up. Noticing the seat by the window was empty, I quickly asked would it be alright if we dined by the window instead? “Certainly Mr Khoo, let me set the table, coffee to start with?” Yes please !
Without even asking for my preference for coffee, she had already remembered how i take it. Hot, with a dash of milk, and no sugar. Seriously? I’m grateful they make the experience so seamless and effortless, but what I really wanted to ask her was how did her hair stay in place for that long without even a strand out of place.
We had selected our breakfasts online as well, once again through the ‘Book The Cook‘ service. The Kyo-kaiseki, which was a traditional multi course Japanese meal. After confirming our orders, I made a request if we could start the meal with some pastries and fruit before starting on our Japanese breakfasts. She came back with a basket of hot pastries and my eyes lit up like an anime puppy. Croissant ? yes ! Raisin danish? YES ! Would you like some butter & jam to go with that? Only if you insist !
Served on beautiful stone bowl, she placed our appetisers in front of us. A bowl of simmered vegetables, with some radish, simmered white bait and yuzu sauce. On the side with some beef rolls with a green mochi like cube. Cleared this up in about under 10 minutes, it was so yummy. Couldn’t wait for what was to come next for our mains.
Our mains consisted of many individual tiny dishes, I was quite glad that it was not humongous like dinner service was. I suppose the only logical way was to eat from left to right. Vibrant colours throughout each bowl, highlighting the ingredients of the season, in this case, autumn.
Someone even came by to make up our beds while we were busy stuffing our faces with grilled salmon, talk about attentive service! 5 stars!
The captain soon made an announcement that we would be reaching Auckland in under an hour. A part of me felt a little sad that our adventure in the skies was about to come to an end, but the other part of me felt so excited that we would soon be in New Zealand! Zarina came by to offer to turn our beds back into seats while we get changed our of our pyjamas. She opened the closet and handed us our clothes, yes, each suite even comes with its own individual closet for storing clothes ands shoes.
A plate of pralines and chocolates with assorted memorabilia was next to my seat when I came back from the lavatory. I’m guessing Zarina had something to do with this. That woman is seriously making this flight such a highlight of my holiday. Singapore Airlines branded stationary, playing cards, soft toy mascots and even a hand written note from the entire crew who took such good care of us. I am not getting off this plane.
As we started our descend into Auckland, i decided to grab a window seat. I just had to get a look outside, i’ve never been to New Zealand before. The view was pretty much what would you see on posters depicting the natural wonders of the country. It was beautiful ! Gandalf, is that you down there?
As the aircraft landed with a light thud, we were finally here. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Auckland, New Zealand. Thank you for flying with Singapore Airlines. Flight SQ 285 could not have been more awesome. The crew were nothing short of stellar.
A big thank you to Adrian, Shanker, Zarina & Kadir for taking such good care of us. This would probably go down as the best flight of my life! Everything was just perfect. They even insisted they get a shot of just us two on the grand staircase. Sure ! I’ll gladly accept your kind gesture.
With that the crew bid us farewell and wished us a pleasant journey. I left with the aircraft with such a heavy heart as I walked down the aerobridge, everything just felt so magical on board. Alas, all good things have to come to an end. With that i asked myself again, how do i go back to economy?