Singapore Airlines’ 777 Premium Economy Issues

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Earlier today I flew Singapore Airlines’ premium economy from Singapore to Hong Kong. The flight was operated by a 777-300ER, which is one of my favourite planes, and Singapore Airlines has newer products and a newer entertainment system on their 777-300ERs. Naturally I was excited for this, and after a flight on the A380 that exceeded my expectations, I was quite looking forward to the flight.

a group of seats in an airplaneSingapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy

While I didn’t necessarily have a bad flight, there were some aspects of the flight that…didn’t quite meet my expectations (which were set by the outbound, as well as the hype that Singapore Airlines gets and advertises, especially with their new 777-300ERs). The registration of our 777-300ER was 9V-SWM, though it might as well have been 9V-SMH.

I decided to put together a quick list of three things that left me speechless during the flight – any of this would probably have been fine on another airline, though it does leave me wondering if Singapore Airlines is really the cream of the airline crop.

Boarding at Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore Changi’s Terminal 3 is definitely a great airport terminal, at least in terms of the facilities it has. Up until boarding was called, I had a really great experience at the airport, and Singapore Airlines is lucky to have a hub as reputable and functional as the airline itself.

a large airport terminal with a few monitorsSingapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 Check-in

One thing about Singapore Changi is that security is held at each individual gate (which eases transit, though isn’t exactly nice if you’re planning to buy a ton at the incredible airside shops), so after security, everyone is invited into a holding pen, where you can wait for your flight. The holding pen was pleasant, and there was a variety of seating.

a group of people sitting in a waiting areaSingapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 Holding Pen

Boarding was called, and the announcer stated that boarding would be called by boarding group. However, everyone just went into the door and rushed onto the plane, and surprisingly we weren’t stopped. It felt a little bit like boarding the Star Ferry (readers from Hong Kong can relate).

I guess it was good for me because I was able to be first onboard and get decent cabin pictures, though that is not the best way to board a plane. If I was a business class passenger sitting somewhere in the middle of the holding pen, I would’ve been pretty pissed at how boarding was executed.

Singapore Airlines Ruined Their Entertainment System!

I’ve sung praises about Singapore’s A380 entertainment system, so I was expecting a lot on their 777-300ER. Unfortunately, my expectations weren’t met in the slightest – the entertainment system was laggy, and had a lot of flaws. It still had a large selection of movies, and was touchscreen, which are the two good things I can say about it.

a screen shot of a computerSingapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Entertainment Selection

Without sounding like a grump, what are some issues I can point out really quickly?

  • The screen kept lagging and restarting all the time, and also glitched a lot
  • You couldn’t pause your music – every time you paused your music and played it again, it started from the beginning of the song
  • You couldn’t add music to your playlist, or even play individual songs – you either added the entire playlist, or heard music from a “jukebox” of a big selection of music that you couldn’t choose from

For these reasons alone, I’d avoid the 777 for the A380 in premium economy anytime. Oh, did I mention that one of the two USB ports were broken beyond oblivion?

a close-up of a chargerSingapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Broken USB Port

And the remote by the side of the seat didn’t work either?

a close-up of a car radioSingapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Premium Economy Broken Remote

Sad Service

While the leading steward was very courteous on our flight (and was also the person I directed seat-regarded complaints to), everyone else just seemed disinterested on my flight. The crew’s jumpseats were in front of the front row of premium economy, so it was fun to watch their RBF while taxiing, taking off and landing.

Bottom Line

While I wouldn’t have been too surprised about these issues on any other flight, this flight left me sorely disappointed. Maybe it’s because Singapore Airlines has an amazing reputation that they can’t live up to 100% of the time, and my outbound flight was made really great by the supervisor.

I still wouldn’t hesitate to fly Singapore Airlines, but on both my flights it was made clear that they aren’t far above the rest.

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