A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER – Photo: Aero Pixels | FlickrCC
In February, 2017, I had the opportunity to fly business class on Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles to Tokyo/Narita. As luck would have it, I was on a Boeing 777 that had recently been retrofitted with Singapore’s new business class product. I took a few photos to share the experience.
In 2014, I flew on Singapore’s previous 777 business class product and wrote a review. The new seats are a big improvement.
The business class product
Check-In & LAX Star Alliance Lounge
Check-in at the Singapore Airlines ticket counter was fast and friendly. Security lines at 6:45 am were short.
After surviving the TSA, I immediately directed my attention to breakfast at the Star Alliance Lounge. Located on the 5th floor, the lounge is quite large. The area is filled with dining tables, couches, and comfortable chairs. A variety of breakfast foods were offered including a cereal bar, quiche, scrambled eggs, danish, bagels, and assorted breakfast meats (with and without pork). A nice selection of fresh fruit and cheese was also available.
Drink selections were numerous. My first stop was the espresso machine, which makes a mean latte. I had two to make sure I was ready for the 11-hour flight. No sleeping with a window seat!
For photos and a full review of the LAX Star Alliance Lounge, see the 2013 AirlineReporter post.
United’s first Boeing 777-300ER (reg N2331U) at Chicago
Last Monday, it was disorienting when my alarm went off at 3:30am. At the time, I was not sure why it was happening, but I knew that I was not a fan. That was until I snapped back into reality and remembered that I was getting up early to fly on a few airplanes. The mission of that day was to check out United’s new Polaris business class — and I was up for it! I was to start in Seattle, fly to Chicago to meet United’s first 777-300ER, then I would get to know the product flying to San Fransisco, before heading home. All in the same long day.
In the Polaris business class cabin on United’s first 777-300ER
I have read about United’s new Polaris product and seen the photos, but nothing beats putting it to the test at 40,000 feet. Was it worth getting up so early? Oh you better believe it — it was one stellar experience (okay, I will try to behave with the space puns, mostly).
Turkish Airlines economy cabin in a 777-300ER
Just recently I wrote about my business class experience from Chicago to Istanbul. After just two full days on the ground in beautiful and historic Istanbul, it was time to head home. I was still beaming from the “wow factor” I had on the nine-hour flight in, and had high hopes that I might secure a battlefield upgrade for a second time. Sadly, fate was not in my favor and I would be taking the eleven-hour transatlantic trek in the second-to-last row of an almost full 777-300ER. Bad news for me, good news for our editors, and you, our loyal readers. You want more economy class reviews? You got it!
The first thing you see when boarding a Turkish 777
Turkish Airlines is, or should be, well known amongst AvGeeks for their hospitality and commitment to passenger experience. The airline has positioned itself as a “European carrier” which might raise eyebrows to those in the West. Most would reasonably assume Turkey to be a resident of an ambiguous neighborhood we Westerners label as the “Middle East.” For what it’s worth, about half of Istanbul, including the airport, the airline’s headquarters, and various operations are indeed on the European continent. Turkey, as it turns out, is a country divided between two continents, giving real meaning to the phrase “East meets West.” The European side is separated from the majority of the country (the Asian side) by a naturally occurring strait referred to as the Bosporus.
My 777-300ER for the ride from Chicago to Istanbul
Why does all of this matter? Because it gives Turkish Airlines a competitive advantage. It’s easier to go after the European carriers than try to compete in terms of obscenely lavish passenger experience offered by the big three Middle East airlines (ME3). And, let’s be honest. When we think of European carriers, is an overwhelming commitment to passenger experience something that comes to mind? Likely not. It is no wonder then that Turkish Airlines maintains the title of Best Airline in Europe, according to Skytrax.
So how does Turkish differentiate itself from the pack? By offering reasonably priced fares bundled with excellent service and gourmet food. Gourmet food on a plane? Some might think those concepts are mutually exclusive. I beg to differ…