A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER taxis for departure at Sydney – Photo: Rory Delaney
It has been over eight years since my last Singapore AirlinesÂ (SQ) flight. I have always had a great fondness for SQ; after all, it was the first airline I traveled on internationally when I was just four years old, goingÂ from Australia to Europe. Even when I flew them eight years ago, they were still in my opinion the carrier to beat in economy class. With muchÂ excitement and anticipation, I booked my next series of flights with Singapore Airlines, as they turned out to be the cheapest and most convenient option for a recent work trip to Southeast Asia. I was curious to see if they were still able to deliver a class-leading product in economy class, even with the ever increasing threat of competition from the three large Middle Eastern carriers.
I ended up taking four flights for my trip, but I will focus on the first flight I took from Munich to Singapore. Â This flight left the strongestÂ impression on me, and the fact that there were only about 80 passengers in economy class made for a very comfortable flight.
Turkish Airlines economy cabin in a 777-300ER
Just recently I wrote about my business class experience from Chicago to Istanbul.Â 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, andÂ 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!
Yee-haw! Let’s fly on a CRJ 200 – Photo: John Nguyen
Most of the stories you see that I post on AirlineReporter are those of grand adventures flying around the world in business class cabins. Not a bad gig. Every so often, I get people who seem quite upset that we do not write more economy reviews. â€œHow about do reviews of cabins that most of us can fly in?!â€ I get that. I really do. First off, we do actually write quite a few economy reviews, and even I throw some out there when I see an interesting angle. This doesn’t mean that I don’t fly economy. I do… a lot.
When flying personally,Â I always fly economy (I paid $50 to upgrade to first class on Alaska Airlines once). I am not a person with means (shocking that blogging is not the best way to become rich), and I have no status with any airline or alliance. Heck, when airlines are flying me to a U.S. gateway airport to take a business class flight, 90% of the time I am flying in economy. Seattle to New York, Washington DC, LA, and even Miami — all in economy. And, oh boy, Miami.
The Seattle to Miami flight is the longest 737 flight in the continental U.S. and I have done it eight times in the last two years — all in the back of the plane. Do not get me wrong — I still enjoy flying and being flown in economy to take an epic flight is surely worth it. It’s just that I have lots and lots of miles in economy seats, but rarely write about them. Why? Wellâ€¦ they are kind of the same: boring.
If you tallied up the number of flight reviews on this site, you will notice thatÂ the majority of them are for business and first class. It turns out that premium cabins are just more interesting than economy, with all the fancy lie-flat suites, and butler service in your private bedroom. More often than not, economy is, well….boring. But sometimes it can be pretty exciting — depending on what kind of plane you are flying.
That’s the position I found myself in recently when I flew back to the 1990s on board KLM’s Fokker 70 and Boeing 747-400 “combi.” Both aircraft types have become exceedingly rare, and I jumped at a chance to fly them between Hamburg, Germany and New York, via Amsterdam.