SFO-ICN-SIN on SQ15
Boeing 777-300ER (9V-SWE)
Departed SFO: 2:05pm PDT
Arrived ICN: 7:05pm KST
Flight Time: 12h 21m
Cruising Altitude: FL320-FL380
I arrived at SFO two hours before scheduled departure and was pleasantly surprised to find no line at the Singapore Airlines check-in counter.
Photo Apr 02, 3 06 48 AM.jpg 140.3KB
I brought only one backpack with me, hoping to bring it onboard to avoid getting the straps caught in conveyor belts and machinery.
When I declined to check in any bags, the agent kindly asked me to put my backpack on the scale. Well, crap. It was 10.8kg, well above SQ’s limit of 7kg for carry-ons. Since I didn’t have a smaller bag, I reluctantly parted with my possessions and resigned to entertaining myself with only my phone on the 33-hour journey to Kathmandu.
This also meant I didn’t have my camera on me en route, so I apologize in advance for the photo quality.
As luck would have it, the one time I had no bag with me, I was sent through the expedited security line that provided no plastic bins and required you to put all of your loose items in your bag. After scrounging around the checkpoints for a bowl for my phone, wallet, and other loose items, I was sent on my way without further hassle.
One thing I don’t like about SFO’s international terminal is the tint on the windows. Some of the gates even have opaque glass on the lower level that thwart all attempts to capture decent photos.
The SQ 77W I would be taking was parked next to an Air China 77W headed to Beijing.
I was impressed by the efficiency of SQ’s boarding process: despite being in the last economy group to board, I was seated within 10 minutes of the scheduled boarding time. An American airline would only have been warming up with their announcements by that time.
The seats onboard had an interesting color scheme. I had no complaints regarding comfort in this 3-3-3 economy cabin with 32 inches of legroom. The seats even have a nifty flip-down footrest.
Before we pushed back, flight attendants passed out hot towels and menus covering the three meals to be served over the two segments.
While taxiing out to runway 28L, we saw the departure of a Phillipine Airlines 777, a KLM 747, a UA 747, and the usual string of JetBlue A321s and United Express and Delta Connection CRJs and E170s.
When the seatbelt sign turned off during the climb, the cabin crew started a beverage and peanuts service and passed out basic amenity kits containing a toothbrush and toothpaste. The peanuts were rather plain–I prefer the heavily seasoned variety on Southwest.
I fell asleep for about 20 minutes and woke up to a delicious smell wafting throughout the cabin as the FAs delivered special meals to those who reserved them ahead of time. For lunch, I chose the braised beef, which was quite tasty:
We had a special treat for dessert – a generously sized ice cream cookie sandwich. Absolutely delicious!
Around 5.5 hours into the flight, cabin crew rolled out carts stocked with fresh fruit, sandwiches, and chips. The cabin lights were soon turned off to match the approaching San Francisco nighttime, even though it was fully bright outside.
Another round of beverages and apples were given out at the 8.5 hour mark.
We had a second hot towel service about 2.5 hours before arrival, soon followed by the “light snack” (really a full dinner). I chose the kimchi fried rice with chicken and egg, which was spicier and more flavorful than lunch.
Thick clouds had gathered around ICN by the time we started our descent:
We landed on runway 15L at 7:05pm local time, which was 3:05am in San Francisco.
All passengers had to disembark at ICN during the scheduled one-hour stopover. Those continuing on to SIN had to go through security screening, which was quick and painless.
Departed ICN: 10:19pm KST
Arrived SIN: 3:30am SGT
Flight Time: 5h 41m
At the gate was a LG Smart TV on display, showing a stereotypical cooking show featuring two men drooling over slices of sizzling pork belly.
Boarding was delayed by half an hour, but I was in no rush to get to my scheduled 8+ hour overnight layover in SIN. Light rain and gusty winds had started during boarding.
By the time the cabin doors were closed, the drizzle had developed into a raging thunderstorm, giving us quite a light show outside. To my relief, the captain announced a 30-minute ground stop. It was pretty cool that we got to experience light turbulence while parked at the gate!
As is often the case, the 30-minute delay estimate persisted over the next hour and a half as we waited for the thunderstorm to let up and the resulting backlog of departing flights to clear. Cabin crew passed out cups of water during the delay.
The hot towels inexplicably increased in temperature with each service; the pre-departure towels from ICN were scalding.
We finally received our clearance at 10:00pm, pushed back about 20 minutes later, and finally lifted off from runway 15R at 10:49pm.
For dinner, I carried on with the Korean theme and chose the spicy seafood stir fry. My only criticism would be the rather bland veggies, but the smoked salmon more than made up for it.
The meal was followed by Korean cheesecake ice cream. It didn’t compare to the ice cream cookie sandwich we had out of San Francisco, but I had no complaints.
With the weather delay, we landed at SIN at 3:30am, about 2.5 hours late.