SQ First-Class Disappointment? Broken TVs & Seats, Hair in Food, & Very Sick Passengers

by Adam

I’ll have a full trip report next week but I wanted to write about the surprisingly non-amazing experience of SQ 61 connecting to SQ942 to Bali. First off, was the staff absolutely incredible? Yes!  Did everyone know my name within a few seconds of sitting down? Definitely! Did they check on me every few minutes? You bet!  Did I love the in-flight bed? Yes! More on the good in a few (and there was lots), but first the surprising blunders on my 777-300 journey.

The dinner menu sounded awesome and the portions were overly generous. My appetizer was baked clams in pesto sauce surrounded by mixed greens..and a little bit of hair. Yes, there was a long piece of black hair in my dish. The flight attendant was extremely embarrassed, apologized, and prepared another clam dish right away. At this point I wasn’t even sure if she had mentioned it to the lead flight attendant as he never came over to apologize and I of course did not want to get her in any sort of trouble.

About three hours prior to landing (and 4+ movies in) my TV stopped working. They reset my unit three times and then tried resetting the entire system, no luck the TV was dead. Luckily, I was moved to the one remaining first class seat. The seat had a working TV but the chair would not recline. They were able to manually adjust the chair so that I wasn’t upright for the last 3+ hours.

The connection in Moscow is an absolute mess. At first they routed everyone through the customs line,even-though SQ 61 passengers are supposed to be held in a transit area and are specifically given a transit tag. When a few other passengers and I started mentioning that this wasn’t right, someone finally opened up the transit area and we were removed off the customs line. There’s a decent lounge (more on that in the trip report) but you better hurry to the gate as boarding is a complete free-for-all.

The staff on the IAH-DME leg was replaced but they wrote up a detailed report about the defective TV and I was given a new boarding pass in Moscow. Unfortunately, the new seat was the temporary seat from the last flight which did not recline properly. Alright, no big deal as I intended to sleep most of the flight in the bed position. The new staff was incredible compared to the last. As I boarded, the head flight attendant and the two first-class attendants came to my area, already aware of my  name, and said they had read the report from the last flight and were so sorry for the broken tv, hair in the food, and defective seat. They were even able to restore electrical power to the broken seat after a few attempts, allowing the reclining functionality to work properly.

Upon landing in Singapore, I entered the KrisFlyer lounge and a customer service agent was already standing by. She said that she was emailing customer relations on my behalf and had already drafted a messaged with all the problems I encountered. She wanted to know how many United miles I had used for the redemption. She was embarrassed and there really wasn’t much discussion at all, I gave her my email and that was it.

SQ942was valid for the Book the Cook option and I pre-selected my meal, receiving a confirmation over a week ago. Well, the meal never made it to the flight and the crew had no record of any Book the Cook orders.

Wow, with some of my dreams of Singapore First crushed, could it get any worse? Somehow it did! I met a few Point Me to the Plane readers in IAH who were also making the trip to Bali. They too were in first class (thanks to the booking glitch) but had none of the same problems. There problems were even worse…sickness

While in the amazing Private Room area of the Singapore KrisFlyer First Class lounge two of those readers asked me if I was feeling OK. I said I was fine and just eager for the final leg after 30+ hours. They told me that they thought they had food poisoning and could not stop vomiting and going to the bathroom. They were not traveling together and had different entrees. There were also three Russians from the DME-SIN leg who overheard us and said they were sick as well. Wow, at this point I was just happy I was feeling fine. As we boarded SQ942, there were 20-25 passengers from SQ61 and none of them were looking so hot. While in air, there was a constant conga-line to the bathroom and several people were holding vomit bags. Could it get worse? Oh Yea! As the driver from the St. Regis walked me to the complimentary Mercedes waiting to take me to the resort, two of the readers were standing in a grassy patch in the airport parking lot puking their brains out as were several of the Russians. It seems very likely that some of the food on the DME-SIN leg was not properly prepared or cooked. I’ve emailed with the two Point Me to the Plane readers and they were not able to leave their hotel rooms the entire day.  They are extremely ill and are now taking antibiotics. Yep, a very unexpected first class Singapore experience today! At least there’s the Singapore A380 First Suite experience to look forward to next month…

A few words on the good (though these will all be discussed in detail in the trip report):

I loved the bed, each time I would get up to go to the bathroom, someone would come by and re-make the entire bed. It was very comfortable and large enough to fully spread-out.

The staff are truly incredible. My glass of sparkling water was refilled every few minutes. When re-boarding from Moscow, the completely new staff was already aware of my preferences from the last crew and a glass of sparkling water was waiting. They also asked if I wanted just the fruit again instead of ice cream or cake for dessert. Impressive! They really took an interest in each passenger and knew everyone’s name so quickly. They asked if I needed suggestions in Bali (without even mentioning that I was heading there)

Givenchy PJs and Kiehls products

Singapore KrisFlyer First Class T3 Lounge & Private Room (full review next week) – If you are heading to Bali, your connecting flight will be in Terminal 2 but don’t leave T3 until just prior to the connection. The T3 KrisFlyer First Class lounge far exceeds the T2 First lounge, including a sectioned off Private Room. The Private Room was incredible and I was only there for breakfast. The Private Room includes a dining area with a menu of dishes you can order that are cooked specifically for you. As it was early in the morning, I had a waiter, chef, and hostess assigned to me for breakfast. Another server was standing over me with a bottle of Perrier just waiting to refill my glass. The lounge area has big comfy chairs and a great view.

In-flight KrisWorld entertainment when it was working, quick, responsive, and great selection of new releases and all time favorite movies and shows.

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Dan A. January 12, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Where did you stay in Bali? Heading there next week Friday on SQ1

adam January 12, 2013 - 1:56 pm

@Dan A. – I’m currently at the St Regis, then heading to the W and Sheraton. The St. Regis is incredible! Where are you staying?

Sahib January 12, 2013 - 1:47 pm

I had my flight SQ26 from JFK to SIN with connection in FRA in December, all went perfect. The airbus 380 Suite class was just like a dream. Sorry for the experience you had, my food was delicious and well prepared…..

Dan A. January 12, 2013 - 2:03 pm

We will be at the St. Regis. How did you set up the transportation from the airport? We can’t wait!

adam January 12, 2013 - 2:13 pm

@Dan A. – Email bali.concierge@stegis.com. The property is stunning. Going to upload a few pictures tomorrow.

Dan Archer January 12, 2013 - 2:43 pm

Awesome, thanks!

Joshua Pickles January 12, 2013 - 2:59 pm

@ Dan A.

Remember to contact me as I will be there until the 27th.

Mateo January 12, 2013 - 3:40 pm

Clearly things happen. They tried to help you in everyway to remedy your many issues.
That is what matters. Action to make the situation better. Other airlines would have given you the oh well scenario. Be thankful the crew did their best.

Dan A. January 12, 2013 - 3:43 pm

Will do!

Joel January 12, 2013 - 5:41 pm

I was on SQ2 in Y with a malfunctioning PTV. Flight was full. Wrote in to complain and was given a KrisShop voucher for SGD75, valid for one year to be used onboard SQ flights. You could try that too, or they might already be mailing you a voucher! That’s pretty weird for so many people to experience food poisoning. Perhaps subpar catering quality checks ex-DME.

Alex January 12, 2013 - 6:01 pm

Oh man, my parents are booked on this exact flight to DME in July in F. You mentioned 25-30 people getting food poisoning… Did that include any other or the first class passengers or was it an economy meals problem?

adam January 12, 2013 - 6:04 pm

@Alex – mostly First and Business passengers actually!

Alex January 12, 2013 - 7:02 pm

Wow, that’s so disappointing. Please update us if you hear back from SQ on what happened and if they give you any kind of compensation.

Santastico January 12, 2013 - 8:42 pm

Only time I had food poisoning on a plane was on board of a NWA flight PDX-NRT. I had something pretty bad on business class to eat and spent 2 of my 2 entire days in KUL inside my room (actually making long trips between my bed and the bathroom). When on a plane I always avoid seafood and chicken or pasta is the safest option.

Jay B January 13, 2013 - 11:35 am

Sorry to hear this. I hope you feel better. Also, good to hear that you got into TPR while connecting to SQ C from SQ F. Heard mixed stories. Was it just your charm or did you have to talk to them ?

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