I made a booking from Singapore to Tokyo with a connection to Sapporo as I would join up with my parents for a Hokkaido trip. Instead of flying from Malaysia, I decided to fly from Singapore on Singapore Airlines to Tokyo and connect domestically to Sapporo via ANA (using the very attractive domestic ANA pricing for tourist).
I had a choice of either doing the SQ 636 (which I chose) vs. SQ632. SQ636 have been flying on 77WN (which I have wanted to try last year on SQ1 but I didn’t manage to redeem it.) Being a night flight, it offered only a supper service (truncated meal service). SQ632, being a morning flight offered a full lunch service but is being served by the older 77W. After much consideration, I chose SQ636 for the sake of trying out 77WN.
SQ636 has been served mainly using 77WN (9V-SWU, SWV, SWY) but there was once the flight was served by SWF (data from flight radar 24). Although there is a small chance that a bird swap may occur, most of the flights were using 77WN.
This time, the trip is a little special as I will be meeting up with an old secondary school friend whom I have not seen for years. He was on a business trip to Singapore and will be flying back to Malaysia on Silkair. This allowed me to guest him into the First Class Lounge (as Star Alliance rules allow First Class passenger to bring a guest in provided they are traveling on Star Alliance flight). We went to Terminal 2’s First Class Lounge (which was very empty at 630pm) as his flight departs earlier. As most of Singapore Airline’s flight departs from Terminal 3, the lounge was not busy at all. Food was pretty much similar to those in Terminal 3 (But there was no private room in Terminal 2).
Instead of the usual skytrain, I used the shuttle bus between Terminal 3 and Terminal 2. The journey was longer, but the shuttle bus offers a very close view of parked planes! (A must try for planespotters)
After sending my friend off, I made my way back to Terminal 3 and into The Private Room for my dinner. I have written quite a fair bit about this lounge hence I will not write much about it here. The menu is exactly the same as what I had a year ago. I had my dinner close to 8pm and it was pretty quiet in the dining room.
After my dinner, I had a quick shower before leaving the lounge. I took a peek at the Business Class lounge and boy was it crowded!
By the time I got to the gate, boarding had already commenced. One aspect that Singapore Airlines can improve is perhaps to consider a separate security line for Business Class and First Class passenger (something that KLM provide for Sky Priority in Terminal 1). Screening however was pretty fast. I was quite excited to finally be able to try out the WN cabin! The moment I saw the 2 letter on the plane (WR), I knew it was just not my day. I ended up with 9V-SWR (which is a 77W instead of WN)! Of all time, Singapore Airlines decided to do a bird swap for my flight!
Date : 7 October 2016
Flight : SQ636
Plane : Boeing 777-300ER (9V-SWR)
Photo taken : iPhone 6s
Seats : 1A
Duration : 6 Hours 20 minutes
Feeling disappointed, I knew then that I will just try to sleep for my journey as I have a 5 hour transit in Haneda before flying over to Chitose. As I sat down, I was offered my pre-departure drink. I took a glass of orange juice and Dom Perignon. I did not take more champagne as I already had one glass of Veuve Clicquot in Terminal 2 Lounge and another Charles Heidsieck in The Private Room. The Dom served on board now is of the 2006 vantage.
The plane left the gate at about 1055 pm. Some delay is bound to happen for night departure as most of the long haul flights tend to depart around this time. Pyjamas were distributed while the plane was still on the ground. Amenity kit however was only given when we reached cruising altitude. Once the seatbelt sign was off, I immediately changed into my pyjamas and requested for seat turndown. Unlike in Business Class, First Class allows dining on demand, hence I pushed my meal service to pre-landing (only 1 meal served for this flight). As I was in a 77W (instead of WN), I opted to sleep as I have reviewed the 77W for my SQ15 flight from SFO. With the eyeshade on and Bose QC15 over my ears, I slept rather soundly despite the meal service. I slept for about 4 to 4.5 hours (far longer than what I get on my SIN-FRA segment or SFO-ICN segment).
I woke up with about 1.5 hours left before arriving in Haneda. I requested for my meal (minus the salad and cheese) as I was still full from my dinner yesterday night.
I opted for the usual Lobster Thermidor BTC and the lobster did not disappoint me this time. The appetiser and the soup were done pretty well too. There is nothing I can complain about the dessert too. I had my usual Blue Mountain Coffee, Orange Juice and a cup of Houjicha to accompany my meal.
Soon, announcement was made that we will be landing in Haneda soon. I quickly changed back into my clothes and packed my things. Despite some manageable mid air turbulence (which woke me up intermittently), the approach to Haneda and landing was very smooth. We landed about 20 minutes ahead of schedule.
I managed to interline my luggage from Singapore straight to Chitose. However, I still needed to pick my luggage up from the carousel and redeposit my luggage at the arrival counter. My ticket from HND to CTS was issued in Singapore itself. This process saved me the hassle of needing to go through the check in process in HND. I also do not need to carry my luggage from the international terminal to the domestic terminal (the 2 terminals are far apart and are accessible via a shuttle bus). This is very useful if you have a very tight connecting schedule. It took me only 20 minutes from disembarking to exiting the gate. Another advantage of interline is that my luggage is tagged as first priority until CTS (even though I was taking Y from HND to CTS).
Overall, I was rather disappointed when I realised that I will be flying on a 77W instead of a 77WN. I would have taken the morning flight to enjoy a better First Class service if not for wanting to try out the 77WN. However, I managed to sleep for 4 hours for such a short flight and it really helped me during my Haneda transit and also it gave me enough energy to explore Chitose airport on arrival.
For more in depth review of Singapore Airline’s 77W cabin, click here