- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Introduction
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Houston to Moscow
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: International Business Lounge Moscow
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Moscow to Singapore
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines Business Class Singapore to Bali
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: InterContinental Bali
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Exploring Bali
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: W Retreat Bali Seminyak
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines Business Class Bali to Singapore
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: The Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Frankfurt
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: InterContinental Berchtesgaden & Surrounding Areas
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt to Washington Dulles
- Bali and Berchtesgaden: Westin Washington Dulles Airport
As I mentioned in the introduction post, I specifically planned our trip around this flight. In April I had the best flight of my life on Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Tokyo Narita, with a flight attendant that was simply out-of-this-world spectacular. We’ve been in touch ever since, and I asked her to keep me updated about any US-bound flights she might be working. In July I got an email from Janesis saying she was working the Houston route in August, and there was no way I could turn down the opportunity to fly with her again. Ideally I would have flown with her from Houston to Moscow since I would’ve been more awake on that flight, though due to my schedule the Moscow to Singapore flight worked out better.
With my last trip report a few people said “well of course she was amazing, you were the only passenger.” This time around we had a nearly full cabin and some other challenges, so take a look at how this experience compares.
Singapore Airlines 61
Moscow (DME) – Singapore (SIN)
Monday, July 23
Arrive: 5:45AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 1D (First Class)
At around 3PM boarding finally began, and I was sure we were among the first aboard. They use two jet bridges in Moscow, so we boarded through door 1L, where there was none other than Janesis waiting to greet us. Despite the fact that we “know” each other reasonably well at this point she first addressed me by last name, though I quickly asked her to just call me “Ben” to make things a bit easier.
She was her usual amazing self, and as soon as I sat down said “Mr. Ben, would you like a drink to start off the flight? Perhaps a glass of Krug or Diet Coke with lemon?” A flight attendant that knows both my champagne and soft drink preference without me ever having told her? I responded with “wow,” and she said “I’ve been doing my research.” I asked for a glass of Krug, which was promptly served.
Remember on the last flight how I said it’s the little touches that make a Singapore flight amazing? Here’s the first great touch, which is exactly the same thing Janesis did on my last flight with her. As soon as she served me the drink she brought over the in-flight supervisor, Ivy, to introduce her, and informed us of the flight time of 9hr30min. And then she did the same thing with the leading steward, Toon. It’s funny how things work out sometimes, because together they were the three best flight attendants that could possibly be staffing a cabin.
It’s interesting to note that Ivy is only one of a few dozen female in-flight supervisors at Singapore Airlines, as I found out later in the flight (because of all my Singapore flights I had never seen a female in-flight supervisor — just an interesting note, I figured).
Janesis served me a glass of Krug, and then offered me pajamas, an amenity kit, slippers, eyeshades, socks, and the menu for the flight.
My seat, 1D
And then she presented my friend and I each with one of these:
She’s quite the artist, isn’t she? Just look at the attention to detail on that. Simply incredible.
Over the next 15 minutes five of the other six seats in first class filled up, and it definitely wasn’t an easy crowd. There was a doctor who apparently had a seat change at the gate which he wasn’t too happy about, and an older Russian guy with a wife maybe 30 years younger than him who just couldn’t crack a smile. Despite that it was amazing to see the grace with which they were served, and at the end of the flight I even overheard the doctor tell the crew it was the best flight of his life!
As departure time rolled around the captain came on the PA to announce our flight time of 9hr30min, which he expected would put us into Singapore on-time, and we pushed back shortly thereafter. The safety video began to play, and we began our rather long taxi to the runway. As far as I’m concerned we could have taxied all the way to Singapore if it meant being able to look out the window at all the awesome Russian airplanes the whole way. I switched to seat 2A (the only empty seat) for taxi and takeoff.
I played a round of “wait a second, is that a Tupolev 204 or 757?” all the way to the runway (Google the planes to see what I’m talking about).
Traffic at Moscow
I was especially fascinated by Transaero, which must have one of the most diverse fleets of any airline. Upon landing in Singapore I had a look at what their cabins looked like. Take a look at their “Imperial Class” on the 777-300ER. It makes Emirates first class look low key. Anyone know of a way to redeem miles for Transaero first class?
Barbie’s private jet?
Hmm, is that a former United 737?
View of terminal
Once we made it to the runway we were immediately cleared for takeoff, and had a pretty steep climb until about 15,000 feet, at which point the seatbelt sign was turned off.
View on climb out
View on climb out
I immediately changed into my pajamas, and here’s another small touch that differentiates a great crew from a good crew. As I exited the lavatory Ivy was there waiting with a clothes hanger, and insisted on hanging it up for me. There’s not really anywhere else to store clothes, and this crew was all about anticipating needs.
At this point Janesis came around to take meal orders. The dinner menu read as follows:
While the menu sounded good, I’ll say upfront that the catering out of Moscow was pretty bad. It’s most definitely not the crew’s fault and I suspect not even Singapore’s fault to some degree. Some airports just deliver better quality meals than others (for example, my flight from Singapore to Frankfurt had the best catering I’ve ever had on any airline).
Service began with a Diet Coke with lemon and mixed nuts.
Diet Coke with lemon and mixed nuts
Next the table was set. Instead of just handing me a napkin with silverware in it (like on the previous flight), Toon set the table with the fork and knife placed by the side of the plate correctly, and the napkin served artistically.
For the starter I selected salmon, which was too salty and oily for my tastes. I felt like I was disappointing Janesis when I didn’t finish it, since Singapore crews take great pride in the food they serve, in my experience.
Gravalax salmon with dill and Greek style young vegetables
I skipped the soup, though my friend had the fennel cream soup.
Fennel cream soup with mint, seared scallop and small pasta
The next course was salad.
Mache and tomato with radish
For the main course I had selected the prawns. Again, it wasn’t especially good — the prawns were tiny and bland. I was feeling awful about not finishing the courses, as this is something that’s completely outside of the crew’s control.
Prawns with saffron sauce, broccoli, mushroom and new potato
For dessert I selected the macaroon, which was delicious.
Large pistachio macaroon with forest berry compote
My friend had the ice cream with cherries and nuts for dessert.
Service finished with some chocolates. Take a look at the presentation:
Despite the fact that the food was a bit disappointing, the service was simply spectacular. What I loved about Janesis the first time I flew with her was how sincere and personable she is. I’ve been on flights where the service is great yet you can tell the flight attendant isn’t sincere and is just going through the “motions.”
It’s obvious that Janesis loves what she does and loves making people smile. And her smile is infectious, so it seems pretty easy for her to do.
But not only was she fantastic, but Ivy and Toon were also amazing. Toon was working the galley for most of the flight, though whenever I interacted with him he was smiling and extremely polished.
And Ivy was a fantastic in-flight supervisor. The most disappointing aspect of several Singapore Airlines flights I’ve taken lately is the in-flight supervisor, believe it or not. They’ve hidden in the galley and have taken a “hands off” approach. Ivy was exactly the opposite. She was so personable and present that as a passenger you wouldn’t even know she was the in-flight supervisor, which is how it should be in my opinion.
While I was hoping to be up for most of the flight given that Janesis was working it, I was dead tired at this point and conked out almost immediately, after not getting all that much sleep from Houston to Moscow. We had about 7hr30min till Singapore, and I managed to sleep for a solid four hours.
When I woke up I didn’t see any flight attendants, though headed to the lavatory. When I returned two minutes later my bed was once again “made.” I remember when my brother flew Singapore Airlines first class for the first time, and he told me how he thought the flight attendants had laser vision. And it’s true, even when you don’t see them, they somehow see you. I can’t explain it, but it never ceases to impress me.
But equally exciting was the beautiful display that Janesis and the rest of the crew had set up for each passenger, as she did on my last flight, including a “paper flower,” deck of playing cards, postcards, Singapore landing form, and a beautiful card.
Here’s a closer look at the card, which was completely handmade:
Card from the crew
Absolutely amazing. My favorite part was seeing the reaction of the other passengers, who loved it as well. Janesis was on rest at this point of the flight, so Ivy was “on duty.” She asked if I wanted anything to drink, and I ordered some tea.
I was also offered something from the snack menu, though I wasn’t hungry. Here’s the snack menu, though:
At this point I was wide awake so decided to watch a few sitcoms on the entertainment system. One of the shows I saw was “The Secrets of Everything,” which I guess is the BBC equivalent of “Mythbusters.” It’s not often that I comment on the specific entertainment selections on a flight since it has nothing to do with the airline, but the show was so f*&$^# up! One of the theories they tested was “what does human flesh taste like?” so the guy has a part of his flesh cut out so it can be examined, and then they can make something that would taste comparable from pork/beef/chicken (since cannibalism is illegal). Then they tested whether a belly flop could kill you. They tested that by dropping a bloody, dead pig in a pool. What the…?!?!?!?!?
Anyway, about 90 minutes prior to landing the breakfast service began.
Airshow at the start of breakfast
The breakfast menu read as follows:
The service started with freshly squeezed juice, tea, water, and a fruit plate.
There were also all kinds of croissants and pastries in the bread basket.
Croissant and pastry
For the next course I ordered strawberry yogurt.
And my friend ordered muesli.
For the main course I ordered scrambled eggs.
My friend ordered syrniki, which were cottage cheese cutlets with berry compote and whipped cream. I had a bite of them and they were really good, so I highly recommend them if you’re flying this route.
Once again the service throughout breakfast was spectacular. As we began our descent I changed back into my jeans and a t-shirt, and the crew asked if we could stay for a few minutes after the flight since they had a surprise for us.
After a smooth descent and touchdown we made it to our gate a few minutes early, at around 5:30AM. We waited for the first and business class cabin to empty out a bit, which allowed me to snap a few pictures of the first class cabin.
First class cabin
First class cabin
First class cabin
The surprise was a 3D, handmade “certificate” for each of us, as shown below:
Certificate from crew
I don’t think the picture can do it justice, since each letter was handmade and “3D,” so it stuck off the page.
And by popular demand, below is a picture of our amazing crew:
Janesis (left), Ivy (center), and Toon (right)
Here’s a bit of a trivia question — can anyone guess for how many years Ivy has been with Singapore Airlines? I’ll reveal the answer in the comments section below as soon as someone gets it.
This flight was simply spectacular, one of the best of my life. Despite the lackluster catering and nearly full cabin, the crew was incredible. While you can try to fake good service, you can’t fake service from the heart, which all three crew members delivered. I can only hope to end up on another one of their flights sometime.
Janesis remains one of the most sincere, charming, and positive people I know. I promised her dinner the next time she has a layover in the US, regardless of where it is. I can only hope more of you have the opportunity to fly with her.