Saturday, February 27, 2016

Roadboy's Journey to Singapore

By Any Measure Amazing

One hundred years ago the journey from Los Angeles to Singapore would have meant a train trip to the west coast followed by a very long ocean steamer trip across the Pacific.

Fifty years ago the trip could have been taken on Boeing's miracle of travel, the 747 Jumbo Jet in its inaugural year of service.

I remember those early 747's well. After a 30 minute flight around the SF Bay sponsored by a dad's club at my school my mom decided she was ok with flying. And soon she and her sister booked a trip to Hawaii from San Francisco.  When they got to SFO they were informed by United that somehow the airline had given their seats to someone else. But, in those days airlines fixed stuff and promptly moved them to first class. 

They came back with stories of a piano bar in an upstairs lounge and a journey that began with flutes of champagne and silver trays filled with shellfish on ice.

For me my Cross pacific journey began in the expanded Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX.  Although I've been working with the lA World Airports on other projects at LAX, I had yet to experience the new terminal as a passenger.

I found new departure halls with all of the requisite luxury boutiques gently illuminated from a series of giant shell shaped roof / light scoops.  Frankly, the scoops are more dramatic from the exterior that they are from the interior.  Sort of the same way the exterior of Washington Dulles is so breathtaking as you approach it (especially at night) only to enter it and find it confusing and claustrophobic on the inside.

Wayfinding at the new Bradley is just ok, but I did love the 4 story digital artwork.

The New Bradley Terminal

This flight is my first trip on the much hyped Singapore Airlines and my first on an Airbus A380 (that big whale of a double decker super jumbo).

I had always assumed since it is configured for 354 passengers boarding would be tortured. But with multiple jet bridges it was a model of efficiency.
Upper Deck: Has 86 Business Class Pods
 Lower Deck: 12 Enclosed Suites, 36 Premium Economy Seats, 220 Coach Seats

And, after my flight I can emphatically confirm the A380 to be quite simply the most comfortable and smooth aircraft on which I have ever traveled.

I flew Singapore Airlines as I have always heard about Singapore's remarkable service. I had hoped to fly Business Class but the fare was $5,700 (i.e. way the hell out of my client's budget). so I booked their newest product Premium Economy at $1,710 which was about $500 more than standard coach.
While my aircraft did not have Jennifer Anniston's Emirate's shower or United's piano bar, but the service, food and seating on Singapore Airlines even in Premium Economy was all pretty wonderful.

Of course Singapore also offers its own "suites" at $13,230 each. But those are reserved for people who understand and subscribe to Reaganomics.
Premium Economy Seating
(It will never be mistaken for business class - but at less than one third of the price, it was just fine)

Seating 2 - 4 -2 
(In Premium Economy you get a big pillow, nice blanket, 
large screens with a noise cancelling headset,
fairly decent legroom, lots of power outlets
premium meals and an open bar)

So when I put iot in persepctive, I just made a journey to the complete other side of the world in comfort in about 20 hours of in air flight time.

I'd call the journey pretty amazing.

Roadboy's Travels © 2016

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