This will be a briefer review than my Los Angeles to Singapore outbound flight, but I do want to highlight United’s catering and service out of Singapore for its longest flight on the route map.
After resting up at the Marina Bay Sands, I felt much better and ready for the long journey back to Los Angeles. Arriving at Singapore Changi’s Terminal 2 by Uber, I found the United check-in counter deserted.
USA-bound flights require enhanced security screenings, so I was subjected to several questions at check-in about the nature of my travels and hand baggage.
I had about 90 minutes prior to boarding and used the time to check out two Singapore Airlines lounges.
Boarding began promptly at 10:15am even though the flight was not even booked 15% full in economy class.
Singapore (SIN) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Monday, October 30
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Seat: 8A (Business Class)
The same crew that took me from Los Angeles to Singapore was working the return flight. Purser Shauna McDonald recognized me immediately, welcomed me back onboard by name, and asked if I was feeling better.
Admit it, that’s impressive. I appreciated her good memory and the polished service.
I chose a window seat for this flight, selecting the last row of the cabin. Although the seat next to me remained open until boarding time, it was filled by a United employee traveling on a standby basis.
For more details on the United 787-9 business class seat, please click here.
Another FA delivered chocolate truffles in a gold box. Pre-Departure beverages were also offered.
We took off on time and climbed through some beautiful cloud formations before hitting our cruising altitude. As usual, we hit some turbulence as we neared Japan.
A Hearty Lunch
Service commenced immediately, beginning with a hot towel.
With my stomach still potentially sensitive, I drank only water during the flight, enjoying a glass of San Pelligrino with a ramekin of warmed mixed nuts.
The lettuce salad contained olives, onions, zucchini, and red cabbage. The appetizer was smoked chicken with pickles and fennels. White bread and garlic bread came pre-plated.
I chose cod in a buter sauce with risotto for my main course. Perhaps airline fish is always best avoided with a tender stomach, but risotto and white fish constitute one of my favorite meals.
While the slimly cooked spinach was an unwelcome blotch of green on the plate, the meal was very good. The fish could have been moister, but the sauce more than compensated.
Next up came a cheese course with port wine. I’ll be honest, I just took a picture and did not eat or drink anything. The cheese looked very good, but I just did not feel like anything else. I also skipped dessert, not even wanting to waste the ice cream or petit fours.
The World Series Distraction
All this time I was distracted by the World Series. Thanks to MLB Game Day, I was able to follow on live…sort of. No audio or video, but I was able to follow the play-by-play through simulated projections of pitches on my mobile phone.
> Read More: Watching the World Series from 40,000 Feet
FYI, I purchased a wi-fi pass for $37.99. Unlike the flight over, Wi-Fi was slow but stable for the entire flight.
Sadly, my Dodgers lost. But it was a thrilling game.
When Shauna noticed that I was propping my phone against a glass, she told me that she had a solution for me. She came back with a makeshift easel (made of a paper coffee cup and two strategically-inserted stirrers) upon which to support the phone. It worked!
Later in the flight I watched a fascinating movie on the Armenian Genocide called The Promise.
Highly, highly, highly recommend!
After snoozing for nearly eight hours, I awoke hungry. The best meal on the flight turned out to be the mid-flight snack of a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.
Actually, I’d call it more a Croque Monsieur minus the ham than a grilled cheese sandwich, but whatever it was…it was delicious.
Prior to landing in Los Angeles, breakfast was served. Unfortunately, the frittata was not delicious…the whole breakfast was fairly underwhelming. Perhaps I was still full from the grilled cheese and tomato soup a few hours later, but I left most of the breakfast.
As we began our descent into Los Angeles, I noticed a thick marine layer sat over Los Angeles. I love gray, cloudy days so this oddly cheered me up.
The eastbound Singapore to Los Angeles flight seemed to go significantly faster than the westbound flight. Naturally, the tail wind played a role but the midday versus late-night departure also seemed to help. Perhaps the World Series and a great movie did too.
United’s new service between Los Angeles and Singapore won’t be lightly filled of very long. The San Francisco – Singapore flight has performed exceptionally well in terms of loads and I expect the same for Los Angeles, especially as United as offered incredible prices on the new routes, in some cases under $400 round-trip.
One last word on the 787-9 Business Class seat. I did have to climb over my neighbor to use the restroom or retrieve carry-on items. Indeed, that is annoying. But the seat is very comfortable in all positions and I am always happy to sacrifice direct-aisle access for a better chance at an upgrade.