Intro – Building A Trip To Singapore And Thailand Around A Major Devaluation
Part 1: Getting To Singapore The Long Way
Part 2: The Singapore Do
Part 3: Tumultuous Thailand – Bangkok, Koh Samui, Koh Lanta, And Krabi
Part 4: At Long Last – My Ride Home Up Front In Singapore Suites
Two weeks before departing on this trip, I hadn’t yet booked return flights. I’m pretty confident with my award booking skills, and rarely panic at not having flights ticketed until last minute. This is often when some of the best premium award space is released by carriers.
Eventually, I located the perfect itin: BKK – SIN – HND (overnight at Park Hyatt Tokyo) NRT – LAX all on Singapore Airlines, with two segments in first, one on the 777 and the other on the storied suites class a380. This itin would also allow me to overnight at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, a hotel I had wanted to stay in forever. I transferred 92k Amex MR points to my KrisFlyer account (from a recent 100k platinum card sign up bonus,) and 22k Chase UR points to my Hyatt account. I was all set.
I woke up in time to take the very first train back to BKK and with enough time to swing by the Thai Airways Business Lounge. The Thai lounges are super nice, but I was really looking forward to my first visit to The Private Room, Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge at Changi.
The flight to Singapore went by fast, and after landing I headed to The Private Room. The private room is a special area within the First Class lounge, meant only for Singapore First and Suites class passengers. Partner first and certain elite level customers only get access to the First Class lounge (not the Private Room!) I arrived around noon, and except for a team of bored lounge attendants, it was empty. I was brought a cold towel and menu, though there was also small buffet area. It was nice, but to be honest I preferred the regular first class section, as there were more humans and no bored lounge attendants hovering. After having some tea and a look around, I spent the rest of my short layover there.
My time was short, and after spending about an hour in the lounges, I rushed to catch Singapore Airlines flight 634, a Boeing 777, to Hanaeda. The first class seats were huge and comfortable. I had used the ‘book the cook’ feature on the website, and pre-ordered the Prawn and Chicken Laksa for this segment, which was divine.
The flight landed at 11:05 pm, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through immigration and to the airport train in time to avoid taking an ultra expensive taxi into the city. The last train was scheduled to leave at around quarter past midnight. Alas all was well, and I made it with time to spare. One monorail ride and two subway stops later, I was at the Park Hyatt Tokyo
By the time I got to my room, it was almost 1 am. Check in was interesting, as a male front desk agent greeted, then accompanied me to and inside my room to complete check in formalities. I was too tired to worry much about the strange man in my room, and between waves of exhaustion, completely excited by the huge deluxe corner room and amazing city view. I was disappointed that I was only staying one short night.
After a late 1pm check out, I began the long trek to Narita, where I would catch my ride in suites class on the a380! My flight wasn’t until 6:50pm, so I had plenty of time to navigate the extensive subway system, and get to NRT. I made it with plenty of time, (though I wished I could have spent more time in Tokyo,) and spent a bit of time lounge hopping in the underwhelming ANA and United Global First lounges before boarding commenced.
Airbus 380s have definitely become my favorite type of airplane. They are often tricked out with the latest amenities and most comfortable seats, and rarely experience any sort of major turbulence simply because they are so big and so heavy!
As I settled in, I was served pre-departure champagne and later, my second book the cook meal – Lobster Thermidor (I preferred the previous day’s Laksa…)
The first cabin was nearly empty, so a bed was made up for me in the empty suite in front of mine, leaving me my original to lounge in. I wasn’t overly impressed with the food or the service on this segment. FA’s were scarce and having just been at SQ HQ, didn’t seem to perform to the high level service charter set by management. This was likely due to most of the cabin crew assuming pax will sleep on a red eye, which I almost never do. Nonetheless, I was happy to have the opportunity to fly on such a special plane, and with one of the best airlines in the world.
Nine hours later, I landed on time in Los Angeles having experienced another wonderful trip, and with a couple more first class experiences checked off my bucket list.