Saturday, February 4, 2017

SQ vs United: Direct flight to SFO

Just in this year, I ended up flying to SFO twice. So my first flight was on SQ while the current one (havent returned yet) is on United.

SQ is running Airbus A350 while United is going with Boeing 787. No fancy photographs, or too much details but a first hand experince from my own perspecrive.
  • Flight: My vote goes to United (787)
A350 is rather new and the pitch is 32" and width is 18" (vs 32" & 17.3 in United).  I still doesnt understand why there are single hand rests and especially in this flight it was more like a stick and I will not call it hand rest. It's pretty thin, and I cant even rest my arm properly. The plastic feel of a350 was not good as well. The humidity / pressure levels are certainly better in 787.

  • Service: I will go with United (787)
Don't get me wrong. United service is horrible and ice cold. Probably that's why I felt they are efficient. SQ service is getting worse in terms of service and its very inconvenient and you end up feeling very tired. The lunch/breakfast service was started around 0900 and they concluded around 10:45. Similarly the dinner/supper was from 1000 to 12+. All this time, we ended up stuck in the seats and can't move, sleep or enjoy the little extra space we have. Did I say, that the lights were on all the time?
Then the robotic service from the SQ is becoming very obvious; and the PA system can be thrown out to in the ocean. Why can't the voice can be gentle or keep the volume down. It's like as if they are trying to burst our ears. 

  • Punctuality, Overall E2E time: (neutral)
Both were good. Early to SFO. 
  • Entertainment: SQ (350)
United does have few hundred titles but either they are too old, or never heard movies. SQ - Clear winner. 
  • Cleanliness & Other Misc: SQ (350)
If United is smart, they should vacuum / clean the flight. The reduced weight can easily save the costs of employing the cleaners. That's how dusty it was. Toilets were good at the beginning but not when we landed at SFO. 
SQ - Spectacularly clean.

  • Value for money: United (787)
With the price I paid vs the service I received, there is no doubt I would go with United. Did I say the SQ price was almost double yet I got 50% miles loaded in my Krisflyer? While the cheaper and better (in my case) United gave me 100% miles. 

While, I am going to fly SQ for sure I really want SQ to

  1. Accelerate the meal service. Especially during night trips
  2. Normalize the PA volume. No point trying to blast your passengers ears.

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