Patrick Coyle flies Christchurch to Singapore aboard Singapore Airlines.
The plane: A Boeing 777-200ER, 14 years old. Venerable workhorse of the SIA fleet. It's been wearing a track between Christchurch and Singapore for a while and is looking a bit tired inside now.
On time: Yes for departure but no for arrival at Changi. This Christchurch flight arrives about 5pm local time in Singapore, which coincides with the local thunderstorms. We had to hold south (over Bataan Island for about 30 minutes) and when we landed had to wait an additional 45 minutes to get our bags due to the ground handlers not being permitted on the apron while there is lightning about. All up we left the airport at about 7pm.
Seat: I purchased a "preferred" seat, 50C, for about an extra $100. This is two rows back from the over-wing exit and because of the toilets beside this exit there are only two seats in row 49 so this seat has nothing in front of it. Plenty of leg room.
Price: This was a last-minute booking for work so it was a tad pricey $2100 return.
Entertainment: The Kris World system is a mixed bag. There is plenty of choice from new release movies, classics and those tailored to the Asian market. The biggest gripe is the audio quality. You are issued with ear-bud type headphones that don't really cut it. The ambient air noise in the cabin along with the crude volume set-up on the IFE makes listening tricky.
Service: As always with Singapore airlines, the Singapore Girls (and guys) were efficient and generally attentive. Hot towels on departure and before arrival. Any reasonable requests seem to be quickly sorted.
Food and drink: I had ordered a special meal due to a shellfish allergy and, so it seemed, did quite a lot of others - probably due to quite a few requiring halal, vegetarian etc.