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SQ181 is one out of up to three daily flights from Brunei to Singapore, with the other two flights operated by Royal Brunei Airlines. Singapore Airlines fly this route five times a week, with just two flights operated by Singapore Airlines’ own aircraft, with the other three using a Silkair-operated A320. As my flight was on a Monday, it would be on Singapore Airlines’ own Boeing 777-300 for this 2-hour hop.
As the Brunei-Muara Public Bus dropped me off at the departure driveway, it was just a stroll into the departure check-in area.
Looks like quite a number of people were already here 2 hours before departure.
The departure screen of Brunei International Airport, which isn’t exactly busy – there’s almost a three and a half hours gap after my flight departs.
The Internet Check-in counter was surprisingly quick.
My boarding pass for my SQ181 flight back to Singapore.
Heading for departure immigration.
As there weren’t many passengers yet, the whole procedure was quite relaxed, but it made the queue unnecessarily slow anyway. Access to the security screening x-ray machines were enforced to be an individual process, with each passenger having to stand behind a red line before advancing to the x-ray machine one by one to put personal items on the tray and thereafter to the scan and pat down.
Once done, it was a straight walk to the gates.
Brunei International Airport has just 8 contact gates, which seems more than sufficient for the current amount of flights.
A left turn later, and I was at Gate 1.
The overall interior of the transit area of Brunei International Airport.
Gates 6 to 8 are on a separate pier, and is where the only water fountain in the transit area is located to fill up your empty bottle.
My flight would be served by 9V-SYJ.
When seated near the gate, the ground crew came around to each passenger to check for boarding passes again, and gave a second stamp on it. Not sure what the reason was, when there would be yet another check later before boarding.
When boarding calls were made for those with priority such as Business Class passengers or those with a higher KrisFlyer or PPS Club tier, most passengers were actually eligible for it.
Getting my boarding pass checked (again) at the gate just before boarding.
The gate leads to a rather long and posh passageway, possibly coming from the royal terminal.
Heading down the red carpet for my flight.
The red carpet ends at the aerobridge.
Newspapers and headsets are free to pick up by the entrance to the plane.
Passing through the 2009 Regional Business Class cabin in 2-2-2 configuration.
The front Economy Class cabin of the Boeing 777-300.
The aft Economy Class cabin of the Boeing 777-300.
The aft cabin was not very full, and I had the whole row of seats to myself.
Such luxury after the previous journeys of AirAsia and Sipitang Express.
The legroom on board the 2006 Economy Class product.
Gate 1 seems pretty far out from the terminal building.
Now for probably the world’s best IFE selection of TV shows and movies.
The mandatory KrisWorld welcome clip before the main screen.
Pushing back from the gate.
Hot towels were distributed once the doors were closed.
The safety video followed after.
At this point of time, I’d like to give a shoutout to this steward (which unfortunately I only have a back shot of him and didn’t get his name) who checked my boarding pass and walked me to my seat, volunteering to take my carry-on bag to place it in the overhead compartment for me (I didn’t let him do it since it isn’t legally his job), was extremely polite to everyone in the cabin and helped me restart my KrisFlyer entertainment system without fuss after the safety video was done when I had accidentally selected the wrong language to use it on, and kept apologizing to me as if it was his fault that I clicked the wrong language.
Singapore Airlines would be proud of this guy showing the world what Singapore Airlines is.
Not sure what the hold up was, but the plane sat on the taxiway for about 10 minutes before moving off to the runway. And no, there weren’t other flights arriving or departing at that time.
Turning onto the runway for takeoff.
Brunei International Airport’s passenger terminal in its entirety.
Passing by the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Highway.
Downtown BSB from above.
Passing by Gadong.
BSB Waterfront and Kampong Ayer from above.
Leaving mainland Borneo.
Shortly after, lunch was served.
Two choices were available: chicken with potatoes or fish with rice.
I opted for the chicken with potatoes, the western option as usual, along with a glass of orange juice and red wine.
It was similar to a grilled chicken chop, and the mashed potatoes were surprisingly moist.
While SQ no longer gives out menu cards for short-haul flights, I saw the menu of the day clipped in the galley for both meal choices. Both options look good actually, but I think the western option might still be better since the fish came with plain white rice.
The cabin interior from the back of the plane.
The very clean interior of the onboard washroom.
Mouthwash, cologne and moisturiser are also available in the washroom.
Toothbrush kits and combs can be found in the amenities drawer.
It was quite a smooth and uneventful flight.
Beginning the descend into Singapore before Batam.
Going around Changi Airport for a landing from the north-east.
Flying over Peninsular Malaysia.
Passing by Pulau Tekong on approach to Singapore.
Approaching mainland Singapore.
Looks like 9V-SQK won’t be flying any more after bring burnt by a tow truck.
Another decommissioned Boeing 777-200.
Heading to Terminal 2 via South Cross.
Crossing over Airport Boulevard to Terminal 2.
Turning into Gate F58.
The view of my spacious row of seats before disembarking.
Walking through the Economy Class cabin.
Walking through the Business Class cabin.
Heading into the terminal building.
Quite a number of passengers were transiting to Jakarta, and I’m not sure if it is a coincidence or not, but the same plane would continue on to Jakarta and the ground staff made announcements to clear security screening immediately to board the plane at the same gate.
As I’m not continuing on to Jakarta, I headed out for arrival immigration.
Heading to arrival immigration.
Baggage claim was at Belt 36, however, as I had no check-in bags, I headed straight out.
Overall, it was probably my best flight with Singapore Airlines so far with the top-notch service of the cabin crew and great tasting in-flight meal. With just 2 flights a week with an SQ-operated SQ flight, this is probably a rare but worthwhile journey.
This article first appeared on railtravelstation.com
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