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Food Poisoning and Awful Seats on Singapore Airlines Business Class AKL-SIN & SIN-HND

This trip report coves both legs of our flight from Auckland to Tokyo via Singapore on Singapore Airlines.  We flew this route back on October 1st, but I became violently ill with food poisoning on the second leg due to food I was served by Singapore Airlines and I was waiting on their response before I published my review.


Auckland to Singapore

The first leg (SQ282) from Auckland to Singapore was an overnight flight which departed at 12:50am and was operated by a Boeing 777-200 with Singapore’s old Business Class seats.


Singapore Airlines (Old) Business Class Seat 772

Singapore Airlines is most famous for their over the top First Class Suites, and their new extra wide Business Class seats.  However, their premier First and Business Class products are only available on certain routes, and they were not available on our routes.  We knew we weren’t going to have their top of the line Business Class product when we booked this flight but we had no idea we were going to be in such an old looking one.  In fact, Singapore doesn’t even advertise that they still use these old seats on some of their routes so we were a little disappointed that we ended up in them for the 11 hour overnight flight.  Although these angle-flat seats were perfectly comfortable for sitting and lounging they’re just not very good for sleeping – which is what we intended to do on this flight.


Singapore Airlines (Old) Business Class Seats 772

The Business Class Cabin was arranged in a 2x2x2 configuration with five rows for a total of 30 seats of which a little more than half were occupied.  Shortly before takeoff a flight attendant handed us warm towels and a glass of champagne before asking us if we’d prefer to switch seats to the opposite side of the plane because the recline function on our seats was broken – common issue with very old seats, I suppose.


Welcome Champagne & Juice

We switched from the right side of the plane to the left before takeoff and as we were finishing our welcome drinks the flight attendants came by with another round of hot towels (the second of six they distributed throughout the flight, which just seemed excessive) and took our orders for the drinks we would like to be served once airborne.  We both ordered the signature Singapore Sling cocktails but didn’t particularly like them.


Singapore Slings on Singapore Airlines

The dinner service started very quickly after takeoff  (as it was already after 1am) and began with warm nuts, followed by some sort of fish appetizer, a smoked duck breast entree, and mango pudding.


Still working on the Singapore Sling


Fish Appetizer and a Piece of Terrible Chocolate Cake


Duck Breast which I thought was pretty good


Mango Pudding – very nice

After the quick dinner we skipped the in-flight entertainment and put our seats into the (nearly) flat position in order to sleep.  One thing that struck me as odd was that we weren’t given a kit consisting of the normal amenities common on an overnight longhaul Business Class flight.  No ear plugs, or toothbrush, or tiny expensive creams that Dhara loves to open.  Instead they just passed out eye-masks and bizarre flimsy high-top style slippers.  We thought this was a bit cheap for an 11 hour overnight Business Class flight on an airline that is constantly trying to promote itself as offering a luxury premium cabin experience.


Weird High-Top Slippers

I was pretty exhausted so I did manage to get a bit of sleep despite the relatively uncomfortable seats but I did keep waking up over and over.  Even in the “flat” position the seats have a bit of an angle so I always felt like I was slipping down the seat and had to continuously wake up to reposition myself.


Dhara’s evidence that I did in fact sleep on the flight

Since we had a 7 hour layover in Singapore I skipped breakfast in the morning and kept the seat in the flat-ish position to get a little more rest while occasionally checking the flight’s progress on the moving map available through the in-flight entertainment.


Moving Map Singapore Boeing 772


Smallish In-Flight Entertainment Screen

 Overall we were a little disappointed with our first Singapore Airlines experience, but little did we know things would get so much worse.

Silver Kris Lounge Terminal 3 Singapore Changi Airport


SilverKris Lounge Terminal 3 Changi Airport

Singapore Airlines operates a number of lounges in their hub of Changi Airport which each have different entrance requirements.  The one we were given access to as Business Class customers was the SilverKris Lounge which, despite appearing to be the lowest level lounge, was extremely nice.


Lounge Entrance

It had a very modern design with marble, leather, and wood everywhere.  It was also incredibly large compared to the number of guests who were using it.  We were there for 7 hours and it seemed like there was never a point when more than ten percent of the seats were filled.









The bathrooms had very nice shower facilities with all the toiletries anyone could need from toothbrushes and toothpaste to razors and shaving cream.  It was especially nice to be able to freshen up with a shower and brush my teeth during a long layover in between two long flights.


Shower/Sink Room – SilverKris Lounge




Shower SilverKris Lounge

To top it all off they also had a pretty extensive food spread with a lot of interesting local choices.  Also, they had a pour-it-yourself Tiger Beer tap which I had to play with.


Tiger Beer Tap



For lunch I went with the chicken, lamb, pork & shrimp but there were plenty of vegetarian dishes and salads as well.


Chicken, Lamb & Pork



Things seemed to be going well until about an hour after I ate the shrimp pictured above and I started to have a very uneasy feeling in my stomach.

Singapore to Tokyo

We boarded the flight to Tokyo through the First/Business Class Boarding Jetway which was very quick, convenient, and private.  That was pretty much the last nice thing I experienced on the flight.


First/Business Class Jetway

This flight also featured angle-flat Business Class seats instead of fully flat seats, and having angle-flat seats on this plane struck me as even odder than having them on the previous flight.  Even though the first flight was 11 hours I understood that we were using an older style seat because the seats were actually old.  On this flight the seats looked brand new, with leather upholstery and a modern design but they were still angle-flat.  It just seems odd to me that any airline would design Business Class Seats for a 7 hour flight that aren’t flat these days.  Even the airlines in the US stopped putting angle-flat Business Class seats on new planes years ago.


Singapore Airlines Business Class

By the time we were ready to take off the food poising had my full attention so these were the only three photos I was able to take.


Dhara staying current

After we reached our cruising altitude I rushed to the lavatory to vomit for the first time but not the last.  Over the course of the seven hour flight I vomited over a dozen times, and was treated by a Japanese physician whom one of the flight attendants found onboard.  My pulse, blood pressure, and temperature were constantly measured, and for most of the flight I kept up a fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, coupled with violent chills.  By the time we arrived in Tokyo I was so weak and dehydrated from the fever and constant vomiting I was unable to walk and had to be carted off the plane in a wheelchair and placed in the back of a waiting Japanese ambulance.

I am certain that the shrimp I ate in the SilverKris Lounge caused my food poising.  In addition, I had not eaten anything other than food provided to my by Singapore Airlines in the 36 hours prior to becoming sick with food poisoning.  I contacted Singapore Airlines, informed them of the situation and asked for a response.

After a two week “investigation” they responded that they had tested both the non-carbohydrate meal from the AKL-SIN flight and the Lobster Thermidor from the SIN-TYO flight in their laboratory and their tests concluded that both were untainted.  Well, that’s wonderful and all, but I was never served, nor did I ever eat either of those meals so I have no idea why the hell they told me that.

Additionally, they informed me that they do not serve shrimp in their Singapore SilverKris Lounge – except that they do.  Because I ate it, and took photos of it, and then got violently ill.

So, essentially, their “investigation” concluded that the food I never ate was safe to eat, and that the food I did eat never existed.

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