The best seats in Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 business class

The best seats in Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 business class

With Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 787-10 set to take a number of regional routes under its wing, travellers will soon be scoping out their pick of the best business class seats.

And they're impressive seats, with an all-new regional business class design providing direct aisle access for every passenger, some handy at-seat space and a lie-flat bed.

(The same seats will also be fitted to a fleet of regional Airbus A350-900 jets which Singapore Airlines will begin flying in the second half of 2018.)

SQ's Boeing 787-10 has 36 business class seats from rows 11 through 20 – but savvy travellers will want to know which of those are the best to choose, and which they should avoid.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 business class: best seats

The staggered seat layout in Singapore Airlines' new regional business class makes it a bit trickier to snare a seat location that's ideally suited to your preferences, but also rewards flyers who plan ahead.

11A and 11K: located behind the bulkhead in the first row of the business class cabin, these seats also make provision for a bassinet – but instead of the kidlet-cradle being mounted on the bulkhead wall, it's tucked away into a spacious corner nook.

And if not booked by passengers with an infant in tow, this seat is superb for the business traveller because they can use the space during the flight (but not during taxi, take-off and landing) to keep a laptop bag or cabin bag handy if they need access to its contents during the flight, such as for working.

For that reason we consider this a 'corner office above the clouds', and it's our choice for the business traveller on Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 or Airbus A350-900.

Of course, the perennial downside of being in the front rows is that there's a bit of extra traffic to the lavs and noise from the galley – which will be less bothersome on a short regional flight around Asia but more so on flights to Australia, especially overnight legs. (The same applies to the rear-most seats in row 20.)

If you like the view: the staggered seat layout means that only 8 of what would normally be considered 'window seats' are positioned directly next to the window.

The others are adjacent to the aisle, with a bench between the passenger and the window.

If you'd rather be sitting right next to the window so you can take in the view, you'll want to shoot for seats 12A, 12K, 15A, 15K, 17A, 17K, 19A or 19K.

Note however that even in these true window seats, the extended shell of the seat chosen by Singapore Airlines somewhat obstructs the view.

For solo travellers: Any of the A or K seats should be your first choice. If they're all gone by the time you check in, shoot for a middle seat situated at the aisle rather than together in side-by-side pairs: the ones you want are 12D, 12F, 15D, 15F, 17D, 17F, 19D and 19F.

For colleagues, companions and couples: Every alternate row of Singapore Airlines' new Boeing 787-10 regional business class cabin sees passengers in the middle sitting next to one another.

There's a privacy screen if you happen to be flying solo...

... but if you're with a colleague or partner, these paired seats are best for chit-chat and sharing the travel experience  – to the extent of being able to sleep side by side when the seat converts to a bed, if that's your thing.

Those couple-minded seats are 11D & 11F, 14D & 14F, 16D and 16F, 18D and 18F, and 20D and 20F.

Best seats for sleeping: Retracting the armrests on either side of the seat gains you an additional six inches of seat width (going up from 20" to 26") which is very welcome for sleeping.

Want a bit more room? Grab a seat that's next to the window (as listed above: 12A, 12K, 15A, 15K, 17A, 17K, 19A or 19K).

That's because there is an extra few inches between the seat's shell and the cabin wall into which you can splay out your elbow.

The aisle-side seats – and this applies to those in the middle pairs, too – see you risk having a wayward elbow whacked by passengers, crew or galley carts trundling down the aisle.

Extra room for larger feet: when Singapore Airlines' new regional business class seat swings down into a full-flat bed, your feet tuck into a cubby hole which we're pleased to report is rather spacious.

However, if you have large feet (we're talking size 12s and up), the first row of seats sport an ever larger footwell because this is carved into the bulkhead rather than the bench of the seat in front of you.

So: owners of plus-sized plods will want to make 11A, 11D, 11F or 11K their first choice.

For passengers of size: Packing a few too many kilos around your middle? Grab a seat which is at the aisle and has its console bench sitting either between you and the window...

... or, in a pair of middle seats, you and the passenger next to you.

The reason we're calling this is out is because there's not much room between that bench and the seat in front, so seats with the bench between you and the aisle will pose an uncomfortable squeeze each time you want to visit the loo or the galley.

Seats to avoid: let's face it, all of the business class seats in Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 are pretty good. But two of them lucked out when it comes to the cabin layout: 16A and 16K have no window.

The seats are adjacent to the aisle, so you're not missing much of a view anyway, but some people are almost allergic to a window seats sans window so for them, this is the seat to skip.

Read: AusBT reviews Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 regional business class

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

16 Comments

  • kiwiwings

    kiwiwings

    10 Apr, 2018 01:40 am

    From a business class perspective I'm excited about this product, but from an economy class perspective I'll be sad to see the spaciousness of the A330/772s disappear.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    10 Apr, 2018 09:03 am

    Some comments edited and removed to keep this on topic (which is best seats for SQ's Boeing 787-10 regional business class, not the economy cabin or economy seating of that aircraft). Readers are reminded to keep comments on topic and add value to the conversation.
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  • xtfer

    xtfer

    10 Apr, 2018 12:12 pm

    Surely if you are solo and can't get a window seat, the next best seats are the center ones, not the aisle ones, since they have more privacy with the screen up?
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  • Joe

    Joe

    10 Apr, 2018 12:24 pm

    That side panel blocking the window view is ill-thought and a detractor from the appeal of this new seat. Who would approve a seat design like that?
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  • scintilla

    scintilla

    10 Apr, 2018 12:38 pm

    Looks like Seat 16A and 16K are no-go, for being lack of window. I really don't like the side shell which covers the view of one window, for the true window seat.
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  • wjhu

    wjhu

    10 Apr, 2018 12:55 pm

    Note that the row 11 seats can only be pre-selected by PPS members or better,
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  • Robert Heath

    Sema4beach

    10 Apr, 2018 01:18 pm

    Who on Earth would Obstruct Window View like They Have! For that Amount of Money! Whoever Signed off on this from @Singaporeairlines Should Be Fired! Now! Major Irritant!
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  • Nick Keith

    NQPsych2U

    10 Apr, 2018 04:14 pm

    While others have already stated the obvious detractor - the view from window seats being obscured, overall it's a vast improvement.

    It's appealing to know you can fly from North Queensland or regional locations to Asia in a reasonable hard product as opposed to older gen business class offerings.

    This will also entice travellers to commute directly to regional destinations rather than via capital cities (I.e. Cairns/Darwin/Townsville rather than Brisbane).

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  • Rosemary Chalmers

    Rosechal

    11 Apr, 2018 12:19 am

    At present SQ does not fly out of Darwin or Cairns. From those cities it is SQ's other airline Silk Air. Silk Air uses the new 737- Max 8 and their Business Class seats are just recliner seats not flat bed.
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  • Nick Keith

    NQPsych2U

    11 Apr, 2018 04:37 am

    I believe SilkAir is also adopting lie flat beds in its upgraded business class offerings as well, albeit not this particular design from what I read late last year.
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  • Tlar

    Tlar

    11 Apr, 2018 10:00 am

    Agree! Silkair B737-8MAX should have lie flat beds, It has 49inch(10in more then B737-800) of leg space, enough to fit a FlyDubai 737-8 Lay Flat seat config. It is a real same! I have a 1:50am flight next Tuesday with Silk from Darwin in J and not going to be sleeping that evening. But, i will be connecting on the 787-10 to BKK. :D
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  • Rosemary Chalmers

    Rosechal

    11 Apr, 2018 10:23 am

    I fly out on the 4th May and was very relieved they had changed to the new Max 8 in January instead of the old 737-800 with only 39" pitch for Business Class. So with such a new aircraft of the route I don't see Silk Air changing to lie flats any time soon. Or for SQ to take over the route.
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  • FRANKLIN LOO

    Mdm Milton

    10 Apr, 2018 07:05 pm

    Well, i love this New SQ REGIONAL BUSINESS CLASS seats with Lie Flat Bed. This seats are better than those SQ present and older Business Class seat which have side cubby for your feet which isn't good for sleeping.
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  • traveller99

    traveller99

    23 May, 2018 11:16 pm

    Gosh, the woman sitting in seat 20K in the top image must be about 5 foot tall.
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  • mb68

    mb68

    24 May, 2018 01:26 pm

    T99 , Yes i agree ,you will find most promo shots in J class have small skinny adults in them . illusion of space .... but for a regional product , its pretty nice bar the window seat view issue.
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  • Jon_L

    Jon_L

    31 May, 2018 01:56 am

    I tried the new business class seats last week. Singapore Perth.... Second row window... I was really looking forward to it.... But..... My god it was one of the more uncomfortable trips I've had.

    I'm a larger guy 180cm with broad shoulders... Getting into the seats was no problem. The seat base was no problem.... But man the shoulder width was really bad.... I felt stuck in a shoebox. And I felt like I wasn't sitting towards the monitor but at an angle facing a blank part of the seat in front. Very weird... Than the seat belts are like car seat belts but they are for shorter ppl... So I felt strangled and chaffing my neck (wasn't wearing a collared shirt)... So I had it off most of the trip

    Than when lying down the footwell in sleep position was so small couldn't even lift my leg or anything

    Very uncomfortable..... Will actively avoid these planes when in business... Even the old regional was better... Just needed better monitors
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 08:05 am

Which Qantas lounges can Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer use?

Which Qantas lounges can Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer use?

Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyers will enjoy have access to Qantas Clubs around Australia under the newly-forged alliance between the two airlines.

As of October 28, 2018, Airpoints Elite and Gold members booked on a codeshare flight with Qantas will find the doors swing open for them at the two dozen Qantas Club lounges in Australia's capital cities and regional centres. They'll also be permitted to bring in one guest.

But it won't be as easy as flashing your shiny Airpoints card, as the following conditions apply:

  1. you have to be travelling on a domestic Qantas flight
  2. it has to be booked under the Air New Zealand codeshare (those flight numbers will be in the NZ7xxx range)
  3. and this must be booked as part of a trans-Tasman booking

This arrangement replaces Airpoints access to Virgin Australia lounges following the dramatic bust-up between the two former allies.

However, there appears to be no Qantas Club lounge access for Koru Club members, nor can AirNZ frequent flyers cool their heels in the more upmarket Qantas Business lounges.

The Qantas / Air New Zealand alliance covers selected flights on the domestic network of each airline, however trans-Tasman and other international flights are excluded from the arrangement.

Read more: Qantas, Air New Zealand alliance will take on Virgin Australia

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

1 Comment

  • henrus

    henrus

    20 Jul, 2018 05:31 pm

    Doesn't it seem a bit odd that Koru club won't get access (something that the VA deal provided) . I guess there will be no access for QF Club cardholders in NZ either?
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 08:05 am

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

Cathay Pacific will roll out its new 'business class dining concept' this month, with the meal service taking a step closer to a first class experience.

Meals will be individually plated and delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, as the airline adopts more personalised and upmarket approach.

Cathay also expects this will result in a "quieter and calmer cabin environment", especially on late night flights.

Passengers will have a choice between three appetisers and "up to six main course choices" on flights over ten hours in the initial launch of the service to the likes of Chicago (on July 30), London/Gatwick (in August) followed by Frankfurt, Manchester and Washington DC (September); Amsterdam, Paris and Johannesburg (October), Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona (November) and London/Heathrow (December). 

And, being very much on trend, light and healthy 'wellbeing options' feature in every main course.

On flights from Hong Kong the menu will be changed every month, with a quarterly menu refresh for flights to Hong Kong.

Fights from Hong Kong (but not, for now, the return leg) will also see a new range of Hong Kong Favourites inspired by local dishes, such as

  • Hong Kong char siu pork with egg noodles, seasoned soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (shown below)
  • Wok fried seafood in lobster soup with ginger, spring onion, crispy and steamed rice
  • Beef brisket with flat rice noodle soup
  • Mango with pomelo and sago

But before all that eatings starts, business class passengers will notice the new-look menus.

Printed as eight pages on quality paper, they not only detail the meals and drinks available on that flight but include foodie-friendly articles such as 'Anatomy of a Laksa' and feature a local chef revealing their favourite eateries both in Hong Kong and around thr world.

There will also be a breakfast menu card which passengers will complete before hitting the hay, so that they can wake to what the airline described as a "hotel room-service" experience.

However, these are set menus rather than allowing travellers to pick-and-mix from a wide selection of items.

In addition to what's described as 'traditional' Chinese and Western breakfasts, there's also a lighter Continental breakfast plus a minimalist Express breakfast of a piece of pastry and a drink, which can be served 60 minutes before landing for passengers who wish to maximise their sleep.

Refreshments will be revamped as a selection of 'most loved dishes' available throughout the flight as a snack between meals on services to North America and Europe, including the airline's signature burger and popular soup noodles. These will also appear on the main meal menu.

Next year will see Cathay's 'new business class dining concept' extend to medium-distance routes, with plans to include Sydney and Auckland in February 2019 and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth in May 2019.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

9 Comments

  • Skipp

    Skipp

    20 Jul, 2018 12:48 pm

    Look forward to the new meal service in business class coming within the next 12 months - it will make a nice change.
    I just hope (for the future) that Cathay Pacific will stop serving the exact same economy class meals in "Premium" economy class.
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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    20 Jul, 2018 01:34 pm

    Why bother with the white linen tablecloth if they are serving it on a plastic cafeteria tray? The promo pictures show all set up to eat off the tray. Euww.. I will take it all off the tray and set it up like other airlines J class. FAIL for presentation, CX.
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  • mrj

    mrj

    20 Jul, 2018 02:42 pm

    I recently suggested to Cathay that their business classs food is amongst the worst of all airlines. Interestingly their response failed to mention this planned revamp.
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  • AADFW

    AADFW

    20 Jul, 2018 02:57 pm

    I'm really glad they're going back to classy, glossy paper stock for the menus versus the uncoated groundwood paper they switched to a few years back. Now if they would only bring back that trademark chocolate box at the end of the meal...
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  • David Flynn

    David

    20 Jul, 2018 03:25 pm

    I was on CX a few weeks back and the chocolates made an appearance on every flight...
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  • Manjit Sadhwani

    Manjit Sadhwani

    20 Jul, 2018 03:19 pm

    It's about time
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  • HKAus

    HKAus

    20 Jul, 2018 03:41 pm

    CX Catering is bar far the most outdated and leaves an overall cheap and poor guest experience of most International airliners. CX have unfortunately chosen over the last decade to reduce their overheads where guests can see and feel the difference. Personally after 5 years as a Diamond CX member I have moved to competitors; poor catering, moody crew members, consistently delayed flights (due to over use of planes with no margin for delays) and ridiculous pricing have enabled me to now enjoy such operators as KLM, Virgin Australia, Qantas & Lufthansa; all with an overall better "J"Class experience. Interestingly as a result of my change in travel I was dropped to Gold and this year even though I should have dropped another tier, they obviously are trying to get pax like myself back because they extended my gold status.
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  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    20 Jul, 2018 04:39 pm

    It was taken CX far too long to make changes to the atrocious F&B that has annoyed their long term supporters . The plastic cafeteria tray certainly brings the enhancements down a few levels can’t, understsnd who approved this inclusion . Totally agree with HKAus, supported CX for over two decades but over the last two years the deterioration in service , punctuality and value has been palpable.


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  • Tony OBERON

    obi

    20 Jul, 2018 04:48 pm

    Looks marginally better - but CX are you seriously going to use a plastic tray? At least put a cloth on the tray - if for no other reasons than hygiene! I’m a germophobe and I cringe to see cutlery sitting on a plastic tray, which cannot be washed at the same high temps as crockery. Lysteria et al here we come.
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 08:05 am

 Cartier Santos: the original pilot's watch, reimagined

Cartier Santos: the original pilot's watch, reimagined

Very few watches can claim true originality, and the Cartier Santos is among those few.

The Santos made its debut way back in 1904 as a personal timepiece for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, making it both the first pilot’s watch and one of the earliest known men’s wristwatches.

The story

As we've previously detailed, the Santos was borne from a request by Brazilian flyer Santos-Dumont, who told his friend Louis Cartier – then a Parisian watchmaker – of the challenge of timing flights using the then-conventional pocket watch, as pilots needed to keep both hands on the aircraft controls.

In response, Cartier designed a large square-faced watch and fitted it to a strap so it could be worn on the wrist – quite a revolutionary concept at the time.

The first commercial Cartier Santos watches went on sale to the public in 1911 with solid gold cases and ultra-thin mechanical movements designed by French clockmaker Edmond Jaeger.

(In order to produce this movement for Cartier, Jaeger worked with Swiss movement manufacturer Jacques-David LeCoultre, a partnership that would lead to the birth of storied brand Jaeger-LeCoultre.)

The enduring design of the Cartier Santos was reimagined in the late 1970s as a luxury steel sports watch, later adding two-tone steel and gold and the now-iconic screwed bezel with exposed gold screws along the bracelet for a modern, industrial aesthetic.

The style

For 2018, Cartier has once again re-invented the Santos.

The distinctive screw-set bezel now tapers at both ends towards the bracelet to create an organic, integrated look.

The satin-brushed case features a wide mirror-polished bevel along its length, extending all the way to the gracefully curved crown guards at 3 o’clock. A square watch the Santos may be, but there’s hardly a sharp edge or straight line to be found.

The case has been slimmed dramatically from previous incarnations of the Santos, allowing this watch to disappear easily under a shirt cuff when needed.

The bracelet is fitted with a new 'QuickSwitch' system allowing for easy swapping with the included tan calfskin strap or Cartier’s alternative crocodile straps, providing some style versatility.

Adding or removing bracelet links has also been made easier with a new 'SmartLink' design which allows the wearer to expand the bracelet during a hot summer’s day without requiring a tool.

While the bezel, case and bracelet have all been modernised, the dial remains classic Cartier. With Roman numerals, a railroad minute-track and heat-blued hands, it’s hard to imagine a more traditional look.

The 2018 Cartier Santos can serve dress-watch and sports-watch duties equally well, and boasts a history that few timepieces can match.

The details

• In-house mechanical movement with automatic winding
• Seven-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel
• Silvered opaline dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal
• Water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100 metres)
• Medium version case width: 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.83 mm
• Large version case width: 39.8 mm, thickness: 9.08 mm
• Pricing from A$8,750 for the Cartier Santos Medium in steel, to A$52,500 for the Cartier Santos Large in solid pink gold with matching pink gold bracelet. For stockists, visit www.au.cartier.com.

Jason Swire

Jason Swire (Jason Swire)

[email protected] /

Jason Swire is a Sydney-based writer, watch collector and author of 'Timely Advice', a beginner's guide to fine timepieces. His non-watch passions include hi-fi and whiskey, in that order.
 

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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 08:05 am

Finnair flicks the switch on free WiFi for European flights

Finnair flicks the switch on free WiFi for European flights

Finnair will launch inflight Internet on its European flights this week, with travellers able to enjoy the high-speed satellite service free of charge during a two-month trial period running through to the end of September.

The Oneworld airline has already outfitted six of its single-aisle Airbus jets with technology provided through partner Viasat, which also provided the backbone for Qantas' Australia-wide WiFi system.

By the end of northern summer some 20 aircraft will be upgraded, with Finnair's entire single-aisle Airbus fleet slated for WiFi by mid-2019.

The system will be available on a gate-to-gate basis, so passengers won't even need to wait for their jet to reach level flight – which will maximise time online for many of Finnair's relatively short European hops.

However, parts of some European routes will present black spots to the satellite network, including above the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, while some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia.

Over the two-month testing period Finnair intends to "gather information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience."

"In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimise our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviours," explains Viasat vice-president Don Buchman.

The airline has yet to reveal what pricing it will charge for its sky-high WiFi once the trial period ends, although frequent flyers will no doubt hope that some sort of monthly pass is available as an alternative to paying on a per-flight basis.

Finnair already offers WiFi on its long-range 'intercontinental' jets, with the first hour free for business class and Finnair Plus Gold members, then €3 (A$4.70) for three hours or €20 (A$31) for the entire flight. Finnair Plus Platinum frequent flyers are provided with free Internet access for the whole flight.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

2 Comments

  • eight10man

    eight10man

    20 Jul, 2018 06:19 pm

    Not sure how you can have black spots when using satellite internet.. especially when those black spots happen to be above the sea. Could it be this system is actually and ground-to-ground system maybe?
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  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    20 Jul, 2018 10:35 pm

    Just flew BKK>>>HEL, A350 with wifi. Couldnt get a connection of any sort. Just kept message, don’t close the browser. I do hope it gets better for the next lot of passengers
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 08:05 am

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