Narita to Singapore

(Singapore Airlines Flight 11 – Part II)

Today we conclude SIA Flight 11 with the segment from Narita to Singapore. Last week I told you about re-mastering YouTube videos during the lock-down, specifically our trip to the Maldives in 2017 using Singapore Airlines Flight 11 (part 1 here). The Narita to Singapore segment is the second half of SIA Flight 11.

Before re-boarding for the Narita to Singapore segment, I’ll walkabout the terminal and see what I am missing in Japan. I’ve been wanting to visit Japan, and this pit stop allows a quick tease.

Tokyo Narita Walkabout

Once you arrive at Narita, you are re-screened through security before entering the the terminal. Based on the airport signage, Singapore Airlines Flight 12 from Singapore to Los Angeles also follows this same route, flying in the opposite direction.

signage directing passengers to security at tokyo narita
This way to security for Passengers on Singapore Airlines flights 11 or 12

Most passengers head directly to the duty free shopping areas. I am tempted by the various trinkets, but less stuff when traveling is important for me. I thought my wife was going to pick up this Hello Kitty, but she passed as well.

ANA hello kitty doll
Get yourself a Hello Kitty ANA doll at duty free!

And if dolls aren’t your interest, you can stop by the candy store. I didn’t know that many types of Pocky sticks were available (not that I can have them, btw).

duty free candy shop at tokyo narita
Some duty free candy? Find it at Tokyo Narita

Our stop in Narita was just under two hours, enough time to stretch and get a tease of Japan. I’m looking forward to a Tokyo visit someday soon! Two hours goes fast at the airport, and it was quickly time to re-board.

Boeing 777-300ER

Our aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER, is configured with three or four classes. I was not able to confirm that this aircraft included the 4 seat first class section, something I’ve not seen with my own eyes to date. I have seen the business class and used both the economy and premium economy seats offered by Singapore Airlines. Today is all about economy (but I’d choose the premium economy based on my flight experiences heading to and from the Grand Prix race last year)!

Singapore Airlines has chosen to limit their seating to 9 across in economy, configured in a 3-3-3 arrangement. This is contrary to most of their competitors who seat economy passengers 10 across in a 3-4-3 arrangement. I’ve experienced this on a domestic Boeing 777 operated by United Airlines and it is snug!

Singapore Airlines seats on this aircraft are 19 inches wide and provide 32 inches of seat pitch (the distance to the seat in front of you). Squeezing in an additional seat in the middle section for 10 across reduces the seat width to 17 inches. More room is always preferred, IMO.


Dinner on my flight was grilled chicken with (I think) saffron rice and steamed vegetables. Since it is gluten free it is “off menu” so I can’t confirm the items, but I think it’s a good guess. As with most of my airline gluten free meals, I found this somewhat more bland than is my preference, but still very good.

singapore airlines gluten free dinner
Singapore Airlines gluten free chicken and rice with vegetables

We passed through an area of potentially severe turbulence which prompted the captain to seat the flight attendants for about an hour. Safety first! Thankfully for my wife and most of the passengers, the turbulence wasn’t really severe. I’ve never seen the entire wing leave a sheet contrail (head to 6:10 in the video if you want to see what I mean)! Beyond that the remaining flight time is uneventful.

Wrap up

Singapore Airlines Flight 11 spends 18 hours in the air traveling from Los Angeles to Singapore. Total travel time, assuming you spend 3 hours prior to departure at the airport, plus the two hour layover, and say one additional hour at Changi upon arrival yields a total of 24 hours!

An alternative not available back in 2017 is a direct Singapore Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Singapore. This flight advertises a flight time of 17 hours. While only one hour less than the Narita route, actual flight times are typically closer to 15 hours, based on my research.

A fifteen hour direct flight cuts the total travel down to 19 hours, a five hour savings. Is that better than getting out and stretching you legs? It is for me, at least. I’d rather do the direct flight, as long as I can sit in premium economy. If only economy seating was available, I may consider the Narita route. What do you think?

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