Frequent flyer Bino Chua inspires his 47,800 (and counting) followers on Instagram through colourful details of his journeys around the world. While the past two years offered little opportunity for Chua to travel, he is now gearing up for some exciting adventures. We reach out for his insight on what he enjoys most about travelling on Singapore Airlines and the tips he has for how passengers can travel like never before.
What did you miss most about travelling with Singapore Airlines?
The feeling of “coming home” the moment one steps on the plane after a prolonged period in a foreign land. While I stayed in Singapore for two years since the lockdown started and thus felt at home all throughout, it is the ability to experience this abrupt transition (from foreign to the feeling of home) that I missed the most. There’s nothing like the feeling of coming home after an absence, whether it be long or short.
What about Singapore Airlines makes you feel at home?
Seeing some quintessentially Singaporean things such as the safety demonstration video, as well as the chatter coming from the crew and pilots in the local accent makes me feel at home right away.
What did you enjoy most about flying in Business Class?
The lounge. In February 2022, during my first trip after the reopening, I had stopped by the SilverKris Lounge at Changi Airport Terminal 3. It was nice to see the refurbishment and it was not too crowded during my visit. I love that the lounge serves gourmet, barista-made coffee, that I could eat chwee kueh in such a well-appointed setting, and that I could rely on the staff members to print my vaccination papers.
I would also highly rate the warm and genuine service. During my flight, utmost care was given by the crew. They would come to me within short intervals to have a chat about anything under the sun and essentially to check if I needed anything at all.
Any tips for picking the best seats on Singapore Airlines’ Business Class?
On an A350 regional flight, I would recommend going for the slightly more intimate rear Business Class cabin and choosing the standalone bassinet seats, if available.
How have you enjoyed the Book the Cook programme?
For my departing flight in February, I decided to book something not usually found in the BTC menu. I chose the Red Rice Porridge under the collaboration with Como. It was a nice comforting meal – good to have something warm and soupy in a rather cold setting. Similarly, I enjoyed the warm cup of hot chocolate in the middle of the night and a glass of champagne which always somehow tastes better when you’re flying.
What advice do you have for people who are going on their first trip since the pandemic?
Go to the highly popular destinations first (of course these should be destinations that you are actually interested to visit) before the travel sector recovers fully to pre-pandemic levels. Personally, I found it refreshing to revisit Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Chatuchak Market in Bangkok without having to contend with the crowds.
Granted, there are few of such places left that remain free of crowds since the region has already opened up for a couple of months now. But perhaps, one can check out those destinations that have just opened up recently such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.
Follow Bino’s travels at his website, I Wander.
For more information on Singapore Airlines, click here.