SilkAir Review: Flight from Singapore to Phuket (Boeing 737)

SilkAir is the wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines offering over 50 short to middle haul flights throughout Asia.  SilkAir began in 1989 under the name of Tradewinds the Airline, as part of Tradewinds Pte Ltd who exclusively marketed holiday packages for Singapore Airlines.  In 1992 the airline was renamed SilkAir.

Today the airline’s focus is on being the regional carrier of Singapore Airlines offering a full-service flight experience that includes luggage, meals, full bar and in-flight entertainment options.

Let’s find out if SilkAir lives up to its promises with our SilkAir review.

In this Article on a Flight Review of SilkAir You Will Learn:

*  How to book with SilkAir
*  What to expect on-board a SilkAir Boeing 737
*  What to pack in your carry-on luggage for a SilkAir flight
*  What you need to do before flying with SilkAir

To begin with, “why did we choose to fly with SilkAir?”

Well, whilst many international airlines fly directly into Phuket International Airport, that doesn’t mean that you will be able to get a direct flight from your hometown to Phuket.  Such is the case for us flying on a family trip to Phuket from Perth.  Our options are to fly either via Bangkok or Singapore.  We also prefer to fly with full-service carriers over low-cost.  So with only a couple of airlines left to choose from, we choose Singapore Airlines which offers a choice of three flights a day out of Perth.  We can then connect from Singapore to Phuket with SilkAir airlines.

So what was our SilkAir flight like?

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Booking a SilkAir Flight

We book our SilkAir flights as part of a package that also includes flights with Singapore Airlines from Perth to Singapore and accommodation in Phuket at the Centara Grand Beach Resort.  All this is booked through our travel agent.  I have also booked directly online accommodation at Mai Khao Lak and transfers with Phuket Shuttle.

Other options for you to book your flights include going directly through the SilkAir website.  Or if you need to transfer from a long haul flight then through the Singapore Airlines website.  Or via an online travel booking site such as Expedia*.

Expedia
Included in the airline price are meals, drinks, access to the SilkAir entertainment App and 30kg of checked in luggage – that’s huge for economy class.  My one travel tip here would be to check your luggage allowance on connecting flights as they may not be so generous.

Once you have booked your flights you can go back to the website and manage your booking.  This gives you the chance to add special meals (we add a child’s meal), include your email address and contact details for any flight changes.  You can also choose your seats in advance, this may or may not incur an additional fee depending on your fare type, if you are travelling with kids – it’s free.

SilkAir flights also allow you to utilise the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program.  It just depends on the fare type you have purchased as to how much benefit you receive.

Now it’s just a matter of packing your bags and waiting for departure day.

If you would like to know what to pack in your luggage check out the

Check-in with SilkAir Airlines

If you provided your email address you will receive an email from SilkAir for online check-in approximately two days before departure date.

I didn’t take advantage of this service as we are travelling with our son who has just turned 10 years old.  On previous flights, I have had issues with checking in a minor using the online system, so I just did it the old-fashioned way.  I waited in the main queue at the airport.  Shorter queues were available for business class and those that used the online check-in option.

At Perth International Airport I am greeted with a friendly smile from the check-in agent.  The staff member checks our bags all the way through to Phuket, I receive our Singapore Airlines and SilkAir boarding passes.  On the return sector, checking in at Phuket International Airport I join the small queue that moves fairly swiftly.  The staff member efficiently checks our luggage all the way back to Perth.  On both flight directions, we receive boarding passes all seated together on the SilkAir flight and boarding passes all seated together on Singapore Airlines.

SilkAir Review of the Onboard Experience

Seats

The SilkAir interior is light and bright.  At the front of the Boeing 737, there is a small business class section with two seats on either side of the aisle.  Moving through the partition into economy class the SilkAir seating plan is a little narrower, three abreast on either side of the aisle.  We are seated in row ten with a window, middle and an aisle seat for our party of three.

Each seat has access to a tray table mounted on the seat back of the chair in front, plus a nifty little fold-down flap above the tray table.  This two-inch deep “tray” provides space to mount your iPad or a book – quite clever.

The SilkAir interior of a flight from Phuket to Singapore

SilkAir interior

Cabin Luggage Storage

One of the biggest issues when flying on a 737 is hand luggage space – it happens with all airlines.  This flight really isn’t much different.  We board our flight towards the end and find it a bit of a struggle to locate space in the overhead lockers for our full-sized cabin bags.

In the middle seat, our son has room for his bag at his feet.  But for us, (on the window and aisle) there is only room for a small handbag if you want your feet on the floor as well.  We eventually discover a bit of space in the overhead locker by removing a couple of pillows and blankets.  There are not enough pillows and blankets for all, but it is an afternoon flight, so just handy if the kids want to nod off during the flight.

Entertainment

As I’m not planning on sleeping on this one and a half flight I do want some entertainment to while away the time.  SilkAir has a full entertainment app offering over 300 movies, TV shows and music albums.  There is an in-flight entertainment magazine showcasing what is on offer for your flight month.  At the front of the magazine, there are instructions on how to log into the in-flight WiFi entertainment system.

The instructions work perfectly.  We have chosen a movie to watch and have plugged in our ear pods so that we each can have an ear pod.  The sound only works when headphones are installed.

If you forget to download the SilkAir Studio App before your flight then there is always the option to watch the drop-down monitors without sound (they choose programs that work well as silent shows) or of course read a book.

However, my son and I are enjoying a great family movie and loving that nifty little “tray” mounted above the tray table.  Which is perfect to keep watching the movie when our meals arrive.

Food

We receive our son’s child’s meal before the main service begins – great to be able to get kids sorted before your own meal arrives.  It’s fairly simple hot meal (though not really one of my son’s favourites) with some tinned fruit and a chocolate.

A SilkAir child's meal with meain meal of fish pototoes and beans, fruit, kitkat and soft drink.

SilkAir child’s meal

A choice of chicken with pasta or fish with rice is offered for the main meal.  I choose the chicken.  The tray is not bulging with additional food.  There is just a small pot of refreshing fruit and a coffee.  The chicken dish is pleasant and quite sufficient for a mid-afternoon short flight.

Meal on SilkAir with crumbed chicken pasta, fruit and coffee.

SilkAir adult meal

InFlight Shopping

The trays are not left for an extended amount of time as the flight is short.  Of course, they also want to be able to make a little extra money with the in-flight shopping.

As soon as our trays are swept away an announcement is made that duty free shopping is available.  The cabin crew walk down the aisle at a leisurely pace with the duty-free shopping cart in hopes of a sale.

Immigration cards are also handed by the cabin crew to be completed for Thailands custom officers on arrival.

Arrival

Before we know it the flight is almost over.  The cabin crew make their way through the aircraft to ensure everything is secure in preparation for landing.

A few gasps escape from my fellow passengers as we hit the ground hard in Phuket.  Personally, I thought we could have burst some tyres.  Fortunately, though we are safely on the ground.

We taxi towards Phuket airport then wait.  And wait some more.  There is a malfunction with the airbridge.  This is by no means Silk Air’s fault.  It is a Phuket International Airport issue.  After a 20 minute wait, they magically fix the bridge and we all depart the aircraft.

By the time we have made our way through customs our luggage is waiting for us on the carousel – always a pleasant finale to a flight.

Overall I am impressed with the one and a half hour SilkAir flight from Singapore to Phuket.  We have a pleasant meal, watch a movie, arrive safely, on-time (well it would have been except for the airbridge issue) and with our luggage.  The only hiccup was Phuket International Airport’s malfunction.

Top Trip Tips: Flying SilkAir (with Kids)

  • There is a huge range of special meals available – we order a child’s meals.
    • PLEASE NOTE: You need to book your special meal at least 24 hours in advance and for some meals up to 56 hours in advance.
    • To do this ring the airline direct or use the Manage Booking tab on the SilkAir website.
  • I would also highly recommend pre-booking seats especially if you are travelling with kids or wish to be seated with all your travel party.  SilkAir offers this free for families travelling with infants and children.  Depending on your fare type there may be an additional charge.
    • You can do this on the Manage Booking tab on the website
  • Add your contact phone number and email address into your booking to receive updates and the online check-in email.
    • Again you can do this on the Manage Booking tab.
  • Don’t forget to download the SilkAir Studio entertainment App available on iTunes before you board your flight.  Android users can download the App once onboard.
  • Include in your carry-on luggage:
    • an electronic device
    • headphones
    • book or magazine
    • a pen to fill in immigration cards
    • reading glasses (if you need them).
  • Once you have made your travel booking don’t forget to get travel insurance.  Here are six reasons why you need travel insurance.
If you would like more travel tips on booking a trip check out
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DISCLOSURE:

  • We paid our own SilkAir fares.
  • Aeroplane images courtesy of SilkAir press release and Pixabay.  Photos onboard the aircraft were taken by Tips 4 Trips writer Sally-Ann Brown.
  • Affiliate links* with Cover More and Expedia 
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Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for travel with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips and destination inspirations.

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