Review: Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Suites Class, Singapore – Sydney

Must-read Earlier Installments:

I walked over to the boarding gate from The Private Room. I love Singapore’s gates, each with their own dedicated security screening so there’s never a line. You don’t get screened until you’re ready to board, more or less, and the jetway is within eye shot of the metal detector.

I walked up to the gate to board and my boarding pass beeped. “Uh oh,” I thought. And the agent at the gate looked for a moment and appeared very troubled. She told me that the reading light at my seat was marked as being out of service, so she wanted to offer me a different seat. Another agent stepped in, though, and let us both know that the light had been fixed and I was ok to board.

A possible burnt out reading light warranted stopping the boarding process and taking the attention of two gate agents. And there was actually an agent standing by aware of the situation with my reading light. That’s an example of Singapore Airlines at its best, I suppose!

I remember the days of flying United where it was assumed your reading light would be broken, it was even one of the radio button selections when you’d go online to claim compensation for a problem inflight (for which you’d be given a card by a flight attendant).

I walked onboard and was met at the jetway by a lovely Singapore flight attendant who showed me to my seat. That’s when I realized that I had boarded an A380 furnished with Singapore’s new first class interior! I hadn’t actually seen one of those yet.

The new interior means a somewhat more comfortable seat for lounging. The basic Singapore seat is fantastic as a bed but in seat mode doesn’t adjust enough to get really comfortable. The newer version of the seat has somewhat better recline but much more comfortable material.

I think think that Singapore Airlines has the single best looking product I’ve ever seen in their A380 first class seat (admittedly, I’ve yet to try the Etihad A380 First Class Apartment).

Here’s the inside of the suite.

There’s power and USB connections:

A compartment for a noise cancelling headset:

Here’s the seat controller and beneath that the video controller.

The view looking out at the next suite…

…and down the row of suites.

Flight attendants scurried around the cabin to make sure all of the preflight needs were met. That of course begins with champagne.

Menus were distributed (click each page to enlarge):

Pajamas were distributed, and given the short 7 hour overnight to Sydney I decided I’d change into them right away.

So I headed off to the lavatory.

On the way out, a flight attendant hung my clothes in the suite’s closet.

To balance the pre-departure champagne, and to accompany the nuts, I had a glass of water.

Here’s the Ferragamo amenity kit.

Dinner service began almost immediately in the air, since of course it was going to need to be completely quickly in order to leave time for a nap prior to arrival in Sydney.

I decided to begin with the caviar service, which I was surprised to find on the short supper flight.

I followed that with the fish maw and Chinese ham soup.

I had eaten in the lounge, and was very tired, so preferred an abbreviated meal service. So I asked if I could have my main course, I preferred the Indian fish curry, saved for later to be served with breakfast. That was not a problem.

I had decided against pre-ordering, and I’ll always find something that I like, but departing Singapore I do think it’s a good idea to at least consider the array of entree choices you can pick to have Singapore place onboard for you.

So I skipped the entree for the moment and had the ‘Gotham black’ dessert.

Once I had finished my meal, a flight attendant asked if she could make my bed. Yes please!

The Singapore Airlines first class bed really does have to be made, it isn’t just pressing a button to make the seat flat and then adding a sheet and maybe a blanket. The seat itself has to be flipped over so that the flat mattress comes out in place of the seat.

I laid down for a nap that lasted about three hours. I wasn’t going to wake up just to eat breakfast, but I didn’t have an especially deep sleep and I awoke naturally so I decided to have what was on offer.

I began with a bit of fruit

And then the Indian fish curry that the flight attendants had saved for me from the main meal, which was absolutely delicious.

During breakfast I signed onto the internet, buying 15 megs of data which cost half what unlimited data would have been if I was on a 777-300ER for the flight segment. That’s just enough data to let me download email, and check what I had missed overnight (daytime in the US) on the blogs. I wrote a post quickly, but couldn’t upload a small photo to go with it. Singapore’s systems kept blocking me from successfully uploading. No matter, I made a bulleted list for the post instead of using a graphic.

I changed back into my street clothes, and we were on the ground quickly. It was a short walk to immigration, and since US Global Entry gets reciprocity in Australia I was quickly through the ‘E-Gate’ system.

Ultimately I think there’s no more attractive cabin or better bed than Singapore offers in this A380. There’s no better inflight service, either, and the main meals especially departing Singapore are truly fantastic. The amenities and inflight entertainment (which I didn’t use on this flight) are top notch as well.

They don’t have the bling factor of Emirates with the onboard showers. And the seat could be better for lounging, though the new first class improves on what they had previously. For longer flights they could use a better snack menu.

Unquestionably, though, Singapore Airlines offers one of the very best first class products in the world with the suites onboard this aircraft.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Loved the picture of the Singapore Girls’ behind, but I am not sure she would appreciate it as much 🙂

  2. Actually you do not need Global entry to use the e-gates in Australia just a e-passport with the chip in the middle page. We just arrived in Australia a week ago and my girlfriend was directed to use the e-gates with her US e-passport and she does not have global entry worked great.

    Are you sure there is a reciprocity for global entry with Australia I wonder what status/program we need to be in to use Global Entry since I can not apply for Global Entry but I might be able to apply for an Australian equivalent (Australian travelling on an Australian e-passport).
    C

    Cheers

    Chris

  3. Funny re: reading light, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that that may be thanks to me. I flew SQ Suites about three months ago, and had a panoply of broken lights and lights that wouldn’t turn *off*. We were three, and of the three suites, two had these issues. Mine were so bad that the FA had to tape them – and he only had diaper bags that said SOILED DIAPERS on them, that he had to tape over my suite. Toilet lighting was broken, too, which the crew acknowledged.

    Long story short, I wrote a long scathing letter to them. I asked, how can a flight departing home base be so broken.

    What really impressed me, though, was the response. The regional sales manager flew to my city to take me out to dinner and discuss. They committed to better training and preflight checks. And I got a bottle of Johnnie Blue out of it. So maybe your experience was a result of it. 🙂

  4. Interesting re your take on the gates. I hate at-gate security (Geneva has it too) – I much prefer screening beforehand and being able to relax in the lounge without worrying about how long the queue will be. On all my flights there’s been a queue at gate security too, presumably as they’ve only got the staff to have one lane open. I’m sure I read somewhere that as part of their development plan they’re trying to get rid of this setup as they find it inefficient (which it is). Some airports (e.g London City) staff their main security very well and run it extremely efficiently such that there’s never more than 5-10min wait.

    I agree with how good Suites are (although was impressed by the Etihad offering in Lucky’s post) – even better if you have the whole cabin to yourself as I did on a recent trip, then you get the double bed 😀

  5. Gary, could you please be more specific regarding internet charges? Saying something is “half the price”, and “15 meg” vs “unlimited” without context is difficult to understand. Thanks.

  6. Its strange that the service in Coach on SQ is so terrible. I just flew SFO-BOM twice in a month and each trip had its own issues. Nothing quite like the smooth and attentive service I have been reading about. Ran out of food on 2 flights, entertainment system was broken, service was real bad with crew running around like headless chickens completely confused and serving a few rows, skipping a few rows, and just in general not a smooth experience. Even bags tagged priority (Star Gold) were among the last set to arrive on the conveyor belt (we were the last 10 pax left) when our bags showed up. Would love to try “F” once to see the difference.

  7. Looking into booking Suites Class for 2, SIN-NRT-LAX. Need 183,000 Kris miles. Current balances are MR – 92,000, UR – 90,000, SPG – 77,000. Thoughts on the most efficient transfer option?? Considering draining MR and UR and buy 1,000 Kris at $40. Or should I take advantage of SPG transfer bonus? (Keeping in mind I’d like to use redeem points eventually at St. Regis Bali)

  8. Great that I came across your post! I am going to be on the same flight in early June and I was wondering would they be serving the caviar and if a continental breakfast would also be served! Good to know that they would be so I would skip my meal at the Private Room!

    The new suite class seats are much better looking than the tired dated orange brown seats! Looking forward to it!

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