a bed in a plane
The Final Verdict
The Seat
The Bed
The Entertainment
The Food
The Drinks
The Service

Sometimes, you just know you’re going to have a great flight long before the plane actually takes off. With an ultra clean and modern cabin, a razor sharp cabin crew and the quiet whisper of the A380 upper deck, I instantly knew that this was one of those days.

The Singapore Airlines A380 has always been a beautiful plane both inside and out, but brand new seats and cabin touches make this already exciting experience into one of the better business class experiences in the sky, albeit with a few quirks. Here’s what it’s like to fly the double decker A380 upstairs on Singapore Airlines.

Spoiler alert: it’s great.

a row of seats on an airplaneOn Board Singapore Airlines New A380 Upper Deck

A seat alone doesn’t make an experience, nor does a great crew make up for a terrible seat. When you have both though – life is pretty grand. Within minutes of reaching seat 95A –  the happiest I’ve ever been to see a row number that high on a boarding pass – I was greeted by name by the all-star crew and offered a slew of welcome amenities.

a spiral staircase with metal railingsCome to think of it, I can’t think of a singular encounter in flight in which a member of the crew did not greet me by name, and the same seemed to go for all other passengers in my section. This attention to detail was stunning, particularly in business class where there’s more than 40 passengers, not six.

As I settled into my seat, I just had to marvel at how crisp, bright and new it all felt.

a seat in a planeThe colours were vibrant, the materials were well selected and the screen was arguably the perfect size. I was shocked at the amount of storage space the seat offered, which would’ve virtually allowed me to store a full sized carry on under my seat, in addition to my cabin bag. It’s that impressive, truly, and in a way reminded me of how you store things in Emirates First Class.

a seat in a plane the inside of a planeIf you happen to be travelling with someone you’d like to be “close” to, you can’t beat the new two person seats on select middle rows. It’s basically a double bed in the sky, albeit with a small divider to make sure no one gets any big ideas.

a seat with a screen and a pillowOne thing that instantly drew my attention was the modern in-flight entertainment system. It was clear that I could login to my Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer profile and enable additional services and customizations. It’s early days for this sort of thing, but futurists have shown how passengers can receive completely tailored and personalized service using this sort of interactivity in the near term.

a mirror on the seat of an airplaneBefore long, we were rolling down the runway in the alarmingly graceful way which only the upper deck of the A380 offers. It’s incredibly quiet up here and the materials on the seat and layout touches throughout the cabin seem to only help accomplish that remarkable feat. Having quiet on a plane is lovely.

But what about bed mode?

a seat in an airplaneThis is almost unanimously agreed upon as the widest and most comfortable business class seat for lounging around, but when it comes to bed mode the audience begins to splinter. The reason: you’ll need to contort slightly on an angle to lay fully flat.

a bed in an airplane a bed in a plane For most travellers, this is far easier and more pleasurable than one might expect, but others find the angle to be just a bit sharp. I’m a rather tall traveller and I didn’t particularly mind it – however, I get where people are coming from. If you are someone who struggles to sleep on their side, or prefers the widest of foot wells, aim for a bulkhead or exit row, which tend to have the widest foot cubbies in a more front on position. Rows 91 and 96 tend to offer decent options in this regard.

a bed in a planeAs to the actual bedding, it’s as lovely as expected. The duvet was the right weight with quality to breathe, the pillow was substantial and the extra touches such as the seat topper made a solidly padded seat all the more enjoyable.

In Flight Entertainment On Singapore Airlines

a screen on a planeThe new entertainment systems used on this upper deck business class seat are as good as you’ll get on any airline. I typically rate the Qatar Airways Qsuite as the industry benchmark for screen speed and connectivity and this system easily held its ground. In plain english: you can flick along the screen like your iPad, and unless you have a newer iPad this may feel faster.

As to the actual selection, it was excellent. I’d love to see more HBO boxsets, but I found plenty of classics, new releases and scattered TV episodes to pass the time.

Food And Drinks In Singapore Business Class

a plate of food on a tableSingapore Airlines still serves Charles Heidsieck Champagne in business class, which is really as good as it gets for non vintage. It’s rich, thanks to a long resting period and tantalizing on the taste buds in the nicest of ways. This was a day flight during an intensive around the world trip, so I opted out on this particular flight, but rest assured I’ve spent many hours in the air making sure the above Charles Heidsieck statements are completely accurate.

Though there was nothing else “wowing” in the wine department outside of the Champagne, the wines, such as the Spanish Artadi Vinas De Gain were well sourced and in line with positive user feedback on apps like Vivino.

a plate of food on a tableFood time. As someone who hates the bland choice of something resembling pasta, something which was once perhaps a chicken or something which may have one point originated from the sea – I love that Singapore offers local delicacies at each meal. On this flight I enjoyed an absolutely exquisite Roti Prata, which is essentially an Indian flat bred with a delicious fish curry. It hit all the marks on the 100 point scale.

a large white airplane in the skyThe Final Verdict On The Singapore A380

I’m both very lucky and cursed to travel at a level of frequency where few flights leave a lasting impression. When it comes to reviews, I actually think many airlines would wish that they didn’t leave an impression at all, because I might choose not to write about it ; ) This flight was just different.

I find the professionalism, style and grace of Singapore Airlines crews to be amongst the very best, and the design elements placed into the seat really create an atmosphere of modern luxury. I find the benchmark of my true feelings regarding airline products to be how likely I am to spend discretionary money to fly them again in the future, and I’d go out of my way to pay for Singapore business class over most other options.

It’s a lovely experience, especially on these newer A380’s, which you can identify by the fact that they’ll only have six first class seats on the seat map.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. While historically Singapore has had a top business product the last 15 years that is not the case with the new seats. Soft product with hospitality, service and book the cook is highly ranked but the new seats are subpar. You’d think that with such a big shell bordering on the size of a first class shell there would be plenty of space for the passenger. That is not the case at all. The footwell is tiny and a person has to lie down at an angle to extend legs and sleep. It’s a major misstep.

    Singapore now is in the same position as Ethidad and especially Emirates in offering the top first class product in existence but with a lackluster business class.

  2. Why the supersaturated, purple-hued photos? Why not just a filter that adds bunny ears to the seats?
    Excellent article despite this minor quibble and thank u for the hard work all this takes.

  3. @AK Agreed – I love the articles on this site but the over saturated, color-toned images are ridiculous on what is supposed to be a review presumably aiming to give an accurate representation. The cabin ( and hotel room ) images GSTP puts out on a regular basis are the exact opposite of an accurate representation. I’d much rather see an image of what the cabin actually looks like, otherwise what’s the point?

    1. To my eye, that’s pretty much exactly what the cabin looks like, especially when the light washes installed on this aircraft are in effect.

      1. Huh, the trim and tray table are a lightish brown, not orange or a deep shade of red, no matter what the lighting. Seriously I love the articles, but the split toning and saturation on your images doesn’t do them justice. Do an image search on Google and see if you’ll quickly notice how unlike everyone else’s they look. Aesthetically I like saturation and curves, but not overdone on images that are supposed to be an accurate representation.

        1. I appreciate the kind words and I totally get where you’re coming from, but I just looked at all the unedited images and I these really aren’t at all that off. Have you flown this newer A380 upstairs in the daylight? I know the old cabins are much dimmer and more earth toned, but I’d say the tray table was pretty damn orange. If your email is correct, just lmk or drop me one and I’ll send you the untouched images. Very best, G.

  4. Gilbert,

    Which route & flight # was this?
    How long was the flight?
    How acquired: points or cash?

  5. I think this is a sponsored post. I am a Singapore Airlines PPS Solitaire member and these seats are terrible and far inferior to the previous business class seats. Literally no elbow room because of high barriers on each side or usable seat level storage. Very narrow compared to old seats.

    1. The beautiful thing about the world is that you’re entitled to think whatever you want.

      The unfortunate part of the world for some people is that there are also facts. In this case, the post was not sponsored, endorsed or collaborated in any way.

  6. I agree with the previous comment that these seats are nowhere are good as what Gilbert has made them out to be. The previous generation was a very good seat but some disliked the foot rest and having to sleep at an angle. But the seats were wide and very comfortable. This generation they have retained the worst of the previous generation, aka the footwell and removed the best feature, the wide seat. In doing so they managed to cram more seats in the same space as previously so it is an overall smaller and less spacious seat. Singapore Airlines has received many complaints from its frequent fliers about this seat to the extent that it is re-considering the rollout of the seat on the A380 so it is surprising that it is reviewed so highly here.

  7. Are these business seats similar to the A350 where some of the seats are difficult to sleep in or are these seats better for a very tall person?

  8. Alex, these seats suck. Far worse than the A350 version. Just look at the user rating of less than 50%. Avoid if you can.

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