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.
On 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.
Come 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.
The 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.
If 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.
One 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.
Before 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?
This 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.
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.
As 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
The 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
Singapore 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.
Food 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.
The 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 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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