The moment had finally arrived. It was time to experience (at the time) the superlative first class product in the skies.
We had to get to the gate, though, from The Private Room, Singapore’s lounge-within-a-lounge for first class passengers. The walk took a lot longer than we thought and by the time we arrived at the gate, most passengers had already boarded. After a quick security screening (screening in SIN is at individual gates rather at a central checkpoint), we were walking down the jet bridge. Would this be the flight of our lives?
“Mr. Klint and Mr. Klint. Welcome abroad! You have the cabin to yourselves today.”
Singapore (SIN) – Melbourne (MEL)
Wednesday, May 30, 2013
Seat: 1A (Suites Class)
When you have a cabin to yourself, the dynamic of the flight changes tremendously. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Think about it: we had three FAs just for the two of us. On the one hand, in these situations service cannot possibly be more attentive and customized. But that’s also the potential drawback as well, isn’t it? If you feel you have three FAs watching over your back the entire flight, that can also make you more self-conscious and uncomfortable.
The crew was excellent on the flight and frankly very much unlike the Singapore Airlines many of us expect. The crew was more laid back and almost sassy…in a flirtatious sort of way. While it was not what I was expecting, it worked well. Some people accuse Singapore FAs of being almost robotic and that was not the case on this flight.
When it came time for lunch service, my uncle asked for suggestions for the initial courses. The FA response–
“You tell us what you want and chances are we have it. This is your flight, you just let us know your needs and we will accommodate them.”
You could almost read that as disrespectful, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, I think the FAs wanted to emphasize that a fully customized experience was available on this flight.
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Lavatory
Although the flight would only be seven hours, I changed into my pajamas before the journey. First class is on the lower deck of the A380 on Singapore Airlines, meaning the bathrooms are not as spacious.
Even so, the bathrooms as stocked with Ferragamo amenities, real towels, and had plenty of room to change in. Again, FAs were waiting outside the door to take my clothes and hang them in the closet.
Singapore Airlines A380 Suite
Note that since my flight, Singapore has changed the leather on the seats. They are now dark brown rather than orange. The suites themselves remain unchanged.
These are spacious suites with sliding doors and a high degree of personal privacy. The cabin features 12 suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. The partition dividing the center suites can be retracted to create a double bed for couples traveling together.
The cabin has no overhead bins, but large carry-ons easily fit underneath the ottoman (which also doubles as a guest chair).
Seat and IFE controls as well as a power outlet were easily accessible. The Suite also offers sufficient personal storage for items like watches, passports, and wallets.
After the meal service there was only about 4.5 hours left in flight and I used the remainder of the time to sleep. Bedding is not only comfortable, but beautiful and with the cabin darkened I enjoyed a tremendous nap. When fully-reclined, the bed is 6’4″ (1.9 meters).
Singapore Airlines A380 Tour
This was my uncle’s first time on an A380. One FA asked him if he would be interested in a tour.
Does a baby like milk?
The tour took about 20 minutes, circling the entire plane. We began by proceeding up the grand staircase to the business class cabin above. This configuration of the A380 featured two business class cabins: the front cabin was half full and the rear cabin was totally empty. Not a very profitable day to fly to Melbourne, it seemed…
Note how large the Singapore Airlines’ business class seats are. This seat receives criticism for the way it must be manually placed in lie-flat mode and that it is not the most comfortable seat in other modes, but it is certainly spacious.
Our tour continued down the spiral staircase in the rear of the plane and through the economy class cabins, which were much more crowded.
What an aircraft!
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Meal Service
Back in our suites, it was time to begin our feast! We had pre-ordered rack of lamb from the Book the Cook menu but enjoyed an excellent lead-up to the main course.
Just after boarding, we were offered macadamia nuts and choice of beverage. I ordered still water and was surprised that it was served in a plastic bottle rather than a glass.
So that we could converse while dining, my uncle and I moved to the center section. A FA set up our table for lunch, which included a cold towel, butter dish, olive oil, salt and pepper, still water glass, cutlery, and a bread plate.
I wasn’t in the mood for champagne and stuck to Bordeaux red wine instead. It was exceptional.
The garlic bread on Singapore Airlines is perhaps the best in the sky.
Next up came a generous caviar cause. No mother of pearl spoon on Singapore Airlines.
My uncle skipped caviar this time and instead had a seared tuna appetizer:
I followed up my caviar with a bowl of creamy mushroom soup:
Next up, a Cesar salad with fresh bacon and shaved parmesan cheese on top.
Finally, it was time for the main course…lamb so good I dedicated a separate post to it.
The Incredible Main Course
The rack of lamb was cooked a perfect medium rare, oozing with flavor, and far better lamb that I receive in many restaurants. This was and remains one of the best–if not the best–airline meals I have ever had. The au gratin potatoes served with were also excellent and even mint jelly was offered. While I think mint jelly ruins lamb, my uncle loves it.
The feast was not yet over. A cheese course followed with four excellent varieties along with crackers, walnuts, dried apricots and grapes. The Camembert was exceptional.
Finally, I enjoyed a light dessert of pineapple rice pudding in milk followed by a cup of tea.
With just the two of us, the meal was served at the perfect pace.
About 90 minutes before takeoff I was awakened and asked if I wanted to dine agin. No way. I had even ordered a steak using Book the Cook, but just turned over and went back to sleep. I was still stuffed.
Amenity Kits + IFE
As I explained in my introduction to this trip report, this was a flight from May 2013. Back then, the way I photographed flights was much less systematic than today. I apologize for not having more details on the menus and IFE. Singapore does offer Bose noise cancelling headphones in Suites Class.
The amenity kits, slippers, and pajamas, they were identical to my flight from San Francisco to Singapore.
Flying Singapore Suites is a treat. Flying Singapore Suites when you have the cabin to yourself is a very special treat. This was in incredible flight experience in every way. The only problem was that it was far too short…only seven hours.
Splurging on Singapore Suites may seem exc, even when using your miles, but it is worthwhile. What a flight!