After a long day of traveling to New York from Chicago via Atlanta, it was finally time to board my Singapore Airlines Suites Class flight to Frankfurt. Prior to my flight I enjoyed complimentary access to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse since I was flying Singapore Airlines Suites Class. After a light dinner, a few drinks, and a hot shower the Virgin Atlantic desk agent announced the boarding of SQ Flight 25. I proceeded to gate A7 to board what I hoped would be the best flight of my life.
A Brief History Of Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class
Before I get ahead of myself I want to explain why Singapore Suites Class is so special. Singapore Airlines was the launch partner of the Airbus A380 aircraft way back in 2007. To help separate the A380 from the rest of the fleet, Singapore introduced a Suites Class. Singapore’s Suites Class features a large fully enclosed “room” with a separate 6’9″ bed which folds down from the wall. The two center suites feature a retractable partition which allows the central suites to turn into a double bed in the sky!
At the time Singapore Airlines’ Suites Class was the most luxurious way to travel commercially in the world. It’s important to keep in mind that back in 2007 most airlines only offered angled flat beds in business class! Singapore Airlines Suites Class was well ahead of its time and has set the standard for today’s first class product offerings. Now, back to the review.
Boarding Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class
Singapore Airlines (SQ) Flight 25
Saturday April 22, 2017
Duration: 7hrs 45mins
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A380-800
Cabin Class: First (O)
Singapore Airlines Flight 25 boards from Gate A7 at the far end of Terminal 4-A. Prior to boarding the A380 Aircraft remained at a remote stand while being prepped for our flight to Frankfurt.
After retrieving my shiny gold boarding pass from the gate agent I proceeded down the ramp to the Suites jet-bridge.
The jet-bridge leads suites class passengers to the L2 boarding door. As I boarded the flight the incredible staff took note of my name and asked if they could help me with anything. A flight attendant then directed me to my seat (1A) and asked if I wanted a quick tour of the suites cabin or my individual suite.
One thing I quickly realized as I boarded was how friendly and helpful Singapore Airlines flight attendants are. I started taking a few photos of the cabin and immediately one of the flight attendants offered to help in any way possible. The only thing I could not photograph was the open flight deck door.
The A380 Grand Staircase leads up to the business class cabin. Business class passengers boarded through the upper deck boarding door. Only the cabin crew used the grand staircase throughout the flight.
As I took my seat the purser for the flight introduced themselves and asked if I’d like a pre-departure beverage. Alcoholic beverages were not offered due to the airline not wanting to pay US taxes on alcohol.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Seat
Luxury Yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste designed the Singapore Airlines suites class cabin and seat. My flight featured the newly redesigned (2014+) suites cabin with the updated seat design. In between each suite is a closet which is perfect for storing coats and jackets.
My seat, 1A, is the first suite on the left-hand side of the aircraft. For taxi, take-off, and landing the suite “windows” and doors must remain open. As I settled into my seat I couldn’t believe how roomy the suite felt. Wall to wall the suite is nearly 7 feet long!
The seat, as seen above and below, is incredibly spacious and ridiculously comfortable. Both armrests are movable although I found no added comfort by doing so. Powered seat controls on the inside of the right armrest provided limited seat adjustments. The seat controls only move the seat from an upright to a reclined position. It would be nice to have more customization of the seating position. I also couldn’t figure out a way to move the seat forward without reclining.
To the left of the seat (right as pictured) is a massive wooden desktop which was perfect for placing magazines or newspapers. There is also a dedicated cup holder and two dedicated storage bins toward the rear of the seat. Along the windows are two rounded openings, one served as a nice place to store my phone while the other conceals the power plugs and headphone port.
Just across the suite from the large armchair is an ottoman that doubles as a seat for a second passenger. I’m not exactly short, but while seated in the seat my feet did not come close to resting comfortably on the ottoman. Only when I fully reclined my seat could my feet reach.
Below the ottoman is an open storage cubby which is perfect for a purse or backpack and above is the massive 23″ in-flight entertainment screen. Next to the screen is a little door which opens to reveal a vanity mirror.
Along the right side of the seat are the various controls which control nearly every aspect of the suite. A light dimmer switch, flight attendant call buttons, reading/dinner lights, and do not disturb buttons are all found on this panel. Just below the buttons is the handheld in-flight entertainment controller which pops out for convenient use. There is also a small trash can in the corner. Just above the trash can is a second headphone outlet.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Amenities
Toward the end of boarding a flight attendant stopped by to drop off the suites class amenity kit and pajamas. For my flight the large male pajama sets went quickly and only extra-large and medium sets were available. I chose the medium set which ended up being the right fit for me (5’11”).
The amenity kit, by Salvatore Ferragamo, featured a variety of Acqua Essenziale products. The well designed amenity kit includes a bottle of cologne, lip balm, after shave balm, and a cleansing towel. Other items, such as a toothbrush, razor, or comb, are found in the suites class bathroom.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Restroom
Although the Singapore Airlines A380 does not offer an on-board shower, the Suites Class cabin is complete with two spacious restrooms. These restrooms are exclusively for suites class passengers. Folded against the wall of the restroom is a bench which serves as a nice place to store personal items or sit while changing.
On of my favorite features of the Suites Class restrooms is the foot-petal operated trash bin. Simply press down with your foot and the bin cover opened when discarding waste. That coupled with the motion activated sink allow for minimal hand contact with restroom surfaces.
Throughout the flight there were two times when I got up to use the restroom, but both were occupied. Seconds after I stood up for anything a crew member rushed over to see if I needed something. When I mentioned I needed to use the restroom, which were both occupied, they said I could sit down and they would come get me when one opened up. Each time I entered the restroom during the flight it seemed as though I was the first person to do so during the flight.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Dinner
Shortly after take-off the cabin crew visited each passenger’s suite to inquire about their plans for the flight. Some passengers opted out of the meal service and instead chose to sleep immediately. I on the other hand was looking forward to the meal service. When the flight attendant reached my seat they had a freshly opened bottle of Dom Perignon 2006 in hand. The crew member also apologized they were unable to serve a glass as a pre-departure beverage. At this point I informed the purser that I’d like to eat dinner. The crew managed to keep the Dom flowing generously as I waited for the crew to take my meal orders. After a few glasses I refused a refill which seemed shocking to the crew.
Our flight featured a generous menu with several options for mains. If you’d prefer, you can also visit Singapore Airlines’ book the cook website to pre-select a meal. Since I booked my flight just 24 hours prior to departure I was “limited” to the in-flight menu. The in-flight menu is found in a beautiful leather-folio. At first glance the menu seemed overwhelming, but inside were meal options for both the New York to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Singapore flights.
For our flight most courses had a few options to choose from. I wish I would have opted for the book the cook option to avoid the menu anxiety I experienced trying to decide between mains.
The menu also featured a few dessert and snack options as well.
For the flight I chose the Gotham Seafood with Lemon Vinaigrette, Sunchoke Soup with Cold Cauliflower, Salad, Lemon Rosemary Crusted Lam Loin, and the Warm Peach Tart.
This appetizer is absolutely delicious. I struggled deciding between this and the caviar, but am very happy with my decision.
I actually didn’t eat the salad to save room for later courses (dessert). The flight attendant asked if there was an issue and asked if they could bring something else instead.
Each course was delicious, but I was so full I opted to skip the salad to save room for the warm peach tart. Each course came with a fresh set of utensils and was served on Wedgwood China. Meal service lasted nearly two hours from the time I ordered until the table was put away. At that point I was exhausted and requested the famous turndown service so I could sleep.
Before I nodded off I informed the flight crew to wake me up for breakfast. About an hour before landing the flight crew came around to stow the bed and prepare the suite for breakfast. The light breakfast service consisted of fresh fruit, yogurt, a fresh pastry, assorted fresh juices, and coffee.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Bed
Just after I requested turndown service I went to the restroom to change into the complimentary Singapore Airlines pajamas. Both restrooms were occupied and instead of waiting at my seat I opted to stand near the galley. One of the flight attendants insisted I try the airline’s signature drink, the Singapore Kris Swing. When I returned to my suite, which was now a bed, the drink and a bottle of water waited for me on the night stand.
The bed folds down from the wall and the seat folds over as a night stand. When I returned to my seat the suite shades had been lowered and my bed prepared. I closed the doors to the suite, turned on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and fell asleep quickly. I only slept for about three hours, but it was by far the most comfortable in-flight bed I’ve experienced. When I woke up it honestly took a few moments to remember I was 38,000 feet in the air. With the suite doors closed and shades drawn there is very little to remind you that you’re on a commercial airline flight.
After waking up I again used the restroom and when I returned I found my bed again perfectly made. I couldn’t believe how quickly the fight attendants made the bed since I was only away from my seat for a minute or two.
Singapore Airlines Suites Class Service
This brings me to my next point, the service. From the moment I stepped foot on the plane I experienced exceptional service. It’s hard to fully explain what the service is like without experiencing it first hand, but I’ll try my best.
For starters whenever I moved about the cabin each crew member I passed greeted me by name, every single time. Anytime I walked through the cabin I’d hear “Hello, Mr. Moore.” “Mr. Moore, how is your flight?” or “Mr. More is there anything we can do for you?” I couldn’t believe each crew member was able to address me by my name.
I also couldn’t believe how attentive each member of the crew was throughout my flight. Every time I came close to finishing a glass of champagne the flight crew would stop by to top off my glass. I decided to try to finish my glass before a crew member returned, but I ended up loosing that game. After a few glasses of Dom Perignon 2006 I decided to switch to Krug Grande Cuvee. At this point, three different flight attendants stopped by my suite to commend my “excellent” choice to switch champagnes. It’s incredible how well the flight crew works together to know exactly what each passenger is doing.
Also, on a somewhat creepy note, I briefly opened my window shade while sleeping and within a minute a flight attendant opened my suite door and asked me, politely, to close the shade. It was still the middle of the night and no light was entering the cabin so I honestly have no idea how she knew it was open in the first place. While the suite offers a lot of in-flight privacy, there are small areas of the suite windows which allow crew members to view passengers.
Singapore Airlines Suites In-Flight Entertainment
If you decide not to sleep during the flight there are hours of in-flight entertainment to keep you occupied. The small handheld remote next to the seat operates the in-flight entertainment screen. On the remote, dedicated buttons which switch between flight preview, movies, television mode, and the home screen make navigating the expansive in-flight entertainment options easy. Pressing the fight preview button brings up the airshow screen which clearly displays relevant flight information.
If you tire at looking at the moving map you can return to your on-demand entertainment by pressing the movie camera button.
Singapore Airlines offers branded Bose QuietComfort Headphones every suites passenger. The headphones feature a proprietary plug for the in-flight entertainment. There was a fairly annoying buzz coming through the headphones which was only noticeable if no other sound was coming through the headphones. I had my own Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones, but did not see any standard headphone jacks to plug them in.
I loved my flight on Singapore Airlines A380 in Suites Class. Given how quiet and smooth the A380 is in flight I often forgot I was on an airplane at all. I couldn’t believe how quickly the 8 hours passed on this flight or how comfortably I slept for 3 of them. I found the cabin a little warm when trying to sleep, but not uncomfortable.
My biggest regret about this flight was my lack of preparation. I’ve read about the hard product, but I wish I knew about the book the cook program and some of the other “special requests” which make flying with Singapore Airlines unforgettable. I also wish I had more time to experience the flight. The Suites are definitely one of the best ways to cross the atlantic, but since the flight is an overnight flight, if you want to sleep you miss out on all the flight has to offer.
Singapore Airlines will soon refresh their entire suites class cabin. Early rumors and a leaked seat-map show the suites cabin will move to the upper deck and feature a single aisle design. I absolutely loved flying Singapore Airlines Suites from New York to Frankfurt and hope my next Suites experience is in the upcoming cabin refresh and on a longer route.
How To Book Singapore Airlines Suites Class
Singapore Airlines limits award flights to their own loyalty program, but luckily KrisFlyer miles are easy to acquire. You can credit United Airlines flights to the KrisFlyer program 1:1 for now. KrisFlyer is also a transfer parter of American Express, Chase, and Citi which makes it extremely easy to pool points together for a Suites Class redemption. I personally transferred my American Express Platinum upgrade bonus and Citi Prestige signup bonuses over to the KrisFlyer program to book this flight. Typically point transfers from other points programs take up to 36 hours to process, but Singapore Airlines let’s you waitlist Saver Level award without points in your account. KrisFlyer miles do expire so be careful when transferring miles to the program.
This particular flight cost 76,000 KrisFlyer miles and $23. Singapore Airlines recently increased the points required for this flight from around 57,000 miles and a higher fuel surcharge. The New York to Frankfurt Suites Class flight typically costs around $5,000 which gets you just over $0.065 of value per mile.