The new Singapore Airlines First Class suites on the A380 were probably one of the airline’s most anticipated products in 2017. After much speculation, the first pictures leaked back in November left many wondering if this dentist office in the sky would be the final version or merely a design mockup. As it turned out on the grand reveal, the pictures were real, and although the press photos looked slightly underwhelming compared to the Emirates new first class suite on the 777, I must say that I was highly impressed when experiencing the suite in “real life”.
- Route: Singapore – Sydney
- Airline: Singapore Airlines
- Cabin: First Class/ Suites
- Aircraft: Airbus A380
- Points Used: 150,000 Kris Flyer Miles + $90.84 taxes (you can get the saver for only 80,000 miles)
- Points required can be earned easily in one go by signing up to this exclusive Amex deal
Booking The New A380 First Class Suites
Over the Christmas break, we planned a 6 day trip to Iceland using a combination of business and first class by Singapore Airlines, and it’s Star Alliance partners to get us there (more on this is a separate trip report). As Singapore Airlines officially announced the routes for the new A380 I kept an eye on the availability.
I figured it would be a great way to start the new year flying the Singapore Airlines brand new A380 suites. I ended up cancelling my Singapore to Perth ticket on my return from Europe and waitlisted a standard award for the new A380. Luckily my waitlist cleared a couple of weeks before departure, and although I was now 150,000 Kris Flyer miles shorter, I was very excited about being one of the first 100 first guests to fly this incredible new first class suite.
Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer program has two fare options when it comes to booking an award ticket, standard and saver. I wouldn’t recommend for anyone to book a standard ticket unless you’re points rich or really need to travel that particular date. Typically a standard is around double the cost of a saver ticket.
A Saver fare from Singapore to Sydney will cost you 80,000 Kris Flyer miles while a Standard fare will cost 150,000 with AU $90.84 worth of taxes to pay. If you’re looking to snap up an upgrade, you will need to be booked in a fully paid business class ticket even to get a shot at flying first.
It’s interesting to note that the miles required are the same if you’re looking to tag on a flight intra-Asia, e.g. Hong Kong so your can trip last a bit longer if you’re flying from Sydney or Melbourne. Or for business class flights: Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra where the cost of flying to Singapore is also the same as flying to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong etc. via Singapore.
Singapore Airport T3 First Class Check-in
Singapore Airlines has a dedicated First Class terminal which is right next to the main entrance of T3. When you’re arriving by taxi you will see the big sign which reads “First Class Terminal” which is a left turn right before you get to the main entrance of T3. It’s hard not to miss, and if you really want to, you could walk back from the main entrance. The first class terminal has porters on hand to handle your luggage while you can take a seat and wait for the Singapore Airlines agents to complete the check-in.
A special golden sticker will be attached to your boarding pass which grants you access to the dedicated customs lane. The private entry leads you straight into the terminal right opposite the escalators to the SilverKris lounge which features business class, first class and The Private Room lounges. It’s very quick, and you can use this access even when you’re already checked in but decide to spend your layover in the city.
The Private Room
This lounge is exclusively for those travelling with Singapore Airlines in first class and can be used when you’re departing or transiting, even if you’re onward boarding pass is for a Singapore Airlines business class flight. I’ve written a comprehensive review of this lounge here so I won’t go into further details.
A great feature of flying first class with Singapore Airlines is that you can get access to the terminal buggies. Even though this is not an advertised benefit, if you ask the concierge in The Private Room for a buggy this will be more than happy to organise one for you. It’s fantastic if you’re gate is a significant walk away, just be prepared to get a lot of stares from other travellers when you drive past (just smile and wave!).
Before my flight to Sydney, I spend a few hours in TPR enjoying some Dom Pérignon and a few snacks for lunch, it’s a great place to relax, and the service is spot on.
Boarding commenced around 40 mins before the flight’s departure, and as I entered the top deck, all crew were on hand to greet everyone by name. The crew on this flight were all outstanding (to be honest, all Singapore Airlines crew are amazing, their level of professionalism is a few steps ahead of the competition) and clearly proud to be working on this brand new product.
I got a brief tour of the new business class cabin and the first class section before they left me to it to take some photos. All six suites were taken on this flight and my fellow first class guests were all equally excited to be flying.
My first impression of the new A380 first class cabin was very positive and much better than what I had expected or seen in the pictures. The whole cabin oozes class and understated elegance with subtle lighting details and leather accents. Cabinets and shelves feature a faux marble which fits in nicely with the beige and grey leather upholstery used throughout. The mood lighting definitely took off the clinical edge which we’ve seen in the earlier leaked pictures.
Singapore Airline’s new A380 features some of the largest first class cabins in the sky right now, and it’s very much noticeable when you enter the suite. You could probably fit six economy seats or more in the same space.
The leather swivel chair, clad in luxurious Italian leather by Poltrona Frau faces the wall in front for takeoff and rotates a full 180 degrees when airborne. Positions for the chair are selected via a touch-pad in the armrest which has icons to indicate the direction of the chair but only when the chair is fully locked into dining position can the recline features be accessed. The reason for this is that there isn’t enough clearance otherwise, which could cause the seat to get stuck.
On the other hand, you can turn all the way to the window to view the world go by through the massive A380 windows; binoculars would have been a nice touch here!
The windows are lined with a small cabinet with plenty of storage space for all your personal items and even has a small pop up mirror and a space for the noise cancelling Bose headphones. It’s all rather glamorous! Underneath is a section of outlets to charge all your devices and even a Paywave facility to pay for internet access or inflight shopping.
The edge of the window cabinet is lined with a touch pad to control the lighting in the cabin and also has a build in pop out iPad like device which mirrors the TV. At the entry to the suite is a large closet, big enough to store a few cabins bags and it comes with coat hangers for your jacket.
The dining table is stowed away right at the entrance to the suite and is massive. It’s big enough for two people to dine together and this can be organised upon request. The crew have ottomans available for couples wanting to share a meal, but these are not secured so during turbulence they would need to be cleared.
And with the dining position comes the biggest caveat of the suite. When you’re dining the crew will leave the sliding door open on all suites to make service easier, this means that both you and your neighbour across the aisle will be staring at each other over lobster and caviar.
It’s a little bit awkward and a flaw that shouldn’t be part of any first class experience where privacy is a big selling factor. The sliding doors to the suite aren’t electronic so there’s no easy way to close them from your seat.
First Class Bathrooms
The new A380 features 2 bathrooms exclusive to the 6 first class guests; both are very spacious with the one on the right being the biggest of the two.
The bathroom on the right-hand side of the stairs comes with a vanity mirror and seating area which makes for a great place to change into your Lalique PJ’s. If you’ve ever changed clothes in a standard airline bathroom, you’ll know how much fun it can be (not!) so the new A380 first class space is a massive upgrade.
Unlike Emirates and Etihad, Singapore Airlines opted to not have a shower in the first class cabin. Personally, I think it’s a wasted opportunity. After flying Emirates First class multiple times, the shower is by far my favourite feature. Arriving showered and refreshed at your destination is just an unbeatable feeling.
First Class Menu
Singapore Airlines has one of the best first-class menus in the sky and this time I had decided to order off the menu instead of going for the ‘Book the Cook’ option where one can pre-order meals such as lobster and wagyu. For starters I had the chilled Malossol caviar with condiments, I passed on the shot of vodka offered alongside the caviar.
The soups didn’t appeal to me on this flight, so I skipped those and had a salad to go with my main meal which was a beef fillet. I’ve never had a bad steak with Singapore Airlines and this time was no different. The steak was tender and cooked medium, even after the on-board reheating procedure.
For dessert, I had the vanilla semifreddo with mango-basil sorbet and coconut sorbet followed by a selection of cheese and a few glasses of Dow’s 20-year-old tawny port.
Singapore Airlines Drinks
Singapore Airlines has one of the best first-class wine lists, and for the newly launched A380 route they were stocking the 2004 Krug (normally they have the Krug NV) alongside the 2006 Dom Perignon.
I’m not a big Krug fan, so I decided to stick to Dom 06 after trying the Krug 04. With my beef fillet, I opted for a few glasses of the Louis Latour Corton Grancey Grand Cru Cote De Beaune from 2010 which is an excellent drop.
The Singapore Airlines First Class Bed
With the dinner service completed I changed into my comfortable Lalique pyjamas which are a bit lighter than the original first class PJ’s which most people find too warm to sleep in.
The crew offered to prepare my bed in cabin 2F and 5 minutes later I had a small but perfectly flat and comfortable bed ready for me complete with proper bed linen (no synthetic airline blankets here!).
One of the reasons I booked cabin 2F was in the hope that 1A would remain empty (it didn’t) so I could take advantage of the double bed option the connecting suites offer when the dividing wall comes down.
The bed on the new A380 is folded up against the wall when not in use, and when required the crew can fold it out into position. It’s a great spot to lounge in even if you don’t want to sleep. Just like with hospital beds, the upper section of the bed can be adjusted to an inclined angle so you can sit up in bed to watch TV and sip champagne – thoughtful!
First Class Breakfast
The crew asked if I would like to be woken up for breakfast, which I declined considering it was such a short flight and had already made breakfast plans on arrival with Keith from Point Hacks and Steve from I Fly Flat! The breakfast served on this route is a simple continental breakfast so if you’re short on sleep, skip it.
As per usual, I don’t think I actually slept (I’m terrible when it comes to sleeping on a moving object), but I did get some rest, ready to battle a day of jet-lag after flying into Singapore from Copenhagen the day prior on the 777-300er first class product by Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines New A380 Suites Conclusion
Overall I was very impressed with the new first class cabins, the subtle, understated luxury combined with the outstanding level of service Singapore Airlines is already known for made for another fantastic first class experience.
I think that if the dining position was different and there was an onboard shower (those things are not a gimmick!), it would easily take the lead in the first class cabin space.