- Route: SIN-HKG
- Class: Business
- Seat: 96D
- Date: 01/02/2019
- Flight: SQ856
- Cost: 30,500 KrisFlyer miles + S$47.30 tax
- Best card for earning KrisFlyer: American Express Platinum
Having flown the incredible new Singapore Airlines A380 first class suite on multiple occasions last year, I was looking forward to trying out the “new” A380 business class seats. The old A380 business class usually divided opinion. Personally, I liked the seats since they’re extra wide and fold into a nice flatbed (especially when seated in the bulkhead). A new iteration of this seat is now present in the 777-300ER and the A350, but with the overhaul of the A380’s (the last of their kind RIP), there’s also a new business class cabin; which looks stunning.
Which routes fly the new A380?
Singapore Airlines has 19 A380’s, some of them still sport the old first and business class seats but there are a few that have been updated. The easiest way to spot a new A380 is by looking at the first class cabin; there are only 6 seats. In business class, there are 78 seats, all on the upper deck.
Singapore Airlines New A380 Routes 2019:
- Singapore – Sydney SQ221
- Sydney – Singapore SQ232
- Singapore – London SQ322
- London – Singapore SQ317
- Singapore – Zurich SQ346
- Zurich – Singapore SQ345
- Singapore – Hong Kong SQ856
- Hong Kong – Singapore SQ861
- Singapore – Shanghai SQ830
- Shanghai – Singapore SQ833
You can easily spot the new A380’s by their registration numbers:
How to book Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class?
The easiest way for Australian frequent flyers is to use their American Express Membership rewards and transfer those to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. The KrisFlyer program not only offers some of the best redemption costs; their taxes are also very competitive (especially compared to Qantas). Alternatively, you can book via Virgin Australia’s Velocity program, but award space is harder to come by so from time to time it does make sense to send your Velocity Points to KrisFlyer; this can be done online, and it’s instant, but you will lose some of the value.
For those with other points programs, any Star Alliance reward scheme will allow you to book Singapore Airlines business class.
Ground & Lounge
Since I flew from Jakarta with Singapore Airlines in first class and connected onto Hong Kong in business class, I was still granted access to The Private Room which is Singapore Airlines lounge exclusive to those flying Singapore Airlines first class. Other first-class passengers are directed to another first class lounge. After a few hours of sampling Dom for breakfast, I requested a golf buggy to the gate (saved me a 15min walk).
There’s nothing more pompous than getting driven through a busy airport in a gold buggy with your driver honking at all those in your path. At first, it’s slightly embarrassing, and then you realise it’s the best thing ever.
Seat & Cabin
Personally, I love the design of the new cabin, yes the seats are narrower than before, yes they’re kind of blocking the window, yes they still have the annoying angled foot cubby; but damn are they good looking!
The colour palette is spot on and even better than the first class cabin in my humble opinion. The attention to detail in these seats is next level and something the UK design firm JPA Design can be very proud of.
Naturally, we’re looking at a 1-2-1 layout which is spread over 2 sections on the upper deck. On my flight, there were maybe 15 seats occupied (the same flight was oversold on the way back) which was probably due to the fact Chinese New Year was in a few days of the flight.
The middle section has no overhead bins which is both a blessing and a curse; bad for those that brought to much shit on the flight and great for those that feel claustrophobic on planes as it makes everything feel so much more spacious.
The seat itself, although a few inches narrower is probably more comfortable compared to the old version with more support thanks to the side wings. There’s plenty of storage within the seat, so a small carryon isn’t a problem here.
The seats are wrapped in a huge privacy shell; it’s so effective, even the windows are partially covered by it so leaning forward is required if you want to get a good view outside. Each seat has a large cocktail table, small makeup mirror, plenty of power and USB plugs for all your devices; and beautiful upholstery with background mood lighting.
The thing I don’t like about the Singapore Airlines business class seat is the angled footwell. Although the space is better than the previous seat design on the A380, it’s still annoying as you lay in a diagonal position when sleeping.
For most people, this won’t be an issue, but I can imagine this won’t be ideal for larger individuals.
The bulkhead seats are slightly better, but unlike the new-ish seats on the 777 and A350, the A380 still has a footwell although the overall space is more substantial (on the B777 and A350 it’s like a mini first class suite with lots of legroom). If you can, always go for the bulkhead as it’s a significant improvement.
In my opinion, the best seats are actually found in the middle bulkhead. Not only do these seats convert in a double bed, but the angled footwell is also completely gone and replaced by a spacious ottoman which is the same width as the seat (roughly).
Talking about double beds, every middle seat has a privacy divider which can be lowered to the same level as your seat. This allows for all middle seats to be turned into a double bed (keep in mind you can’t really starfish in the middle due to the footwell angle).
Entertainment & Amenities
Let’s start with the amenities; Singapore Airlines does not offer amenity kits in business class, but they do provide all the contents you would typically find in a kit on an on-demand basis. While some items such as socks and eye masks are handed out depending on the time of day, the other amenities can be found in the bathrooms (toothbrush, shaving kits etc.).
Entertainment wise, the Singapore Airlines IFE is fantastic and one of the best you will find onboard any airline (maybe second to Emirates). The system has an 18inch touchscreen display which unfortunately can’t be angled downwards for better viewing angles when in bed mode. As a Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, you can sign into the IFE system which will automatically sync your playlists and allow you to continue watching a movie where you left off. Especially handy when you have connecting flights and have to interrupt your movie upon landing.
Singapore Airlines offers paid wifi to its guests so if you really want to stay connected the pricing goes like this:
- 30 min and up to 30MB of data — 4.99USD
- Three hours and up to 150MB of data — 12.00USD
- Entire flight and up to 500MB of data — 29.99USD
Food & Beverage
Since I was on the morning flight to Hong Kong, a breakfast menu was served. I opted for a selection of fresh fruits and fried rice with pork.
Due to turbulence, the perfect form portion of rice collapsed, and the crew profusely apologised for the presentation. Fortunately, the turbulence didn’t ruin the taste, and the fried rice with pork was excellent.
Service & Crew
I have flown Singapore Airlines a lot over the last few years and have never encountered a bad crew. While on some flights the crew are great; on other flights they are outstanding. This was one of those flights with an all-star crew. Potentially due to the fact business class was pretty much empty.
All the crew on my flight were outstanding, and due to the flight being so quiet there was plenty of time to interact and have genuine conversations. The crew were happy to make up a double bed for me just so I could take some pictures and the cabin manager even snuck a glass of Dom from first class. Small touches like this are what sets the SQ crew apart from other airlines.
Singapore Airlines A380 business class conclusion
The new Singapore Airlines A380 business and first class cabins are both outstanding, the attention to detail is second to none and even though the angled footwell might not be ideal for some; it’s still better than what most other airlines have on offer in business class (with the exception of Qatar Airways business class Qsuite of course).
Singapore Airlines service is flawless, and food on long haul flights is hardly a let-down; especially when you factor in the Book the Cook feature which lets you pre-select special meals including lobster before your trip.