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Transport : Airlines

Singapore Airlines offers one of the most luxurious first class products of any airline. On their double decker A380, this product is known as suites and is famed for offering a double bed (until Etihad introduced their Residence, the only double bed on a commercial airliner). In addition to the superb hard product, SQ is renowned for its excellent service and in-flight catering. Those in the know will be impressed with the choice of free-flow Krug or Dom Perignon.

We had long wanted to fly SQ Suites, so we were delighted and excited when two seats opened up for an award flight just a few days before our departure (tip – phone the KrisFlyer team in Singapore and ask for the upgrade request to be resent). Arriving at Zürich airport, we skipped the uninspiring Panorama lounge in favour of duty-free shopping and were soon walking down the jet bridge with mounting anticipation. Our first interaction with the crew was outstanding – we were greeted by name whilst still in the jet bridge and our hand luggage taken from us whilst we were shown to our seats.

SQ’s Suites were designed by a French luxury yacht designer, so the feeling is very high-end and chic. We had reserved 2 middle seats (2C and 2D) so that we could enjoy the famous double-bed at night, although we needn’t have worried as only 2 other seats were taken (out of 12). These seats are deeply upholstered with chocolate brown Italian leather and very spacious (although not as wide as Cathay’s First class seat). Storage is plentiful despite the lack of over-head bins – there is room for a suitcase and handbag under the ottoman. As the sliding doors to the suites can be closed during flight, it feels extremely private, with a 1.5 m high wall. We found the suites felt more open and airy than Emirates’ suites, in part thanks to the windows with blinds on the sides. We were able to be very comfortable in the upright or reclined position.

Food & Drink In Singapore Airlines (SIA) A380 First Class Suite
As we were settling in and familiarising ourselves with controls, our flight attendant came to offer a pre-departure drink. Of course we chose the Krug first, saving the vintage Dom Perignon for dinner. Moments later the bottle arrived on a tray with champagne glass and warmed cashew nuts. So far, so normal – but behind the bottle was a small glass containing water and dry ice to create a smoke effect. We have never before seen this and were astonished that so much effort would go into serving in flight. In general, the drinks choice was excellent, including Blue Mountain coffee and some delicious sencha green tea. Good wines and great choice of whiskeys for after dinner too. Food was very good considering we were at 40,000 feet and we really appreciate SQ’s Book the Cook service, allowing you to pre-order from a vast array of meals online. However, the choice from Zürich was a little limited. We started with a generous portion of caviar before Mr d2t had the duck breast in red curry and Mrs d2t chose the seafood green Thai curry. Both were tasty but not special or authentically Asian. However, there was something to suit most tastes on the menu for dinner, snacks on demand and breakfast.

Once we had finished dinner and a few after-dinner drinks, an FA quietly informed us that they had made up a double bed in row 3 as it was not occupied on this flight. So we virtually had a two-room suite to ourselves. On an eleven hour flight, that’s luxury. The double bed is unique in first class and perhaps our favourite aspect of the flight. It was a pity that there is a ridge down the middle and the bed was a little hard, but lying on top of a duvet solved both issues pretty well and we were able to sleep peacefully holding each other, just like at home. All too soon, it was time to wake and freshen up before the breakfast service. It’s a good sign when you wish a flight this long could go on longer.

Review Of Singapore Airlines (SIA) Private Room at Singapore Changi
As we were connecting at Singapore Changi to an onward flight to Hanoi, we had been invited to use the Private Room whilst checking in at Zürich. On arrival at Changi, we found our way to the Singapore lounges ( surprisingly not easy, we eventually asked at the information desk). Showing our lounge passes, we were soon escorted through the business class area, then through the first class lounge and at last into the Private Room. This lounge, available only for guests flying in first class on Singapore Airlines, is a luxurious space offering a range of seating options and a small restaurant area (see pictures of the Singapore first class lounge at Changi below). The ambience and decor are similar to that on board in Suites – this is high-end understated luxury, not Middle Eastern bling. Service was excellent and our hot green tea was delivered promptly along with a cool towel. Showers were clean but nothing special, although much better than in BA’s London Concorde Room. The lounge was a relaxing, quiet place to be but not on a par with Lufthansa’s first class terminal at Frankfurt or Thai’s Bangkok lounge, where complimentary massages are included.

Overall, the service was a step up from other airlines we have flown in first class – nothing was too much trouble and everything was done with a smile. Attention to detail is so important to the luxury experience and SQ have perfected the art – our favourite touch was that white fog, creating such a sense of occasion and anticipation when serving the Champagne. Food was a little disappointing but only because our expectations were so high and we chose Thai-style dishes that were a bit Westernised for our tastes. Pyjamas were provided and were pretty good – the right weight and soft to wear. The amenity kit was also good and included a 30 ml bottle of Salvatore Ferragamo perfume. In-flight service was superb, but there could be improvements in the ground service at both airports – the lounge at Zürich is pretty poor for first class and on arrival in Changi, it would have been helpful to have been escorted to the lounge. However, we loved flying Singapore Suites and will definitely look out for the opportunity to do so again.

For a comparison, you can read my other Singapore Airlines First Class flight reviews and Singapore Airlines Business Class flight reviews.

Review by my friend Andrew Price at Driven2Travel.

Singapore Airlines