Singapore Airlines: Business Class Vs Premium Economy


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When flying on Singapore Airlines, is it worth paying to upgrade to Business Class from Premium Economy on long-haul flights?

The Singapore Airlines Business Class cabin on the A350 is designed by James Parker Associated, the company that also created the opulent interiors of the Orient Express and is a mix of bronzy gold, beige, purple, and chocolate-brown, colors with plush throw pillows that contrast with the dark leather seats. It is also a pretty special cabin. Singapore Airlines offers a relatively consistent cabin and Business Class product across most of its long-haul fleet.

While Singapore Airlines has a prestigious reputation, offering great service, delicious food, excellent in-flight entertainment, and the always smiling Singapore air hostess. Do the additional extra choices and exclusive privileges make Singapore Airlines Business Class worth the extra cost over Premium Economy? Is it worth the extra cost to upgrade? Read on to find out…

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1. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Price

If the price is your biggest factor when deciding which class to fly in, you should probably choose to fly Premium Economy over Business Class. After all, the entire plane will get to its destination, whichever class you are sitting in.

Having said that, the lie-flat seat in Business Class makes the difference if you want a good night’s sleep. Even if the price IS your biggest factor, if you get a good night’s sleep in Business Class, this can save you from wasting a day of your holiday because you are overly tired, which may ultimately be worth more than the price difference.

How much extra is Business Class than Premium Economy on Singapore Airlines? Business Class is typically 100%-150% more expensive than flying in Premium Economy. Expect to pay more than double the price to fly in Business Class.

As an example, London to Singapore return in Premium Economy costs around £2,000 GBP and the same route in Business costs around £4,000 GBP to £5,000 GBP. You may find cheaper rates in flash sales.

2. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Loyalty Program

In terms of loyalty programs, Singapore Airlines operates Kris Flyer, so if you are able to use these miles, this is a fairly good frequent flyer scheme. Obviously, you get more miles if you fly in Business Class than Premium Economy because you are spending more money.

With the recent devaluations to several frequent flyer programs, the sweet spot for redemptions is quickly becoming Business Class rather than First Class. Usually, the extra miles required to fly in First Class are significant, but the difference between Business Class and Premium Economy in miles, while still significant, offers reasonable value.

3. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Check-in & Hold Baggage

For many airlines, the First Class, Business Class, and often Premium Economy experience starts the moment you check-in. That’s especially true if you’re visiting one of the world’s best First or Business Class lounges.

From check-in to boarding and baggage handling, enjoy priority treatment throughout your journey if you are flying in Business Class or Premium Economy. First comes in top, but you still get most of the benefits in Business Class, and you still get prioritized over Economy in Premium Economy.

You get a 40kg luggage allowance when flying in Business Class (more if you are an elite member of their frequent flyer scheme), which compares to 35kg when traveling in Premium Economy (compared to 30kg in Economy).

4. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Lounges

Singapore Airlines offers excellent lounges and are some of the best lounges at Singapore airport. When flying in Premium Economy, you do not automatically get access to any Singapore Airlines lounges.

You can use your Priority Pass or pay to access to airport lounges, but they won’t necessarily be the same Singapore Airlines lounges that Business Class passengers access. There is no advantage to flying Premium Economy in this respect as neither Economy or Premium Economy passengers get access to the excellent Singapore Airlines Business and First Class airport lounges.

When flying in Business or First, you get access to the excellent Singapore Airlines Business and First Class airport lounges. While the First Class lounges ARE better, the Business Class lounges are good enough for most travelers and are still excellent. Business Class is therefore much better than Premium Economy in this respect as you get airport lounge access included.

5. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Toilets

Singapore Airlines is way ahead of most other airlines with a stylish Asian color scheme in the cabin of warm browns. Business Class lavatories are good and exclusive to Business Class but are not as large or as special as the First Class bathrooms. Business Class toilets come complete with complimentary Lalique toiletries (e.g., special citrus-scented facial mist, body lotion, and fragrance).

Unfortunately, Premium Economy passengers share the same lavatories as Economy class passengers. Singapore Airlines toilets have free dental hygiene kits, combs, mouthwash, lotion, and perfume spray.

6. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Amenity Kit

It is worth noting that Singapore Airlines does not provide amenity kits to its Business Class passengers. Instead, they provide some items in their bathrooms. The only things waiting for Business Class passengers on their seats are a pair of slippers, compression socks, noise-canceling headphones, and a large pillow.

Premium Economy gets an amenity kit, which is meager but better than nothing. A zip case comes with a pair of socks and a dental hygiene kit.

7. Business Class vs. Premium Economy:Seat

Singapore Airlines offers one of the most luxurious Business Class products of any airline on their double-decker A380. This product is known as suites, and it is famed for offering a double bed along with the Etihad Residence, as the only two double beds on a commercial airliner.

The Business Class seat on Singapore Airlines (SQ)is one of the widest in the industry and is widest on Singapore Airlines’ A380 and B777 aircraft. The seat features a pitch of around 1,53 cm (60 inch) and a width of around 71 cm (20 inch). The suite’s walls are quite high, which gives you a decent level of privacy. While this seat is great, it is not nearly as good as the First Class Seat. The crucial difference between the Business Class and Premium Economy seat is that only the Business Class seat is lie flat.

The Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Seat is thoughtfully designed. They have included a calf-rest and foot-rest built right into your seat. For the ultimate snoozing position, just recline (up to a generous 8 inches), stretch out, and enjoy the 38-inch seat pitch compared to 32 inches in Economy.

Again they have thought of pretty much everything in their Premium Economy cabins. There are two USB ports in each seat and a fully adjustable personal reading lamp, and a dedicated storage area for your water bottle, laptop, headphones, and other personal items.

For me, the extra elbow room in the Premium Economy seats enables me to work more comfortably on my laptop, making the width worth paying for over Economy, but Business Class is in a different league when compared to Premium Economy.

8. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: KrisWorld inflight entertainment

With contents thoughtfully curated, the KrisWorld inflight entertainment offers an impressive selection of 1,800 entertainment options with an impressive selection of 1,000 entertainment options, with tons and tons of movies, television programs, music, games, and apps.

The Business Class screen is an 18 inch (45 cm) LCD screen in front of each Business Class seat. In Premium Economy, the screen is a 13.3-inch HD-enabled touchscreen monitor with noise-canceling headphones.

On selected flights, you can also stay in touch with family, friends, and colleagues with Internet connectivity, as well as text and multimedia messaging, whichever class you are flying in.

9. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Flight Attendants

Singapore Airlines flight attendants have the reputation of being attractive and are kind and helpful. They have certainly been trained better than many competitor airline flight attendants.

While Business Class feels a little more like you are being served food from an assembly line than First, the standard of service still excels when compared to Premium Economy.

10. Business Class vs. Premium Economy: Food

Singapore Airlines enjoys an excellent culinary reputation and collaborates with world-acclaimed chefs who own Michelin-starred restaurants. The airline is famous for its ‘Book the Cook’ service, where you can select your gourmet main course from a premium selection of dishes at least 24 hours before departure.

First Class airline food is usually of restaurant quality. Business Class food is very good, but it is not the experience you will get in First Class. The food offered on my last Singapore Airlines Business Class flight was good but was delivered assembly-line style, and the meal was not an event. My choice on the 6-hour 15-minute flight was from an eat anytime menu. You could order your meal shortly after takeoff or before landing.

The “Sleeper Service” overnight menu read as follows:

  • Angus Beef Burger
  • Selection of Shanghainese Dim Sum
  • Fish Noodles Soup
  • American Breakfast
  • Continental Breakfast
  • Fresh Fruit of the Season
  • Assorted Bread Rolls & Breakfast Pastries
  • Coffee & Tea

You can also reserve your main course from a variety of Premium Economy Book the Cook dishes up to 24 hours before you fly or select from three meal choices onboard. Match the food and altitude with your selection of wine or champagne, all for free, of course!

The food in Business Class and the drinks in Business Class are superior to Premium Economy. If this is a dealbreaker, book Business Class.


Singapore Airlines Business Class is a brilliant product, one of the best in the skies, and worth paying the extra if you can afford it. Most of us can’t and will fly Economy or Premium Economy.

It is worth remembering that Business Class products out there nowadays, which feature direct aisle access, and are arguably better than First Class 10 years ago. Business Class is excellent on Singapore Airlines.

For those of us with more meagre wallets, Premium Economy beats Economy and is still a treat.

Below you will find my most recent flight reviews on Singapore Airlines in Business and First Class:

Singapore Airlines Business & First Class Reviews

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class, KUL to SIN

In "Reviews"

In November, I was booked into Singapore Airlines for a very short flight, from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. For this 50 minute flight, I was lucky enough to be placed on Singapore Airlines’ A330 Business Class. Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review my flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ) A330 in Business Class from Singapore Changi International Airport to Ho Chi Minh City, which I flew in April 2017. Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Boeing 777 From Beijing

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review my flight on Singapore Airlines Business Class Boeing 777-300ER, Beijing to Singapore. On a recent work trip, I found out that I had to get from Beijing to Singapore at the last minute. As… Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Dusseldorf to Singapore

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review Business Class on a new Singapore Airlines (SQ) Airbus A350-900 from Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) in Germany to Changi International Airport (SIN) in April 2017. This was followed by a flight on Singapore Airlines A330… Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A330 Business Class

In "Reviews"

In this trip report, I review my flight on Singapore Airlines (SQ) A330 in Business Class from Singapore Changi International Airport to Ho Chi Minh City, which I flew in April 2017. Read More.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 Business Class Review

In "Reviews"

I am always keen to review Business Class seating on the latest planes and the new Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 is no exception. This new aircraft features a three-class configuration, with 42 seats in business, 24 in Premium Economy, and… Read More.

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite

In "Reviews"

We reviewed the First Class Suite on Singapore Airlines on their A380 plane from London Heathrow to Singapore. This trip was flown in their brand new suite, and the flight was a brilliant experience in almost all aspects. Read More.

Note: All benefits & upgrades subject to availability & Terms & Conditions, enquire for more information. Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.