Review: Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Singapore To Melbourne

Introduction
Emirates First Class A380 Los Angeles To Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Afternoon Tea At Skyview Bar Burj Al Arab
Lunch At At.mosphere Burj Khalifa Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai DXB
Emirates First Class A380 Dubai To Singapore
St. Regis Singapore
Westin Singapore
Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore SIN
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Singapore To Melbourne
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Qantas Club Melbourne MEL
Qantas Business Class 737 Melbourne To Sydney
Park Hyatt Sydney
Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney SYD
Qantas First Class A380 Sydney To Los Angeles
SLS Hotel Beverly Hills
Oneworld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles LAX
Qantas Business Class 747 Los Angeles To New York
Park Hyatt New York
Dad’s Thoughts


We were originally scheduled to be on an A380 between Singapore and Melbourne, though due to a schedule change the route is now exclusively operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. Initially I was disappointed at being downgraded from Suites Class to First Class. Then again, for a daytime flight I didn’t think we’d suffer too badly. 😉

Singapore 217
Singapore (SIN) – Melbourne (MEL)
Thursday, November 20
Depart: 10:45AM
Arrive: 9:15PM
Duration: 7hr30min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 1D (First Class)

We boarded through the forward door, where we were greeted by our three person first class crew, including inflight supervisor Vienna, leading stewardess Michelle, and leading steward Jimmy. We weren’t on the plane for more than five seconds before I could tell we were in for an amazing flight. You expect a high level of service from Singapore, but these three were beyond top notch.

We were brought to our seats in row one, where we had the two center seats assigned.

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Singapore Airlines first class 777-300ER, seat 1F

Singapore’s first class seats are outrageously wide, almost too much so. I actually don’t love the hard product, since you have to flip the seat over in order to turn it into a bed. I find that to be a bit of a pain, since it means you can’t recline all that far without putting the seat into the fully flat position.

But for a sub-seven hour daytime flight, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. 😉

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Singapore Airlines first class 777-300ER, seat 1D

The 777 first class cabin doesn’t have overhead bins, so everything goes underneath the ottoman, where there’s plenty of room. Even for my severely oversized carry-ons.

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Singapore Airlines first class seat legroom

The seat and entertainment controls are to the right of the seat, and are intuitive.

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Singapore Airlines first class seat controls

Then on the left of the seat are the power outlet, magazine pocket, and a storage unit sized perfectly for the headphones they hand out.

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Singapore Airlines first class seat storage

Once settled in, Jimmy came by to offer pre-departure beverages. Not only is Singapore the only airline in the world to serve both Dom and Krug, but they also allow you to drink both on the ground, unlike some other cheap airlines which somehow have a $500 million wine budget, none of which is going towards paying the taxes required to be able to open the good stuff on the ground. 😉

Naturally I chose Krug, as did my dad.

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Singapore Airlines first class pre-departure Krug

We were also offered menus at this point, which were offered in a nice leather binder.

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Singapore Airlines first class menu cover

We were also offered the usual amenities, including Givenchy pajamas, Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits, slippers, and socks.

Let me give the perfect example of how awesome Michelle was, and what I consider to be a good indicator of great service. Michelle brought each item to me in plastic wrap, which I appreciate, to show that everything was “new.” Then she asked if she could go ahead and unwrap them for me, which I of course agreed to. Not only did she remove the plastic wrap, but she removed the “cardboard” from the pajamas, and placed the slippers on the floor in front of my feet.

On Singapore I’ve found that when crews do that they’re consistently exceptional (though I’ve also had exceptional crews on Singapore that haven’t done that, for what it’s worth).

I really do like Singapore’s pajamas nowadays. I didn’t like the previous generation of pajamas they offered, but the new ones are awesome.

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Singapore Airlines first class Givenchy pajamas

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Singapore Airlines first class slippers and socks

The same goes for the amenity kit. It’s simple in that it only has a few items, though at least they’re large. The bottle of cologne they give isn’t quite as good as the one they offered about six years ago, but it’s still pretty awesome to to get a near full size bottle of cologne in your amenity kit.

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Singapore Airlines first class Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit

The other more basic amenities aren’t in the kit, but instead are in the lavatory, which I think is a good system. If I want to brush my teeth aboard I’d rather the toothbrush bet here, rather than having to bring my own kit.

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Singapore Airlines first class lavatory amenities

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Singapore Airlines first class lavatory amenities

At around 10:40AM, five minutes before our scheduled departure, the captain came on the PA to welcome us aboard. He had a very crisp and soothing Singaporean accent, which is possibly one of my favorite accents in the world. He informed us that our flight time would be 6hr50min, and that we would be arriving in Melbourne on shed-jewel.

Shortly after the captain’s announcement the main cabin door closed, with seven of the eight first class seats occupied. There were two Europeans seated behind us, one Singaporean, and then two Singapore Airlines captains seated at the windows on the left side.

Our pushback and taxi to the runway was fairly slow, and eventually we were airborne a few minutes after 11AM.

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Singapore Airlines airshow

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Singapore Airlines airshow

As we climbed out of Singapore I browsed the KrisWorld entertainment selection.

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment

I decided to watch an episode of The Mentalist. Unfortunately I had already seen two of the episodes.

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment

About 10 minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off, and Jimmy and Michelle sprang into action, starting with closing the curtains between cabins.

Shortly thereafter meal orders were taken.

The lunch menu read as follows:

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And the beverage list read as follows:

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I started off with a glass of Krug and some still water, which were served with mixed nuts.

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Singapore Airlines first class nuts and champagne

About 20 minutes later our tables were set for lunch. Singapore does have gorgeous plating, which is also Givenchy branded.

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Singapore Airlines first class table setup

For the first course I ordered caviar, which was beautifully served and delicious. If only they had a mother of pearl spoon (#firstworldproblems)…

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Singapore Airlines first class appetizer: chilled malossol caviar

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Singapore Airlines first class appetizer: chilled malossol caviar

I also selected some garlic and focaccia bread out of the breadbasket. Really I’m not sure why Singapore bothers with proper meals — their garlic bread is the best in the sky, and could easily be considered a meal.

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Singapore Airlines first class garlic bread

Then I had the soup, which was a sunchoke soup with cold cauliflower custard. It was one of the better soups I’ve had on a plane — the texture was unique, and I loved the temperature contrast.

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Singapore Airlines first class soup: sunchoke soup with cold cauliflower custard

Next I had the salad. I find Singapore’s salads to consistently be disappointing, both in terms of portion and quality.

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Singapore Airlines first class salad: baby spinach salad

For the main course I had used “Book the Cook” to reserve lobster thermidor in advance. While I was disappointed by the lobster thermidor on my recent Singapore Suites Class flight out of New York, this lobster was to die for. If you fly Singapore Airlines out of Singapore, you absolutely must pre-order the lobster. It’s possibly the best airplane entree in the sky.

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Singapore Airlines first class main course: lobster thermidor

For dessert I had the gotham black. Not only was it beautifully presented, but it was tasty as well.

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Singapore Airlines first class dessert: Gotham “black”

Meanwhile my dad had the apple-raisin crepe, which was equally delicious, though didn’t score quite as many points for presentation.

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Singapore Airlines first class dessert: apple-raising crepes with vanilla sauce

To finish off the meal I ordered a cappuccino.

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Singapore Airlines first class cappuccino

I can’t stress enough how good the service was throughout the meal. Michelle, Jimmy, and Vienna were not only more attentive than the Secret Service, but couldn’t have been friendlier. They constantly addressed us by name, were genuine, and couldn’t stop smiling. And most importantly they treated my dad like a king for his special trip.

Since it was a daytime flight I didn’t want to sleep, so I watched a couple of episodes of 2 Broke Girls.

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment

Then I watched Almost Royal, which is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen on TV… and I’ve watched Mob Wives, The OC, and Britney And Kevin. Apparently my appreciation of British things is limited to One Direction and afternoon tea…

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Singapore Airlines KrisWorld entertainment

After the meal, Michelle asked my dad if he wanted a quick tour of the plane. I followed along. When we got to business class, my dad said “wow, I didn’t know the first class cabin was this big.” I pointed out that this was actually business class. He was shocked, and (correctly) pointed out that it looked almost identical. Yep, Singapore’s business class product is that good.

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Singapore Airlines business class 777-300ER

I’m not going to lie, it has been a while since I’ve walked back to economy on a longhaul flight, though I have to say that it actually looked quite spacious. With only nine seats per row and good legroom, I could actually imagine flying back there. The fact that economy was only maybe 60% full didn’t hurt either.

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Singapore Airlines economy class 777-300ER

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Singapore Airlines economy class 777-300ER

Once back at my seat, Jimmy approached me and asked if I wanted some port, which he suggested I might like. I’m not usually a port guy (I prefer airports), but this was one was good.

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Singapore Airlines first class dessert wine

My dad and I spent the next couple of hours mostly just talking, and before we knew it we were 90 minutes out of Melbourne, and it was time for the pre-landing snack.

The snack menu read as follows:

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We weren’t really hungry, so it’s a good thing it was just a small snack. My dad ordered the seafood soup, which he quite enjoyed.

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Singapore Airlines first class seafood and rice vermicelli soup

Meanwhile, I ordered the fajitas chicken salad, which, simple as it may be, was very good.

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Singapore Airlines first class fajitas chicken salad

After that I had some tea.

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Singapore Airlines first class TWG tea

At this point my dad proclaimed he was stuffed and couldn’t eat another bite, so our trays were cleared. Except five minutes later Michelle returned with another tablecloth and a fork for my dad.

“No no no no, I don’t vant anymore of zha food.”

Michelle just looked at me and smirked.

“Benny, vhy iz she not lizening to me? I don’t vant more food. Zha service has been so good until now, but vhy is she not listening?”

Moments later Michelle, Vienna, Jimmy, and two other crew showed up to sing my dad happy birthday.

To say he was caught off guard would be the understatement of the year (for what it’s worth, I had pre-ordered the birthday cake — Singapore offers it regardless of which cabin you’re traveling in).

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Singapore Airlines birthday cake!

They had a gorgeous cake, some dry ice art, and a card signed by several members of the crew, including the captain.

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Singapore Airlines birthday cake!

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Singapore Airlines birthday card

Since we were both stuffed, my dad asked if we could share it with everyone else in the cabin and the crew. They of course agreed, and the captain seated across from us even thanked my dad for the cake and wished him a happy birthday. Hah!

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Singapore Airlines birthday cake

My dad had mentioned how we had fun in Singapore but totally forgot to have Singapore Slings, which he really wanted to do. So Jimmy emerged and said “they might not be as good as at the Raffles, but here’s your Singapore Sling.”

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Singapore Airlines Singapore sling

The sunset views enroute were gorgeous.

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Sunset approaching Australia

30 minutes prior to landing the captain came on the PA with updated arrival information, informing us of our anticipated arrival time of 9PM.

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Singapore Airlines airshow

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Singapore Airlines airshow

Our descent into Melbourne and landing were smooth as could be, and from the runway it was just a short two minute taxi to the gate, where we arrived ahead of schedule.

As we waited to deplane, one of the other passengers (who was a PPS Solitaire member) told the crew that they were the best he ever had. He said “Michelle, when do you fly back, because I might just have to change my flight to go back with you?”

That made Michelle’s face light up, and she said “see Vienna, he like my service. That means you should also let me work first class on the way back.” Adorable!

And for those of you that don’t get the reference, on Singapore 777s there are two leading stewardesses and two leading stewards. In one direction one pair of leading stewards and stewardesses will work economy, while in the other direction they’ll work first class. So since Michelle was working first class on the way out, she’d have to work economy on the way back.

Singapore Airlines first class bottom line

There’s good customer service and then there’s genuine hospitality. This crew was just beyond fabulous.

I have to say I really enjoyed the daytime flight from Singapore to Australia. For such a short flight it’s nice to just enjoy Singapore’s amazing service and a great meal without being too worried about getting rest. Then when we landed in Australia we stayed up for a couple of hours and then went to bed, with no jetlag (well, at least not beyond what we had before).

Thanks to Michelle, Jimmy, and Vienna for making my dad’s extra special trip extra extra special.

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Comments

  1. Ben, how do you have a soothing, crisp Singapore accent? I find that the Singaporean accent is not my first choice (or even my second… 😉 ) when it comes to spoken English pronunciations.

    Also… was your dad wearing EMIRATES pajamas in that birthday cake picture?! :O

    And this makes me want to fly SQ even more!

  2. Hi Ben!

    How exactly did you make arrangements for the cake? I’m flying DME-IAH on first class in a few weeks right during my wife’s birthday and I would love to arrange a surprise like this too… but I have no idea where to start. How far in advance and where did you make the request?

  3. Great report. I’m oozing with envy!! The meals look fantastic too. and always great to see your dad having fun too. One thing that I always find surprising is that on SQ the F and J products are so similar (especially on the non-suite 777s) doesn’t J canabalize F? And with the ‘refresh’ that the 777s are getting, J is inching even closer.

    You were using miles but I can’t really imagine why someone would pay the premium to sit in F when there is such a stellar, phenomenal business class available.

    Look forward to your report on the A350 inaugural flight. When will you be posting?

  4. Ben, Great report.
    Slighty off topic, but do you know if BA offers birthday cakes as well and how could I preorder it?
    Thanks
    Julia

  5. Ben, your father looks 100% Turkish. I swear you have some Turkish in you. Do you by any chance speak Turkish by chance?

  6. What a phantasmagorical review Ben. SQ have such a capital product. The crew really made a personal touch with the signed card 😉

  7. @Bill: You call their customer service @ 1-800-742-3333 and request. I did not find anything online.

  8. My best flight ever was on this route when SQ still had the A380. I was the only one in Suites.

    aaaaand I had Michelle – funny that I remember the name, but agree with all the above, she was incredible, great sense of humor. your review isn’t surprising! 🙂

  9. You’ve convinced me (many times) which airlines I need to try for aspirational travel. Great product and service by SQ and comprehensive review by you!

    “Apparently my appreciation of British things is limited to One Direction and afternoon tea…” Sigh… don’t forget Tom Daley 😉

  10. Great trip report, Lucky. If you’re “downgraded” from suites to first due to an equipment change, etc. on an award flight, do you think you might be able to get some form of compensation?

  11. @colleen,@lucky They were serving a 20year old Taylor tawny port on this flight as per the wine list. So it was probably that. Although , hard to distinguish color of a 20 year old tawny from a sauternes. Although, the sauternes probably has more yellow hues than a tawny which is more amber in color.

  12. I didn’t know you could pre-order birthday cakes in any cabin either. Are they free?

    Those F seats are certainly looking a little worse for wear.

  13. Dear Lucky,

    Been enjoying your blog for quite some time.

    Will you be able to advise me on ordering a birthday onboard a SQ Flight? Does the actual day of the birthday have to fall on the day on the flight, or just within the month? Will this be available on Business Class?

  14. You’re exactly right about Singapore’s hospitality that goes above and beyond good service. I’ve only flown with them a few times – the last time was seven years ago (TPE-LAX-TPE in the then very new business class), yet I still remember them even after hundreds of other (entirely forgettable) flights. Singapore’s ad campaign (with their flight attendants going to get that perfect tea, movie, etc. just for you) is brilliant, precisely because Singapore is one of the very few airlines (if not the only one) where this rings true.

  15. I flew economy on SQ last year and they are simply amazing, I refuse to fly on any airline that tries to squeeze 10 abreast in economy.

  16. @Adi-T – IIRC, the mileage difference is very small. It does however make a difference for the whole experience of having flown First around the world.

  17. It is endearing to read the crew added to make the trip memorable. Korean Air and Singapore have a thoughtful touch in offering birthday cakes gratis in any cabin.

    Several clients have mentioned Krug is served in premium routes only. The menu reflects careful attention to details. The tough lobster out of JFK is due to the late departure time. Catering cooks meals until late afternoon. Red-eye flights receive food that has been in freezer hold for hours.

    Finally, any award winning restaurant will explain to its patrons sturgeon caviar has such a delicate texture and flavor that to properly enjoy it, nothing but blinis or lightly toasted fresh bread should accompany it. Malossol is a salting method, does not indicate quality. Iranian caviar and American Osetra are considered the best. Only cheap caviar that has not been kept at the proper 25 F temperature needs garnishes.

  18. Maybe it’s a testament to SQ’s quality but the picture of the lobster thermidor here and the one in the past you used for comparision to that horrible one out of JFK are almost identical. Down to the plating, table setting and lighting. Only the perspective is slightly different.

  19. @ Dennison Wee — Absolutely available for business class, and I think it’s fine as long as it’s within a couple of weeks of the birthday.

  20. @ Adi-T — Will share my initial thoughts on the A350 by tomorrow. Yes, agree there’s not much difference between business and first on the 777. It’s all about the food and service, I guess.

  21. @ Bill — Just ring their call center anytime after you book (and at least a couple of days before departure) and they can do it. Super-easy process.

  22. Awesome trip Ben!!! So glad you could do that with your dad!!
    FWIW, Cathay Pacific would get a cake if you request it as well. They did it for my wife in a whim since I forgot to request it in advance. I just politely asked at check in and the agent was more than happy to assist. She grabbed the phone, called catering and they loaded a cake on the spot. During the flight (JFK-HKG) all the FA’s and purser came over and sang happy birthday to my wife. It was really cool.

  23. “We weren’t really hungry, so it’s a good thing it was just a small snack.”

    Be that as it may, it does seem like SQ is cutting back on it’s second meal service in first class. There are business classes that offer more plates for flights of similar length. The “finale” is tea and coffee? They can’t offer at least a plate of fruit?

  24. What a lovely post! I just love the reports from your trip with your Dad! It must have been such a great feeling to have been able to make this trip happen and to have had this time – just the two of you! You are a wonderful son! Thanks for sharing this trip with us.

  25. Loved the report. I can testify to that as I’ve just had the ZRH-SIN-CGK flight on suites/first.

    For those who are asking about the celebratory cakes, they don’t mind if it’s not on the day itself. My wedding anniversary was in June but I wasn’t able to take the trip until December (to catch the aurora) but they gave my wife and I a cake regardless. No questions asked. I only wished we followed your example to share it with the cabin as it, too, was too much for us.

  26. My husband and I always fly Singapore Airlines whIch we love. We have only had one flight that was not up to their usual standard. Unfortunately our experience is only economy and business class let alone first class is out of our reach, we can always dream. We however recommend Singapore Airlines to all our family and friends and will be flying with them again this year. Can’t wait.

  27. Dear Lucky;

    In redeeming miles for singapore airlines first class seat on boeing 777-300ER, do you prefer to be seated on Row or row 2? I am travelling alone..my options are 1A, 1F and 2A , 2F; all are still available…i remember you had a post on seat selections, but i cant seem to find it.

    Many Thanks
    Jacky

  28. @ Jacky Widjaya — Personally I prefer row two since I like to be able to have an “overview” of the cabin and be further from the galley, but can’t go wrong with any window seat.

  29. Hi lucky,

    Saw you had the Lobster Thermidor on your flight out of singapore. Was looking at the book a chef menu for flight out of singapore and there was two choices for Lobster Thermidor (Boston lobster Thermidor or classic lobster Thermidor). May I ask which one did u choose and also recommend. Thank u.

  30. @ Kim — I had booked the Boston Lobstern Thermidor. Can’t say I’ve tried the other, so not sure how it compares.

  31. Lucky –
    Looking forward to fly the new SQ 777-300ER First Class. On which routes do I have the best chances?

  32. On a partially related note; what seat do you recommend on Singapore’s A380 in R? I would be flying their A380 on the 28 between Shanghai and Zurich via SIN.

  33. Hi Zach,

    Which seats are better depends on you.

    There are only 10 seats in R and if you are travelling as a couple, 2CD and 3CD would be good as they open up into a double bed.

    If travelling singly, I personally would prefer 1A or 1F as I would have the window on one side and the stairway on the other and not have another passenger there. However, the privacy afforded by the suites really doesn’t make it a major issue to have someone else to one’s right or left.

  34. Hello Lucky,
    Planning a trip around the world, but given surcharges, rather than doing the United RTW option, doing point to point. This site and all your insights are a godsend, thank you!
    One step, and best chance to use Singapore Airlines, is from Paris (or Barcelona or Amsterdam or…) to Singapore in November. Of course A380 suites at the saver level are not available/waitlist (booking for 2). My question is – what would you think is better, first class on a 777-ER (and anyway to tell if it’s a new one or old??) or business on A380? We both travel a lot, though usually in Economy (working with non-profits mostly), so this voyage is a splurge with United and Sapphire points we’ve acquired over the years. Want to make the most of them.
    Also (apologies for the long post), any tips on transferring miles from Sapphire? I’m afraid if I transfer enough for a first class ticket, then can only book business by the time they transfer, that I’ll have miles sitting more or less useless in KrisFlyer.
    Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions! And again, thanks for this site and all the work you and your team put into it.

  35. Give SQ Krisflyer a call and ask about the availability of seats before you transfer the miles. Explain your situation to them so they do not do the booking for you. If the seats are available, then transfer the miles and do the booking yourself on the SQ website so you can benefit from the 15% online discount.

    Of course if the seat is unavailable, you can waitlist for it but that will be a bit of a gamble since you’ll have to transfer the miles to do so without a firm guarantee of getting the seats eventually. Given that the A380 only has 12 suites in total, normally only 2 are available for redemption. Book early. Good luck.

  36. Hi Melvin,
    Thanks for these tips! Funny, I actually did call them the other day, 2 different times. Honestly I was a bit surprised that the agents were not more knowledgeable/helpful (and having done a lot of customer service in my time, I am always super nice on the phone :), but I will definitely try again.

    Do you/others have any opinions on whether business class A380 is better than first class on their 777-ER, or vice versa?

    Thanks!
    Sasha

  37. Hi Lucky

    I just redeemed 2 seats in F class to SFO in dec for my husband and I.
    Chose 1F and 1D cos row 2 was already taken up.
    I’m wondering if they’ll force us to switch to 1C and 1D cos we’re a couple?
    I really want a window seat though.

    Thanks!

  38. My daughter and I flew to Singapore on 4/6/16 and were very impressed from the beginning. First at the Sydney Airport Lounge and then on the flight where the service, food and friendliness were outstanding, SOOO we were really looking forward to the return trip to Sydney on 11/6/16, BUT alas Singapore Airlines let it self down right from the outset. The lounge was magnificent but the staff were sadly very unhelpful. We were first told we wouldn’t have to worry about boarding till 9.0am, at 8.30am we noticed on our tickets boarding was at 8.35am when we asked we were told yes you must go (Sydney lounge staff came and told us when it was time to go) to gate 14 by Skytrain. Skytrain, what’s that? After a mad dash through the airport we arrived as people were boarding. The food on the flight was very disappointing so much so I couldn’t eat it and I wasn’t the only passenger who sent their food back. The staff were very nice and I think very embarrassed this should happen. I think Singapore Airlines should send their airport staff to Sydney to learn how to provide customer service after all they do charge a lot for First Class Travel.

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