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- Introduction: Around the World in First Class
- Singapore Airlines Suites on the A380 LAX-NRT (Los Angeles to Tokyo)
- ANA Business Class Lounge NRT
- ANA Suite Lounge NRT
- Singapore Airlines A380 Suites NRT-SIN (Tokyo to Singapore)
- Transit Hotel SIN Terminal 3
- KrisFlyer First Class Lounge SIN
- Singapore Airlines Private Room Lounge SIN
- Thai Airways Business Class BKK-LHE (Bangkok to Lahore) and Reverse
- Pearl Continental Hotel Lahore
- CIP Lounge LHE
- Novotel Bangkok Airport
- Thai Airways First Class Lounge and Spa BKK
- Thai Airways A380 First Class BKK-FRA (Bangkok to Frankfurt)
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal FRA
- Lufthansa 747-400 First Class FRA-YVR (Frankfurt to Vancouver)
- Westin Wall Centre Vancouver Airport
I waited a long time to take this flight. I’ve always wanted to, but I just never had the opportunity between work and award availability…but finally everything aligned for me. I booked this ticket 10 months in advance so the anticipation built up as it got closer…but it was finally here! I gave my initial thoughts on the flight a couple of weeks ago just after flying it, and I’m still remembering the flight as clearly as the day I flew it.
Brace yourself for the longest post I’ve ever written. After all, the best flight I’ve taken deserves the longest post!
Checking in was as easy as you’d expect. There was no line in the dedicated Suites line (with red carpet and all) so I walked right up and checked in.
After check-in was completed, the agent asked me if I wanted an escort through security. I was actually traveling with my parents, who were in Business Class on the same flight, so I declined and said I’ll just walk through myself. Then I saw the ridiculously long queue, even for premium cabin passengers (such is LAX life). I walked back to the agent and asked if her offer was still good and could include my parents, and she said yes. She walked us straight to the front of the line. I love First Class!
My next destination was the Star Alliance First Class Lounge, which I didn’t review as part of this trip report since I just reviewed it as part of another one. The experience and menu was almost exactly the same, so I don’t need to go over it again. Besides, I was only there for a few minutes before joining my parents in the lovely Business Class lounge.
Singapore Airlines Suites Review – Seat/Suite
Eventually it was time to fly. I walked over to the gate and had to wait for only a minute before boarding began. I was hoping to be the first one on the plane but there was a couple with a baby traveling in Suites as well, so they got priority. A baby in First Class?! Yes, it happens from time to time but I wasn’t going to let it bother me today! Three people checked my boarding pass before I got to the door of the plane, and each one was friendlier than the next.
Once I did make it to the door, I was met by a flight attendant who walked me to my seat. She even took my carry on suitcase and put it under the footrest for me, then asked if I wanted anything to drink. I asked for water as I usually do before a flight, and then I started taking pictures of one of the coolest seats on commercial planes. First some cabin pics.
I actually booked a middle seat in hopes of getting the full size bed, but there were two couples in the cabin on my flight and they occupied the two sets of middle seats. I was moved over to the side, which wasn’t a big deal.
Before I begin with the review, let me just say that four different flight attendants saw me taking pictures and offered to take a picture of me in the seat, and each one also had conversations with me asking about where I was going, how long I’d be gone, and more. This is probably my favorite thing about Singapore Airlines – their flight attendants, and employees in general, are all so friendly, and all of it is sincere and nothing sounds forced. They are genuinely helpful and friendly, and it really shows. The Singapore Girl is an actual thing also.
Now, on to the suite. The first thing I noticed were the high walls that each suite had. I’ve recently flown on both Asiana’s A380 Suites and Etihad’s Suites, both of which have closing doors, but neither of those had walls and doors that were this high. It felt much more private already, except for one thing that I’ll discuss a bit later.
The second thing I noticed was a hotel-style note that said my suite had been prepared by Anabel. Anabel did a terrific job, because everything was in perfect order. The seat itself is huge – larger than it looks in the picture I took. The arm rest on the window side folds up and gives even more space, and the seat is as comfortable as you’d expect it to be. There was a pillow and a day blanket on the foot rest, which spanned the width of the seat.
The TV wasn’t that big, at least not compared to Asiana’s A380 which is my benchmark for all airplane TVs now. It did have a couple of storage compartments next to it though, plus some more on the side of my seat near the windows.
Other things I noticed were the different carpets between the suite and the aisle. I suspect it’s there to give you a feeling that you’re in your own “private” room. I also took a picture of my view of the other seats while sitting.
As you probably noticed in the pictures, my glass of water did come and was even refilled before it was finished. I had a laptop bag on the floor near my feet, and a flight attendant came over and without saying anything rearranged my suitcase under the foot rest so the laptop could fit. Singapore Airlines flight attendants try so hard to not inconvenience you, and their effort is really noticeable. This is true not just in First Class but also in Business Class, which I flew on this route earlier this year. It’s just a bit more personalized here in Suites.
It was clear that everyone in the cabin was a first time flyer, because literally every single passenger was taking pictures of things and posing so the flight attendants could take one of them. This flight really is like a tourist spot itself!
On the side of my seat closest to the aisle were the seat and in-flight entertainment (IFE) controls.
There was a small storage bin next to the foot rest, and a light above and behind my seat on the aisle side.
Below is a picture of the wall behind the seat. Notice the cutout and latch at the top – this is actually the bed that folds down. The entire wooden piece containing the tray table and storage lowers about 8 inches so the bed can lay flat. That means no eating in bed mode.
I was also handed some Bose noise cancelling headphones and the menu for the flight.
I mentioned before that the suite was very private given the high walls, except for one thing. You’ll notice in all my pictures that there are actually giant gaps in the suite walls facing the aisles – it’s how my view of the sat across from me can actually see into the suite. This is because there are blinds that slide down to provide you with privacy. Here’s an example of one that’s closed.
You’ll notice that even the top and bottom of the blinds are kind of transparent. It still provides a good amount of privacy, especially when it’s dark, but not complete privacy. This also raises another issue that I’d come to realize later in the flight – noise travels through these blinds. With a baby in my cabin, there was nowhere for those sound waves to go except through those blinds and into my ear. With the completely enclosed suites of Asiana’s A380 and Etihad’s Suite, and even private First Class seats like the Qantas A380, Japan Airlines’ Sky Suite, and Cathay Pacific, all are able to deflect and reduce that sound, particularly when you’re sleeping and your head is near the wall. On this cabin with the blinds down, you can’t be seen but the sound travels straight through.
That will probably be my last criticism of this flight.
I noticed the flight attendants taking the dinner order for some of the passengers, but they didn’t have enough time to get to me before take off. I also noticed they did not hand out pajamas or amenity kits before the flight. Soon after takeoff, both of those things happened.
The pajamas were by Givenchy and were very nice – the shirt was a half zip shirt with the Singapire Airlines logo as the zipper. The amenity kit was by Salvatore Ferragamo, and actually contained a fairly sizable cologne bottle. I was also handed socks, eye shades, and slippers separately.
I was also brought warm nuts and another glass of water before my order was taken.
For dinner I decided not to use the Book the Cook service where I could pre-order my meal online before the flight. Instead I opted to enjoy the food they had through the menu. Here are the full size images of the menu (click to enlarge):
Singapore Airlines Suites Review – Dinner
I decided to go with the Japanese meal for my flight. I tend to go with the Western option on a lot of my flights, but everything on the Japanese menu sounded good to me so I thought I’d give it a try. The only concern for me was that it included a lot of fish, which I’m not a huge fan of (I do eat sushi and lobster/shrimp, but tend to avoid actually fish).
First up was a trio of small items: Mountain yam with plum sauce, Japanese eggplant with miso sauce, and pumpkin custard with tosa soy sauce on Tonburi mountain caviar. It came with a tuna sashimi salad with citrus dressing.
The yam with plum sauce was delicious, the eggplant not so much. The pumpkin custard with caviar was pretty good. The tuna sashimi was delicious. So far we’re off to a good start!
At this point the cabin manager, who introduced himself earlier, saw that I was still drinking only water with my meal. I had already declined some wine since I don’t drink, but he asked me if I was sure I didn’t want anything else to drink and suggested a soft drink. I agreed to have a coke zero, which he brought out promptly himself.
Next up was the buckwheat noodles and garnishes, yellowtail sushi, spinach with sesame sauce, and ginger.
The sushi was alright – nothing special there. The noodles were delicious but probably what you’d expect them to be. Still, I’m enjoying my meal so far and the flight attendant service is excellent as always.
The next course was the steamed halibut and vegetables with ginger sauce. I wasn’t looking forward to this one since I’m not a fish guy.
To my surprise and delight, this actually tasted good. Honestly, I don’t like fish. I’ve had halibut a couple of times before but only a few bites worth from others. This piece of halibut was very good and the ginger sauce and vegetables probably helped me enjoy it.
The next course was my entree, which included several items: grilled salmon with a hint of rice malt, prime beef fillet with teriyaki sauce, steamed rice with matsutake mushroom, and an assortment of pickles. Again, I wasn’t really looking forward to the salmon.
Again to my surprise and delight, the salmon was actually good. If there’s one fish that I’ve really disliked in my life it’s salmon because of it’s strong flavor. This one did not have that, and in fact tasted very good. In fact, I thought it tasted better than the beef fillet, which is no knock on the beef.
Finally it was time for dessert: green tea ice cream cake with red beans.
Dessert was nothing special. I thought about ordering dessert from the Western menu after this, but I was just too full to have any more.
The cabin manager did come out and ask if I left room for any fruit or cheese, and I said I didn’t unfortunately. He replied “I know…all the food can be overwhelming” to which I had a good laugh. He continued “but you’re doing pretty good so far!” Gottta love a flight attendant who knows they over-feed their passengers! And again…they’re all so personable!
The dinner service was perfect in every way I can think of. The food was good, and there wasn’t much waiting between my meals. My glass of water and coke zero were constantly refilled before they neared being empty, and the flight attendants always addressed me by my last name. It was very polite and polished service.
Many people asked to have their beds made after dinner, including the two in the middle sections that enjoyed the full-sized bed. I couldn’t help but be a little jealous wishing I could have that bed to myself (if for nothing else than for pictures), but alas I had to settle for my own “small” bed :P.
I didn’t feel like sleeping just yet, so I closed my doors and blinds for privacy and started watching a movie.
Interestingly, the flight attendants knocked on my door twice: first to give me a bottle of water and second to ask me to fill out a survey.
So two things about this: even if your door is closed, it looks like they don’t mind knocking on the door. I’m sure if I had my “do not disturb” sign on that they’d respect it, but I didn’t feel the need to turn it on.
The second interesting part was the survey, which I hadn’t received before flying with them. It was a very comprehensive survey that asked questions regarding how I felt about everything from booking the flight to security to boarding and food, service, seats, preferences, IFE, and more. No wonder Singapore Airlines is on top…they actually ask their customers what they think! I later found out that this survey was distributed to everyone on the flight, not just the Suites passengers.
I got up to use the lavatory and a flight attendant greeted me immediately and asked if I wanted my bed made. I figured why not – might as well watch the movie in bed mode. She also asked me if I wanted to be woken up for a snack before landing, and I said yes to that as well, not wanting to miss out on more food.
Speaking of more food, on my way to the lavatory I encountered the snack basket.
The lavatory wasn’t anything special, but did look nicer than many others that I’ve encountered in First Class cabins.
The lavatory had toothbrushes, shaving razors, combs, and Salvatore Ferragamo lotions and perfumes. There was also a changing table that could be folded down.
When I got back to my seat, my bed had been made for me.
Singapore Airlines Suites Review – Bed
Anything I’d left on the side table that needed to be lowered for the bed was moved next to the windows, and the outlets (including the power outlet) was still easily accessible. The headphones had their own dedicated rack with buttons that could control the lights and call the flight attendant. Oh, and the bed itself was awesome.
I’m trying to think of a seat that provides a bigger bed and don’t think I can. It’s wider than the Lufthansa 747-400, which has a separate seat and bed (haven’t reviewed this one yet), and it’s probably just as wide as Cathay Pacfic and Qantas. It’s also very comfortable, though I did find the mattress/bedding to be a bit thinner than the Lufthansa 747-400 bed. Still…it’s a bed. At 40,000 feet in the air. I’m not complaining!
I did try to get some sleep but only managed 2-3 hours. I actually think the departure time of 3:45PM on this flight is one of the worst for me. I usually sleep around midnight or 1AM at home, and this flight basically flies all evening and night and lands at about 2AM PST, just after I usually sleep. That usually means I barely get any sleep on this flight.
When I did finally get up I went to the lavatory and again was intercepted by a flight attendant. I was asked if I was hungry and wanted anything to eat. I was actually prepared for that question since I was hungry, and ordered the kway teow noodles with chicken and black mushrooms in chicken stock.
I mentioned earlier that the tray table can’t be opened in bed mode, so the flight attendant offered to set up my food in the empty seat behind mine, to which I quickly agreed. My noodles came out after just a few minutes.
I know it doesn’t look like much, but it was very good. It was also light enough that I was able to enjoy some dessert afterwards as well. I had the pistachio dacquoise topped with pistachio mousseline and berries.
The dessert was delicious as well, although there were no berries. No biggie.
At this point one of the flight attendants decided to ask me a question that I could tell he was wondering about for a while. He said “I noticed you taking pictures of everything…are you a blogger?” Then I told him the whole story, and it sounded like they encounter quite a few bloggers during the course of their work.
After I finished my food I went back to my seat to try one last time to sleep while there was still a couple of hours left on the flight. When I got back to my seat, my bed was made and my pillows were again stacked.
It’s these little touches that happen throughout the flight that puts Singapore Airlines service above all others. And it’s not just one flight attendant – there were several of them that all provided excellent service throughout the flight. It really feels like you can be friends with these people because they’re all that friendly.
In fact, their service was so exceptional I actually do remember their names. Paul, Paynee, and Elias (Cabin Manager) were all fantastic, and I hope to cross paths with them on future trips.
By the way, one of the quirky things I do on all my flights is take a picture through the bottom of an empty glass to catch the logo of the airline against the flight map in the background (example below). One of my flight attendants saw me doing this and actually brought me a clean glass to use. Honestly…these guys are all just so helpful.
I was able to get some sleep before the end of the flight, but everyone was woken up by the pilot with about 35 minutes to go. Once I got my eyes open enough I grabbed my clothes (which I kept with me, even though the flight attendants offered to hang them) and headed for the lavatory to change. When I got back to my seat, the bed had been raised and my seat was back to seat mode. The efficiency of the crew is really something to behold.
Part of the safety rules on the plane is that all blinds must be raised and all doors open. I set my camera on my side table and took a picture looking out towards the aisle so you can see how much of the cabin is actually visible.
So while the suite has high walls and is private, it’s not always private. When the blinds are up there’s actually very little privacy, as compared to the other airlines I mentioned above that have seats that are designed for privacy, even if they don’t have closing doors. It’s a negative, but not a huge one.
And just like that, my flight had come to an end.I finally got a picture of the plane while walking out – I’d be getting right back on just two hours later for the flight to Singapore.
Singapore Airlines Suites Review – Summary
I doubt if it sounded like it in this review, but this flight was actually the favorite flight I’ve ever taken. The hard product is amazing – maybe not the best, but certainly one of the best. But the service is what puts Singapore Airlines above all other airlines for me. It’s consistent, friendly, and sincere…every time.
The little things are always taken care of, and the flight attendants are the most proactive you’ll find. Your glass will never be empty, you won’t have to ask for the next course of your meal, you won’t even have to ask to have your bed made. They’ll do it for you. The cabin manager Elias offered me another drink when he saw I was drinking only water, then brought it out himself. My bed was made for me again after having my noodles near the end of the flight. All these little things add up to make Singapore Airlines Suites my favorite flight.
And luckily I got another 7 hours from Tokyo to Singapore after a short 2 hour layover!