On this trip, I flew Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy Class by booking a cheap revenue ticket from Los Angeles to Phuket, Thailand. My roundtrip airfare cost $1,200 USD and included all taxes and fees. This was a significant upcharge from economy class tickets, which were going for $675, but I wanted to try out the premium economy seat and put it to the test. Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class tickets (P fare class) earn 100% mileage when credited to United MileagePlus and 110% when credited to Singapore Airlines SilverKris.
My outbound flight from Los Angeles to Singapore routed through Seoul and the return flight routed through Tokyo. Both flights were operated by Boeing 777-300ERs (77W). Having never flown Singapore Airlines Business Class before, I decided to use my KrisFlyer miles to upgrade my outbound leg to business class. You can click here to read my full review of that flight.
Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class
Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class passengers receive the following benefits:
- Priority check-in, boarding and baggage handling.
- A more spacious seat in a dedicated cabin.
- Active noise-canceling headphones.
- Book the Cook meal services.
- Amenity kit.
On their Boeing 777-300ER fleet, Singapore Airlines Premium Economy has its own dedicated cabin aft of the main business class cabin. The premium economy class cabin has 28 seats in a 2-4-2 layout. The cabin itself is pretty bland but the seats are classy with stitched leather and orange accents.
Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class seats offer 19.5 inches of width, 38 inches of pitch and 8 inches of recline. The seats are well-padded and comfortable but there are no air vents installed to provide individual temperature control.
Seat advice: Bulkhead seats are great for easy access to the lavatory without bothering your neighbors and seat width is the same as other seats. The IFE monitors are mounted on the bulkhead wall and for emergency exit row seats, there is a secondary console where the IFE monitor flips out from. Bulkhead and emergency exit row seats will have extra legroom but the “window” seats lack windows due to the positioning of the emergency exit doors. The last row of seats have full recline and a solid wall behind them.
For your comfort, all seats in the premium economy class cabin are equipped with both leg rests and footrests. The footrests are height adjustable for people with different leg lengths and the footrests are built into the leg rests of the bulkhead seats. I found the leg rests to be really comfortable and did a great job of elevating and supporting your legs during flight.
For storage, larger items can be stored in the overhead bins and personal items can be stored underneath the seat in front of you. Smaller items such as cellphones, eyeglasses and passports can be secured in the storage pockets in the center compartment to your side and in front of you.
The seatback pockets are smartly designed with a two-tier storage pocket. The front seatback pocket holds the in-flight literature and other items such as magazines, books and e-Readers and the larger, rear pocket can store tablets and laptops up to 15 inches.
Each seat is equipped with a personal, 13.3 inch HD, in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, two USB ports, two personal reading lamps and one universal electrical outlet (located down by your leg rest). The KrisWorld entertainment system is loaded with a huge collection of movies, TV shows, video games and music entertainment. More so if you enjoy Indian and Chinese cinema.
Manual seat controls are located to the side of the seat along with the touchscreen, IFE remote.
Premium economy class passengers share the same lavatories with economy class passengers. The lavatories are nothing special but they are supplied with generic dental hygiene kits, combs, mouthwash, lotion and perfume spray for use during flight.
Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class, Singapore to Tokyo
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Singapore (SIN) to Tokyo (NRT)
Depart: 9:20 AM on Monday (9:22 AM actual)
Arrive: 5:05 PM same day (5:07 PM actual)
Duration: 6hr 45mn
Seat: 32K Premium Economy Class
In Singapore, security is held at the individual gates and not at a central location. Because I had to clear security, I left the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Gold Lounge a little bit earlier to process through security and take some pictures. Security went through pretty quickly and I arrived at the gate with too much time to spare. Post security, there are bathrooms and a little coffee cart to buy snacks and water bottles.
SQ12 flies from Singapore to Los Angeles with a fifth-freedom stop in Tokyo Narita. If you are booked the entire way, the system will only let you choose one seat for the entire trip. It will not let you choose separate seats for the two separate segments even though passenger loads varied between the two segments.
On this segment, I was seated in seat 33A but I later moved to 32K because it had an empty seat next to it. Waiting at our seats were a menu, bottle of water, pillow, blanket and a pair of noise-canceling headphones (but no slippers). These are the same headphones provided to business class passengers.
As I settled into my seat, the flight attendants came around with a hot towel and a pre-departure drink.
Once all the passengers were boarded, we taxied to the runway and made our way to Tokyo. The weather was crappy but check out this beautiful new bird!
Approximately 1.5 hours into the flight, the flight attendants prepared for our meal service. Here’s the menu listing the standard meals for this flight. These are basically the same meals served in economy class. For our 6 hr and 45 mn flight from Singapore to Tokyo, I was surprised to see only one meal was served. There wasn’t even a snack or anything else served prior to landing.
Premium economy class passengers are entitled to Singapore Airlines’ “Book the Cook” service. Up to 24 hours before your flight, you can log on and select from an expanded list of meals. The one benefit for those of us who “booked the cook” was that we got our meals before the regular meal service even began. The downside to this was it took a little while for the beverage cart to make its way down the aisle. So while we get to eat before everyone else, we also had to wait for a beverage to enjoy with our meal.
For my one meal, everything was served all on one tray including a pasta salad appetizer, bread bowl and the main course. The beverage cart included alcoholic beverages such as spirits, liqueurs, wines and champagne.
The main course was followed by dessert and a coffee/tea service.
The meal was decent, nothing special and service was slow; definitely not up to the Singapore Airlines 5-star standard, I was expecting. Outside of the one meal service, the cabin crew didn’t really interact with the passengers nor did they do much to provide exceptional service. They were slow to start the meal service, slow to clear trays and weren’t overly friendly.
About 30 minutes prior to our arrival into Tokyo Narita, our noise-canceling headphones were collected. Pack your own headphones if you want to continue using the IFE system. WiFi was provided on this flight but it was incredibly expensive, $20 for 50 MB of data.
SQ12 Arrival into Tokyo Narita
This flight from Singapore continues to Los Angeles but unfortunately (and annoyingly), all passengers must depart and exit the aircraft in Tokyo. Continuing passengers must clear security before boarding the aircraft again. Tip: Don’t hold onto any water bottles from this flight as you will have to dump them out at the security checkpoint.
SQ12 lands at 5:05 PM and departs again at 7:15 PM, with boarding starting at 6:20 PM. This will give you just enough time to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat before boarding again. If you have Star Alliance Gold lounge access, you can visit the ANA Lounge for a quick shower and bowl of udon. If you have Priority Pass, you can use the Korean Air Lounge.
The other trip reports in this series include:
- Star Alliance Lounge LAX
- Singapore Airlines Business Class, Los Angeles to Singapore (via Seoul)
- Grand Mercure Phuket
- Ambassador Transit Hotel, Singapore Changi Airport
- ANA Lounge Tokyo Narita
- Korean Air Lounge Tokyo Narita
- Singapore Airlines Premium Economy, Singapore to Tokyo (part 1)
- Singapore Airlines Premium Economy, Tokyo to Los Angeles (part 2)