Review: Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class LAX-NRT-SIN

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  8. Conrad Koh Samui Part 2 (Breakfast and Resort)
Singapore Airlines' A380

Singapore Airlines’ A380

 

Singapore Airlines’ A380 Business Class is considered one of the top Business Classes in the world, so I’m always excited to fly it. Booking this flight was nothing special – I actually used Avianca LifeMiles at the 62,500 mile rate to book this flight. Those points were purchased for 1.5 cents each, so I paid just under $1K for the one way (including a SIN-BKK leg at the end) which I thought was very reasonable for this route and airline. I’d say it’s a premium of only a few hundred dollars over the Economy fare actually (I remember booking a round trip economy flight for $1,700 on this same route several years ago). I thought it was worth it for this particular trip for me.

Boarding started with over an hour to scheduled departure, as you might expect from an A380. Suites Class passengers went first, then the Business Class passengers got their turn. For those that don’t know, the entire upper deck of Singapore’s A380 is Business Class, so there are a lot of seats…and only a couple were empty on this flight.

Business Class seats

Business Class seats

I got to my seat and was immediately greeted by a flight attendant that asked me how I was, then took my drink order. I asked for orange juice, and it came with some cold nuts. Another flight attendant came around just to have a conversation – asking me how I was, if I’d flown with them before, where my final destination was, etc. He was extremely friendly, as are most other Singapore Airlines flight attendants.

To me, this is what separates Singapore Airlines from every other airline that I’ve flown: the flight attendants. They’re not just young, attractive, and good at their job, but they’re actually friendly and genuinely interested in how you are. They’re also the most proactive in the sense that they truly anticipate your needs rather than being reactive to your requests. Anyways, on to the rest of the flight.

Welcome drink (orange juice).

Welcome drink (orange juice).

We took off on time and were on our way to Tokyo. The smoothness of the A380 never ceases to amaze me – it’s the biggest plane we can fly and it’s usually the smoothest on takeoff and landing also. As soon as we were up in the air I started watching a movie. The in-flight entertainment (IFE) is top-notch – good selection, a huge screen, and the remote works intuitively.

The seat is awesome. It’s one of the widest seats you’ll find in the sky – wider than most airlines’ First Class seats in fact. The only downside is in bed mode, where the foot area becomes a bit cramped and you have to sleep at an angle (feet towards the windows and head towards the aisle). It’s very private regardless of how you’re sitting in the seat.

My Seat

My Seat

TV

TV

Foot rest.

Foot rest.

Seat and IFE controls.

Seat and IFE controls.

Storage and power.

Storage and power.

Center bulkhead seats.

Center bulkhead seats.

Stairs to Suites Class.

Stairs to Suites Class.

There’s ample storage at window seats and even a vanity mirror, additional storage, and cup holder next to the TV. The seat is very functional and comfortable. To get into bed mode, you can either ask a flight attendant or locate the release latch yourself to fold the seat down. Basically the back part folds down to reveal a padded bed. In my mind, this is actually worse cushioning than the seat itself, which I wish could just slide down like many other seats. Still, it’s very comfortable and you can’t really complain. There’s also no amenity kit; instead, Business Class passengers get a small bag with socks and an eye mask.

 

Socks and eye mask

Socks and eye mask

Nuts and storage.

Nuts and storage.

There are two types of lavatories: the standard one and the huge one at the front of the top deck. If you like having space to stretch out in the lavatory or care to join a certain club *hint hint*, make sure you pick a seat up front on the top deck. There’s almost enough space for you to do all your yoga poses in there. There’s also plenty of toothbrushes and Schick Xtreme 3 shaving razors (I grabbed a few of for the road).

 

Toilet

Toilet

Sink

Sink

Toiletries

Toiletries

The meal service started a bit after take-off. Menus were distributed and our orders were taken beforehand. I had the option to “book the cook” to have something special, but the last time I did that didn’t turn out too well for me so I stuck with the standard menu. I decided to go with the Western option and ordered the steak.

The meal started off with bread and then moved to the appetizer, which was a prosciutto salad. I don’t do pork, so I ate around the meat on the salad. It wasn’t anything special anyway, according to my friend who had the same salad. The salad with the duck, however, was quite good. I don’t eat duck often so I’m not exactly a connoisseur, but this duck was pretty good. And yes, that’s two different types of salads!

 

Different types of breads.

Different types of breads.

Prosciutto Salad.

Prosciutto Salad.

Duck Salad

Duck Salad

The steak was good. Nothing spectacular, and you shouldn’t expect such from steaks on a plane (see what I did there?). But what blew me away were the accompaniments – the green beans and carrots. I don’t know what they did to those vegetables, but they were delicious! I checked with my friend to make sure I wasn’t crazy, and he agreed that they were very good. I think it was just this particular batch though because I had a similar dish on the return that was good, but not spectacular. Oh well, can’t complain about veggies at 40,000 feet! Ice cream was dessert and was a little too melted for my taste.

Steaks on a plane!

Steaks on a plane!

Ice Cream!

Ice Cream!

My glasses of water and Coke Zero were never empty, which is something I really appreciate when having a meal in Business Class. Service was efficient but a little slow as you might expect with the amount of Business Class passengers there are.

I pretty much just ate and watched TV/Movies for the rest of the flight. I just wasn’t going to be sleepy on this 11 hour flight that left at 4pm, so I decided to stay awake rather than sleep just an hour or two at the tail end of the flight. After a few hours a cart with fruit came around and I was offered my pick. I grabbed a slice of pineapple and a pear. It was unusual for me to have unsliced fruit on a plane (yes, I’m spoiled). Eventually I wanted to get up to walk around, and when I did I saw that there were snacks in the galley. I took advantage of a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.

Fruits.

Fruits.

Snacks and a random blurry hand.

Snacks and a random blurry hand.

The final meal service was technically a “snack” service, except the menu featured lamb chops which is quite a snack. They were actually pretty good, but again, nothing like you’d find in a proper restaurant. It was good though, and I ate the whole dish. Dessert was a raspberry cheesecake.

Lamb chops...what a snack!

Lamb chops…what a snack!

Yummmm

Yummmm

We finally descended into Tokyo-Narita airport, and I managed to stay awake the whole flight. I didn’t visit any of the lounges in Tokyo, electing to walk around and hang by the gate instead on the short 1.5 hour layover. Unfortunately you have to go through security screening again, but international security is much easier than US security so it was no sweat.

We got back on the plane, and that’s pretty much where this review is going to end. As soon as the seat belt sign was turned off, I flipped my seat down into bed mode, grabbed my pillow and blanket and slept almost the entirety of the 7 hour flight (as did almost everyone else).

It’s a tough departure and arrival time if you ask me – leaving LAX at 4pm makes it awkward to sleep on the plane on the LAX-NRT leg since the flight lands around 3am LAX local time, so you’ll only get a few hours if you stick to your normal sleep schedule. Then after the 1.5 hour layover and NRT-SIN leg, you land in Singapore at 3am, which means you’ll likely have to book a hotel for the previous night (and hotels in Singapore are not cheap).

Anyway, the flight was comfortable, the seat is huge, the IFE selection is excellent, and the food was very good. The best part, though, is the service. My glass was never empty, the flight attendants were very social and did everything with a smile, and it’s a great way to get to Singapore.

But you know what’s an even better way? Going there in Suites Class, a flight I’ve already booked in October of this year. Look for that review shortly after I take that flight!

 

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Comments

  1. how did you find SQ J in LM, tried many times on that search and never come up with anything , even a year ahead. even with KF miles,, most of the days are on waiting list. you are very lucky to snag this seat. very good report.

    • Travel Summary says:

      I got this seat several months back before Singapore became more stingy with award availability. In recent months they’ve tightened availability and only started releasing it in the 2-3 weeks before the flight (in most cases). I got this seat before that happened.

  2. If I had the amex platunum business card
    Will I still get on my spg business?

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