Trip Report: Singapore First Class from Singapore to London


This is the ninth installment of a round-the-world trip report that started here. We pick up in Singapore.

Full Trip Report

Singapore 306
Singapore (SIN) – London (LHR)
Depart: 1:30 AM on March 6, 2014
Arrive: 8:00 AM on March 6, 2014
Duration: 13.5 hours
Aircraft: Airbus A380 Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 1A (First Class)

After several hours hanging out in the Singapore Changi Airport’s butterfly garden, free movie theater, Priority Pass lounges, and Singapore Private Room lounge, I headed to my flight. I was ecstatic to fly Suites Class on the Singapore A380.

Up until now, I had thought nothing of the fact that my boarding pass said First Class–the name used for the best cabin on the 777–instead of Suites Class–the best cabin on the A380.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.02.57 AM

Nor did I think anything of the gate’s First Class, not Suites Class sign, or the fact that there were no stairs to a second deck anywhere. It was dark, and I was tired, so the single decker sitting at the gate didn’t register.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.19 AM

I enjoyed a First Class boarding experience where I was met at the door by a flight attendant and taken to my seat.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.24 AM

And what a throne it was–about as wide as the Cathay Pacific First Class seats that could easily fit two. (Seat Guru has Singapore First Class at 35″ wide and Cathay First at 36″.) But why wasn’t the seat fully enclosed?

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.30 AM

Somehow I was flying Singapore First Class on a 777-300ER, not Suites Class on an A380. I had booked Suites Class, which features fully enclosed suites and flies some of the London frequencies.

Suites Class, A380

But there was a last minute airplane swap to a 777-300ER on my flight. If I had known, I would have switched flights because the exact time of my arrival into London wasn’t very important. But I hadn’t been informed by Singapore, and I hadn’t checked online the day before to reconfirm my plane.

In the end, it worked out fine for me. First Class is nearly as nice as Suites Class, and my email complaints about my downgrade to Singapore Airlines after the flight netted me 30,000 Singapore miles, which was enough for a First Class award on a flat bed between Hawaii and the mainland United States.

As I made piece with the fact that I was in Singapore First Class, not Suites Class, I took a look around the cabin, which has eight seats arranged 1-2-1.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.37 AM

The middle seats are ideal for a traveling pair. If you are not with the person sitting next to you, a privacy divider can be raised between the seats.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.43 AM

In front of the seat is a 23″ flat screen TV and an ottoman.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.57.58 AM

Again, everything is so spacious, that I only needed about 25% of the ottoman’s width. There are no overhead bins in First Class, so I had my favorite carry on and personal item under the seat in front of me.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.58.07 AM

Before departure, I was offered a pre-departure beverage. For champagne, Singapore offers both Dom Perignon and Krug. I went with a glass of Krug.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.58.36 AM

The Krug came with Macadamia nuts, my favorite.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.27 AM

Also before departure, I was given the menu, amenity kit, pajamas, and slippers.

The menu read as follows:
Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.58.57 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.04 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.12 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.19 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.28 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.33 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.43 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.50 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.59.57 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.02 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.08 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.14 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.20 AM

The amenity kit was Sothys branded and featured some high end lotions.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.25 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.33 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.44 AM

The pajamas were presented less than artfully, wrapped in plain white paper.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.40 AM

But they were very nice and comfortable. I immediately changed into them and wore them for most of the flight.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.51 AM

I changed in the bathrooms, which were more spacious than coach, but nothing special.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.19 AM

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After takeoff, I asked for a turndown service. Since the middle seat next to me was empty, the flight attendant suggested that she make that as a bed for me, so I could have separate seats and beds. That sounded great.

The bed was presented beautifully with a mattress pad, duvet, and two pillows.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.00.58 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.06 AM

The bed was very comfortable, and I immediately slept for about eight hours.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.28 AM

When I awoke, I asked for my meal. I had Booked the Cook–pre-ordered my meal. The selections are extensive. Unfortunately the breakfast options aren’t as strong as the lunch and dinner options. I’m not a big breakfast person, so I went with the burger.

The tray table was very large, I was able to lounge and watch a movie during the service. First I was brought an orange juice.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.34 AM

Then the plates and silverware came out.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.40 AM

The meal started with a plate of delicious fresh fruit.
Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.48 AM

Next I selected a croissant from the bread basket.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.01.55 AM

Finally came the main course, which looks terrible in this photo, but was actually fine.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.02.00 AM

After the meal, I returned to my window seat. I used the pair of Bose noise canceling headphones to watch TV and movies the rest of the flight.
Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.58.51 AM

If you need to touch up makeup after the long sleep, the panels beside the TV open up into mirrors.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.02.31 AM

The rest of the flight passed uneventfully, and we landed in London on time and all smiles.Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 2.02.44 AM

Bottom Line

I got the least out of this First Class experience compared to First Class flights on Asiana, Cathay Pacific, EmiratesLufthansaThaiUnited, and Malaysia. Most of that was my fault. I slept for the majority of the flight instead of choosing a daytime flight.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 6.13.54 PM
No need to sleep on the Singapore A380

I also skipped my first Book the Cook meal because I was stuffed from the lounges. I didn’t take advantage of the specialty cocktails or ask very much of the flight attendants.

Part of my lack of engagement was that I was just tired and full, and part of it was my disappointment that I thought I’d be flying Suites Class and only found out when I boarded that I wouldn’t be. A lot of it was that there are fewer fun things to do on the Singapore 777 than on, say, an Emirates A380, which features onboard showers and an onboard bar. That said:

  • The service was very good. In Singapore Airline First Class, you will be met at the door, constantly addressed by name, and proactively offered refills. If there are empty seats, you may be offered them as beds, so you can always have a bed and seat ready.
  • The food was fine for me. I think generally the food, especially when departing Singapore is considered excellent, and many people rave about the lobster thermidor. I liked all the options I had when I Booked the Cook, but I didn’t even eat the chicken curry I ordered.
  • The bed was extraordinary. It was very wide and very comfortable. I slept for about eight hours.
  • The seat was large, wide, and comfortable. It didn’t have the privacy that an enclosed suite would have had.
  • The entertainment was excellent. There were about 200 movies and dozens of TV shows.

Compare this trip report to a Trip Report of Suites Class on the Singapore A380.

Booking the Award

See: Anatomy of an Award: Booking Singapore Suites

Flying Singapore Suites costs between 57,375 Singapore miles–New York to Frankfurt–and 93,500 miles–New York to Singapore–one way. Singapore does not release its First Class or Suites Class award space to partners, so you need Singapore miles. That’s no problem because Citi ThankYou Points, AMEX Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and SPG Starpoints all transfer 1:1 to Singapore miles.

You can get over 96,000 ThankYou Points (Singapore miles) by opening the Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier with sign up bonuses of 40,000 and 40,000 ThankYou Points respectively after spending $4,000 in the first three months. You have to apply for the cards at least eight days apart. Here’s more info.

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  1. Well at least you got 30k in points back, sucks though, the A380 would have been nice. Was 30k what you were looking for in compensation or were you hoping for more? How come you didnt wanna sit by yourself? Especially if it was a 1-2-1. Im sure first wasnt full? I also wonder why the presentation for everything was so iffy. The food didnt look especially pleasing but like you said im sure it tasted ok, I would think they would make it look a little more appealing. THanks

    • I think they offered nothing because they said it wasn’t a downgrade, then I replied that I thought it was and would have switched back to an A380 with notice, and they came back with 10k, then I asked for more because I thought that was a pittance, and they came back with 30k, which I accepted.

      • Hi Scott,

        Would you mind to please email me the draft or what did you write to SQ to complain om the downgrade, and what email address did you sent it to? I also had similar experience of being swapped and need your help since I’m just new to this hobby and not really good at talking to them. Of course I won’t copy word by word but at least I know what to say and be persuasive so they give me a partial miles back as a good will. Thank you.

        • I couldn’t find it. Keep it simple, polite, and short. Do not mix in other unrelated complaints. Explain that you would have switched flights if the downgrade had been brought to your attention earlier.

  2. I remember this (from over a year ago…), the plane swap wasn’t a last-minute thingy, they were already putting the 777-300ER on that route/flight number for quite some time.

  3. what are you on about downgraded? that flight is always a 777-300, its the flight before midnight that is an airbus.


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