Review of Singapore Airlines flight Singapore Hong Kong in Business

Flight SQ856
Class Business
Seat 24A
Flight time 03:35
Take-off 27 Nov 18, 09:55
Arrival at 27 Nov 18, 13:30
SQ   #2 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 525 reviews
Rewardflying
By SILVER 692
Published on 13th January 2019
photo sq856 cover

This trip could be called, "You fell for a sale trip". One morning in October I received an email from Krisflyer stating their new A350 long range flights were on sale. What was normally 88,000 points to the west coast was promoted at 65,000 points. The Newark flight was a little more. I looked at some availability and LA's flight got in too late to fly on to Chicago and Newarks' flight wasn't available for the time I wanted to travel. Then I stumbled upon the inaugural A350 ULR flight to SFO. More digging found Q-Suites to Doha and Q-Suites on the new Qatar A350-1K to Singapore. So with no intention of taking a round the world trip when I awoke that morning, within a couple hours I was booked.

ORD-DOH Qatar Airways B777-300 QSuite Buisness Class - click to view
DOH-SIN Qatar Airways A350-1K Qsuites Business Class - Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge - click to view

SIN-HKG Singapore Airlines A380 New Business Class - this report


HKG-SIN Singapore Airlines A380 New First Class - to come
SIN-SFO Singapore Airlines A350-9 ULR Business Class - to come
SOF-ORD Alaska Airlines A320 First Class - to come

The day began with an expectation to fly Singapore’s new A380 round trip to Shanghai, business to and first on the return. It didn’t work out.

I guess it was a good idea. If you wanted to fly the new A380 why not? This whole trip came about because of SQ’s new A350 ULR and a reward ticket fare sale. Add in the Qatar Qsuites 777 plus A350-1K and the trip became a pretty cool series of flights. But with a full day in Singapore where most people would happily spend the day, I went route shopping for Singapore’s new A380.

Singapore Airlines new A380 has been a goal since announced. I had a chance in August of 2018 to fly it, but had picked the wrong flight by mistake when I reserved one of two A380s on the Sydney - Singapore sector. At that time the new A380 hadn’t been officially assigned to either flight, but the number of seats for sale in first class had given some clues. When I booked my ticket I mixed up the flight numbers and picked the wrong one. Then once the plane was officially put on scheduled routes, Saver Award space was not possible, only waitlist, if that.

I had placed myself on a waitlist for this aircraft in First Class and a confirmed booking in Business Class for another date. However when I went route shopping in October I found confirmable First Class Saver Fares on the PEK-SIN route. Plus it was a 4:30PM flight, perfect for a dinner flight. To get to PEK I waitlisted and ultimately cleared business class at a reduced number of points due to a fare sale. Plans well made, or so I thought.

photo sq856 airport 1

I headed over to check in and the Business Class lines were full. The agent for First Class waved me over.

photo sq856 airport 3

After a few minutes she left and went to talk to a person who appeared to be a manager. He came over and said that my route wasn’t valid. He said Chinese Immigration laws do not allow turnaround flights.

While I won’t bore you with all the details, basically if you enter China you can travel visa free for 72 hours (144 hours in some cities) if your next destination is different from the one you came from and not in China. If not you need a visa. I needed a visa. I didn’t have a visa. The manager, who ultimately saved the day even called Chinese immigration to get the visa requirement waived for me. No luck.

I explained the purpose of my trip and he went to work for me, without even asking. Singapore flies two day time round trips with the new A380 daily. One to Shanghai and one to Hong Kong.

After about an hour he came back with 2 tickets for me. Business Class to Hong Kong and First Class on the way back from Hong Kong. There were no Saver Awards on these flights but he managed to convince whoever he was dealing with to issue the tickets. Thank you Nizam!

My view while waiting that nervous hour.

photo sq856 airport 2

Needless to say I didn’t have much time until this flight departed. The Shanghai one was long gone by now. I headed to the gate.

photo sq856 boarding 1

This would be my first glimpse of the A380 upper deck in front of the Business Class cabin.

photo sq856 boarding 2

The front Business Class cabin. No center bins make for a spacious cabin with an airy feel to it.

photo sq856 cabin 2

Looking back up to the front from my seat at 23A.

photo sq856 cabin 3

This is the second smaller cabin behind a bank of lavatories.

photo sq856 cabin rear 4

And all the way back to the rear where there are a couple more rows of seats.

photo sq856 cabin rear 3

This one at the back of the plane might be the one! According to SeatGuru this seat has limited recline, however I don’t see how that can be since the seat is contained within a shell like all the others. They also state the seat in front has more leg room because of the bulkhead. I’d look for any of these at the back of the plane next time.

photo sq856 cabin rear 2

As mentioned there is a bank of lavatories next to seats in row 24, 4 of them to be exact. They are spacious for Business Class lavs and while row 24 is super private, the lav noise is worthy of making row 24 seats ones to avoid.



And in typical Singapore style, amenities were well stocked, even on this short hop over the South China Sea.



Mood lighting on this A380 in flight.

photo sq856 cabin mood lighting

Seat 24A. I found the seat to be aesthetically pleasing and very comfortable.

photo sq856 seat 1

The design flaw is the angle you sleep.

photo sq856 seat 2

A center seat with the privacy divider extended.

photo sq856 cabin center seats part
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photo sq856 cabin center seats ife

Seat controls on the side below the table. I must have put my elbow against them a dozen times resulting in some movement of the seat, or calling flight attendants.

photo sq856 seat 5

The tray table folds out from under the side table and flips open to be a rather large tray.

photo sq856 seat 6

No air nozzles on this aircraft.

photo sq856 seat 7

A useful mirror and reading light are off to the side. Singapore also added NFC for future use on this aircraft.



Retractable armrests were added to this seat to give a little extra width when sleeping. Just be sure to raise them when you get out of the seat!

photo sq856 seat 14photo sq856 seat 15

The rear of the pod in front of you has a stationary drink holder. I offer 2 pictures of this drink holder because that is how many times I ignored the "PLEASE MIND YOUR HEAD" warning after bending down to reach my travel bag. This is not a good design.

photo sq856 seat 10-1photo sq856 seat 10
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photo sq856 seat 19

On the other side is a little cubby hole to store a phone of something. Mine had a broken latch. There is also a coat hanger.



The window pod has 2 storage areas in front of the table, with one large enough to stow a 15” laptop.

photo sq856 seat 17photo sq856 seat 18

The center seats don’t have this extra storage.

photo sq856 cabin center seats ife

An innovative idea from Singapore is a pillow that turns into a duvet.

photo sq856 seat 20

Unwrap it and make your bed.

photo sq856 seat 21photo sq856 seat 22

Now for the bed issue. This is the sever angle you sleep and the size of the footwell. Singapore loves this angle stuff, I don’t get it.

photo sq856 seat 23

IFE is nice.

photo sq856 ife

The view from seat 24 is not so nice, at least in flight.

photo sq856 window view 1

An amenity kit was given, a surprise on this short flight. (My return in First Class didn’t have an amenity kit!)

photo sq856 amenity kit 1photo sq856 amenity kit 2

Today's food menu.

photo sq856 menu food 1

Today's Beverage menu


This was a breakfast flight, oddly as it departed at 9:55AM. I was adventurous and ordered the Selection of Dim Sum. First came a fruit and bread course. Most airlines serve croissants for breakfast. Sure they are good, but the flaky crumbs end up everywhere!

photo sq856 food 1

And Swiss Muesli, not to be confused with Bircher Muesli.

photo sq856 food 2

Fried Radish Cake. Hmmm.

photo sq856 food 3

It was actually pretty good. I’d get it again!

photo sq856 food 4

And breakfast always includes a slice of cake.

photo sq856 food 5

Truth is , Raspberry Mascarpone Cake is good any time of day.

photo sq856 food 6

In no time we were on the ground.

photo sq856 window view 2
See more

Verdict

Singapore Airlines

7.4/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment7.5
Meal/catering7.0

Singapore - SIN

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

7.0/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Only the efforts of Singapore ground staff (actually Nizam was a SATS employee) allowed me to take this round trip. Sure I would have gotten a refund of the points and had a day in Singapore. But the effort placed to get a Saver Award passenger rebooked an hour before the flight was truly impressive as well as appreciated. In addition they had ground staff meet me in Hong Kong to escort me to the lounge. My guess is few airlines would go to these lengths for someone who has only flown with them using points.

As for the A380 in business class, the seat is far superior to the prior long haul business class seat. If only they would just reconsider this angle sleeping.

Information on the route Singapore (SIN) Hong Kong (HKG)

4 Comments

  • Comment 483986 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4584 Comments

    Wow, talk about going above and beyond to work things out for you! I don't think that would happen on any other carrier. Yeah, the Chinese 72 hour visa waiver thing is a pain...it's technically a transit waiver so you basically have to do an open jaw to fly in from and out to different cities within that 72 hour window so it looks like you're "connecting". And of course, the inbound and outbound sectors must be from/to cities outside of mainland China. It's a confusing mess, but I've read enough of these kinds of horror stories over the years to figure it out. And your situation was handled amazingly well by SQ. I think any other carrier would have just refunded your miles and sent you on your way to figure it out yourself. What a great story!

    The lack of center bins really does make the cabin look super spacious and airy. With so many upper deck J seats, it keeps the cabin from looking like a rich-man's cattle car, lol.

    The new seats look great and it's probably a good thing for many people that they're not as freakishly wide as the older seats. But yeah, they kept the one thing no one really likes...sleeping at an angle.

    For a 3 hour flight, it doesn't get much better than this in J. Looking forward to seeing how F was in that fancy new suite on such a short flight!

    Great report as always!

  • Comment 484095 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 492 Comments

    Hi Rewardflying,

    “The day began with an expectation to fly Singapore’s new A380 round trip to Shanghai, business to and first on the return. It didn’t work out.”
    - Oh, what a disappointing way to begin the day. But what a job by Nizam to get you on your way and accomplish your travel goals, even if on a different route.

    The new business class product looks very good, although it retains the existing odd sleeping angle requirement.

    The dim sum selection looks good. A little light, perhaps, but a nice selection. And cake for breakfast. Because why not?

    A great flight-report, and an even better story what with the visa drama and the happy ending that lets you sample the cabins you wanted to on the refreshed A380. Plus, HKG is a much nicer airport than PVG.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the new F cabin.

    Cheers!

  • Comment 484142 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 437 Comments

    Hi again Kévin

    >Wow, talk about going above and beyond to work things out for you! I don't think that would happen on any other carrier. Yeah, the Chinese 72 hour visa waiver thing is a pain..
    -It would have been nice had they not allowed the ticketing in the first place. But they ticketed it. I was very impressed they put me on the HKG R/T.

    >The new seats look great and it's probably a good thing for many people that they're not as freakishly wide as the older seats. But yeah, they kept the one thing no one really likes...sleeping at an angle.
    -Seats are better than the B777/A350 in my opinion. The whole 30 inch wide thing didn't make much sense either.

    >Looking forward to seeing how F was in that fancy new suite on such a short flight!
    -Be careful what you wish for... Business class better????

  • Comment 484144 by
    Rewardflying SILVER AUTHOR 437 Comments

    Two times HometoYYZ!

    >Oh, what a disappointing way to begin the day. But what a job by Nizam to get you on your way and accomplish your travel goals, even if on a different route.
    -Yep, lost of few hours of airtime as they didn't refund any points, but after what Nizam did I wasn't about to ask for any refunds. Plus they looked at my redemption as a standard reward because savers weren't available, meaning I got a deal anyway in their eyes.

    >The dim sum selection looks good. A little light, perhaps, but a nice selection. And cake for breakfast. Because why not?
    -Odd combination for breakfast. Another casualty of the new route, Book The Cook didn't make it to the plane, although the FA knew I had ordered it for SIN-PVG, apparently the meal was already on it's way to PVG!

    >I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the new F cabin.
    -Soon!

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