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.
HKG-SIN Singapore Airlines A380 New First Class - this report
SIN-SFO Singapore Airlines A350-9 ULR Business Class - to come SOF-ORD Alaska Airlines A320 First Class - to come
How could anyone be disappointed with that incredible seat on an airplane? Maybe disappointment isn’t the right word. This reaction could have simply resulted from the a long anticipation for the experience and the ensuing letdown. Probably missed opportunity would be a better description of my opinion of Singapore Airlines new Suites class.
But first it’s time to visit SQ’s Hong Kong First Class lounge. Cathay Pacific, you have nothing to worry about. On my way to the lounge… I know Europeans don’t like ice in their drinks but hot?
The Singapore Airlines agent met me at the plane and escorted me to the combined Singapore First and Business class lounge which was across the hall from our arrival gate.
First Class left, Business Class right.
None of the above.
The First Class bar.
First Class dining.
I saw the sign on the wall, it said First Class.
I know, given the circumstances I’m lucky to even be in Hong Kong. It wasn’t too soon to go to the gate.
Wow, shades of Etihad!
Heading over to my private study.
It’s gorgeous, so what’s the problem rewardflying? Let me offer a 360 degree view of disappointments, err, missed opportunities.
The tour begins with the seat control. You can turn your seat to face the large TV, the bed or the window which you can’t see anything but blue sky because they're too far away.
This is the seat position in take off and landing position. Notice the controls for power and headsets, behind you.
This is looking forward from the takeoff/landing position. Good luck reaching any of this stuff. I don’t know if this suite was broken, but if I wanted to watch the little TV in this view, I had to ask the FA to turn it on, or switch from the large to the small monitor.
So you’re cruising along at 38,000 feet and it’s bumpy requiring the seat belt sign to be on and you want to read a magazine or need the barf bag. Sorry, can’t reach them
The tray table is stored in this colossal waste of space.
Wait, I could put my menu there, but I can’t reach it while buckled in.
This is totally unreachable.
A lamp to? Purpose?
Extra coat hook, I think. Actually I’m not sure what this is. If it is a coat hook what about the 2 coat hangers in the closet across from it?
Well documented is eating with your neighbor. And the FA hadn’t had time to switch my TV monitor.
Privacy with the door closed allowing the FAs to view inside.
Similar to many first class suites like Etihad and Asiana to name a couple, is a full length closet to hang your clothes. There is also a mirror in case you get dressed in the aisle.
A huge monitor is behind you and only on when the FA turned it on (in my case).
Swiveling towards the window I have no clue what this for. Sure there is a support for the bed, but the tray?
Controls for everything, which you have to swivel the seat to get to because you can’t reach them in takeoff/landing position.
Thank you for the champagne and nuts, I wish I didn’t have to swivel around (and not see any monitor) to enjoy these. Or I could reach back with my arm and knock the champagne over with my elbow trying to reach the nuts.
Next to the chair is this 3 compartment storage with a lit mirror in the middle. Not that you can put your head down to that level to see anything. And mine wouldn’t close. As you can see it’s not lined up with the other two compartment lids. In fact the casing was cracked.
Between the seat and the storage compartment is this useless area that presumably could have been for a laptop bag (way too small) but might work for a small purse.
Seat belt sign up in the corner.
Here are the electronics, including a NFC reader.
This is where the electronics are located, behind your elbows when seated facing forward. I had the headphones plugged in and when I swirled the seat the cord came up and wrapped around my neck.
Granted, the Suite is exquisite, certainly beyond any airplane seats I’ve ever seen. The colors blend beautifully, the wall coverings are classy with meticulous design, the carpet is lush and the chair is very comfortable. But the Suite is so poorly designed and has so much wasted space I can’t image how it got approved. There is a saying, “Form follows Function.” Not so much here.
Yet it’s still Singapore Airlines and it’s still an A380, so let’s move on to some of the highlights from this flight. The grand staircase, that really never gets used on any A380.
And whoever designed the washrooms should have designed the suites because the lavs in First Class are like being at a 5-star resort.
The new Bang and Olufsen headphones are nice, although I prefer Bose for comfort. No amenity kit in First Class but I received one in Business Class on the way in. Strange…
Champagnes and Wines on this flight.
All better now, kind of like a pacifier for the cry baby.
The food menus for this short dinner flight. As a note: I wasn’t able to Book the Cook out of Shanghai because BTC isn’t available from PVG, which was surprising to me given PVG is a premium SQ route.
I am not familiar with Shanghainese cuisine. The name has obvious hints to its origin. Not to disparage because of my unfamiliarity, when reading these course descriptions, I just didn’t get a mouth watering feeling from this menu.
The Western Menu for this flight.
The Haddock and apple salad was nondescript , similar to the garlic bread without much garlic.
On the other hand, the tomato soup was decadent. A savory, hearty, lick the bowl soup that screamed for a toasted cheese sandwich. But cast the prawn overboard.
Gotta love the special soup spoon.
The salad was also excellent, the photo reflects the freshness of its ingredients.
A beef tenderloin is always in best company with a favorite Margaux.
I passed on cheese and was surprised that dessert was simply ice cream. And I wonder if it came in the cardboard container? I'll never know.
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