The airline with the best average rating is Singapore Airlines with 8.6/10.
The average flight time is 5 hours and 25 minutes.More information
The original plan was to redeem 65k KrisFlyer miles on SQ12 first class to Tokyo Narita, then take SQ11 on the way back. However all the flights for our desired date range were either sold out or waitlisted. The new first class on SQ11 had only 4 seats and there probably is a good amount of demand for them. We didn't want to book Airbnb without a confirmed flight, so we pivoted and booked this flight to Beijing for 50k KrisFlyer miles and then spent 12.5K on partner ANA flight to Tokyo. In hindsight this was a blessing in disguise as we gained a free trip to Beijing and experienced private suites instead of a glorified business class.
Suites availability for Beijing was great when we booked. So we picked the adjacent seats in row 3 to try the double bed.
We wanted to try both the dinner and breakfast menu offered by the private room, so we headed to the airport about 10 hours early. Since we had so much time, we decided to just take public transit to Changi airport. After walking across the expansive check in area of T3 to the exclusive first class check in lounge located at the other end of the terminal, we realized the only proper way to get in was through the outside.
So we walked outside to the car drop off entrance and was greeted by porters who initially didn't notice us as they were on the look out for cars coming in.
As expected, there were no wait for the check in and we were promptly handed gold boarding passes and a special card for the private room. Also noticed SIA went through the trouble to make a special luggage tag for suites class.
Getting to the private room involved going through dedicated immigration for first class passengers, then getting lead through SilverKris business and first class sections before finally arriving in a place that felt closer to a high class restaurant than airport lounge. As expected there were plenty of space for everyone and staff stood close by to serve every need you may have, yet stayed far enough to not be intrusive. As we sat down in the dining area, Krug was immediately poured, and Evian seemed to be the "only" choice of water.
One day I will fly first class enough to try all the items on the menu….
In order: Western Soup/Assorted Satay/Wonton Noodle/Poached Lobster/Baked Sea Bass
The private room closes when the last flight leaves for the day. Furthermore there was no place to lay down for a nap so we made our way to the 24 hrs business section before returning a few hours later for breakfast. We obtained pillow and blanket and laid down on the couches in the corner of the lounge. They turned down the lights at around 1AM, however it was also the time they do maintenance and cleaning of the lounge. If you are thinking of trying this, I highly recommend staying in a transit hotel if you are a light sleeper like I am.
Plenty of food around even at midnight. I was quite full from the private room so I did not try.
After about 2 hours of "sleep". We headed back to the private room for a hot shower in its exclusive shower stalls. Each section of the SilverKris lounge has its own shower stalls in case you feel the need to be with fellow passengers of the same class. As soon as I was out of the shower, a staff came around and asked if I would like a pot of TWG tea and some magazines to read. I have to say the English Breakfast tea was quite good.
For breakfast we ordered egg Benedict and fresh eggs. Didn't order more as we wanted to try some of the more local items in first class section.
Leaving the peace and serenity of the private room. We entered the bustling breakfast scene of first class section, reserved for Star Alliance partner first class flights. While it did not have a menu, we quite liked the abundance of local and western buffet spread. Some examples included dim sum, maki rolls, various noodle and rice dishes.
We ordered roti prata and fried carrot cake from the live station. Also assembled our own mee rebus (malay dish). I believe some of the private room food items are cooked from here.
Upon entering the plane through a dedicated bridge for suites passenger, the crew greeted us by last name and walked us to our suites. Rumor has it that greeting by name is a sign of a great crew (and it was). After we settled in and got comfortable, brunch menu was offered to us along with a choice of Dom Preigon or Krug.
As we took this flight right before Singapore Air introduced their new suites, the hardware itself was about a decade old and it certainly had a dated look in photos. However once I was seated I got overwhelmed by how comfortable the seats were, and the fact that I'm about to stretch out on a bed 40000 feet in the sky while sipping expensive Champaign made my concerns irreverent.
Before take off chief steward (identified by the red tie) asked about the timing of our meal so they can prepare ahead. As we didn't get a good night sleep, we opted to rest first for maximum enjoyment of the dine in the sky experience.
Beside our seats the crew had placed Bose noise cancelling headphones and a first class gift set. No bears this time.
When we entered Chinese airspace right over Hong Kong with about 2 hours of flight left, the crew knocked on our door and asked if we were ready for the meal service. With only 4 out of the 8 suites occupied, they offered to set it up in the suite next to us so we could dine face to face. We utilized book the cook ahead of time as we wanted a full meal instead of the lighter offerings for brunch.
The meals in order:
1. Fresh Fruits
2. Bircher Muesli
3. Book The Cook - Wholesome sousvide beef yamato style
4. Book The Cook - Boston lobster thermidor
5. Desert with ice cream, toast, and kaya jam (2017 special, yum!)
The crew took away our plates as soon as we were done and brought in the next course. They also diligently kept the water and Champaign topped up.
The lead steward also organized a tea tasting session where he pretty much gathered all the TWG he had onboard and had us try all of them.
After the meal, we had a little bit of time so the lead steward came around to chat with us. He has been with Singapore Air for over 10 years and said only the most senior are qualified to serve suites class. He found out I'm a big aviation geek, so he offered a tour of giant Airbus where I climbed the grand staircase in the front descend from the aft spiral staircase.
Before I knew it, 6 hours was gone and it was time to land.
Some of the place we visited in Beijing….
It was surreal to experience the legendary suites experience. Being there makes you forget you are sharing the plane with hundreds of people. Every step of the experience was designed with luxury and privacy in mind.
Would I return though? Unless I have a lot of points again, I think business class will be just fine for me.