I am never bored when flying with Singapore Airlines despite having done so multiple times. It is always a great way to fly. This will also be sort of the first time I am flying on a medium-haul flight on Singapore Airlines. Previously, they have either been long-haul flights or regional flights. The awkward timing of a medium-haul flight always creates a complicated experience as it is difficult to get both a great sufficient rest and a leisurely meal. It is challenging for the crew as well. The Japan flight have a flight timing of around 6.5hr and SQ uses the A350 in the medium-haul variant. This is the same plane as what they use for regional flights. I reviewed these seats when I flew to Bali previously. I am not a huge fan of these business-class seats, they are much narrower than I preferred. While they are alright, these are not suitable for longer flights to destinations like Australia, Korea and Japan. You will see why later. I bought this ticket when the “stopover” trick is still very much alive and issued it as part of my flight from Barcelona previously. I paid just 25,000 miles and 57.24 SGD in taxes. A deal that will never be replicated again.
I arrive at the Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 way in advance of my flight. I had access to the SilverKris Lounge and figures it might be a good way to just head there early and get some work done with some champagne to accompany me. At the same time, I can grab lunch. I wanted to have more time since I am making the trek over to T2 to check out some lounges. As usual, I check in at the dedicated business class counters at row 7 and I was done in no time. There is no wait in the afternoon and everything is always so swift over here at Changi Airport. Does anyone also feel that the Airport is the happiest place on earth? The airport is my Disneyland.
Time always flies around when I am at Changi Airport! It is so nice to be back on board once again on a Singapore Airlines flight. I am never sick of it, it is the best way to fly. My flight is boarding at 10.15pm from gate B6 which is quite a walk from the SKL. Do prepare to walk for at least 10 mins. Boarding started on time with premium cabin customers and status holders invited to board first. I sprang down the jet bridge to get some good pictures of the cabin. Sadly, the mood lighting does make it rather hard especially if you are flying in the evening. I was warmly greeted by the IFM and the Leading Stewardess at the door. This set of crew seems alright but nothing too spectacular. The A350 medium-haul variants business class seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration. These Stella Aerospace Symphony seats that feature alternating rows of double and single seats are not my favourite. They are rather narrow. You do get direct aisle access for every seat. They are narrow though. It is already an issue for me and I can’t imagine those foreigners that are taller and bigger than me. Turkish airline uses a similar product for their long haul business class. I have reviewed these seats extensively on a previous flight. I do feel that it’s ridiculous that Singapore Airlines is choosing to fly these seats for flights that are almost close to 6 hours. In the past, these destinations are covered by planes with long-haul variants seats.
The boarding was smooth. While on the ground, the crew came over to introduce themself and also offer a welcome drink. I got a glass of champagne and Singapore Airlines is currently serving the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. The crew also reconfirm the meal selection that I have reserved beforehand via Book The Cook. They also ask for my preference to dine after take-off or before landing. The lovely crew also came by with a Penhaligon’s amenity kit. The current series is in a blue pouch. I wonder if we will see the purple or red pouch very soon. Amenity kits are offered on flights above 6 hours.
We had a super long taxi and only take off at around 11.20pm, about half an hour behind schedule.
Singapore Airlines 787 Regional Business Class
The regional business class seats can be found on the 787 fleet and the A350 Medium Haul fleet. These Stella Aerospace Symphony seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration. There is a total of 36 seats in business class. They are all in one huge cabin. Same with most aircraft in SQ, bulkhead seats are the ones to go for. Row 11 is the best since they offer additional space. That can be crucial, especially for a flight of this duration. Do take note that row 16 doesn’t come with a window. Row 11 is typically blocked for PPS members but you can still try to select them when the flight opens for online check-in. You can check out a review of mine of the bulkhead seats here.
Here are some pictures of the seats. Even though every seat offers direct aisle access, the entrance is rather tight and I have to sort of squeeze in. Sometimes, your shoes might even get stuck. Look at how narrow this is. Only the sides of the aircraft come with overhead compartments. The lack of compartments in the middle does make it slightly less claustrophobic. The middle seats also alternate between being closer to one another in the middle and being closer to the aisle. If you are travelling as a pair, make sure to choose the even number rows.
The screen was of a good size and Singapore Airlines Inflight Entertainment, Krisworld is world-class! The screen is a touch screen and if not you can control it with the remote located to the side as well. Below the screen, is where the table can be found and you slide it out. There is a small cubicle on the side of the seat where the platform provides you with some additional storage space. The cabinet here houses the power outlets and you can find two USB outlets as well as a power socket that takes in all sorts of plugs. A care kit and a set of headphones are left here. SQ provides decent headphones in business class but it definitely could be improved to a better noise-cancelling one.
The table slides out under the screen. It is of a good size and could comfortably fit your laptop if you need to work. Do note that it will be impossible to get out once you have the table out.
Under the ottoman, you can find a little cubby for storage, this will be perfect for storing a small bag or your shoes.
You can already find a light blanket and pillow on the seat upon boarding alongside socks and slippers given that this is a red-eye flight. An advantage of these seats is that you can recline it directly from seat mode to bed mode. However, I didn’t expect that SQ doesn’t offer a full turndown service with proper bedding for these seats. I would have expected a more plush mattress topper, pillows and duvet of better linen material. The same blanket and pillow were all you have. This is ridiculous for a red-eye flight. The length of the bed was generous. You have plenty of space to stretch out in bed mode. The same can’t be said for the width, these seats are narrower and thus the bed width is smaller too. You should avoid flying the 787 on an overnight flight at all cost
Dedicated toilets for business class were equipped with amenities from penhaligon’s amenities. I am a fan of their facial mist during flights. All other amenities can also be found in the bathroom such as toothbrushes and shavers. Surprisingly, the plane ran out of potable water and we had to use bottled water to wash up during the final phase of the flight. This is a hassle and ridiculous. This is an extremely huge lapse and a first for me onboard Singapore Airlines.
The views were amazing at the final stretch and when we are on approach. The land of the rising sun greeted me with a lovely pastel colour sunrise and I even got a slight view of Mt Fuji in the distance.
Unlimited wifi is offered for business-class passengers. The speed was alright. Another point to note would be the seat belts. These seats come with a three-point seat belt that you have to wear during take-off and landing. I am not a fan of the extra belt over your chest.
For this particular flight, the meal service is rather bare. They do a diluted supper / breakfast service where you are only served a main. I feel that SQ can do better than this! It is lovely to see that paper menus are back and this can be found in the little cubicle where the headphones are placed too. You can find a copy of the menu here too. Book The Cook is also available for flights departing from Singapore. I opted for the Southern Singapore Farmed Barramundi. A dish that I have not tried before. You can check out the other BTC offerings here.
For Japan flights, there is only one meal service. You can choose to dine right after take-off or before landing. The crew came around to ask for my preference. I got the meal before landing since I was still rather stuffed from the dinner I had in the lounge. The meal was served roughly 2 hours out from landing and on a tray which came with fruits. The crew also came by with a bread basket and I got some garlic bread to go with my meal. I always opt for garlic bread when flying onboard Singapore Airlines. The barramundi was pretty good and I enjoyed it. The dish came with potato gnocchi, saute of local wild mushrooms and kale, corn and tomato salsa and chicken jus. I enjoyed the mushrooms and gnocchi. Fish dishes can be rather tricky to have onboard. While asking for a crispy skin is too much, I am delighted that the meat was still kept moist and well seasoned. The sauce is a little too tangy though.
I kept myself accompanied with a movie while eating. I wanted to get a cup of double espresso to end of the meal but surprisingly was informed by the crew that they had run out of potable water. A situation that I have encountered for the first time in my life. As such no coffee or tea is available. This seems like poor planning and a lapse on Singapore Airlines.
Before I knew it, we were on approach and landing in Haneda soon. The views are amazing out of Haneda with the sunrise and gorgeous blue skies in Japan. The weather is amazing. We landed at around 6.35am. I didn’t exactly enjoy the flight and did not have a good rest. A flight to Japan isn’t exactly long haul. The flight duration makes it difficult to have a proper meal and rest at the same time. I did not enjoy the 787 seats, these are not suitable for the flight duration and especially a red eye. I will go out of my way to avoid them when possible. While the seats are pretty comfy, the lack of proper turndown service and bedding like a mattress topper makes it even more uncomfortable. I can’t believe that SQ doesn’t offer turndown service here. Here I am! Finally in Japan. Stay tuned for my adventures!