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SEA 2014: Singapore Suites Class NRT to LAX A380 First Class Review

I wasn’t super impressed after the first leg of my Singapore Suites journey, but I could immediately tell after boarding that this flight was going to be a lot better. Just from the warmth of the greeting, I knew that I was in for a treat.

Why hello thar

Why hello thar

While the load from SIN to NRT was 10/12, there were only two of us continuing on to LAX. But even though the load was only 2/12, I still had 4 different people chat with me or give me something prior to departure. I didn’t get a new amenity kit on this segment since I was a through passenger, but I did get new pajamas and slippers (which were unwrapped at my seat in front of me).

Seat 4A (I was seated in 3A)

Seat 4A (I was seated in 3A)

Look across the empty cabin

Look across the empty cabin

For this flight, I had pre-ordered a VGML or strict vegetarian meal. After disappointing VGMLs on Lufthansa First Class and Thai First Class, I was interested to see what Singapore would do.

First Class VGML

First Class VGML

The rice croquette was tasty, but I just cannot with the vegetable skewers. Whyyy do airlines think that all vegetarians want to eat poorly cooked red peppers and zucchini?

Canapes

Canapes

As a terrible vegan, I had to get some caviar. No caviar spoon, but a healthy serving of caviar, and I’m sure that I could have gotten more if I had asked.

Caviar

Caviar

Next up was more bell peppers and some mushrooms. Not great, and it was served pretty cold. That being said, I actively dislike most mushrooms, so other people might like this more than I did.

Roasted pepper and mushrooms

Roasted pepper and mushrooms

They couldn’t serve soup at the time because of turbulence, so they skipped to the salad course. Except the salad was served partially frozen. If you look closely enough, you might be able to notice ice crystals on some of the radishes and frisee. I don’t particularly like eating icy salads, so I sent this course back. They apologized profusely, and ended up serving me the skipped soup course since my entree wasn’t ready.

Normal salad with vinaigrette

Normal salad with vinaigrette

The soup was actually quite good. I don’t think I’ve ever had a soy bean milk soup, and I generally am not the biggest fan of soup courses, but I liked this a lot. It was just a very large portion, so I didn’t finish it.

Soy bean milk and corn soup

Soy bean milk and corn soup

For the entree, it was a vegan lasagna, that was quite convincingly not vegan given the creaminess and cheese-like texture inside. I found this entree to be pretty successful as far as VGMLs go.

Vegetable lasagne

Vegetable lasagne

Finally, I got some tiramisu for dessert. This wasn’t on the VGML menu, but I’m a fat kid who likes cake. And this cake was reasonably tasty.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

After dinner, the flight attendant set up two of the center seats to make the famed double bed for me. It helps that there were only two of us in the entire cabin, but as far as I could tell, the other passenger just stayed in his suite and didn’t ask for two beds to himself. Honestly, if you’re traveling by yourself, the double bed thing is kinda silly given that there’s still a divider between the seats, so you can’t comfortably straddle the two beds.

Double bed!

Double bed!

My sleeping companion

My sleeping companion

Besides the separate seat and bed combo on the Lufthansa 747, this is probably the most comfortable bed in the sky I’ve slept in. The bed is actually a little on the narrow side, but it’s quite comfortable given that it’s not just a converted seat. I also appreciated that the cabin was kept quite cold, so I didn’t wake up sweating. The Givenchy pajamas that Singapore gives out are pretty thick, so it’s easy to overheat.

After sleeping for a couple of hours, I woke up and one of the flight attendants gave me a tour of the plane. Even though the load in first class was pretty light, business class and economy class were almost completely full.

For my pre-arrival meal, I first chose the kaiseki breakfast. I generally like to choose Japanese meals catered out of Japan, but I felt that this meal was just okay. Nothing was specifically good or bad.

Kaiseki breakfast

Kaiseki breakfast

Since I was a little unsatisfied after the Japanese breakfast, I got the pancakes afterward, which were pretty good. The fruit plate was also good with all of the fruit being ripe and sweet.

Pancakes

Pancakes

He decided to stay for breakfast the next morning

He decided to stay for breakfast the next morning

Fruit

Fruit

Pretty soon, we arrived at LAX. LAX is one of my favorite US airports for plane watching as there are so many different carriers and A380s operating there. On this occasion, we were parked next to one of the Lufthansa planes painted specifically for the World Cup.

World Cup Lufthansa plane

World Cup Lufthansa plane

Overall, this flight made me understand why people rave about Singapore Airlines. The service was proactive, warm, and friendly. I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time chatting with some of the flight attendants, and they were all awesome. The food on Singapore is good–not Michelin-star quality by any means, but solid–and the hard product on the A380 is great. The bed is super comfortable, and the suite is nice and private. I’d love to fly Singapore Suites again, although it’s quite expensive to do so given that you have to pay fuel surcharges as well as a sizable number of points.

SEA 2014: Singapore Airlines Suites Class SIN to NRT Review

My flight was departing from the B gates, which was a decently long walk from the Private Room and other T3 lounges. At Changi Airport, security screening takes place at the gate. In theory, this should mean that security shouldn’t take as much time, but the cluster of gates for my flight had a number of flights departing at the same time, so the security line snaked all the way through the terminal and out toward the shops. Total DYKWIA moment, but I was shocked that there wasn’t a priority screening line or an escort for premium cabin passengers, and it took about 20 minutes to get through the security screening (there were a couple of passengers who waved business class boarding passes at people to cut the line).

Thar she blows

Thar she blows

The load on this sector was 10/12. I had booked seat 3A, and 2C and 3C were the empty seats, so it felt extremely private, even though the cabin was nearly full. The suite is very spacious and feels classy. I like the color palette, and it just feels expensive to me.

My seat, 3A

My seat, 3A

Is it bad that I think the screen is small after flying Asiana?

Is it bad that I think the screen is small after flying Asiana?

Up the cabin to the cockpit

Up the cabin to the cockpit

Down the cabin

Down the cabin

Across the way

Across the way

Up the stairs to business class

Up the stairs to business class

The in-flight entertainment was started on the ground, which I always appreciate, and the selection was great. The screen quality was good, but it honestly feels a little bit small after flying Asiana’s new first class. And, well, the fact that the suite is so big that the screen is actually kind of far away from you when you’re seated #firstworldproblems.

For my pre-departure beverage, I asked for iced milo and room temperature water. Fussy of me, yes, but I loved the fact that afterward the flight attendant checked on me to make sure that the water temperature was satisfactory to me.

Iced milo and room temperature water

Iced milo and room temperature water

I was then given menus, headphones, newspapers, magazines, an amenity kit, and pajamas. I was only offered an amenity kit on this flight since I was a through passenger, but they did offer me new pajamas on the second flight. The pajamas are made by Givenchy, and I could actually imagine wearing the top with other clothes. As airplane pajamas go, they’re a little on the thick side, so maybe not the best if the cabin is too warm.

SIN to NRT menu

SIN to NRT menu

SIN to NRT desserts

SIN to NRT desserts

Drink menu

Drink menu

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Drink menu part 2

DSC05831

Drink menu part 3

DSC05832

Drink menu part 4

DSC05833

Drink menu part 5

They suggested that they serve lunch a couple of hours after departure to align with typical lunch hours in Singapore, and I agreed. I had prebooked the kyo-kaiseki meal, but decided to change to the laksa, which they had no problems with.

Since it was going to be a little while before food, I had more time to explore the suite.

It really is a throne

It really is a throne

IFE controls

IFE controls

Outlets and plugs

Outlets and plugs

One thing that I noticed was that there were a lot of weird spaces to drop things. Because the seat folds over to become a bed (instead of reclining into bed position), there are a lot of open spaces where I can imagine easily losing your passport or boarding pass or cell phone. While it’s maybe not the most comfortable seat, I found the seat to be quite comfortable, and I thought that the seat reclined enough, in spite of it not fully reclining into bed position.

Lots of spaces to drop things

Lots of spaces to drop things

More spaces

More spaces

What a nice view

What a nice view

The meal service started with bread service as well as satay. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the satay as the lamb was a bit chewy, and I generally didn’t find the meat to be worth eating (I am very picky about my meat when I choose to eat it). The garlic bread was tasty, as is evidenced by the fact that I devoured it prior to being served satay.

Table setting

Table setting

Satay

Satay (note the missing garlic bread)

The salad course was small, but tasty. I had the honey mustard dressing.

Salad

Salad

For my main, I had the laksa, and I asked them to take out the fish cake and prawns. They were a little confused by my request but were happy to do it. The laksa was fine and much more flavorful than most airplane dishes, but the egg was way overcooked. Like to the point where the yolk was gray instead of yellow.

Laksa

Laksa

For dessert, I had the passionfruit mousse cake, which was fine.

Passion fruit mousse cake

Passion fruit mousse cake

I then had some fruit, which I was surprised to find served whole. I can’t really remember ever being served whole fruit on airplanes, except for crappy red delicious apples on American carriers. I was pleasantly surprised to find a persimmon amongst the fruit selection.

Fruit

Fruit

With the doors closed, the suite feels extremely private. But I’m personally still unsure whether I prefer first class cabins with suites or open seats, as I appreciate the privacy of suites but enjoy the feel of open-seat cabins more.

Doors shut for privacy

Doors shut for privacy

But it's not completely private

But it’s not completely private

Seat reclined as far as it will go

Seat reclined as far as it will go

The seat in Singapore Suites on the A380 is great. It’s large and private and comfortable. The service on this flight segment, however, was not to the standard that I was expecting on Singapore Airlines. Perhaps it was because the load was relatively high, but the service was really slow, and my glass was often empty or almost empty. If I had just been judging based on this flight, I wouldn’t have understood why Singapore Airlines has the reputation it has for service. The in-flight supervisor also wasn’t great, and perhaps it was the lackluster tone that he set that led to the lackluster service.

That being said, my next segment from NRT to LAX had some of the best service I’ve had on a flight and made me totally understand why people love Singapore Airlines…