For my trip home from Thailand I flew on Singapore Airlines, giving me a chance to fly two legs on the A350-900 and try Singapore’s latest onboard business class product. This review covers my journey from Bangkok to Singapore.
Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class Review
I traveled on Singapore Airlines from Bangkok to Los Angeles via Singapore in business class.
I booked my ticket via KrisFlyer, the loyalty program of Singapore Airlines. Both legs cost 95,000 miles, but having taken advantage of a 20% transfer bonus from American Express, the cost was effectively 80,000 miles. That is a great idea considering Singapore Airlines no longer charges a fuel surcharge on its own flights. I paid less than $100 in government taxes.
For the same price, I could have booked Singapore to Bangkok on a A350-900, Bangkok to Tokyo on a 787-10, and Tokyo to Los Angeles on a 777-300ER, however that created a much longer travel time and I was keen to try out Singapore’s ultra-longhaul service.
The only downside to that choice was that I flew the same aircraft on both legs. While Singapore Airlines often runs a regionally-configured A350 on its intra-Asia legs, my flight featured the longhaul product, as did my connecting flight to Los Angeles.
Check-in at Bangkok was a bit of a hassle because almost every airport door was closed. I finally found a way in at Door 10 at the far end of the terminal, then had to walk back to the center of the terminal to check in.
There was no wait (there would be only about 50 people on my flight) and after verifying my COVID-19 test for travel to the United States, I was issued a pair of boarding passes and a lounge pass for the Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge.
> Read More: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Lounge Review
The airport was very quiet.
The gate area included a sanitation kit and bottle of water for every passenger.
Passengers were not allowed to proceed down the ramp to the “holding pen” until roughly the scheduled boarding time. Even after reaching our printed boarding time on the boarding pass, we were not invited to board until 30 minutes prior to takeoff.
Boarding took place from back to front in order to promote social distancing onboard.
Singapore Airlines 707
Bangkok (BKK) – Singapore (SIN)
Monday, November 8
Duration: 2hr, 30min
Distance: 876 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 14A (Business Class)
A flight attendant greeted me and inspected my boarding pass as I stepped onboard, directing me to turn right down the first aisle.
It seems that opinions are quite divided on Singapore’s longhaul business class seat, a proprietary product that is very spacious at first glance, but not overly comfortable in all positions.
I did not find that to be the case. While the construction of the seat limits recline (the rear cushion flips over to create a bed rather than sliding back into a bed), I felt the seat was very comfortable and found plenty of legroom and foot room.
Singapore Airlines has three A350 configurations. This configuration had 40 flat bed seats in business class with 60 inches of pitch and a width of 28 inches.
The seat included plenty of storage, including a small locker for important personal belongings:
Space for a laptop, books, or important travel documents:
Universal power outlet plus dual USB (type A) chargers:
Additional in-seat storage in which a hygiene kit, water bottle, and headphones were stored:
Even a mirror:
Push-button seat controls:
Not a great foot room, but enough for me:
More underseat storage:
Sadly, there are no individual air vents:
The cabin was immaculate, as expected, but I was sorry to see the business class seat has not aged very well.
The locker was broken (it would not latch shut):
A panel on the seat also had become loose and seemed to be dripping something:
Meal + Drink
While Singapore Airlines does not currently offer its “Book The Chef” option on shorter regional flights, I was able to pre-reserve my meal choice prior to the flight on the SIA website.
- Braised beef with mashed potatoes
- Chicken Dum Biryani (from Bismillah Biryani Restaurant)
- Kung Pao prawns with friend rice
I ordered the biryani and was so glad I did…it was easily one of the most delicious airline meals I have had all year, especially with the lovely yogurt sauce.
Meal service has been modified somewhat due to the pandemic, with no printed menus or hot towels and meal items served covered in plastic. Utensils are also delivered in a plastic bag. My tray arrived no more than 25 minutes after takeoff with the entire meal on it.
I was elated to see a bread basket and enjoyed some delicious garlic bread.
But again, the biryani was truly delicious, with the perfect mix of spices and flavors that made for a very tasty lunch. I skipped the fish and cake, assuming (falsely) I would have plenty to eat in the Singapore Airlines Lounge during my five-hour layover.
Flight attendants refilled drinks for the remainder of the quick flight to Singapore.
In-Flight Entertainment + Wi-Fi
The entire KrisWorld media library was available on the flight, including a massive selection of movies, TV shows, music, audio books, and games.
Rather than just display the in-flight menu on the screen, Singapore directs passengers to check the Singapore Airlines website for the day’s menu. I don’t understand why it is so hard to have menu info available in the IFE system, which would be easy to use and save paper waste.
Noise-cancelling headphones were available in each business class seat.
Wi-Fi internet was available for purchase, though business class passengers received 100MB free, which is more than enough when I placed my iPhone into low data mode.
Speeds were very slow, but serviceable:
The crew was lovely: quite friendly and attentive. Drinks were frequently refreshed and one flight attendant noted my connection and chatted with me about my time in Bangkok and life in Los Angeles.
Closer to landing, additional bottles of water were provided, which came in handy during my layover:
Masks were required at all times onboard, except while eating or drinking. Passengers were not admonished to put their masks back on between bites and sips.
Each passenger received a COVID-19 hygiene kit with mask, hand sanitizer, and wipe
I used the lavatory prior to landing and it was sparklingly clean. I was happy to see cloth towels as well mouthwash. Hand lotion and perfume from Penhaligons were also available.
Planespotting + Other Views From The Window
As we taxied out of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, it was sad to see so many parked Thai Airways aircraft. I cannot imagine the humidity as been good for those airframes over the last two years.
It was nice to see the Lufthansa A340 back in service:
More parked planes, including the A380, as we took off:
It was a beautiful day for flying:
As we reached Singapore harbor, I noticed a fleet of cargo vessels lined up outside the port:
As always, construction continues in Singapore:
It was great to taxi by a magnificent Airbus A380 has we landed:
Connection in SIN
Upon landing, passengers remaining in Singapore were invited to disembark first, followed by connecting passengers. I was given a green bracelet and brought to holding pen where I would spend my entire layover…no lounge for me.
I detail that layover here.
> Read More: My Singapore Transit Was Not What I Expected
I was very pleased with this flight, including the kindness oft the crew, a delicious lunch, great IFE, and a comfortable seat.
Next up: my 16-hour flight to Los Angeles on the same aircraft.