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No pressure, BA. Singapore Airlines launches its new First and Business Class.

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So, no pressure Alex.  If you want to make British Airways First Class and Club World a leading global product, Singapore Airlines has just raised the bar on what needs to be done.

Singapore Airlines has announced a new look for its Airbus A380 fleet.  They aren’t wasting any time either, with the new arrangement launching on Singapore to Sydney on 18th December.  London Heathrow is expected to follow next.

The new look will initially debut on five new A380 aircraft currently being delivered.  The existing A380 fleet will be refurbished, but that will not kick off until late 2018 and will take two years.

The big change is in First Class, where the current 12 seats will drop to six.  In an arrangement not entirely unlike the Etihad First Class Apartment I reviewed here, the beds will be facing away from the windows.

There is a special Singapore Airlines website highlighting the changes here.

Take a look at this (click to enlarge):

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite

Apparently the bed can be stowed away when not in use, although I’m not sure what you’d do with the space created.  Without getting too Alan Partridge, you’ll be excited to know that the ‘the chair has a swivel capability of between 135 and 270 degrees’.

Travelling with your partner?  Even better, as you can join two adjacent suites together to make a cosy double bed:

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite

There are two smart bathrooms for the six passengers to share.  Amenity kits will be branded Lalique.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite

Business Class is also getting a new look.  First Class and Business Class will be on the A380 upper deck, with Premium Economy and Economy on the lower deck.  There will be 78 Business Class seats per aircraft.

Singapore Airlines new A380 Business Class

The layout is 1-2-1.  The innovation is the cocoon-like shell which gives you a higher degree of privacy than usual.

Copying the new Qatar Airways Qsuite reviewed here, you can also join together pairs of middle seats to create a double bed:

Singapore Airlines new A380 Business Class

Of course, with only six First Class suites per plane, the chances of getting one using Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles are probably slim.

Don’t even bother trying to book using any other Star Alliance mileage currency, as Singapore Airlines usually restricts First Class reward availability to its own members.

I flew the current First Class Suite a few years ago (review here) from New York to Frankfurt.  That was a short overnight flight so I couldn’t make the most of it.  If I try this then I really need to ensure it is a day flight.  One option might be to book something currently showing as the old configuration and hope it gets switched over ……

That said, on the two occasions I have flown the Etihad First Class Apartment I have felt a bit lonely, closed off in a huge suite.  I’m not sure if this will be different.

You can find out more on the Singapore Airlines website here.

Comments (117)

  • Hingeless says:

    I flew on a Singapore Suite last week on a day flight, no chance of getting lonely as the cabin crew where very attentive.

    It is not just the hard product that is amazing the food and drinks are in a different league to BA’s. 2004 Krug helped wash down the choice of 60 meals that you can choose in advance ( I had the Japanes Kyo Kaiseki).

    I would quite happily sit in BA first more often if they had food and drink to match Singapore airlines.

    • Keiths says:

      Flew back from Houston last week in BA First.
      My son ordered the vegetarian meal.
      Declined as they only loaded 2 and these had been taken already (not sure how as we were in 1e and f.)
      Enough said about BA First!

      • Sarah says:

        Food orders are prioritised by status rather than seat location I”m afraid

        • KeithS says:

          Ah, I see.
          I think my point is – why are prioritising in First.
          At those prices they should have 15 of each meal so no-one is disappointed.

        • Alan says:

          Pretty poor if special meal ordered in advance though!

      • Lou says:

        Just flew back with Qatar in J. Not only did they have the (delicious!!!) pre ordered veggie food for us, they also had all the veggie stuff on their standard menu which we could pick and choose. Having been seriously underwhelmed with the BA CW/CE offering, the only time I’d pick a premium ticket with them would be either tier point chasing, or I needed to get from A to B quickly on a red eye.

  • TripRep says:

    Rob your comments about suites reminded me of a story…

    Virgin forgot to book our economy return redemption on Singapore (using VS miles, poor value I know) from Oz almost 10 years ago. Virgin graciously bought 2x complementary First Class for SIN-LHR, over £5000 each. We got chatting to a regular solo flyer (wife passed away a couple of years earlier) sold his business & retired, so he could see more of his Grandkids living in Oz.

    He visited maybe 4 times a year, he loved the 747 First layout, liked choosing to politely interact and learn about fellow travellers, he just knew by our excitement it was our first time in First, he was terrific to share a glass of champagne with, not pushy, just a genuinely nice bloke that was pleasure to meet.

    He was really wary about the new A380 & introduction of suites leading to an isolated feeling..

    So I do understand, but I can also see why they are also popular for busy business travellers prepping for meetings & needing decent sleep. I’d love to try one… 🙂

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      I’ve never met a stranger, so can empathise with your solo flyer…

      HOWEVER:

      Come back UC with Virgin from Boston Monday night, and got my head down for what I thought was going to be a good night’s sleep.

      Some gobby Z-list celeb two seats down decided that the cabin full of sleepers shouldn’t be asleep and talked loudly. Eventually, I asked her to be quiet, and disappeared off to the loo, only for the FSM to apologise to me, and he went off to have a word

      I’d have a private suite any day of the week…. Even if not travelling for business 🙂

  • Rich says:

    It’s a great product. In response to the opening line, the reality is that there really is no, or at least very little, pressure on BA to even get close to SIA’s high standards – they have a near monopoly out of LHR on many routes and have adopted a ‘show me the fxxxxxg money’ culture as part of their race to the bottom and when all is said and done, people in the tens of millions buy their seats and their shareholders are fairly happy – for now. The staff are fairly hacked off with it all and then it’s just those slightly more passionate about flying, like us (and the Daily Mail), that have a downer on BA. Alex won’t change much.

    • W says:

      There’s an interesting FT post on premium travel.

      London blows everything away in terms of numbers.

      London = 4.5k seats per day
      NYC/Paris = 2.5k

      So I doubt, as you say, BA, and their monopoly at LHR, are worried.

  • Scallder says:

    OT (very sorry but no bits today) – 35% discount on buying SPG points until 29th December. Could be very helpful if looking at Marriott flight + hotel packages

    • Roger says:

      Yes.

      Was about to post that.
      Hope this is not the last of the bonus.

      • Genghis says:

        30k max purchase pa works out at $0.02275 a point.
        So a couple could buy 60k for $1,365 or if fx free card c.£1,045 (note free transfers at SPG for those at same address). Add in a his n hers SPG churn for near enough the 90k SPGs or 270k Marriotts needed. Wait till next BA offer for 162k avios and the 7 nights (works out well for some hotels, eg Baden Baden). Could work well for some.

        • Oh! Matron! says:

          what do we normally value an SPG point at?

          Taking the top 7 hotels in SF for the 1st of December, I get between 0.8 and 1.5 C per point, an average of 1.11

        • Genghis says:

          I value at 1.5p.

          That’s a poor redemption. What does Marriott come out at?

    • Rob says:

      Covering tomorrow.

  • Michael C says:

    Love the new double-bed idea for travelling with young son.
    No changes to Premium Economy, I guess?!

  • Lostantipod says:

    So there are 10 light sources in the first class apartment , and if you log into your Krisflyer account , it saves the settings for next time you fly…… I think I just cried. 🙂

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Perhaps it was high expectations, but I’m a bit underwhelmed by the new suite. Looks great for a night flight, but less so for a day flight. Couples can’t sit together (and certainly can’t dine together), a proper desk would have been great for business travel and there’s the conspicuous absence of a shower. Gives the impression of a luxurious waste of space (like a giant city centre lobby) rather than a step up in utility.

    • Mikeact says:

      No on board bar or shower, shame, with all the available room.

    • W says:

      That’s a good point. Couples can sleep together but the seats are miles apart. That’s a major drawback of their current and proposed seats but guessing the couples leisure market is less of a consideration?

      • Peter K says:

        My wife would rather sit on a bed rather than in a chair. Not that we’ve ever flown first…

  • Roger says:

    OT priority pass

    Any way to use my priority pass login details for new card following platinum churn.
    I tried to use existing account and it says account not available. While trying to use the same username it says username already exists.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

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