We review the new Singapore Airlines A380 First Class suites on a private tour

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Back in November Singapore Airlines announced a new look to their A380s with impressive new First Class suites and Business Class seats.

Singapore – Sydney was the first route to get the new seats and the new configuration can now also be found on some flights out of Heathrow.  It is initially being installed on the five new A380 aircraft being delivered at the moment but it will be rolled out to the existing fleet later.  It is a lengthy process though, with each conversion set to take four months.

We were invited to Heathrow Terminal 2 to have a look around the aircraft during the few hours in between flights – obviously we wouldn’t have said no to actually flying to Singapore in the new suite but …….

There is a special section of the Singapore Airlines website dedicated to the new A380 seats which you can find here.

New Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

The number of First Class suites has been cut from 12 to 6 with the new design.  (Click on any of the pictures to enlarge)

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class suite review

All six First Class suites are now on the upper deck with a dedicated staircase. The Business Class cabin is also on the upper deck but accessible via a different staircase.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

Even by the usual high standards of Singapore Airways, this new product is impressive.  Each suite contains a bed, a swivel chair and a work area which effectively serves as a desk.  It is an office in the sky.  There is also a fairly large dining table which can be folded up (in the picture below underneath the shelf with the flowers).

There is a large TV screen as well as a tablet in every suite too – just swivel your chair around to watch!  It is probably as near to being Captain Kirk as you are likely to get.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

Luxurious carpets give the suite a very homely touch.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

Alongside the window is a long shelf-like surface with various storage units and a mirror.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

I can confirm that the seat is very comfortable.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

When travelling as a couple the divider can be pulled down which opens up the space and also makes it brighter.  If the suite next to you was not occupied I would ask the crew to do this for you.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

and

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

The beds are either side of the divider and can be flipped up to make a double bed (image below is a press picture).  You can see in the video how it works.  I have seen comments about it not feeling as sturdy as a real bed, or a chair that converts into a bed, but I didn’t get the chance to try it out.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

The bathroom was definitely hotel standard. The surfaces around the sink were luxurious marble, the mood lighting was purple and the dressing table had an amazingly large mirror plus a smaller make up mirror.  There are two bathrooms for the six First Class suites.  You don’t get a shower on Singapore Airlines though.

It was a bit difficult to get a picture of the full bathroom, so I tried capturing it by using the mirror.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

Rob has flown the Etihad First Class Apartment twice (click for review), which is a similar product to this.  His gut feeling was this is better – not as dark, more space to work, and not as ‘lonely’ to be in.  Without having flown it for 12 hours, though, it is difficult to get a feel for how you would use the space – would you sit on the bed when awake?  Would you always use the chair?

The other new competitor in the market is the new Emirates A380 First Class suite, now available out of Stansted.  We haven’t seen or flown that yet.  Here is our news story on it.

New Singapore Airlines Business Class

Singapore Airlines business class has also received a makeover.   I flew the old A380 version a few years ago so it was interesting to see what had changed.

There is a total of 78 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.  Thanks to a cocoon-like shell the new seats offer more privacy than the previous business class seats.

The two seats in the middle have a divider which spans the full length of the seat for extra privacy when travelling alone. It can also be brought down to mid level or completely.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

If you are travelling with a partner, the D and F seats in row 11, 91 and 96 can be turned into proper double beds without a ‘leg-divider’.

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class suite review

Here is a press image of the bed made up for a couple:

singapore airlines business double bed

It is an impressive product.  It isn’t as revolutionary as, say, the Qatar Airways Qsuite but it is clearly a massive step forward compared to British Airways Club World.

Here is a short video we made of Singapore Airlines new A380 First Class Suites and Business Class cabin:

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear above.

Currently the new First Class suites can be found on the SQ317 out of London seven days per week.  Coming back from Singapore it is on the SQ322.

The Singapore Airlines website has more on the new A380 if you go here.

Many thanks to the Singapore Airlines PR and ground staff team for making this happen.

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Comments

  1. Andrew M says:

    Has anyone ever managed to book the new A380 First Class suites using Krisflyer miles?

    • Simon says:

      Yes – flew it in February.

      • How far ahead did you have to book?

        Did you get your seat(s) at Saver or full redemption level?

      • Andrew M says:

        Was it on the SIN-SYD route? Did you book the ticket before you knew it would be on the new product? I know some people were lucky and flew the new First with Krisflyer miles by making their bookings before the product was launched. I’d like to be proved wrong but I don’t think they offer the new A380 First for redemption bookings.

  2. Dominic says:

    Looks like a great new F product. Perhaps unsurprising that it beats Etihad’s; the latter product is fairly dated now, albeit still brilliant.

    • Etihad’s “Diamond First” (on A330/340) might be a bit dated but the “First Apartment” on the A380 is only a few years old (?)

      • Dominic says:

        Coming up to four years old – obviously not ancient, but they set a bar which has undoubtedly led to the creation of these new F products.

        Would be pretty poor of the other airlines if they didn’t beat it.

        • Are we expecting BA to beat any competitor’s product any time soon? 🙂

        • Lady London says:

          Yes, probably British Airways Business is than Norwegian Economy.

  3. Lumma says:

    The new Emirates first class is on the 777 not the A380 isn’t it?

  4. >>Rob has flown the Etihad First Class Apartment twice .. this is better .. not as ‘lonely’ to be in.<<

    I think this is more a reflection on a fear of being alone than the quality of the product. if I am in a room alone and shut the door I am not lonely. Instead I enjoy the peace and quiet. The same for an empty airport lounge, a hotel room where i'm not aware of other guests in other rooms/the corridor or being the only person in a train carriage. Peace and quiet. Not lonely.

    • We all like different things and I personally like a bit of people watching. The idea of being in a small room alone for 12 hours does not appeal to me massively.

    • No, it is different. I spend vast chunks of time ‘alone’ in the sense you describe, I even work along much of the time given that Anika is often off at some event or other. It is more like, for eg, watching a football match or rock concert from a private suite where you feel strangely separated from the main action. A hotel room is different because you expect to be alone. I don’t expect to sit on a plane for 7 hours and not even see another person apart from 1 cabin crew member who pops in occasionally.

      Worth noting that, on its refit of the airberlin seats, Virgin is going to deliberately make the seats less private by removing the high sides because passengers don’t like them. That is also my main issue with the traditional Upper Class seat and is why it is known as a ‘coffin’.

    • Chris L says:

      I get what Rob is saying. The skill of good service is to detect when the customer wants to be left alone and when they want a bit of attention. There’s a difference between service which is discrete but person and that which is aloof and disinterested. You might expect the crew to engage with you when you want to decide on food and wine, politely ask about travel plans, offer advice on the destination as would a BA F crew.

      • *Some* BA F crew would do that, other BA F crew would be hiding in the galley gossiping or eating the chocolates (if they’ve not been enhanced, that is).

        I’ve flown four QR J sectors so far this year, on three of them the crew were at least as good as good BA crew in terms of warmth and proactive behavior, no robots here. I slept through the fourth sector from the climb to the approach, so can’t comment on the crew. Of course the QR hard product was better than BA CW, but that goes without saying.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        EK F nails this, by having a do not disturb light on the suite. I could sit in there for days, with only the occasional interaction with other humans to top up the Dom.

  5. Thanks for the photos, Anika. Quite a few in-flight reviews I’ve read have complained about how hard the bed is and that when eating you end up facing across the aisle to the other suite. I’ve been fortunate to almost always find Suites to be running at very low occupancy when I’ve had it so liked the old setup better where they’d set up a second suite for sleeping in – I worry the availability of redemptions is going to go way down with this setup.

  6. ankomonkey says:

    Looks pretty fantastic to me. Easily beats anything I’ve ever flown before. I would expect the food to be very good, so a pretty amazing product all round. And plenty of space for a game of travel Guess Who.

  7. Sandgrounder says:

    How about an article rounding up all of the private suite super-aspirational services and the best options for using miles and points to get on board?

    • Could do, but the biggest issue is routes – even if you wanted to fly one of these you could never be 100% certain you would get it until all the A380 are switched. It is the reason I haven’t booked an Emirates suite from Stansted yet.

  8. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I have to say I don’t like the look of this config. I tend to spend most of my (e.g BA First) flying time with a seat that’s halfway reclined, which this ‘seat or bed’ suite doesn’t seem to suit. I also fly as a couple and dining together is a key part of the experience. You seem almost comically far away from your travelling companion during meals when you’re in your own seats and I don’t see any potential for buddy dining. Unlike other carrier’s A380s, there isn’t a communal bar area, so looks like a poor set-up for group travel.

  9. Spurs debs says:

    Ok so both first and business are up a staircase? Out of interest how would a disabled person who was either wheelchair user or mobile but couldn’t do stars access these seats?

    • Same as on a 747 now I imagine …..

    • Chris L says:

      An A380 normally has an air bridge to the upper deck doesn’t it?

    • Catalan says:

      The A380 is served by three jet-bridges. Two on the lower deck and one on the upper deck. Not a problem for wheelchair users.

      • Not at all airports, apparently. Most, yes.

        • The Original Nick says:

          I’ve always boarded the A380 (QR) on the upper jet-bridge for business. That’s out of DOH and BKK though.

        • Mark2 says:

          I seem to remember that Vancouver only had two bridges but one was to the upper deck.

      • Spurs Debs says:

        Thanks I’ve not been on a 747 in business since becoming disabled so had no idea.
        I knew there would be a way, I just like to know how so I cam make an informed choice.

        When I went to Abu Dhabi in April to get on flight was an ambi lift to opposite door then escorted to first class, as plane was on a remote stand.

        • Spurs Debs says:

          That was from LHR.

        • On 747s anyone who cannot negotiate the stairs is not permitted to sit on the upper deck. It’s ok though (on BA and VS at least) because the cabin that’s upstairs is duplicated downstairs so it’s not discriminatory, I’m not sure how others (e.g. who put F up there) get around that.

          When the BA A380s first came in, anyone disabled who booked WTP got a free upgrade to CW (on the main deck) as they couldn’t guarantee there would always be step-free access to the upper deck. That changed pretty quickly once more airports had installed their equipment; now it’s only emergency situations where it’s an issue.

        • Stuart graham says:

          I think you have to check with each airline and each airport and even then hope on the day for good staff.
          My mum has MS, my partners mum disabled from cancer and my best friend disabled from a motorbike accident- they all have different stories- good and bad!
          Apart from getting on and off the plane remember you need you wheelchair, batteries and all accessories to turn up too!

  10. Sam G says:

    Reviews so far haven’t been particularly positive – comments that the suites are very hot and lacking ventilation and they are very close to the galley so not particularly quiet

  11. Willem says:

    Thanks for providing the tour. I just booked LHR-SIN in Suites for early August. Watching your tour makes me even more excited!

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