Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Review

Singapore Airlines A380
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380. Photo: Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines flies from seven Australian cities to Singapore, including 3-4 times per day from Sydney. In fact, as of this week, Singapore Airlines has more daily international departures from Australia than Qantas!

One of the daily Sydney-Singapore flights, SQ222, is even operated by the Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 which was brought back into service late last year.

Singapore Airlines was renowned as a “great way to fly” before the pandemic. Based on my recent experience flying in Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class from Sydney to Singapore, this is still very much the case.

Flight Details

Flight number SQ222
Route Sydney (SYD) to Singapore (SIN)
Aircraft type Airbus A380
Class of travel Business
Seat number 95A
On-time performance We arrived around 25 minutes early
Star rating 4.5 stars out of 5

The route

SQ222 route map

Flight Cost

I paid for this flight as part of a round-the-world ticket. But for reference, Business Class fares from Sydney to Singapore on Singapore Airlines are currently on sale from AUD3,145 return. A one-way ticket would cost AUD2,999.

Alternatively, you could book a Business Saver award seat for 62,000 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles + AUD104.67 taxes. It’s also now possible once again to redeem Velocity points to book Singapore Airlines Business Class reward seats.

Airport Experience

When I flew in March 2022, the longest part of the check-in process was the queue to get the COVID documentation thoroughly checked by a Singapore Airlines staff member.

After passing this first checkpoint, I could then proceed to the actual check-in counter. This entire process took around 20 minutes in the Business Class queue.

SQ222 was a designated Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flight, so all passengers needed to show proof of vaccination. However, at the time of my flight, Singapore had recently removed the requirement for transit passengers to get a COVID-19 test. I was connecting onwards from Singapore to Zurich with SWISS, and Switzerland also didn’t require a COVID-19 test or any additional paperwork, so my passport and vaccination certificate were sufficient.

Note that Singapore is ending the VTL scheme and further relaxing entry requirements from 1 April 2022. This should make the check-in process a little bit faster!

My boarding pass had “Express Path” written on it, which would normally give you access to the priority lane for immigration and security. At the time of my trip, the Express Path at Sydney Airport was closed… but it didn’t matter as the terminal was very empty and there were no queues anyway.

Terminal 1 at Sydney Airport was certainly not as dead as it was in May 2021, when I last flew internationally from Sydney. But it wasn’t really busy either. Many airport shops had at least reopened, but there weren’t many customers around. Some shops were still shuttered.

I had access to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge before boarding which was reasonably full, but not crowded. There was a good selection of self-service buffet food available including a chicken curry, Gai lan, fish and rice. There was also a full selection of cold drinks, beer, wine, spirits and also tea & coffee from a staffed barista cart.

Singapore Airlines A380 parked at Sydney Airport
My Singapore Airlines A380 parked at Sydney Airport. Photo: Matt Graham.

The Hard Product

Singapore Airlines offers a large Business cabin taking up most of the upper deck behind First Class on the Airbus A380.

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class
Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class. Photo: Singapore Airlines.

The seats are configured in a 1-2-1 arrangement, meaning all passengers have direct aisle access. For couples, the centre seats are ideal because they can be converted into a “double bed in the sky”. However, if you’re sitting next to a stranger (or just don’t really want to see your travelling companion) it’s also possible to raise the centre console.

I was seated in 95A, a window seat towards the back of Business Class.

The smaller Singapore Airlines Business Class cabin at the rear of the A380 upper deck
The smaller Singapore Airlines Business Class cabin at the rear of the A380 upper deck. Photo: Matt Graham.

I personally found the seat a bit firm, but there was lots of space, some useful storage compartments and a good amount of privacy – even without sliding doors.

When the seat is fully reclined to create a bed, the setup is a little strange because the footwell is located to the side of the seat. This means you end up sleeping on a bit of an angle.

The Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class seat in bed mode
The Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class seat in bed mode. Photo: Matt Graham.

Some people don’t like this seat design, saying it is too firm and forces them to sleep on an angle. But I honestly thought it was fine. I’m quite tall and didn’t need to bend my knees or anything when lying down.

The mattress topper provided does help with taking some of the firmness out of the seat.

There was a huge TV screen and the KrisWorld in-flight entertainment is excellent. There’s lots of content to choose from, including international content in many different languages.

In-flight entertainment in Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class
In-flight entertainment in Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class. Photo: Matt Graham.

One criticism of the seat design is that it was way too easy to accidentally touch the crew call button on the side panel. I accidentally leaned on this a couple of times, resulting in extra unnecessary work for the crew who thought I wanted something. I saw several other passengers do the same thing. Of course, the crew took it with good grace (and seemed very used to it)!

Finally, Singapore Airlines does offer in-flight wifi. Business Class passengers can get 100MB of complimentary wifi, with the option to purchase more data. I found that the in-flight wifi did not work for the first two hours of the flight, but did later on.

The Soft Product

At my seat, I found an amenity kit, pillow, blanket, mattress topper and a COVID-19 care kit containing a face mask, disinfectant wipes and a small bottle of hand sanitiser.

Side storage and amenities in Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class
Side storage and amenities in Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class. Photo: Matt Graham.

There was also a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, which had a date stamp to show when they were last cleaned – a nice touch.

Singapore Airlines Business Class headphones with a time stamp
Singapore Airlines Business Class headphones with a time stamp. Photo: Matt Graham.

I was a little disappointed to find that the amenity kit, while lovely, didn’t have much in it at all. But there were more amenities available in the bathroom, and you could also ask the cabin crew for certain items.

In-flight amenities are available on request in Singapore Airlines Business Class
In-flight amenities are available on request in Singapore Airlines Business Class.

Before takeoff, the delightful cabin crew introduced themselves but did not proactively offer any pre-departure drinks. I’m told champagne may be available on request before takeoff if you ask nicely, but didn’t ask on this flight.

I didn’t have to wait long though, as the cabin crew offered champagne shortly after takeoff along with almonds and cashews. The champagne was 2012 Piper-Heidsieck Brut Vintage.

Champagne and nuts were served after takeoff
Champagne and nuts were served after takeoff. Photo: Matt Graham.

Dinner orders were taken shortly after. No printed menus were handout out on this flight, so the crew had to individually explain to every passenger what was available.

In-flight menus were available via the in-flight wifi system, but as previously mentioned, this did not work at the start of the flight. Later in the flight, I was able to access the menus. This is what was offered for dinner:

Dinner menu on SQ222
Dinner menu on SQ222.

If you’d like to know in advance what will be served on your flight, you can check on the Singapore Airlines website up to 7 days prior to your flight. Singapore Airlines also offers a great “Book the Cook” service that allows passengers travelling in premium cabins on select routes to pre-order their preferred meal. (I didn’t use these services on this occasion.)

This was the prosciutto with melon, green olives & lemon dressing appetiser. Like all of the food, this was served with extra packaging due to COVID-19. (I’ve removed the packaging before photographing the other food items.)

The appetizer served on SQ222
The appetiser served on SQ222. Photo: Matt Graham.

For the main course, I chose the braised ee-fu noodles with seafood, which was delicious.

Dinner on SQ222
Dinner on SQ222. Photo: Matt Graham.

I couldn’t choose just one dessert, so the crew let me have both a cheese plate and chocolate cake with crème anglaise. Both were wonderful!

Dessert on SQ222
Dessert on SQ222. Photo: Matt Graham.

This was a really satisfying and enjoyable meal. I also really loved the extensive drinks list on Singapore Airlines which includes things like cocktails, mocktails and pineapple juice. I once asked for pineapple juice on Qantas and the flight attendant laughed at me.

After dinner, I settled in for a few hours of napping, watching movies and enjoying the sunset as we flew over the West Australian coast.

The sun set as we approached the West Australian coastline
The sun set as we approached the West Australian coastline. Photo: Matt Graham.

Supper was served two hours before landing, with a Western burger option or a Singaporean option of nasi lemak. That was an easy choice – I love a good nasi lemak, which this one was!

A delicious plate of nasi lemak was served before landing
A delicious plate of nasi lemak was served before landing. Photo: Matt Graham.

There was lots to love about this flight, but what really made it was the cabin crew. They were eager to ensure everyone had a great experience and I simply cannot fault them!

The flight attendants were really nice and the service was ridiculously attentive. During the meal services, for example, I would barely have finished my last mouthful of food before the crew would offer to clear my plate and get me another drink.

Before landing, a flight attendant even gave me a pack of Singapore Airlines playing cards as a small parting gift.

To top it off, we landed early in Singapore.

The view approaching Singapore
The view approaching Singapore. Photo: Matt Graham.
Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class
  • Airport Experience
  • Hard Product
  • Soft Product
4.5

Final thoughts

Despite some minor flaws with the seat, I think Singapore Airlines offers a solid Business Class product on the Airbus A380. I was comfortable and felt the seat offered lots of privacy. But what really made the flight was the excellent food and the delightful cabin crew. Singapore Airlines is still a great way to fly!

 

You can leave a comment on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]

Community Comments

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I had a similar experience on the same flight a bit over a week ago. Heading to LHR, the check in staff only glanced at my vax certificate and moved on quite quickly.

I did note that the e-Gates were back open - even with the obvious issue of face masks, but the software has been updated to prompt you to remove mask! Security in SYD, although not busy was a bit manic. I had two attendants trying to do the “random” check while another was looking for a non-existent cigarette lighter… oh well.

The SYD lounge was very busy but that should improve with NZ Lounge reopening.

I found the new A380 seat far superior to the original one and the current 777 seat on my connection.

For F&B, “Book the cook” is open a week or two in advance and provides a vastly larger selection than on board. We’ll worth checking out!

My flight also arrived early - about 40mins but the SK Lounge was the only lounge - so also heaving with transit / departing PAX. Again, hopefully this improves when the A* Gold and 1st Lounges reopen.

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I've not been subjected to the 'pineapple juice' laugh on QFi, but what brings a wry smile is when many Aussies refer to QF as 'the (or our) national airline').

During COVID-19, QFi mostly only operated flights when subsidised by the Coalition's Federal Government, unlike a wide range of foreign airlines including NH, PR, QR, SQ, UA, UL and others that continued to fly here unsubsidised. UA even took out full page newspaper ads about two or three months ago to remind us of that.

In company with quite a few other Asian carriers, SQ is a great airline, concentrating on terrific service rather than political correctness. It doesn't give that nauseating 'welcome to country' rubbish one must bring earmuffs to avoid on QF.

No wonder almost 70 per cent of people using international flights in and out of Australia travel with other than QFi/JQi.

The quicker that nations and airlines remove pre-flight 'testing' - pointless when a virus is endemic - and abolish mask-wearing in airports and in flight, the sooner international passenger numbers will start approaching what they were a few years back (although it won't be instant).

Great that Mattg enjoyed his flight.

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I've flown with Singapore Airlines (just economy though) and always found their service to be terrific. On one flight, I ordered a JD and coke, and when I was halfway through my first, the attendant came over and asked if I wanted another. And so and so that repeated until I could drink no more.

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Interesting there was no menu card so the crew had to recite for each pax, I would have thought they would have done it on the screen for you to select/info goes directly to the galley.

Im also reminded how much I hate the SQ side bed position to get your feet into the cubby hole.

Thanks for the report, seems they are making efforts and thats appreciated. I hope to book some reward flights for next year soon and looking forward to flying SQ again.

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Thanks for the write-up. Just last night we managed to book a SQ A380 flight as part of a Velocity J booking-got to wait til Feb 2023 to get back to it 😀

Reply 1 Like

Interesting there was no menu card so the crew had to recite for each pax, I would have thought they would have done it on the screen for you to select/info goes directly to the galley.

You may have missed Mattg saying:

"...In-flight menus were available via the in-flight wifi system, but as previously mentioned, this did not work at the start of the flight. Later in the flight, I was able to access the menus..."

Reply Like

You may have missed Mattg saying:

"...In-flight menus were available via the in-flight wifi system, but as previously mentioned, this did not work at the start of the flight. Later in the flight, I was able to access the menus..."

I read that but I got the impression that you couldn't order via the screen but could only read the menu on the screen. Maybe OP can come back and confirm if you can use the screen to order as well? But it wasnt available at the start of the flight, which is a fail from SQ.

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During COVID-19, QFi mostly only operated flights when subsidised by the Coalition's Federal Government, unlike a wide range of foreign airlines including NH, PR, QR, SQ, UA, UL and others that continued to fly here unsubsidised.

That is not completely true. Whilst not being subsidised to fly specific sectors, several (if not all) of these airlines did receive assistance from their governments or sovereign wealth funds (in case of SQ, which received a huge capital injection from Temasek, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund). Presumably QR was getting assistance to maintain flying when loads were non-existent as well, although it is very murky the line between QR and .gov.qa anyway.

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Thanks for the review! Looking forward to an upgrade to J on the A380 from BOM-SIN in a few weeks...

But i have to ask - why didn't you book the cook?

Reply 1 Like

But i have to ask - why didn't you book the cook?

No particular reason - Book the Cook is a great service but I just didn't feel the need to use it on this occasion. I was very happy with the food provided from the regular menu.

Reply 1 Like