New Singapore Airlines A380 Business Seat Fail

New Singapore Airlines A380 Business Seat FailSingapore Airlines is currently in the process of refurbishing its Airbus A380 aircraft. The Singapore Airlines A380 upgrades see plush new First Class Suites installed at the front of the plane’s upper deck. The new First Class has received largely rave reviews, with travellers loving the suites’ size and the ability to join neighbouring compartments to create a double bed in the sky.

But Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Business Class seats have not been quite as popular with frequent flyers. After a recent trip, AFF member juliusg has written a rather critical review of the new product.

We flew Syd > Sing yesterday on the new A380 and decided to avoid the new seat in future. It is way too hard, and the offset foot cubby makes for a very difficult sleeping position. The seat controls are badly placed leading to at least one false crew call by myself. Hard to understand how SQ could get this design through any focus group! The old super wide seat that flips over for sleeping is far more comfortable.

The new Singapore Airlines A380 Business class seats do certainly have some positives. With a 1-2-1 layout, easy aisle access is available to every passenger. There is a large in-flight entertainment screen with lots of content and the seat, enclosed within its own “pod”, does convert into a fully-flat bed. If you’re travelling as a couple, the middle seats can be used as a double bed in the sky; one of the only airlines to offer this in Business Class. (You can also raise the privacy divider if you’re sitting next to a stranger.) And, being Singapore Airlines, the on-board service and meals are consistently good.

But there are a few traveller gripes with the new seats that have repeatedly come up since the new seats entered service. Among the key complaints are the firmness of the seat and the position of the foot well. The foot “cubby” is offset from the seat on somewhat of an awkward angle, which can make sleeping in the seat a little uncomfortable if you’re tall.

I agree re the hardness and especially the foot cubby. Forced me to redeem into F not J !

According to AFF member Cruiser Elite, Singapore Airlines is aware of the seat’s shortcomings.

They are a dog of a seat and SQ are well and truly aware due to the feedback they have been receiving.

I flew it on Nov 8 PVG-SIN – my original seat mal-functioned and I spent over an hour with the IFM (Who just happened to be a SQ Auditor doing his monthly assigned in air review) discussing the many seat shortcomings. He asked me to prepare a comprehensive review of seat and submit to SQ which I have done.

Beggars belief that this seat ever passed and was installed in this format – add the hideous new R Suites and it is just unfathomable.

The seat controls are also too sensitive and located in an awkward position, leading many passengers to call the cabin crew by accident.

If you do happen to be flying in Business class on the new Singapore Airlines A380 configuration, we recommend choosing a bulkhead seat in the middle section (i.e. rows 11, 91 or 96) as these have larger footwells.

Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Business Class is currently appearing on flights to Sydney, London, Zurich, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It will be progressively rolled out to more destinations in the coming months as more aircraft are refurbished.

Earlier this year, Singapore Airlines’ A350 Business Class seats received similar criticism from some AFF members.

Ultimately – even with its various shortcomings – Singapore Airlines still has a decent Business Class product on its A380s. It’s certainly a big step up from Economy, and the seat is still competitive against the Business Class products offered by many other airlines. But for some, the flaws are sufficiently significant to detract from the experience.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: New SQ J seats a shocker


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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]