I had the chance to fly with Singapore Airlines in their First Class Suites aboard the Airbus A380. It was maybe the best flight of my life!
I had already travelled first class with Emirates on their A380 to Hong Kong, and it was a fantastic experience, yet now I wanted to compare that experience with doing the same thing with the Singapore Airlines A380. When Singapore Airlines classify their suites as “a class above first” they mean that the suites are even more luxurious (and, yep, more expensive) than regular first class. Strangely, I had actually flown to Singapore from Delhi the previous day in economy class and proceeded to spend the night in Changi Airport in a transit hotel awaiting my first class flight the following morning. So, I can have a bit of luxury sometimes, but most of the time I am still on a budget!
Around 4 hours before my flight was due to depart to Hong Kong, I was permitted entry to Singapore Airlines’ Private Room, which is like a first class lounge, but just for Suites passengers. It was still very early, maybe around 6am or even earlier, but I was determined to enjoy time in the Private Room within the Silverkris Lounge – and who knows, it might be the only chance I get in my lifetime! I was offered breakfast by the friendly assistants, although I just had waffles and warm chocolate, with some fresh strawberries. I enjoyed dipping the strawberries in the chocolate, and then washed it all down with some freshly-squeezed orange juice. I can remember when I flew first class with Emirates, and in the lounge beforehand I indulged in some alcohol and a slice of cheesecake, but this time, as it was still so early, I was content with just an orange juice or two – after all, I could drink my champagne in my own private suite later on in the sky! A great thing I loved about the Private Room (apart from the darkened décor) was the shower and toilets area. These were decorated in marble and were very enticing to use, although I didn’t have a shower myself.
When it was close to boarding time, I left the Private Room and made my way down to the boarding gate, which for today’s flight was Gate B3. At Changi, security occurs at each boarding gate before the flight, rather than at the post-bag drop area like at other airports. I was just whisked through security the same as any other passenger, and I had to take my belt off (but not my shoes) when I walked through the body scanner. I wonder if there is a dedicated security fast track lane for first class passengers (I know there is a dedicated first class immigration area), although I have no idea how it would work with Changi’s set-up, because, after all, there is only one way in to the boarding gate area, regardless of your class of carriage. Anyway, I didn’t take any photos of the boarding area as it’s just the same as any other boarding gate.
After my time flying first class with some other airlines, I was always interested to compare those experiences with Singapore Airlines. I was always well aware of what the suites looked like aboard the SQ A380 as I had seen many photos online and watched many trip reports by the aviation community on YouTube. Now I was to get my own experience! There seemed to be only 5 or 6 of the suites in use on this flight – no surprise seeing as how expensive they are! I was in Suite 1A and in the first class cabin on the A380, SQ have 16 suites, in a 1-2-1 formation. The middle 2 suites in each row can be converted to a double cabin (with double bed!) for couples. Givenchy toiletries and slippers were supplied, as well as noise-cancelling BOSE headphones. It was tempting to nick these headphones as a souvenir, but fear not, I didn’t!
I was told before we took off from Changi that I could begin my lunch at any time of the 4hr flight. Singapore Airlines have a system known as ‘Book the Cook’ for their Suites class (and first/businesses classes) and this enabled me to book what I wanted for lunch during my flight to Hong Kong once I had booked my ticket. This was done online, way in advance, and I chose to have Bak Kut Teh and beef rendang (which are Singaporean and Sumatran classics, respectively). A fresh fruit crepe was what I booked for dessert. I was also given some macrons for a snack once the Singapore Girls had cleared away from meal and cutlery. I am a sucker for macrons; I just can’t get enough of them. I think there were 3 of them on the plate, covered with a little ice cream, so it was basically like having another dessert! You really looked after in Singapore Airlines Suites class!
You get 3 windows to each suite, and the television screen that shows movies and the flight path is HUGE! I watched a movie from 2 years ago – The Perks of Being a Wallfower, starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman – and also a Cantonese television programme. The rest of the time I was just chillaxing and watching the flight path. After my incredible dinner, I got the Singapore Girls to make my bed, even though I only laid in it for about 20 minutes until it had to be made back up into a seat again ready for final descent to Hong Kong. I hope to one day fly longhaul with Singapore Airlines in their A380 first class suites so that I can try to sleep in this amazing bed. The sliding doors to the suite also provide great privacy, when sleeping or just sitting, but due to safety concerns in the event of an emergency, people can peer over the side of the suite wall into your cabin; the walls do not go up the ceiling.
The final descent into Hong Kong International Airport was pretty uneventful and the SQ pilot made a great touchdown on the tarmac. In no time at all, disembarkation ensued, and first class passengers are always let off the aircraft first (ever wondered why you wait so long in economy class before you can start leaving?). I was waved goodbye by the friendly Singapore Girls (and boys!) and now my adventures in Hong Kong could continue. I have been to this airport many times, and it is one of my favourites. Now, as a first class passenger, I could expect my luggage to come through on the baggage reclaim belt before most of the other passengers, and sure enough it did! I spent an hour in the Plaza Premium Lounge landside at HKG (this is a tradition of mine) before heading into the city for a bit of tourism.
This time, I was only in Hong Kong for a day of transit before a flight to Seoul with Korean Air (economy class this time, boo!) but I was determined to enjoy the sights and sounds, especially at Victoria Harbour and Kowloon. The real buzz of my day, though, was remembering the great time I had flying in Singapore Airlines suites: it really is a class above first!