Business Class Singapore Airlines Star Alliance Trip Reports

Singapore Airlines Business Class Airbus A350-900ULR | San Francisco to Singapore

[Click above for the video review.]

Airline: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Flight Number: SQ33
Route: SFO-SIN
Class: Business Class
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900ULR
Registration: 9V-SGC
Delivered: October 2018
Flight Duration: 16 hours 35 minutes
Distance: 8,448 Miles

Overall Impression:

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to fly business class on one of Singapore Airlines’ (SQ) ultra long haul routes. SQ is widely recognized as one of the top airlines in the industry, and we were curious to see how their business class experience compared to other carriers. Overall, our experience was positive, although not flawless. The A350-900ULR planes that SQ uses for long haul flights have a 2-class configuration, with 67 business class and 94 premium economy seats; there is no economy class cabin on this plane. The business class cabin is divided into a forward and aft section, featuring SQ’s proprietary seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. While the seats are comfortable for dining and lounging, they are a bit quirky, requiring passengers to get up to convert them into a bed.

The in-flight service was attentive and refined. While we enjoyed the experience overall, the in-flight catering was somewhat hit-or-miss. My beef short rib main dish was a bit salty, and my companion’s baked lobster was overcooked, but we thoroughly enjoyed Chinese dishes we ordered for breakfast.

What I Liked:

The in-flight service – Our in-flight experience on this recent flight was positive overall. The crew displayed attentiveness to our needs during meal service and even personalized their service by addressing us by name. Although there were some moments where their demeanor seemed robotic, it did not diminish the overall quality of their service. Moreover, the crew was responsive and mindful, checking in with us regularly to ensure that all our needs were met including a pre-departure beverage and turndown service.

The IFE System – We are happy to report that In-flight WiFi is available on this 16-hour flight, and it is FREE for business class passengers. In terms of media content, the Krisworld IFE system is impressive. The IFE screen is large and bright, and decent-quality noise-cancelling headphones are provided to business class passengers. The interface is user-friendly, with easy navigation and a wide variety of movies, TV programs, audio content, and a 3D moving map, making the 16-hour flight more enjoyable. The only downside is that the IFE is not touchscreen, which means passengers must use the remote control to navigate the system.

The Seat – The business class seat on SQ’s A350-900ULR is impressively wide and comfortable for sitting, lounging, and dining. However, I found the seat a little cumbersome as it requires getting up to convert it into a bed. Additionally, the seat pitch is a bit tight, so lying down diagonally is necessary for your feet to fit comfortably in the foot well.

What I didn’t Like:

The lack of Personal Air Nozzles – One drawback of SQ’s A350s is the lack of personal air nozzles, which can sometimes make it challenging to get comfortable, if the cabin temperature is too warm. However, on our flight, the crew was kind enough to keep the temperature cool, making for a more comfortable flight.

The Amenities – Although we were flying on one of SQ’s longest routes, we found the business class amenities to be somewhat lacking. At our seats, we were provided with noise-cancelling headphones, pillow, and bottled water, but the amenity kit, eye shades, socks, and slippers were only available upon request. While the bed was pre-made with a few extra pillows and a duvet, pajamas were not provided for business class passengers. Though the crew did do a good job in keeping the lavatories clean and well stocked with toiletries, toothbrushes, shaving kits, and hairbrushes.

It’s OK, I guess…

The United Polaris Lounge at SFO – SQ uses the SFO Polaris Lounge, which offers an expansive space for passengers to relax before their flight. The lounge features plenty of comfortable seating, as well as shower rooms for those who wish to freshen up. Guests can enjoy a full bar and a decent buffet spread, as well as a sit-down restaurant with freshly made dishes. However, during our visit, the wait for a table was over an hour, which could deter many passengers. The lounge was also overcrowded and chaotic, detracting from the overall experience.

The Catering – The catering on this flight was satisfactory, although it didn’t quite measure up to the high standards set by airlines like JAL or Qatar. While there was a wide variety of beverages available, the food selection was rather limited. Unfortunately, the beef short rib main dish I ordered for dinner was overly salty and my companion’s baked lobster was overcooked and tough. However, the wonton noodle soup and egg noodles with Yu Xiang Pork that we ordered for breakfast were delicious. Overall, while the catering didn’t exceed our expectations, it was still decent and provided a good dining experience.

Bottom Line:

The Singapore Airlines business class experience on the A350-900ULR offers comfortable seats and an attentive crew. The SFO Polaris Lounge is a spacious and comfortable pre-flight option, but can be crowded and chaotic depending on the time of day. In terms of catering, the in-flight meals are decent, but not exceptional compared to other airline offerings. The amenities provided in business class are also somewhat lacking, though the lavatories are well-stocked as a consolation. Overall, SQ offers a pleasant experience on this ultra-long-haul journey, but there is definitely room for improvement.

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