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On a recent press trip to Singapore with Singapore Airlines, I was invited to experience a return flight in Business Class. On my London-Singapore leg I flew in Business Class on the A380 superjumbo, but on the way back I was fortunate to have a taste of the new Business Class product on the Boeing 777-300ER. How would it compare?
For me flying isn’t just about getting from A to B. It’s much more than that. I just love the whole flight experience, as you can probably tell from the number of flight reviews I publish on this site. Half the time I think I’m more excited about the flight than I am about the actual holiday!
I love flying in any class, but Business Class is really something to get excited about. It’s just a whole different level of comfort. In Economy I might find myself twiddling my thumbs waiting for the captain to announce our descent, but in Business Class I just never want the flight to end. It’s all about those extra little details; the amenity kit, the glass of champagne, the fine dining and the lie flat beds. It makes me want to do a little dance in my seat.
Singapore Airlines offers 28 nonstop flights per week, or four flights daily, from London Heathrow to Singapore, operated by Airbus 380-800 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. I flew an A380 from London to Singapore and the 777-300ER from Singapore to London. Although I was sad to be leaving Singapore, I couldn’t wait to get back on the plane and experience Business Class all over again.
The Boeing 777-300ER isn’t as big as the mighty A380, but it features Singapore Airline’s next generation of cabin products, including the new Business Class seat.
Here’s what I thought.
Check-in & Airport Facilities
Singapore’s Changi Airport has to be the best airport I’ve ever been to. After checking in at the Business Class desk, we were given a tour of the airport facilities. Now usually I might yawn at the sound of something like this, but Changi Airport is pretty special. If I hadn’t been given the grand tour, I probably wouldn’t have explored some of the cool facilities on offer.
First of all there’s a Snooze Zone, where you can take a nap on a comfortable lounger while waiting for your next flight.
Then there’s the butterfly garden…yes you read this correctly….a butterfly garden! If you’re feeling bored you can take a walk through the garden and spot all sorts of beautiful, colourful butterflies.
And if you have time to kill, you can always watch a movie in the FREE movie theatre. It’s open all day and all night, so you can sit in the dark and watch a film. Don’t fall asleep and miss your flight though…that would be a disaster.
After our little tour we had a few minutes to hang out in the SilverKris Business Class lounge, which is absolutely enormous with loads of seating as well as Wi-Fi, PCs, meeting rooms, a bar, restrooms, showers and TV.
The new seat on the Boeing 777-300ER isn’t as wide as the seat I experienced on the A380, but it’s still about 50% wider than most seats in its class, measuring 28″ in width. The cabin is configured in a 1-2-1 configuration offering direct aisle access at every seat; I had a window seat on the left hand side of the aeroplane.
The seat offers greater recline at 132 degrees and features and improved ergonomic seat cushion, together with the new recline positions ‘sundeck’ and ‘lazy z’. What I like most about the new seat though, is the more contemporary, curvaceous design, as well as the fabric textures and metallic colours.
The in-flight entertainment is 18″ wide, which is very large indeed.
Before the flight I was presented with a glass of Bollinger champagne, and once we were airborne, I was able to order a cocktail. Since I was a bit tired of the Singapore Sling, I opted for the Solitaire Dreams- a cool mix of rum, pineapple and ginger ale.
There was plenty of space to stretch my feet out on the ottoman, but I did notice that there was slightly less under-seat storage space for my cabin bag compared to the A380, so I had to put it in the overhead locker.
I really liked having the storage space to the left of my head, because it meant I could put my laptop, http://www.eta-i.org/cialis.html magazines and electronics within easy reach. There’s a plug socket to the left of this space too, so I was able to charge my electronics without all the wires getting in the way of my TV screen or tray table.
To the side there is also another large storage compartment, as well as the tray table, which you simply push to release.
When I was ready to take a nap and watch a movie, I asked one of the Singapore Girls to prepare my bed. The bed is one of the largest in its class, measuring 78″ long and 28″ wide. As with the A380 the seat back folds forward to become a flat sleeping surface with improved bed padding and cushioned headboard.
Here’s a quick photo of the power socket and ports available for connecting all your devices.
The personal entertainment screen is operated using a touch-screen remote, which even tells you the number of hours till your destination.
To the right of my head I found the lighting panel, which operates the reading lights.
With Singapore Airlines you can choose from a selection of main meals listed on the menu onboard, or you can pre-order a meal up to 24 hours before the flight through their Book the Cook service. The list of dishes available with Book the Cook from Singapore to London is vast- so vast that I found it really difficult to choose and resorted to online forums to see what people rate highly.
Since my journey back to London was a day flight, I had the choice of two proper main meals. I pre-ordered the Lobster Thermidor and the Lamb chops, both of which turned out to be incredible. Everything is plated on fine porcelain designed by Givenchy and the tray table is covered with a linen tablecloth.
My first meal of the flight began with the airline’s signature chicken and beef satay, which I saw being made in the Singapore Airlines catering facility during my trip to Singapore.
This was followed by a prawn and grapefruit starter in a sweet chilli sauce.
Next up was the dish I had been eagerly awaiting- the lobster thermidor with saffron rice, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. I mean…LOBSTER! On a flight! It’s not very often I get to eat it so I thought I might as well treat myself.
The meal was rounded off with a slice of cheesecake with a berry compote, followed by a selection of cheeses and a gourmet chocolate.
When the time came for my second meal, I was still full from the first! But I love food and can always make room for more. The starter consisted of duck breast with a balsamic sauce and artichoke hearts.
My second choice from the Book the Cook menu was the roasted New Zealand lamb chops with mint jus, mesclun salad and thyme-flavoured gratin potatoes. I was a bit sceptical about the lamb chops and figured they might come very overcooked and dry at high altitude, but boy were these incredible! I’ll even go as far enough as to say they’re the best lamb chops I’ve ever had! There was so much meat on them and they were ridiculously tender. Well done Singapore Airlines for blowing my mind when it comes to airline meals.
Finally I had some chocolate mousse gateau with fresh fruit, followed by tea and pralines. I was completely stuffed!
Seriously Singapore Airlines is hands-down the best airline I’ve flown on, and I’ve flown on many. Their Business Class was more like the First Class you might find on other airlines. This flight really raised the bar for me in terms of Business Class service and I’m not sure anything could top it. The food is just exquisite, the seats are like having your own private little room and the Singapore Girls provide brilliant service.
Singapore Airlines flies four times daily from London Heathrow and daily from Manchester to Singapore. See singaporeair.com for the latest offers and to book. For visitors travelling to destinations beyond Singapore, include a Stopover Holiday when booking your Singapore Airlines flights to save money on accommodation and admission to over 15 popular attractions. Rates start from just £19pppn, offering total savings over £220. Facebook.com/SingaporeAir
In the spirit of full disclosure, this was a press trip and therefore my flights, accommodation and activities were sponsored, but all opinions expressed here, are my own.