REVIEW: Singapore Airlines Business Class
by Dominic Lalk.
This review is based on the SQ866 flight from Singapore to Hong Kong.
All Singapore Airlines flights bound for Hong Kong depart from Singapore Changi International Airport's Terminal 3. Here, SQ has its renowned KrisFlyer lounge, with separate areas for first and business class passengers. Note that the KrisFlyer lounge is only accessible for passengers holding first and business class boarding passes. There is a separate lounge for economy class passengers holding Star Alliance Gold status frequent flyer cards.
The KrisFlyer business lounge is an expansive and sleek affair, with plenty of different seating options, a bar and a separate dining area where passengers can help themselves to a plentiful buffet comprising many, if not all, of the world's cuisines. I have visited the lounge on several occasions, including peak hours, and it never felt cramped.
Once on-board, I was escorted to my seat – 18A; a window in the 1-2-1-configured cabin – where I was offered a hot towel, welcome drink, slippers, as well as a wide-ranging selection of international newspapers and magazines, including two of my favourite titles – Monocle and Men's Health.
Business class on this B777-300ER-operated service seats 42 passengers across two cabins: a mini-cabin upfront, which is divided by a galley from the main business cabin spanning rows 14-22. If available, I would choose the mini-cabin. It is much quieter and feels a great deal more private.
The seat offers a recline of 132-degree and there are preset "Lazy Z" and "Sundeck" positions that you can reach at the touch of a button. There is ample of storage space for your personal items.
To convert the seat into a flat-bed you have to get out of it and flip it down – the cabin crew are happy to do it for you. As a bed it is 28 inches wide, two inches narrower than on the A380. The bed is comfortable, except the configuration has it that the space for the feet is on either the right or left side (where you can stretch to the full length of 198 cm), so you have to lie down diagonally.
After take-off, the crew came around with nuts and another round of drinks. Shortly after, lunch was served. For starters, there was jellyfish and marinated scallops on mesclun salad with a sesame soy dressing. This by itself could have represented an entire meal: The scallops were plump, seasoned well, and plentiful.
Next, there was a choice of Asian or Western dish, and of course, Singaporean all-time favourite: chicken rice. Alternatively, you can pre-order from the Book the Chef menu, which includes dishes including Lobster Thermidor and beef rendang.
I had the baked cod – a dish created by Zhu Jun of Shanghai's esteemed Jade Garden Restaurant – which was absolutely lovely. The fish was cooked beautifully. After the entrée was cleared, the crew came around with a dessert tray, holding a choice of warm apple raisin crumble, Movenpick tiramisu ice cream, fresh fruits, fine pralines, or a selection of various cheeses.
Throughout the flight, SQ further excelled with an impressive bar selection, including the 2007 Taittinger Millesime, three whites, two reds, a port, nine cocktails (try their signature Singapore Sling!), twelve TWG teas and various specialty coffees. I have not seen such a selection on any other airline, not even in first class.
For the remainder of the flight, I browsed the in-flight entertainment selection streamed on large personal 18-inch high-definition monitors – available in countless languages and comprising most of the latest Hollywood blockbusters and TV series.
The flight was memorable in many ways. SQ's company slogan, A Great Way To Fly, really holds up. I am often quick to criticize and point out flaws in product, food and beverage, and particularly service, and/or service attitude, but there was simply nothing to complain about, lest, perhaps, that we arrived in Hong Kong some 15 minutes late, which then was made up by an exceptionally quick baggage delivery (less than ten minutes). So, in conclusion, and in comparison to the competition, I say SQ does more than a great job; rather, it provides an exceptional experience.