Product Regression: Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Frankfurt To Singapore
This trip review looks at Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Frankfurt To Singapore. Singapore is one of my most frequently flown airlines when it comes to long haul travel, along with Qatar. I’d flown them in Business and First extensively between 2018-2020 also so was very keen to see how they were performing post pandemic.
Late last year I found a decent one-way from from Frankfurt to Singapore for just under 1200 which pre covid might not have seemed much of a deal, but in current climate is a steal. For return, I was conscious to try and use up some miles that were piling up, which I had 6 months to plan and find seats for.
Another reason I booked this fare was though initially, it was supposed to be a 777, I was hoping it would switch to A380 and I would be able to upgrade to Suites. About a month later, the flight instead got switched to a A350, but I managed to select my favourite bulkhead seat so was happy enough with that. Ironically, the night before my flight, the aircraft actually did switch to an A380, which was exciting but meant I had little time to execute a points upgrade as I’d need to transfer miles. How would this all unfold?
Route: Frankfurt – Singapore
Flight No: SQ325
Departure Time: 21:55
Arrival Time: 17:15
Flight Duration: Blocked at 12 hours
Aircraft: Airbus A380
Seats/Suite: 11k Upper Deck
Singapore Airlines A380 Check-In
Since I live in London, I had to get a positioning flight into Frankfurt, which ended up super delayed, I almost missed this flight! Definitely a lesson learnt there !
Travelling with a carry-on luggage only helped and managed to check-in on Singapore’s app with a mobile boarding pass created the day before.
I was hoping to be able to upgrade my ticket to fly Singapore Suites again with the check-in agents at Frankfurt but given what happened, I was lucky to even to get on!
Being Star Alliance Gold, I had open invitation to use Lufthansa’s Senators Lounge, which I have previously used before. This is a slightly more upscale lounge than the normal Lufthansa Business Class lounge that I would have access to otherwise.
Off course, I had no time to actually visit the lounge at all in this occasion 🙁
Here are some pics from previous visits
Boarding Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Frankfurt To Singapore
I was literally the past passenger to board the aircraft with just a minute to departure. Boarding was through the lower deck where I was greeted by a Singapore Airlines flight attendant and escorted upstairs, through the 6 Suites and into my seat in the first row of Business Class.
There are a total of 82 Business Class seats spanning the entire upper deck, and on this flight every seat was occupied.
As is typical of Singapore, I was greeted by 2 other Singapore Girls with a friendly warm smile. As soon as I got to my seat, the purser asked what I would like to drink as they would be closing the doors for pushback very soon. It’s the little things like this that already set the tone and sets Singapore Airlines apart. In most other airlines they would have simply decided that welcome drinks service was done.
The cabin lighting being very industrial level of brightness on boarding did not help the pictures, which look somewhat off. They eventually turned it down a notch
What was immediately rather disappointing about my seat here was that I had selected this as an A350 Bulkhead, which are by far the best seats in the cabin. When the airline switched to A380 just for this specific flight the day before, I could no longer select a different seat ( my preferences would have been to select row 96 ) but it was not possible but I thought this would still be a good option anyway since its a bulkhead still. Well as you can see I was wrong. Not all Bulkheads are equal with Singapore Airlines! The narrow foot chubby is more or less the same
While this is the latest/most up-to date Singapore Airlines ( 2017J ) long haul business product, it doesn’t always look or feel it. The colour, materials and finish are largely the same as that of the 777/A350s ( 2013J ). They do have some nice decorate mood lighting on top corner of the consoles in each seat, which in lower cabin lighting illuminate and looks rather classy.
There are slight differences in the side console itself which makes some of the controls much more prominent, there is also a latched mirror right above that now
Just in the front of your knees you will find charging options behind another latch..
And as per usual with SQ, already placed in each seat was a pair of slippers, flight socks and eye shades. Singapore Airlines still do not provide pyjamas in Business Class.
I could not see any real difference in the IFE screen itself, which seems identical to the 2013J. That may have been a missed opportunity to keep this product looking more modern still as a 18/19″ monitors are no very common in Business Class.
Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Frankfurt To Singapore Service
We departed Frankfurt 22:15, 20 minutes later than scheduled. And service began about 20 minutes after take-off with post departure beverages.
For this flight I decided to be a little adventurous by taking a gamble with the catering. I did check the in-flight menu several weeks before but I couldn’t decide on anything so I wondered what a Gluten Free meal would be like. Given SQ catering is generally rather good, I thought I couldn’t go to wrong with this.
I was rather excited by the surprise element of it all.
Now, I assumed that because I pre-selected a special meal, that is why there was no menu found in my seat. But then turns out SQ has perhaps moved menu’s onto IFE menu!? But I forgot to actually check them again, just to compare.
The dinner service started with an amuse bouche..
Which was cherry tomato with mozzarella balls, some other cheese with sprinkles of beetroot and another vegetable that I wasn’t quite sure of, but it was nice.
Then I realised that this was my special meal substitute for the classic Singapore Airlines Satay. It’s one of my favourite aspects of SQ catering that I did not want to miss out on so I requested that too. The crew were initially concerned this might cause me allergies as it was not gluten free, so when I explained I wasn’t actually gluten intolerant, they quickly obliged..
I’m very glad I did not miss out on that because as always it is just delicious!
I did think it was odd that they had not set the table like they normally do.. but within minutes after I was done with the Satay the crew started setting the table with proper tablecloth. I wondered if they did this because passengers generally tend to make a mess with the Satay? That would explain why they handed out extra wipes too 🙂
The starter was a beetroot salad served with some Gluten free bread. I’m not the biggest fan of beetroot but I enjoyed that it was quite refreshing. The gluten free bread on the other hand, yuck! It honestly felt like I was eating sand or something!
Unfortunately for the main (I had little idea what it would be), things took a turn for the worse..
I was served a breast of overcooked chicken with absolutely no dressing or seasoning what so ever. It was rather shocking. I know I’m not gluten intolerant, but I am pretty sure there is plentiful options for gluten free friendly dressings? What happened?
I had just one bite of the chicken and the salad. Having already had 2 amuse bouche and a starter, I was not that hungry anymore anyway so did not complain. If I was hungry I probably would have enquired about some dressing. Though dressing alone would not have remedied an overcooked chicken breast.
As always, I did enjoy the normal garlic bread that I requested.
After a little breather the crew starting serving cheese and deserts from a trolley. I selected both..
By the time I finished that I was pretty full and content anyhow 🙂
Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Restrooms
SQ’s A380s have 4 large restrooms in the centre of the upper deck between the two main cabins, and then 3 further restrooms in the back of the upper deck.
It got quite busy at one point, where I had to wait about 30 seconds but the two other times I used it, there was at least 2 that were free.
They were all very well kept and stocked with your standard amenities
In addition to a unisex fragrance and hand lotion, there are quite a few draws stocked with dental kits, combs, women’s sanitary packs and proper hand towels!
SQ Business Class Amenity Kits
A recent development with Singapore Airlines is that they now officially offer Amenity kits for Business Class, something that was always rather strange about them in the past.
They still insist on being mindful of environmental waste so it seems they are not proactively offered on all flights. What was odd however is I had a friend take a regional flight to Tokyo with them recently where they were proactively offered, but not so on this 12 hour flight
Before bedtime I did request for a kit which the crew were then quick to bring out..
The kit comes in a compact leather pouch by British brand Penhaligon’s.
The contents were a facial mist, lip balm and hand cream.
As far as Business Class amenity kits go this will not win any awards here but to be fair, you have everything else you could need either handed out before or stocked in the bathrooms.
While I agree with the concept of reducing waste, I do think they could have added something like a Singapore branded pen and breath mints etc
Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class
When I was ready to sleep (at least try), I requested the crew to make up my bed and came back to a nicely made bed..
The cabin does look really beautiful when the glaring lights are dimmed. A huge difference between these A380 seats and SQ other long haul product are these seats actually recline and therefore recline back to form a bed rather than flip forward..
I don’t know if I was still carrying the stressful energy of rushing to catch this flight or the food but I found it hard to really relax at first and I felt like my heart was still beating fast when everyone else was sleeping, so I carried on watching a movie.
On that topic, SQ entertainment options were good as before, though not quite as good as British Airways selection and far off likes of Emirates..
Still there was quite a few things I found interesting enough to watch..
Around 2.30 am Frankfurt time felt sufficiently calmed sleepy to turn in for the night..
Unfortunately, I did not transition into a blissful sleep. I found the bed rather narrow and very very hard to feel fully comfortable.
Pre-Landing Breakfast Service
90 minutes to landing the breakfast service began.
First up was yogurts, some fresh fruits and croissants
For the main, it was some form of eggs with mushrooms, spinach and tomato that I rather enjoyed..
I could not fault anything with the breakfast as all other than that it was still on the bland side.
After I finished we will had an hour left so I finished up the movie I was watching and starting to watch our descent into Singapore
This was a good flight, but most certainly not my favourite or best Singapore Airlines Business flight I’d flown. The crew were delightful and charming as usual and the general service is very much that of a top class airline.
I cannot hold the poor dinner main course too much against them as I know most airlines struggle to cater special meals well. Having said that, what spurred me on to do this is I have previously ordered Vegetarian meals with SQ and they were amazing!
On the hard product, I could not help but feel this is actually my least favourite Singapore Airlines long haul product. Despite being newer, SQ seems to have taken 1 step forward from 2013J product and 2 step backwards ( hard bed and more narrow feel ). With over 9 hours left to the flight from when I attempted to sleep, I tried to get some good rest but it just did not happen.
Perhaps some of this may lay on me, but this was a night flight from Europe in precisely my normal bedtime, so I need to attribute majority of this to the product itself. To top off a hard seat to begin with, the seat/mattress padding was so thin it was almost like a sheet.
For a night flight I will most certainly be choosing the SQ A350’s or Suites until a new Business product is launched. If you do end up in this A380, I would recommend you at least try and pick row 96 which looks almost as spacious as 777 First and then request extra padding for the bed!