Review: Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suites – Regional (HKG-SIN)

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As embarrassing as it is to admit, there are times when the thought of flying in a premium cabin that most could only imagine experiencing doesn’t get me excited any more.

When I know the flight ahead of me will be one of copious note taking and attempts (often in vain) to take non-blurry pictures in near darkness, it can be hard to focus on how lucky I am and what pleasant surroundings I’m in (comparatively speaking).

If that sounds a bit spoiled it’s probably because I am.

After taking more Business & First Class flights in the past 24 months than the vast majority of the world’s population would take in a dozen lifetimes, I’ve got accustomed to a certain level of comfort in an aircraft and I sometimes take it for granted….but I genuinely don’t mean to.

There was never any danger of me taking this flight for granted.

This was my first time experiencing Singapore Airlines First Class….and it wasn’t just First Class….it was Singapore’s “Suites Class” on the A380 and, waiting in the Hong Kong KrisFlyer Lounge, I was almost giddy with anticipation.

a sign with numbers and a number on it

Boarding was scheduled for 13:55 and Joanna and I left the lounge early enough to ensure that we were one of the first onboard (pictures of an aircraft interior always look better when they’re free of passengers!).

We got to the gate at 13:48 only to find boarding had already started.

a man standing at a counter in a building

a sign with white arrows and blue text

Singapore Airlines First Class A380 Suites

Singapore Airlines’ A380 First Class cabin shares the lower deck with the Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins and, as one of the gate agents escorted us to the aircraft door, she explained (in a very apologetic tone) that both Economy Class and First Class will be boarding through the same door on this flight.

a screen shot of a computer

It turns out that Singapore Airlines normally uses Gate 15 for its A380s in Hong Kong and Gate 15 has 3 jet bridges. Today we were departing from Gate 23, which only has two jet bridges, hence the need to board the whole bottom deck through the same door.

This really wasn’t a big deal (or any kind of deal) to us…especially as yours truly just wanted to get his first look at the suites 🙂

Upon arriving at the aircraft door a flight attendant took over from gate agent and escorted us to our suites.

a hallway with doors and seatsSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

Boarding + 1 minute: A flight attendant asked if I’d like a glass of champagne (Singapore Airlines offers the fantastic choice of Dom Perignon or Krug ) and a minute later a glass and a bottle of Krug were in my suite.

a bottle of champagne next to a glass of champagneSingapore Airlines First Class Suites Offer The Best Choice Of Champagne In The Sky

Despite Singapore airlines offering suites side-by-side in the centre of the cabin….

a close up of a seatSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

….and despite the fact that they can be open to each other….

a table in a vehicleSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

a table with a couple of seatsSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

….I chose to book Joanna and I into window suites:

a room with a chair and deskSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

My suite was suite 2F

a close up of a labelSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Boarding Pass

Boarding + 3 mins: A flight attendant offered me a menu to see if I wanted to choose an appetiser and a soup before my main course (which I had pre-ordered via the book the cook service).

Here’s the full Singapore Airlines menu for the flight:

If it doesn’t appear as if there’s all that much choice on the food front in that menu don’t be fooled.

Singapore Airlines’ “Book The Cook” service is one of the more amazing things you’ll see served up by and airline and, if you take a look a the Book The Cook webpage, you’ll see just what an incredible selection there is from which customers can pre-order.

Boarding + 12 mins: The inflight manager came around to apologise for the number of people walking through the cabin but, in the midst of taking all my pictures, I hadn’t really noticed and it really wasn’t an issue.

Boarding + 17 mins: A flight attendant asked if I’d like the same drink after take off or if I’d like to change to something else. I decided one glass of Krug was enough for now so I asked for a sparkling water.

Boarding + 20 mins: Steaming hot towels were brought around.

With most of my photos taken (at least for the time being) I started having a look around the Singapore Airlines First Class suite.

a brown and white seatSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

There are no overhead bins in the cabin so the primary storage area is under the ottoman in front of the seat.

a cushion on a bedSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

Next to the seat is a small storage area where the Bose Headset is found (except the lid doesn’t close on the storage area when the headset is in there).

an overhead view of an airplane seatSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

There are two small cubicles located either side of the IFE screen. One with a mirror and the other houses a small holder…..

a mirror on a wall

…..neither is big enough to store much.

No storage is allowed under the window ledge so, bar putting items on the ottoman, that’s just about it for storage space for larger items.

a carpeted floor with a white wallSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

a sticker on a wallSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

There are a few more storage areas…but they’re on the small side.

There’s a small “hole” alongside the magazine rack next to the ottoman….

a seat belt in a holderSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…and there’s a small area for garbage next to the seat….

a wooden object with a lid openSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…..but that’s pretty much it on the storage front.

The IFE screen is big and is housed in the wall ahead of the seat….

a tv on a wallSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

….while the controller is found on a retractable cable in the wall next to the seat.

a seat with a wood panel and a brown arm restSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

This area is also where the light controls, the do not disturb button and the flight attendant call button are to be found.

a close up of buttons on a wood panelSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

Boarding + 27 mins: The aircraft doors were closed and there was a welcomed onboard announcement from one of the cabin crew.

Boarding + 35 mins: We pushed back from the gate right on time and the safety video played.

a screen on a wallSingapore Airlines Safety Video

The power port, headphone socket, 2 USB ports and an audio input are concealed under a flap by the window.

a close up of a deviceSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

If you’re in one of the seats in the centre of the cabin the power port and other inputs are in the dividing wall between the seats.

The power port is not of the universal type (although a US-style plug works) so passengers will need to make sure they have an adapter.

Boarding + 40 mins: One of the flight attendants came around to take away my champagne glass before for take off.

Befor I forget to mention it I should note this: As we boarded I noticed that the suites in rows 2 and 4 are missing a window. They only have 2….

a window with two windows in an airplaneSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…..compared to the 3 windows you’ll find in the suites in rows 1 and 3:

a window with blue sky and cloudsSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

The seat controls couldn’t be more basic…..

a seat with buttons on the armrestSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

….but they were more than adequate for the job as the bed is a completely separate device…so the seat only reclines.

I wasn’t sure if I’d get a chance to try the bed out on this flight (it was scheduled to be a little under 4 hours long) but I could see that it was designed to come out of the wall behind the seat.

a brown and white chairSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

A small-ish pillow, a bolster and a blanket were already on the ottoman when I boarded…..

a pillow on a bedSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

a white and black folded clothes in a plastic bagSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…..and there was a nice note card in the suite too:

a sign on a tableSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

Boarding + 55 mins: The Captain announced that there were still 6 or 7 aircraft ahead of us so we wouldn’t be taking of for another 10 to 15 mins….not really a problem when you’re seated in a seat like the one I was in!

Boarding + 1 hr 7 mins: The Captain asked the crew to take their “take off positions” as our A380 lumbered around a left turn on to the runway.

A minute later we were in the air.

The suite has just two lights. One to the left or right of the seat (depending on which side of the aircraft you’re on) and one to the left or right of the ottoman (alongside a coat hook):

a close up of a seatSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

Take off + 12 mins: The seatbelt sign was extinguished and I got up to check on Joanna (in the suite behind me) who seemed more than happy with her surroundings 🙂

Take off + 14 mins: A flight attendant brought me some slippers, an eye mask and socks….

a table with a bag and a hat on itSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…there was to be no amenity kit on the flight.

Take off + 17 mins: The glass of sparkling water I had requested as my post take-off drink was delivered and the inflight manager came around again to say hi and to check all was well – it was.

Take off + 26 mins: A flight attendant that I was getting to know pretty well by this point brought a dish of warm nuts.

a bowl of nuts on a table

Take off + 32 mins: Hot towels were offered.

Take off + 37 mins: A flight attendant came around to open up the tray table and to begin dressing it for meal service.

The table pulls out from under the window…..

a table in a planeSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…and then flips open to form a sizeable area. You can see the size compared to an iPhone 6 in the picture below.

a cell phone on a tableSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

And this is what it looks like when dressed for meal service.

a table with plates and glasses of water and a forkSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

Take off + 42 mins: A breadbasket was offered which even had garlic toast in it but I settled for a couple of bread sticks.

food on a plateSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

Take off + 42 mins: My first course was served. I had chosen not to have an appetizer but I had ordered a soup – chicken consome with mushroom tortellini.

a bowl of soup with carrots and greensSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

a bowl of soup with carrots and a piece of meatSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

The soup was served at a very good temperature and it was flavorful….and the bread sticks were good too.

The empty bowl was cleared away moments after I had finished.

Take off + 1 hr 7 mins: My main course of lobster thermidor with mashed potato, asparagus, red peppers and yellow squash was served.

a plate of food on a tableSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

a lobster with cheese and mashed potatoes on a plateSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

The lobster was very nicely done but the big surprise was how well the vegetables were cooked – they were perfect and easily the best cooked vegetables I’ve had in the air.

Once again the plates were cleared promptly and….

Take off + 1 hr 22 mins: A flight attendant offered me a choice of desserts – Chinese walnut tart with vanilla ice cream or mango sorbet.

I chose the former and, in a matter of minutes, it arrived:

a plate of food on a tableSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

a plate of dessert with ice cream and a scoop of ice creamSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

The tart was a little hard and difficult to break up but it tasted ok – nothing special but it was nice.

Take off + 1 hr 34 mins: I was offered cheese and biscuits, which I declined, but I did choose to try out an illy Guatemalan coffee – the coffee menu onboard is spectacular so I had to see how well it was prepared and served at 30,000+ feet in the air.

a cup of coffee on a saucerSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Meal Service

It was very, very good.

The service throughout the meal was excellent – prompt without hovering and there were regular refills of water.

Overall the meal was very good – it wasn’t amazing or mind-blowing in any way but it was a cut above what you’ll get on a lot of airlines…and let’s not forget that this was a regional flight. As I’ll show when I review the flight between Singapore and London, things are slightly different on long-haul.

In between courses I had played around with the inflight entertainment options.

Singapore Airlines offers 294 movies, 688 TV shows and 850 CDs on board so it’s unlikely you’ll struggle to find something to entertain you.

a magazine on a tableSingapore Airlines First Class Suites – Entertainment Selection

The movie choices seemed pretty good but it was the fact that the airline offers full seasons of 32 TV shows as part of its TV selection that impressed me most.

Time to binge watch Game of Thrones 🙂

Because the suites are truly enclosed (except for right at the top) you get more privacy that in just about any other airline cabin (Etihad’s First class being another that offers this much privacy).

The blinds on the suite’s windows pull down from the inside…..

a row of white doorsSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

…and from the outside the suites resemble an old-fashioned train compartment (and I mean that in a positive way!)

a row of white and brown drawersSingapore Airlines First Class Suites

Because the bed comes out of the wall in the suite the chair doesn’t have to go flat… it doesn’t recline past 60 degrees (or thereabouts)…and I’m not a big fan of that. This means that your choice for watching TV (if you want to recline to any real degree) is either 60 degree recline (from the chair) or 180 degree recline from the bed…there’s nothing in between.

Maybe I’m the only one who’s like this…. but I like falling asleep watching a movie or TV show and I find that the easiest way to do that comfortably is to be raised a few inches above horizontal – you can’t do that here.

Ok, it’s not a hugely massive thing considering the rest of the surroundings…but I criticised the appalling Virgin Atlantic A330 Upper Class seats for the very same thing so it’s only fair that I mention it here too.

Also, while I’m feeling in a critical mood….

While the Bose headset was a nice, shiny new-style headset….

a black case with a logo on itSingapore Airlines First Class Headset

a black case with headphones in itSingapore Airlines First Class Headset

…the IFE controller was neither of those things.

a remote control on a chairSingapore Airlines First Class IFE Controls

a black remote control with buttonsSingapore Airlines First Class IFE Controls

It looked old-fashioned (because it is) and it wasn’t particularly responsive.

I’m pretty sure these are the same style controllers that were in the old American Airlines 777s – the ones with the angle flat seats, 7-across seating in Business Class and 1990’s decor.

The Singapore Airlines A380 offers inflight WiFi…..

a man sitting in an airplane with a laptopSingapore Airlines A380 Wi-Fi

…and inflight mobile services:

a brochure on a tableSingapore Airlines A380 Mobile Services

On a flight of this length I didn’t have time to try either of those out…but I knew I’d be flying in the same cabin in a few days time so I made a note to check them out properly then (look out for that review).

Take off + 1 hr 43 mins: The cabin crew brought around more hot towels

Take off + 1 hr 55 mins: As a wrap-up of the meal service the flight attendants offered chocolates.

a plate of chocolates on a tableSingapore Airlines First Class

That was pretty much it for the main interactions and events on this flight. I had my suite doors closed with the blinds down as I took a break from note taking and watched some TV.

Take off + 2 hrs 37 mins: Our Captain announced that we would shortly begin our descent into Singapore.

a body of water with land and clouds in the sky

Take off + 2 hr 42 mins: The crew came around with mints.

a candy wrapped in plasticSingapore Airlines First Class

Take off + 3 hrs 15 mins: We landed in Singapore – now that was a quick flight!



I really hate writing negatives after flying in a cabin like this as it makes me seem so ungrateful…but this is a review and if people are going to be handing over cash for this kind of flight they deserve to get the whole picture.

  • The suite is looking a little dated – the wood panelling in my suite was in good condition but it doesn’t look modern, the seat controls were old-fashioned as were the switches to operate the lights in the suite.
  • The IFE controller is antiquated.
  • I would definitely prefer to have a seat that reclines further.
  • The lack of a real amenity kit seems a pointless saving and one that could make the airline appear cheap. Krug and Dom Perignon are served alongside lobster thermidor so would it really be an expense too far to carry 16 First Class amenity kits?


  • The service was excellent – attentive without being overbearing
  • The meal was very good and the option of the Book The Cook service is fantastic.
  • Having the choice between Dom Perignon and Krug is a wonderful luxury to have.
  • The privacy afforded by the suite is amazing – you can really feel like you’re in your own little room when the blinds are down.
  • The inflight entertainment selection was excellent – I wish more airlines offered as many full TV seasons as Singapore Airlines did on this flight.

I should note that most of the negatives are already being taken care of by Singapore Airlines as it will soon be unveiling its newly refitted A380s complete with new First Class suites – I doubt that anything will be old or old-fashioned in those!

Although this was a very short flight in which to try to enjoy all that Singapore Suites offer I definitely got a taste for what it’s all about….and it’s very good indeed.

I think I would have been monumentally disappointed had this been my only opportunity to try out the First Class suite as the time passed so very quickly. Fortunately I knew I had a 12+ hour flight in the same suite coming up in a few days time so this experience just whet my appetite for that flight to come.