Singapore Airlines New A380 Suites – Full Details & Thoughts

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Yesterday I was traveling and, because airlines somehow just know when I have almost no internet access and therefore can’t post much, Singapore Airlines revealed its new A380 Suites Class product to the world.

I managed to post the images Singapore Airlines has released but I also promised a more in-depth look and my thoughts on the new product….so here those are.

Singapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

Here, once again, is the main image we’ve been given of the new Singapore Airlines A380 Suites:

a chair in a planeSingapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

I’ve already heard this product compared to a dentist’s waiting room a few times and that seems a bit harsh – I don’t think it looks stunning but it also doesn’t look anything like any dentist’s waiting room I’ve ever been in.

The design clearly brings back the old-style Lufthansa First Class product where passengers didn’t have to choose between a seat and a bed – you got both.

The new suites will be offered on the top deck of the Singapore Airlines A380 (the old suites were on the bottom deck) and there will only be 6 of them (compared to 12 of the old suites that are currently offered) – booking suites with points just got a lot harder.

Here’s what Singapore Airlines has to say about their latest First Class product:

With six Suites tucked spaciously within the front cabin of the upper deck, customers will experience a sense of exclusivity and intimate privacy aboard the A380.

Behind its artistically-designed sliding door lies a personal oasis complete with lavish furnishing and finishes. Each Suite is furnished with a separate full-flat bed with adjustable recline and plush leather chair, enabling customers to lounge comfortably in the chair or rest in bed without the need to convert the bed from a sitting position. For couples travelling together, the beds in the first two Suites of each aisle can be converted to form a double bed. 

a bed with white sheets and folded shirts on itSingapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

a man and woman on a bed in an airplaneSingapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

When not in use, the bed can be stowed completely, creating even more personal space within each Suite.

Each seat is upholstered by world-renowned Poltrona Frau in fine leather, and is fully adjustable using an electronic control side panel which can accommodate a variety of sitting and lounging positions. The swivel capability of the chair (between 135 and 270 degrees) with recline up to 45 degrees provides added flexibility for dining and relaxation.

I have to confess that I’ve really never understood the desire to join two aircraft suites together to form a double bed – the walls of the suites may be a decent height but the suites are still not fully enclosed and it’s not exactly all that private – so I’m not about to get excited about the fact that you can now do this on Singapore Airlines.

Something I can understand is the desire for couples to be able to dine together on long-haul flights and, for some reason, that’s exactly the one thing you can no longer do in the new Singapore Airlines suites.

In the old suites this isn’t an issue – the table in each suite is the size of a small Greek Island and the main seat in the suite has a good-sized ottoman directly opposite it and on the other side of Zorba’s table:

SIngapore Airlines First Class Suites A380A table in the current Singapore Airlines Suites

The fact that the new Suites seat can swivel is a nice touch but it’s worth pointing out that the First Class seats in American Airlines’ old (and now non-existent) 777 First Class cabins could swivel too…albeit not quite so much.

Here’s another thing I don’t like – the seat will only recline 45 degrees….or at least I think it may only recline 45 degrees.

The product specifications Singapore Airlines has published shows the seat with a recline of 135 degrees……

a screenshot of a phone

…while the press release (which I’ve published word for word) talks of a 45 degree recline….so which is it?

As someone who likes to fall asleep to a movie or a TV show a 45 decree recline isn’t enough for me to have a comfortable sleep but, If I choose the bed for my sleep (which, lets face it, I’m going to do), the TV screen is going to be directly across from my head and not towards my feet where it should be. That’s not going to be a comfortable angle at which to watch the IFE.

This is very poor design.

Singapore Airlines goes on to say….

Each Suite also has a 32-inch full HD monitor that can swivel for the different viewing angles in seat and bed modes, a full-sized personal wardrobe, customised handbag stowage compartment, amenity box lined with soft leather, specially designed carpet and a feature wall with mood lighting – all exquisitely crafted to give a touch of luxury and intimacy.

a close up of a shelfSingapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

A full-sized wardrobe sounds very nice but I wonder just how practical the personal storage areas around the seat will be when it comes to storing the items passengers will want to have to hand throughout a flight? Will my 15” laptop fit into anywhere convenient? Possibly….but I can’t see where.

Passengers in Singapore Airlines Suites Class will also have access to two washrooms right in the nose of the A380.

The first will be a good size…..

a bathroom with a sink and mirrorSingapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

…while the second looks huge and appears to have a full vanity unit:

a bathroom with a sink and a toiletSingapore Airlines New A380 Suites Class

They look good.

Lastly you’ll probably want to know what amenities Singapore Airlines will be offering in Suites Class:

Suites customers on selected flights will receive an amenity kit with toiletries and perfumes or a unisex kit containing lifestyle items, specially designed and created under the co-brand partnership with Lalique. Each of the separate his-and-hers amenity kits will consist of a fragrance, lip balm and a specially designed pouch. In addition, the ladies’ set includes a face moisturiser and hand cream while the men’s set includes a body lotion and aftershave balm.

The unisex kit containing lifestyle items is designed as a collectible item, featuring a Lalique candle, scented soap, lip balm and body lotion. For a limited period only, the lifestyle kit will also include a miniature ornamental crystal fish from Lalique. The design of all three amenity kits will be refreshed regularly.

There will also be….

[A] stylish sleeper suit, slippers, eyeshades and socks, customers can lounge in comfort before drifting into peaceful sleep in their private cabin in the sky.

Which Aircraft Will Have The New Suites & On What Routes Will They Fly?

At first the new Singapore Airlines Suites will be found on the 5 new Airbus A380s that the airline is in the process of receiving right now….but the remaining 14 A380s will also eventually get the new Suites too.

The retrofit work is scheduled to start in “late 2018” with completion targeted for 2020.

The first route to see the new Suites will be the Singapore – Sydney route (flight numbers SQ221/232) starting on 18 December 2017.

a map of australia and the south pacific

No further routes have yet been announced but I’d guess that the Singapore – London route is a shoe-in to get the new suites sooner rather than later.

Overall Thoughts

It looks good but I’m definitely not blown away.

With Qatar Airways offering QSuites in Business Class and even Delta offering enclosed suites in its new Business Class, I was expecting Singapore Airlines to go all out to bring out a product that we’d all stare at with admiration.

But, instead of staring in admiration, I find myself wondering if the airline has missed a trick here. – it feels a bit bland.

I’ve no doubt that the food and drink on board will be wonderful as always (as the service will be too) but if you’re a regular First Class flyer are you really going to be saying “wow” when you walk into one of these new suites?

I don’t think you are.

With Business Class cabins getting better and better on most airlines (BA’s is still terrible and Emirates has a shocking product on its 777 aircraft) there is an even bigger need nowadays for First Class cabins to be exceptional.

Although this cabin is clearly a step up from Business Class I don’t think the step up is big enough to warrant the premium you’ll have to pay over Business Class if you want to fly in the Suites….and I think that will be what kills this product off in the end.

Here’s a good way to sum up how I feel about the new Suites:

I’ve been trying to decide if I should use my limited supply of KrisFlyer Miles to try out the new Suites or to try out the new Singapore – New York service (when it launches) and, up until now, I really couldn’t make up my mind.

But now I know – it’s the Singapore – New York trip for me.

I’ve recently flown in the old suites and I don’t see anything in these new Suites that I absolutely have to try…so why waste the miles? I’d rather see how the airline handles what will be the world’s longest flight.


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