I was returning home from Indonesia and Malaysia via Singapore, and I decided to use Singapore Airlines again as I wanted to try their business class product onboard the Airbus A350. I ended up paying nearly 500 GBP (~650 USD) but that was with a large discount using KrisFlyer miles. A full price business class ticket would have cost approximately 1400 GBP (1800 USD) on Singapore Airlines.
The aircraft I was travelling onboard was a two and a half year old Airbus A350-900, registered 9V-SMC. I arrived in Singapore the previous night from Kuala Lumpur onboard their A350 Premium Economy product, which in my opinion was comfortable for the short flight. I arrived at Singapore’s Changi International Airport at 5:30AM and checked in without any difficulties. The check-in baggage allowance per person on this flight is 40kg. I immediately headed towards the renowned SilverKris lounge after going through security, and I have to say it was absolutely stunning upon entry. There was a traditional Batik design screen in the welcome foyer, and everyone seemed to wear a smile. A wide selection of hot and cold food, light snacks and beverages were on offer with bartender service, wireless internet connection, PCs, restrooms, showers, TVs, unique “Productivity Pods” which allow guests to work or get in touch with friends and family in privacy and comfort, and much more. However, there was no view of the tarmac from the lounge. There were also only a few staff members present, but the concept appears to centre around self-service.
Shortly after our gate was announced, the boarding process commenced with what was a fairly busy flight. I was greeted by a friendly crew member who led me to my seat. There are two separated cabins for business class, both in a 1-2-1 seating configuration. I had pre-selected my seat the day prior, 21K, which was in the latter cabin. Personally, I would recommend booking rows 11 and 19, as they are bulkhead seats and offer superior legroom. The pitch in their business class seats were 60 inches by 28 inches wide. Waiting at my seat, were a pair of socks, slippers and eyeshades, in addition to some advanced noise-cancelling headphones. Singapore Airlines does not offer an amenity kit on this route due to the relatively short flight duration. Once the boarding process had been completed, I was given a hot towel as well as a beverage of my choice. I chose the crisp apple juice which was quite refreshing. We pushed back from the gate at 7:45AM and taxiied to runway 20C. We took to the cloudy skies and made a sharp turn to the left en route for Mumbai.
Approximately thirty minutes after takeoff, the breakfast service commenced. Singapore Airlines offers a “Book the Cook” option, where you can choose a specific meal, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, from a plethora of options. This service is available on all Singapore Airlines flights departing Singapore but must be booked at least twenty-four hours prior to the flight. The entrée was a welcoming fruit platter consisting of freshly cut oranges, strawberries and grapes. The starter was then followed by my pre-ordered meal, which was a stunning Nasi Lemak: a Malay dish (considered by some to be Malaysia’s national dish), that you can find all around the world, especially in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, southern Thailand and several parts of Indonesia. It is a non-vegetarian meal made up of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, egg, chicken, and prawns in a tasty Javanese sambal sauce, accompanied by a side of dried fish, salted peanuts and cucumber slices. The meal was no-doubt delectable! Bread rolls with butter and another beverage of your choice was served shortly after.
The TV display was not touchscreen but could be controlled by a simple remote controller with its own slot on the side of the seat. Singapore Airlines’s excellent Inflight Entertainment System, ‘Krisworld’, had a wide variety of movies, TV shows, and music on offer. You could also sync your mobile phone/iPad to the IFE system, so that you could control the system directly from your device. I connected to the inflight WiFi, which offered up to 30MB free for Business and First Class passengers. Any additional data purchased came at a steep rate. Singapore Airlines has inflight WiFi equipped on their entire Airbus A350 and Boeing 777-300ER fleet, including some other select aircraft. However, there is no free 30MB of WiFi in Economy Class. The WiFi worked well and the connection was strong enough to use Instagram and stream YouTube videos on your device.
Beside the screen, were compact storage areas where you could place small items such as your mobile phone or glasses. There was also a mirror which I thought was a nice addition. Next to the seat was a larger storage area and the tray table. The sturdy tray table was big enough to work on with a laptop. The height of the table could also be increased or decreased with the simple push of a button. To the left of the seat was a reading light, headphone jack, universal adapter, USB port, and a connectable adapter for your own headphones. The aircraft had beautiful and ambient mood lighting which reduced jet lag and gave a pleasant atmosphere to the cabin. The cozy cabin felt very spacious and there were no overhead compartments above the middle seats.
You can recline the seat 180 degrees (fully flat) by pushing it forward. The make-do bed is accompanied by a thick blanket and two pillows. There was no meal served before landing in Mumbai as it was only a five hour flight. The airport was slightly flooded and heavy downpour was present, we also had a rough landing due to the gusty crosswinds. We landed at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 10:00AM local time, half an hour prior to the scheduled landing time.
Singapore Airlines is a five star airline and is well connected with many destinations around the world, giving you an abundance of options on where to fly to. The timings of their A350 flight to Mumbai (SQ422) is wonderful because you arrive in the morning and have the entire day ahead of you remaining. Jet Airways and Air India also fly this route: Jet Airways have 3 daily flights and use the Boeing 737 narrow-body aircraft whereas Air India have a single daily flight operated by the A320neo narrow-body aircraft. Singapore Airlines have two other additional flights operated by the Airbus A380 and the Airbus A330, being the only airline to currently operate the route with solely wide-body aircraft. Overall, the flight experience was beyond my expectations and having flown in all three SQ cabins on the A350 (Economy, Premium Economy and Business), I would whole-heartedly recommend it.