THE FLIGHT: I flew in the Business Class cabin on flight SQ 317, operated by an A380-800 series aircraft. Flying time was 13 hours and 10 minutes.
THE CHECK-IN: There were long lines for most check-in desks at Terminal Two, including for my flight. I was grateful I was flying Business Class and stood in line for less than 10 minutes. As I would be in transit in Singapore I wasn’t required to fill in any forms for that country and wasn’t asked by the check-in staff to show any vaccination status forms, or the Australia Digital Passenger Declaration I had to fill out and print off for my arrival in Sydney.
THE BOARDING: I had an hour or so in Singapore Airline’s SilverKris Lounge, which had a selection of warm food and light snacks. Although mid-morning, there was none of the usual breakfast fare, bar a bacon roll that, with Covid rules still in place, was served to your seat. Masks were required whilst walking around the lounge. It was a short walk to the gate, where I headed straight onto the aircraft. Two members of staff, who knew my name and had been briefed that I was a flying to Australia and the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) as a guest of Tourism Australia, greeted me with smiles. I was told, in a whisper, that we would be flying a more southern route than usual, “due to activity over Ukraine and Putin’s display of military hardware that celebrates ‘Victory Day’ and the defeat of Nazism in 1945”. Perhaps too much information!
THE SEAT: The entire top deck of the plane was dedicated to Business Class. My window seat (95A) looked classy, with its premium hand-stitched full-grain leather seat and warm purple, grey and yellow colours. It immediately felt spacious and ultra-comfortable, with multiple compartments for stowing my essentials and cleverly-placed small shelves for drinks, earphones, phone, etc. A compact mirror was also located on the seat shell. My rucksack fitted snuggly under the seat in front of me. The foot cubby was positioned at an angle that points towards the window, which took a bit of getting used to. Seat arm ‘wings’ also made it feel very private. Watching high-definition movies on an 18″ touchscreen monitor and with oversized noise-cancelling headphones was a joy. When it came to sleep, flattening the seat into a bed was quick and easy, with a plush pillow, duvet and sheet which fitted over the head rest, and duvet within easy reach. Some centre seats in the cabin opposite me folded into a double bed for two – if required. A free WiFi package of 100M is available to Business passengers, which I quickly used up sending texts, and additional packages were available to purchase.
THE SERVICE: This was superb from start to finish. I felt spoilt and made to feel more than just another customer. I was gifted an amenity kit, from the first Class cabin, which included a 30ml bottle of men’s cologne, Encre Noire by Lalique.
The dining experience was fabulous. Lunch was a sumptuous affair of king prawn and salmon starter with satay sauce, followed by roasted halibut in parsley sauce with perfectly-cooked sautéed green beans and roast potatoes.
Desert was apple cinnamon tart and hazelnut ice cream. Snacks such as a salmon and cheese roll, crisps and nuts were available through the flight and an equally delicious breakfast, with a fresh fruit bowl and egg-filled croissant, was served two hours before landing.
THE VERDICT: Stunning! Attentive and conscientious service with lots of smiles throughout, an extraordinary high standard of delicious cuisine and a seat with all mod-cons, comfort and space made this a memorable and very enjoyable flight.
THE DETAILS: The lead-in return Business Class fare between London Heathrow and Singapore is £3,472, Heathrow to Sydney £5,103. singaporeair.com
By Steve Hartridge