Review | Singapore Airlines New Next-Gen Business (Singapore – Sydney)

The business class that outshines other airlines’ first class!

Flight Details:

Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Flight Number: SQ 231
Route: Singapore (SIN) – Sydney (SYD)
Duration: 7h 20m
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Registration: 9V-SNB
Cabin Class: Business Class
Seat Number: 11A
Date: 29/01/16

After flying in from London, we had several hours transit at the most incredible airport in the world, before boarding this sector. The SilverKris lounge at Terminal 3 is beautiful, yet lacks a few features. There are no sleeping areas, massages, spa treatments or hair treatments, that are all fairly common at other airlines’ flagship lounges. The Business section is very large, with plenty of lounge seating, magazines, newspapers and TVs. There is also an IT centre with iMacs. A new addition are the Samsung Galaxy Tabs, which are available for use in the afternoons and evenings. Passengers can borrow one from an agent, and return it prior to leaving. The agent keeps hold of your boarding card so you are unable to board the aircraft if you decide to steal the device!

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Boarding was very prompt, and I was quickly welcomed by the crew who took my coat. As passengers continued to board, I noted that the aircraft was very, very new. -SNB had only been flying for less than 3 months, and everything looked so fresh and crisp. No wear or tear was visible anywhere. Being new, teething problems are expected. As the steward cleared the hot towels, the cabin lights throughout the entire aircraft suddenly flashed through every single colour possible. It was like a disco, and the entire cabin very rapidly changed through blue, red, green, purple etc. It was quite hilarious! Around this point, there were several SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) people onboard, who were walking around and toying with the computer systems to solve the issue. It looked as if they simply turned it off and on again. As they did so, all the indicator signs (seat belts etc.) went off and on a few times, accompanied by a ridiculous amount of ‘dings’ and a high pitched tone from the smoke alarms. It was honestly quite funny to watch the SIAEC people and the IFS and CS look all confused and uncertain as to what was happening!

Before pushback, the FA came up to me to confirm that I had ordered the ‘Chicken Breast’ through ‘Book The Cook’. However, I had not placed any order for it! I originally ordered a Dim Sum, however I had cancelled it well in advance of the flight. Somehow, I had been put down for the chicken breast! Anyway, she managed to sort it out and find me a normal meal after take-off.

As this is a red-eye sector, passengers in Business and First are given the choice of dining just after takeoff, just before landing or both. I opted for the light supper after departure (SIA’s famous satay) and a continental breakfast before touch down. The satay was incredible as usual.

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Following the meal, I had the bed turned down, and slept for about 4 hours. In the morning, I was awoken by the LSS and given a hot towel, before the breakfast service commenced. the continental selection involves tea/ coffee as well as fruit and pastries.

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As the cabin lights came on, I took time to have a look at the new Business. I have only ever flown the next-gen 777 in First Class and Premium Economy, so this was the first experience of Business. I can say with absolute certainty that it is worlds ahead of the A380 seat!

For a start, the seat is more appropriately sized, so it is not overly wide in the seated position. This allows for extra storage areas to the side. There is also a larger privacy shield on the side of the aisle. The seat faces forward, but is features a footwell to the side, for feet. This arrangement permits a 1-2-1 configuration without herringbone arrangement, a real plus for the airline. The new seat positioning and shape means that in bed mode, there is no massive ‘lump’ where the footwell of the rear seat protrudes. There is just a small hump, yet it is hardly noticeable. This allows for a far more comfortable sleep. One of the other downside with the A380 business is that the bed lacks support at the foot end, and often it can be slightly angled or bumpy. The new construction allows for a perfectly plush and flat bed surface with no uncomfortable points. The foot flip-over part is actually wider than the older seat, and is especially effective for the bulkhead seats, where the bed size is almost equivalent to First Class. The cabin decor is also incredible. The houndstooth pattern is seen in large print on the pillows, and in a very fine print across the bed-head, cabin carpet, galley floor and bathroom floor. All in the details!

The seat also has incredible lighting control, with three differently angled lights to the side of the bed-head (each with adjustable brightness). There is also a reading light on the opposite side, as well as the ceiling reading light. An ‘ambient’ light switch controls the lighting below the foot bench and in the storage areas, making for a subtle and serene environment in the dark. Absolutely incredible seat!

Newer lavatories, featuring responsive sensor taps, and a leather toilet cover.

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