“Paging Mr Karunagaran, would you please make your way to the customer service counter. Thank you”
*Goes to counter*
“Sir, I have our check-in staff on the line, and they would like to upgrade you to Business Class, but need to confirm you’re willing to sacrifice your special meal in Premium Economy”
“Uhh… is that even a question?! Of course!”
Singapore Airlines, I can not thank you enough for this. There is seriously nothing I value more than a complimentary upgrade. As a thanks for the generous gesture, here’s a review of your outstanding, “First-Class-like” Business Class.
Carrier: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
Flight Number: SQ231
Route: SIN – SYD
Duration: 6h 55m
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (Refitted with next-gen interior)
Registration: 9V – SWN
Cabin Class: Business
Seat Number: 15K
After enthusiastically having my Premium Economy boarding card re-issued as a beautiful blue Business Class card, I headed to the gate and boarded nice and early. Upon boarding, I was warmly welcomed by the IFS (In-Flight Supervisor) and LS (Leading Steward), and was then escorted to my seat by an FSS (Flight Stewardess).
This particular aircraft is a slightly older 777-300ER, but has been completely refitted with the new Economy, Business and First Class cabins. Premium Economy was added and one row of First Class removed and replaced with an extra row of Business Class (way more profitable). As such, the seats and furnishings were all fresh and new, but the lighting, signage and other components were a little more dated. On the newest aircraft, mood-lighting is used from boarding onwards, however such an effect is not used on the older models until later on in the flight.
As is the usual, cabin crew offered passengers welcome drinks (consisting of juice, water and Taittinger Champagne), newspapers, magazines and hot towels, all before takeoff. As a red-eye sector, passengers have the option of having supper, breakfast or both. In this case, the crew greeted each passenger by name and took orders. Needing sleep, I opted just for a breakfast service. The CS (Chief Steward) was also using the new tablet system to look up passenger names and details.
Row 15 is one of two bulkhead rows (the otnerbeing row 11), and as such offers a lot more legroom and foot-space. Instead of a small well for your feet, you are given an entire bench, and when the bed is extended, it is just like First Class.
In Row 15, the foot area is, however, slightly offset, due to the galley and bathroom (the noise/ light was never a problem). Nonetheless, there is still an unbelievable amount of room.
After takeoff, the moodlighting was activated as the crew carried out drinks and meal services to those who requested it. They were then happy to assist passengers to convert the seat into a fully flat bed. Unlike many other airlines, Singapore Airlines’ Business Class converts to a bed by flipping down the seat-back, meaning you are left with a perfectly flat and super soft and plush bed surface.
The seat itself has heaps of storage compartments, including under the footwell area for larger items. To create more space, the centre overhead bins are removed in Business Class. Each seat also features incredible control over lighting, with ambient lighting, and three separate reading lights that can be adjusted for brightness and positioning.
The seat reclines a lot more than the older product, and features more comfortable positions.
After a few hours sleep, I was woken by the crew for breakfast (about 2 hours before landing), and offered a hot towel. Whilst I freshened up, the FSS offered to convert my bed back into a seat, and then commenced the meal service.
Several choices of pastries were first offered, followed by a fruit bowl and the main course (in this case, a tasty omelette).
SIA is really great with the little touches that make the trip so much better. I had finished my meal, but still had it on the table, and went to the bathroom. When I returned, I found everything cleared away and stowed, and my blanket was neatly folded and placed on my seat. The FSS then came by and said “Mr Ashan, I cleared away your drinks, but if you would like any more, please let me know.” They seriously know how to do it well!
After landing, and having to wait on the tarmac for a while (thanks to Sydney Airport’s continuous congestion), I bid the crew farewell, disembarked, and cleared immigration quickly, thanks to the Express Pass given to premium passengers.
Once again, and incredible SIA experience, and I absolutely can not wait for more! Thank you, SIA, for the upgrade. I value them greatly!