By Chris West
Senior Travel Consultant at Travel Nation
Posts (32) See Chriss profile
I was recently invited by Singapore Airlines for a tour of their aircraft and passenger lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 2. As a member of Travel Nation’s Business Class team, this is an ideal opportunity for me to get an update on Singapore Airlines’ services and facilities both onboard and on the ground – meaning I can offer our Business Class passengers up-to-date advice on this airline if they’re planning a trip. If you’re considering flying with them, here’s my Singapore Airlines Business Class review.
Our first visit was to the Singapore Business and First Class lounges in Heathrow T2. These lounges are available to Singapore’s Business & First Class passengers, Air New Zealand’s Business Class passengers and also KrisFlyer Gold Card members (Singapore Airlines’ frequent flyer club).
If you want to stay connected during your trip, you’ll be pleased to know there are fully supported laptop stations with USB ports throughout the lounge, plus comfortable seating for you to relax before your journey. As a parent to two youngsters, I was pleased to see find a small soft play area to keep the little ones busy. And if they tire of this area, there’s another soft play nearer to the shops in Terminal 2A.
The Business Class lounge is well equipped with a good selection of complimentary food and drink, so you’ll have a wide choice available whichever time of day you fly.
The first class lounge is smaller so much more intimate and with an even more exclusive feel. Again there is a selection of very comfortable seating and after sampling some of the drinks and food available I am happy to say it is great quality with good variety.
Logistically, one thing to note about Heathrow’s T2 is that the shops are all located in Terminal 2A whilst the lounges are in 2B, with a good 15-20 minute walk in between. My tip would be to arrive early if you plan to shop and make your purchases before heading to the lounge. However, if you’re a First Class passenger, you can benefit from a complimentary shuttle bus to save you the walk.
After being dragged from the comfortable lounge(!) we went for a tour of the Singapore A380. Singapore airlines were actually the first airline to fly the A380 plane nearly 10 years ago and in 2017 they will be doing a complete update to their service.
The economy seats are comfortable and the KrisWorld in-flight service is accessed via a touch screen. Handily, the entertainment service is accessible from the moment you board, so can start watching content straight away and continue until you land – a great boredom buster, especially for youngsters.
In terms of content; beside the great selection of the new movies and TV shows, there are some useful language courses which in the past I have used to teach myself some basic Vietnamese. It is worthwhile asking us to book you a seat on the upper level of the A380 as it is a bit quieter. Also, if you’re travelling with a companion, the upstairs level is more conveniently laid out in a 2-4-2 layout compared to 3-4-3 seating arrangement on the lower level, so you won’t need to step over so many people to get up.
Singapore Airlines’ Business Class seat is the widest seat to be found on any aircraft or airline. In fact, when we tested - we could actually fit two people within the seat relatively comfortably! The seat transforms through 180 degrees into a comfortable, fully flat bed. In the 2016 Skytrax awards, it was voted the number one Business Class seat - quite an accolade.
The newly refurbished Business class seats transforms the 28 inch seat into a 78 inch fully flat bed with cushioned headboard, linen, duvet and pillows. It will offer 2 seating positions; a ‘Lazy Z’ cradling seating option where your weight is centred and balanced; and the ‘Sundeck’ position that allows the base of the seat to extend so you can rest your legs on the ottoman.
Premium Economy, Business and First Class passengers are also offered the ‘Book the Cook’ service which allows you to reserve your main course meal up to 24 hours in advance and to choose from a wide variety of high quality fine dining meals.
The First Class cabins on the A380 are known as ‘suites’ and are basically mini, private rooms with huge TVs that seem like a personal cinema screen. As with the Business Class seats, if two people are travelling in First Class, I would recommend trying to book the middle two seats, so you can be close enough to chat and eat together. In First Class, these two seats can also be turned into a double bed if required.
Singapore Airlines operate an extensive network with routes from the UK into Australia, Asia and North America and from 2017, they are adding new routes to Canberra, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand.
Singapore Airlines’ hub is Changi airport in Singapore, regarded as one of the best airports in the world. Helpfully, baggage can be checked in for up to 24 hour transits in Changi. I have used this before, meaning we could spend one night in Singapore leaving our heavy cases at the airport and just taking our hand luggage with us for the night.
If you have a longer layover here, you can take up the 2 hour city bus tour that is available free for anyone with transits of 5 hours or more through Changi.
At Terminal 1 there is a swimming pool at the hotel which you can pay USD18 to access (soft drinks are included, free). There are quiet and dedicated business areas and several lounges (economy passengers can pay to access a couple of them).
Other benefits are a free cinema that operates 24/7 and butterfly garden located within the airport. Per person, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Silk Air passengers can receive a voucher for SGD20 that can be used towards duty free, the airport hotel and many of the retail outlets at Changi.
All in all, I can highly recommend Singapore airlines. The service and standard is exceptional and they are one of only 9 airlines in the world who are regarded as ‘5 star’. Their Business and First Class services nearly always rank in the top 5 for airline awards and they are considered a world leader in what flight comfort and service should be.
If you’d like to book a Singapore Airlines Business Class flight, please contact me or a member of our Business Class Team on 01273 224 535 or request a Business Class quote by email.
at Travel Nation
at Travel Nation
Senior Travel Consultant
With his studies in Geography and Master’s degree in development behind him, Chris set off to leave pretty much no mountain unclimbed. His passion for adventure has driven him to climb both Kilimanjaro and Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal and he and his wife have also traversed Canada and all the way down through the Americas by bike! Even starting a family didn’t really slow down Team West, as they took their little daughter on a campervan road trip through the US National Parks. Chris joined Travel Nation as a round the world specialist in 2011 and is also one of our Business Class consultants. He really enjoys helping other families put together trips they’ll never forget.