Greetings from Sydney!
I had the fortune to experience the new Singapore Airlines Suites, launched on the 19th of Dec, from Singapore to Sydney on 23rd Dec. It is amazing (sadly with another medical emergency) but let’s start from the beginning.
Planning for a December trip during the school holidays is never easy. This year, I decided to visit Melbourne, but I just had to see the Sydney Opera House (which reminds me of the great Australian soprano Joan Sutherland).
Therefore, I looked for availability on Krisflyer in September and found space for 2 on 24 Dec in Business Class on SQ 221. Meanwhile, I started reading about the new Suites and Business Class and then realised I was supposedly booked in the new Business Class.
Trying my luck, I searched for Suites Saver availability (none found by Aaron) and waitlisted for them on the 23 and 24 Dec.
I was getting all ready to review the new Business Class when I received the email on 20 Dec that my waitlist for 2 has cleared.
What was possibly more unbelievable was that I was uncertain about confirming the booking at first, and was immediately “convinced to” with strong language by my fellow guestwriters.
So after confirmation, I looked at the seats and was somewhat saddened.
The remaining seats were 2A and 3F in a full cabin. Therefore, I would not be able to get the double bed in 1A/2A or 1F/2F!
Oh well. Maybe the passenger in 1A would cancel later.
The flight was departing from Terminal 3, and I arrived at the airport with trepidation. I was filled with excitement from the opportunity to be among the first to experience the product and tempered by the fear of a last-minute equipment swap.
Upon checking in, I enquired about the passenger in 1A and was told she had checked in before I did. There was only one last chance. I would board early and ask her for a swap to 3F before she settled down.
Collecting my golden ticket, I found my way to The Private Room which was serving a special Xmas menu and I ordered 3 of the items.
I wasn’t particularly impresssed by the quality or presentation of the food, but I had other more important things on my mind.
I did spend a little time admiring the Xmas tree before rushing to the gate.
I got myself first in line and waited impatiently for boarding to be announced. The Suites are located at the front of the upper deck and I was given a warm welcome by our legendary SQ cabin crew. The lady in 1A arrived soon and she was agreeable to swap out of 1A to another suite!
The fabled double bed is now within reach!
Much more relaxed, I started taking pictures of the Suites and the cabin.
Of course, a 360 must be taken to show the splendour.
There are 2 toilets for the 6 Suites passengers and the larger can accommodate at least 3 people inside.
The pyjamas given are from Lalique but my friend found the fabric prickly and so I wore only the slippers with his advice.
Having a glass of champagne for takeoff seems mandatory for flight reports, despite that I don’t drink.
And so, I ordered my usual iced Milo and was challenged prior to the flight by my MileLion team to ask for a Milo Dinosaur or a Milo Godzilla.
I shall reserve my comments on the end result.
Dinner was fair, but I found the beef too tough and didn’t eat much because I wasn’t feeling too well either.
We started with caviar and then the cream of broccoli (my mistake) and a salad.
The beef was from the Book The Cook “Wagyu Sirloin” and was followed by dessert which I declined.
With that, I asked for the bed to be set up and the process did seem a little awkward, which is not unexpected due to the limited experience with the new product.
The white bedsheets completed the look and viola! The double bed in the sky emerges once more!
Unfortunately, the hard divider/partition problem remains unresolved and it is still more like 2 single beds.
With the bed made, we invited the other passengers in the cabin for pictures, as well as, with the cabin crew. After that, I dozed off to a short nap,
Woke up to an announcement asking for medical assistance and the message appeared on the TV screen as well. Among my thoughts then was “NOT AGAIN?!”
The distressed passenger was in Economy Class and another doctor (a lady, and yes, there is still discrimination against females working as doctors) was already attending to the unconscious patient. He soon regained his senses and responded well without any major intervention.
I returned to my 2A and had an otherwise uneventful rest for the remaining flight. With a remark from the cabin crew that I suddenly looked very alert due to the call.
I noticed access to the cabin was restricted by just a rope across the stairs.
Waking up to a continental breakfast with mango was a joy.
Cornflakes completed the meal and it was time to put back the bed.
The latch on my 2A bed was loose and the engineer onboard was asked to look at it.
With the bed finally back in the storage position, I took a look at the support and thought they have to be really sturdy, while not appearing so.
I also tried to put back the tray table on my own but it got stuck as I did not rotate it. Got it right on the second attempt.
One of the highlights of the new suites is the swivel seat and I had to be told the controls are hidden in the armrest. Oops.
Another is the portable inflight entertainment tablet.
The headphones are still by Bose.
The spaciousness of the new product is indeed liberating, and the crew was amazing as usual.
One obvious issue with the new product will be that couples have to take their meals apart with the bed between them unlike the previous Suites where the partner can sit on the ottoman/foot rest in one Suite.
Meanwhile, one would be looking at the passenger in the opposite suite instead while dining if the door is not closed.
For those looking to join the milehigh club, the doors are not the tall (I can see into the other Suites easily) and the translucent patterns on the door enable vision into the Suite, and so I shall reserve my comments again.
Merry Christmas to all! As well as Happy and Healthy Travels!
Sidenote to Aaron, do not mention “medical emergency” ever again before any flight of mine please.