Airlines

Singapore Airlines Fleet and Seat Guide (Dec 2018 update)

What seats can you expect on your upcoming Singapore Airlines flight?
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Welcome to The Milelion’s fleet and seat guide for Singapore Airlines, where you can find which aircraft have what First and Business Class seats. You can always find the latest version of this guide here.

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Key changes since last edition

  • More A350-900ULRs have joined the family. 9V-SGD and SGE are now in service, operating the ultra-long haul routes to SFO and LAX and EWR. Check out my review of the A350-900ULR on the world’s longest flight here
  • Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated: last month, I noted that 9V-STC had ended its lease- but it’s popped up back in service. Over the past month it’s been operating routes like BNE, TPE, CAN and PER
  • This must be a month for resurrections, because 9V-SQL has come back to life again. This 777-200 flew back from Singapore from PVG on 10 Oct, took a 44 day break and was redeployed once more on 23 Nov
  • 9V-SYH, a 777-300, last flew 28 September. Its prolonged absence leads me to suspect it may be on the way out soon, so I’m removing it from the list for now
  • We’re still waiting for 9V-SWI to emerge from its chrysalis with the 2013 First and Business Class seats. SWI, together with SWT, are the last two remaining 777-300ER aircraft with the 2006 cabin products
  • This month we’re expecting the first regionally-configured A350 to start active service. 9V-SHB is already in Singapore and will start service to ADL on 17 Dec. I will update the table below next month to reflect this development

Summary Table- which aircraft have what seats?

As of 10 December 2018 (Click to enlarge)

Why do seats matter?

For many people, flying First or Business Class could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the type of seat you get can make or break it. Why does this matter? Well, there’s nothing more sian than splurging your hard-earned miles on a business class seat only to find out you didn’t get what you bargained for.

Consider Singapore to Seoul, a 6.5 hour flight. It costs the same number of miles to redeem a business class seat on SQ8 and SQ608. The difference? SQ8 is a 777-300ER with SQ’s newest business class seat that goes full flat and is 1-2-1 configured for direct aisle access.

SQ 608 is an A330-300. Its business class seats only go angled flat, and the cabin is 2-2-2 configured with no direct aisle access for some seats.

So I imagine if you were a newbie and assumed all the seats from SIN-ICN would be the same, you’d be pretty steamed for paying the same number of miles for an inferior product.

Although more seasoned travelers will know SQ’s fleet at the back of their hands, first-timers to the miles game may be unfamiliar with the eight types of planes SQ operates.

The A350-900ULR is quite a different beast from the A350-900, but we’ll consider it as part of the same family

Therefore, I wanted to create a guide to SQ’s fleet, showcasing the different First and Business Class seats available and how you can figure out which ones your flight has.

Suites- 2007 Version

SQ’s 2007 suites product may be over 10 years old by now, but this still sets the standard for luxury. With 12 suites in a cabin, 4 of which can convert into double beds, this is the product honeymoon dreams are made of. Yes, there’s a new suites product in town, but if you end up flying this one I wouldn’t consider it “second class suites” by any means. Note that the hard divider in the middle makes this more like two single beds pushed together than a true single bed.

You can read reviews of the SQ Suites product here, here, here and here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re on an A380, you have a 74% (14/19) chance of this seat.
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Suites- 2017 Version

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Ah, the new suites. With only 6 in the new A380s in a single aisle configuration (versus 12 in a 1-2-1 layout in the 2007 version), these are guaranteed to offer an unprecedented amount of personal space. Unlike the old suites, you have a separate seat and bed which can both be deployed at the same time (the 2007 version had a bed that folded out from the wall, but that necessitated collapsing the seat). You’ll also have a much more spacious bathroom and, if you’re traveling with a companion, the suites in rows 1 and 2 can be converted into a double room. Yes, a double room, with a double bed.

You can read a review of the new SQ suites here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re on an A380, you have a 26% (5/19) chance of this seat. Look for 9V-SKU, 9V-SKV, 9V-SKW, 9V-SKY and 9V-SKZ
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

First Class- 2006 Version

Image result for sq old first class
photo credit: SFO777

This seat was introduced in 2006 along with SQ’s first-ever lie flat business class seat (I’ve written a piece about the history of SQ’s premium cabin seat design here, it’s well worth a read in my humble opinion).

It’s now passing the 12 year mark and the seat has obviously seen quite a bit of wear and tear. First Class seats tend to go out empty more often than Business Class seats, so the wear won’t be as bad as on the 2006 business class seats, but something to note nonetheless.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re on a 777-300, you have a 100% (4/4) chance of this seat
  • If you’re on a 777-300ER (aka 77W), you have a 7% (2/27) chance of this seat, although this will very soon be down to 1/27 as 9V-SWI gets refitted
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Look at your seatmap- if you see 8 seats in the F cabin, you have a 100% chance of getting the 2006 First Class seat. If you see 4 seats in the F cabin, you know for sure you have the 2013 First Class seat (see next section).

8 seats in F- you’re getting the 2006 seat

First Class- 2013 Version

IMG_4680.JPG

Way more chio than the 2006 version, the 2013 First Class seat incorporates sophisticated dark leather tones and a little set of orange lines near the headrest that for whatever reason I find super classy. It’s also 7 years newer than the 2006 version and is less likely to be worn. Other great features include a lot more privacy from the aisle and a bigger, crisper TV screen.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re on a 777-300ER (aka 77W), you have a 93% (25/27) chance of this seat
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Check the seatmap. If you see a 4 seat First Class cabin, you definitely have the 2013 First Class seat (if you see 8 seats, you have the 2006 seat, see above)

Business Class- 2006 Version

Image result for sq 2006 business class

This old girl was revolutionary when she came out, but time has taken its toll and she’s ready to be put to pasture. Although these seats are still wider and more private than what a lot of airlines have in first class, 12 years of service mean you’ll find discolored upholstery, chipped panels, the odd sticky controller and other deficiencies. It’s not a seat you should actively avoid, but it still pays to be informed.

You can read a review of the 2006 business class seat here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re flying on an A380, you have a 74% (14/19) chance of this seat
  • If you’re flying on a 777-300ER (aka 77W), you have a 7% (2/27) chance of this seat
  • If you’re flying on a 777-200ER, you have a 100% (6/6) chance of this seat
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat
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If you’re on a 77W, a quick check you can do is to look at the seatmap. If you see a forward J cabin of 8 seats, you have a 100% chance of having the 2006 J seat. If you see 12, you have a 100% chance of the 2013 J seat.

8 J seats in the forward cabin, 100% chance of 2006 J

Business Class- 2013 Version

This is the refreshed version of the 2006 seat that SQ launched in 2013. I love the design philosophy behind this seat- it’s sleek, gorgeous and on some newly-refitted aircraft still has that new seat smell. Look forward to a touch screen controller, bigger screen and more lounging positions over the 2006 seat.

You can read a review of the 2013 business class seat here and here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re on an A350-900, you have a 100% (21/21) chance of this seat
  • If you’re on an A350-900ULR, you have a 100% (5/5) chance of this seat
  • If you’re on a 777-300ER (aka 77W), you have a 93% (25/27) chance of this seat
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Check your seatmap. If you see 12 seats in the forward J cabin, you know for sure you have the 2013 business class seat.

Business Class- 2017 Version

This purple beauty is yet another step in the evolution of SQ’s top of the line business class seat. Unlike the 2006 and 2013 versions, this seat does not need to be flipped over into a bed- you simply recline it at whatever angle you prefer. These seats are supposed to provide better noise isolation as well with the wrap around wings, and although narrower than the 2006 version, will still be plenty wide for most people.

The two seats in the middle can be converted into a double bed, but that’s a term used rather loosely as only your upper bodies will be together- the cutout for your feet is still separated. Here’s an idea of what it looks like in the bulkhead seats

Image result for singapore airlines new a380 business class
photo credit: getty images

You can read a review of the 2017 business class seat here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re on an A380, you have a 26% (5/19) chance of this seat. Look for 9V-SKU, 9V-SKV, 9V-SKW, 9V-SKY and 9V-SKZ
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Business Class- 2009 Regional

20160902_175906

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This is easily my least favourite SQ business class seat- it doesn’t go full flat, it’s 2-2-2 without all aisle access and it’s simply uncompetitive for some of the longer flights SQ deploys it on.

These seats most often make an appearance on regional flights to Bangkok, and Saigon. They’re ok for daytime flights (in fact, some weirdos even prefer them because they’re better for work), but good luck if you get one of these babies on a red-eye. And if you burn your miles on this, well, do your homework next time.

The good news is this seat will eventually disappear from the fleet once the new 787-10s come in.

You can read a review of the regional business class seat here and here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re flying on an A330-300, you have a 100% (19/19) chance of this seat
  • If you’re flying on 777-200, you have a 100% (7/7) chance of this seat
  • If you’re flying on a 777-300, you have a 100% (4/4) chance of this seat
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Business Class- 2018 Regional

The new regional business class seat is a massive improvement from the 2009 version, and mercifully will become increasingly common as the A330-300s are returned and the older 772s and 773s are retired. This seat will be installed on the new 787-10s that are being delivered to Singapore Airlines, as well as on the regional configured A350-900s.

These seats are 1-2-1 configured with all aisle access, but do keep in mind that some seats at the side will be closer to the aisle and some will be further away. Similarly, some seats in the middle will be couples seats and others will be divorcee seats- so if you’re traveling by yourself be sure to pick the right ones.

You can read about my cabin tour of the new regional business class seat here, and a flight review here.

How to know if I’ve got it?

  • If you’re flying on a 787-10, you have a 100% (7/7) chance of this seat
  • From 17 December, a single A350-900 operating the ADL and CGK routes will have this seat (9V-SHB)
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Final Caveats

Airlines reserve the right to swap equipment for “operational reasons”, i.e. as and when they please. Airlines don’t owe you anything if they do this, insofar as they promised you a business class seat and they’re giving you one, but if you make noise SQ will often give you some miles or a KrisShop voucher as compensation.

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That said, knowing the SQ fleet is half the battle, and I believe with the guide above most people should be well-equipped to know what they’re getting themselves into. Once you know the aircraft type, all you have to do is check the seatmap and you’re all set.


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flyertalk.sam
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flyertalk.sam

How about include PE and E seats in this guide?

Sean
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Sean

You missed the elderly 9V-SWJ, still operating with original equipment – had it twice in a week to CGK this month.