Airlines

Singapore Airlines Fleet and Seat Guide (Feb 2019 update)

What seats can you expect on your upcoming Singapore Airlines flight?

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.


Key changes since last edition

  • Good new for those who dislike the angled-flat regional business class seat, because there are two fewer aircraft with that product in the fleet: 9V-STT, an A330-300, performed its last flight from BKK to SIN on 30 December. 9V-SQJ, a B777-200, has not flown for the past 3 months and is also set to be disposed of
  • Keep an eye on 9V-STU, an A330-300 which has not flown since 4 Jan. It may pop up again in Feb, or it may end its lease. I’ve left it in the fleet summary for now
  • On 4 Feb, 9V-SVJ, a B777-200ER, made its last flight to Victorville where it will be stored in the aircraft boneyard otherwise known as the Southern California Logistics Airport
  • 9V-SWI, a B777-300ER, has finished its cabin refit and now carries the 2013 First and Business Class products. The aircraft re-entered commercial service in January. This leaves 9V-SWT as the final B777-300ER still undergoing refit
  • Another regionally-configured A350-900 aircraft (A350-900MH), 9V-SHC, flew to Singapore from the Airbus factory in Toulouse on 2 Feb but has not started service yet. Check out what kind of cabin experience you can expect on the A350-900MH in my guide to the aircraft here

Summary Table- which aircraft have what seats?

As of 9 Feb 2019 (Click to enlarge)

*Technically speaking, 9V-SWT has not finished its refit yet, but it’s not in service. So if you’re flying a B777-300ER you’re guaranteed to have the 2013 First/Business class products.

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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 SQ612 and SQ608. The difference? SQ612 is a B777-300ER with SQ’s 2013 Business Class seat that goes full flat and is 1-2-1 configured for direct aisle access.

2013 Business Class Seat

SQ 608 is an A330-300. Its 2009 Regional Business Class seats only go angled flat, and the cabin is 2-2-2 configured with no direct aisle access for some seats.

2009 Regional Business Class Seat

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.

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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
  • Look at the seat map. If you see 12 Suites seats, you definitely have the 2007 Suites

  • 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, which serve selected flights to Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Shanghai and Zurich
  • Alternatively, look at the seat map. If you see 6 Suites seats, you definitely have the 2017 Suites

  • 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 B777-300, you have a 100% chance of getting this seat
  • Alternatively, look at the seatmap. If you see 8 seats in the F cabin, you definitely have the 2006 First Class seat.

  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this 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 B777-300ER (aka B77W), you have a 100% chance of getting this product
  • Alternatively, check the seatmap. If you see 4 seats in First Class, you are guaranteed to have the 2013 First Class product

  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

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, 13 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.

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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. Check the seatmap. If you see the one on the left (with the double bed symbols in 11D/F), you have the 2017 Business Class seat (see below). If you see the one on the right, you have the 2006 Business Class seat

  • If you’re flying on a B777-200ER, you have a 100% chance of this seat
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

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. This seat is noticeably more narrow than its 2006 predecessor, however, but you’d have to be very wide to notice.

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 A350-900LH, you have a 100% (21/21) chance of this seat. However, SQ’s website doesn’t draw a distinction between the Long Haul and Medium Haul versions of the aircraft- they’re both listed as A350-900. So check your seatmap. If you see the one on the right, you have the 2013 Business Class seat. If you see the one on the left, you have the 2018 Regional Business Class seat (see below)

  • If you’re on an A350-900ULR, which operate the non-stop SFO/LAX/EWR routes, you have a 100% chance of this seat
  • If you’re on a B777-300ER, you have a 100% chance of this seat
  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this 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, which serve selected flights to Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Shanghai and Zurich
  • Check your seatmap. If you see the one on the left, you have the 2017 Business Class product. If you see the one on the right, you have the 2006 Business Class product (see above)

  • All other aircraft have a 0% chance of this seat

Business Class- 2009 Regional

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This is easily my least favorite 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 B787-10s 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% chance of this seat
  • If you’re flying on B777-200, you have a 100% chance of this seat
  • If you’re flying on a B777-300, you have a 100% 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 B777 aircraft are retired. This seat will be installed on the new B787-10s 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 B787-10, you have a 100% (8/8) chance of this seat
  • If you’re on an A350-900MH, you have a 100% (3/3) chance of this seat. However, SQ’s website doesn’t draw a distinction between the Long Haul and Medium Haul versions of the aircraft- they’re both listed as A350-900. So check your seatmap. If you see the one on the right, you have the 2013 Business Class seat. If you see the one on the left, you have the 2018 Regional Business Class seat

  • 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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