COVID-19 has forced airlines to get creative with the revenue generation ideas. We’ve seen them try a whole range of things, from flights to nowhere, pop-up restaurants, even selling fully-stocked bar carts.
Singapore Airlines has been relatively quiet on this front, but today comes some exciting news. SIA fans can look forward to Discover Your Singapore Airlines, a suite of experiences in October and November 2020 that include dining in an Airbus A380, visiting Singapore Airlines’ training facilities, and savoring First and Business Class food and wines at home.
All three experiences will be available for booking exclusively on the KrisShop website, with prices to be unveiled later on. KrisFlyer members can redeem their miles for these experiences, or earn miles on their purchases.
However, it seems like flights to nowhere, which once seemed like a near certainty, are off the cards. Buried among the press release is this innocuous looking line:
An idea for a one-off short tour flight, or a “flight to nowhere”, was also initially considered but not pursued after the review.
That’s a major bummer in my book. I was really hoping these would happen, but it seems like the potential negative publicity arising from environmental concerns has caused Singapore Airlines to think twice.
Anyway, here’s the three events that are going ahead, and yes, I’m hoping to try each and every one of them.
Restaurant A380 @Changi
|Bookings Open||Activity Dates|
|12 October 2020||24, 25 October 2020|
The future of the A380 post COVID-19 is murky at best, so if you haven’t had a chance to experience the world’s largest passenger aircraft, I wouldn’t wait too long.
On 24 and 25 October 2020, Singapore Airlines will offer Restaurant A380 @Changi, a unique onboard dining experience across four different cabins.
Meals will include choices from the airline’s signature international cuisine menu, as well as special Peranakan items created by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee. Each meal includes two complimentary alcoholic drinks, and a free flow of other beverages. They’ll even turn on the KrisWorld entertainment system, in case the idea of eating without screen time terrifies you.
All diners will receive KrisShop discounts, a limited edition goodie bag, and additional gifts if they turn up in traditional heritage wear (admin T-shirt and PT shorts don’t count). A limited number of slots for a pre-lunch tour of the A380 will also be available.
Reservations open on 12 October 2020, and given that the event only runs for two days, I’m sure it’ll be a madhouse. I’m planning to camp out the site, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.
The key question on most the mind of most AvGeeks will be: which variant of the A380-800 is going to be used?
For context, Singapore Airlines has not flown any of its A380s on a revenue flight since March 2020, and of the 19 aircraft they have, eight are outfitted with the latest cabin products. Of these, four are stored at Alice Springs, and four at Changi.
|Old A380-800||New A380-800|
|Stored at Alice Springs||3||4|
|Stored at Changi||8||4|
They’re obviously not going to fly an A380 all the way back from Alice Springs for a two day publicity event, so they’ll have to pick from what’s available at Changi.
Singapore Airlines has confirmed with me that they’ll be using the latest A380 cabin products for this event, which should never have been in doubt. Think about it: the press will be out in full force, and people will be Instagramming the heck out of this- the last thing you want is to show off the faded glory of the 2006 Business Class seat, right?
The new A380-800 has a total of 471 seats available, split as follows:
- 6 Suites Class
- 78 Business Class
- 44 Premium Economy Class
- 343 Economy Class
Of course, not all seats can be used (especially in Premium Economy and Economy), thanks to social distancing restrictions. Singapore Airlines has said that diners will still need to keep to groups of at most five people, and HEPA filters will be in operation throughout. It remains to be seen how many seats will ultimately be available, but there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll be able to sell every single seat they have on offer.
The new A380-800 is good news for those booking Business Class dining. Thanks to the new double bed design, the centre seats are much closer together than before, making socializing a lot easier.
However, it’s not such great news for Suites. The new Suites Class features six individually contained “rooms”, and while the dividers can be lowered between rooms, the single seat inhibits true couple dining. It’s more of a solo experience, to be frank.
The design of the new Suites also means that mealtime might be slightly awkward. I experienced this first-hand on my flight to Sydney– at least you’ll be able to stare at each other from across the aisle 😉
Inside Singapore Airlines
|Bookings Open||Activity Dates|
|1 November 2020||21, 22, 28 and 29 November 2020|
On 21-22 and 28-29 November 2020, Inside Singapore Airlines will offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of SQ’s training facilities, complete with activities for the whole family.
Visitors can look forward to the following:
SIA’s heritage: Visitors can travel back in time and journey with us through over 70 years of SIA’s heritage. Highlights include a showcase of how our iconic cabin crew uniform and cabin products have evolved over the years.
Training facilities: Perfect for kids and families, this is a rare opportunity to find out from our pilots and cabin crew what it takes to fly and serve in the skies. The tour will feature our latest cabin products and a look at where training on our flight simulators is conducted.
Sustainability showcase: Get a glimpse into what we have been doing to shape a more sustainable future at SIA, from reducing our carbon footprint to our range of waste management measures. Understand more about our conservation efforts through our partnership with the Harapan Rainforest Initiative.
Craft activities: Children and adults alike can enjoy fun craft activities, including balloon sculpting and making their own batik roses.
Satisfy your in-flight cuisine cravings: Choose from a selection of our popular in-flight meals, including our all-time favourite satay, at any time during their visit. Visitors may earn miles for these in-flight meals too, when they use KrisPay.
Indulge in retail therapy: Visitors can get great deals on KrisShop merchandise, including airline exclusive products. Visitors can download the KrisPay app for contactless payment, and to earn KrisPay miles with their purchases.
Receive limited edition souvenirs: All visitors will take home a specially prepared goodie bag
The following experiences will be available for an additional charge. That flight simulator experience in particular sounds awesome.
Flight simulator experience: For aviation enthusiasts, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience the training that goes behind being a pilot. Become the pilot in command and go from take-off to landing in the very same flight simulator our pilots use for training. Very limited slots will be available on each day.
Junior cabin crew experience: Little ones can turn into junior cabin crew for a day in this memorable experience, where they can get a chance to dress up and take home their very own SIA sarong kebaya uniform, learn customer service skills, and role-play in a mock-up of our A380 Business Class cabin.
Wine appreciation: Learn about the SIA wine sourcing approach and enjoy four wines – including labels from the largest Burgundy cellar in the skies – accompanied with cheese. Designed for wine enthusiasts and conducted by our air sommeliers.
Grooming workshop: Those who have always admired the impeccable grooming of our cabin crew can learn how to achieve the Singapore Girl look in this workshop conducted by our cabin crew trainers. Participants will be guided through a demonstration on makeup application and the secret behind the perfect Singapore Girl chignon. Customers will also bring home their own makeup palette at the end of the session.
Tour bookings open from 1 November 2020, and I’m sure these will sell like hotcakes too.
|Booking Date||Activity Dates|
|5 October 2020||N/A|
SIA@Home will go on sale from 5 October 2020, and allows customers to enjoy the Singapore Airlines inflight dining experience from the comfort of their own home. Customers can choose from 10 menus of First and Business Class meals, complete with wine and champagne.
Customers can choose from one of the packages below:
- Wine and Dine: A First Class or Business Class meal for two based on your choice of menu, plus amenity kits. Customers who opt for the First Class menu may select either a bottle of Burgundy red or white wine. Those who opt for a Business Class menu may select either
a bottle of French wine or brut champagne
- Champagne and Dine: A First Class meal for two based on your choice of menu, a bottle of 2008 Dom Perignon champagne and Lalique amenity kits
- Wine, Dine and Tableware: A First Class meal for two based on your choice of menu, a bottle of Burgundy red or white wine, Lalique amenity kits, and a 22 piece tableware set which includes Wedgwood dining ware and Lalique crystal ware
- All-Inclusive First Class Experience: A First Class meal for two based on your choice of menu, a bottle of Burgundy red or white wine, a bottle of 2008 Dom Perignon
champagne, a 22-piece tableware set which includes Wedgwood dining ware and Lalique crystal ware, and Lalique amenities for two, including sleeper suits.
- All-Inclusive Business Class Experience: A Business Class meal for two based on your choice of menu, a bottle of French wine or brut champagne, a 22-piece tableware set, which includes Narumi dining ware and Penhaligon’s amenity kits for two.
- First Class Signatures: An experience for two, comprising two of our signature First Class offerings of Oscietra caviar, satay, a bottle of 2008 Dom Perignon champagne and Lalique amenity kits
Singapore Airlines will also throw in some amenities kits, welcome videos, instructional guides on how to heat and plate the dishes, and a specially curated playlist to recreate the SIA onboard experience at home. If you’re really lazy, there’s an option to book-the-chef. Singapore Airlines will send a private chef to your house to reheat, plate and serve the meal. Lovely.
Regarding the amenities kits: SIA@Home will not just be selling the Lalique First Class amenities kits that were launched back in 2017, but interestingly enough, a Business Class amenities kit too!
As far as I know, Singapore Airlines was not offering an amenities kit in Business Class before COVID-19. They did run a limited-time trial where Business Class customers received fabric care kits, and passengers on the ultra long haul flights to the USA did get something too, but that was it.
Does this mean we can expect to see Business Class amenities kits when we start flying again? I certainly hope so.
Also on sale will be Wedgwood and Narumi dining ware, Lalique crystal glasses, First Class Lalique sleeper suits, and other onboard amenities.
Whither flights to nowhere?
One downer amidst all the excitement is that the much-anticipated flights to nowhere will not be happening after all. I sought a bit more information from Singapore Airlines on this, and got the following response:
Singapore Airlines currently does not have any plans for a flight to nowhere. We decided to go ahead with these Discover Your Singapore Airlines experiences, rather than a one-off short tour flight, as we wanted to create activities unique to SIA that would better allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time.
I guess these Discover Your Singapore Airlines experiences are a good compromise, all things considered, but there’s no replacement for hearing the roar of the engines and that magical moment where the wheels leave the ground.
All in good time, I suppose.
After being grounded for most of the year, even the idea of having an inflight meal on the ground sounds appealing to me. I fully expect the response to these events to be overwhelming, and Singapore Airlines has said they will closely review the edemand before deciding to add further dates.
What isn’t known right now is the pricing. I’m very curious to know how much Singapore Airlines will ask for the SIA@Home kits in particular, which may give some insights as to how much they’re paying their suppliers.
Which of these three experiences are you most looking forward to?