In February 2017, I had the opportunity to fly Business Class on Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles to Tokyo/Narita. As luck would have it, I was on a Boeing 777 that had recently been retrofitted with Singapore’s new Business Class product. I took a few photos to share the experience.
This article is also featured on AirlineReporter.com
Flying Business Class on a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER
In 2014, I flew on Singapore’s previous 777 Business Class product and wrote a review. The new seats are a big improvement.
Check-In & LAX Star Alliance Lounge
Check-in at the Singapore Airlines ticket counter was fast and friendly. Security lines at that 6:45 am were short.
After surviving the TSA, I immediately directed my attention to breakfast at the Star Alliance Lounge. Located on the 5th floor, the lounge is quite large. The area is filled with dining tables, couches and comfortable chairs. A variety of breakfast foods were offered including a cereal bar, quiche, scrambled eggs, danish, bagels, and assorted breakfast meats (with and without pork). A nice selection of fresh fruit and cheese was also available.
Drink selections were numerous. My first stop was the espresso machine which makes a mean latte. I had two to make sure I was ready for the 11 hour flight. No sleeping with a window seat!
For photos and a full review of the LAX Star Alliance Lounge, see the 2013 Airline Reporter post.
Time to Board
Forty minutes prior to scheduled departure, boarding was announced in the lounge. I gathered my things and walked to the gate where I was welcomed onto the jetway.
I’m no stranger to large airplanes. I fly a Boeing 767-300 and regularly jumpseat on the MD-11 and 747. But every time I step foot on a 777, I’m taken aback by its size. Singapore’s attention to interior design makes the aircraft pop. The minute you step aboard, you know it’s going to be a fun ride.
The aircraft was registration 9V-SNB. It’s a young Boeing 777-300ER,
delivered new to Singapore Airlines in late 2015. The cabin has a 4-class configuration. 4 First Class seats, 48 Business Class, 28 Premium Economy, and 184 Standard Economy seats.
The New Singapore Business Class Seat
Seat 14A was my small office for the day. The area feels roomy with plenty of storage for laptop, tablet, phone, cables, and all the other odds & ends accumulated during a flight. The real challenge was making sure I had all my stuff before deplaning in Narita!
The lay-flat seat has plenty of legroom. I left my seat either fully upright or slightly reclined for the entire flight. Never did I experience any of the soreness or fatigue that accompanies a bad seat. It was very comfortable.
Seat position, light controls and call buttons are located below the armrest.
First and Business Class seats on this aircraft are equipped with the AmSafe Seatbelt Airbag System. This was the first time I had used one.
The seat belt felt awkward at first, due to the extra bulk. I’ll admit, it was a little strange knowing I had a small explosive device on my lap. After wearing it for a few minutes, I forgot it was there.
Each Business Class unit has an 18″ HD display with a removable remote/game controller mounted on the side panel. There are hundreds of movies, television, games, and audio titles to choose from. I was impressed that the movie options included a few features still in theaters.
Phitek Active Noise Cancellation headphones are provide. The headphones are comfortable and do a reasonable job of cancelling ambient aircraft noise. If you have a favorite pair of headphones you would rather use, a 3-prong adapter can be purchased on board for $15 USD.
If you like knowing where you are, where you’re going (and where you’ve been), the navigation display on the entertainment system is great fun. It displays the aircraft’s live position over satellite imagery (similar to Google Earth). The synthetic view out the front of the aircraft includes real-time, heads-up flight parameters pulled from the ship’s flight management computer: attitude, airspeed, ground speed, vertical speed altitude, and heading.
Keep your stuff connected and charged. Hiding behind a sliding door next next to the seat are a few interesting connection options:
- Universal 110v outlet
- HDMI input. Watch your own media from a personal device that supports HDMI.
- USB charging outlet
- USB thumbdrive outlet (displays images, slideshows from a thumbdrive or camera). I connected my iPhone to this. Although it would charge, it would not recognize any media on the device.
- Round 9-Pin “iPod” connector. I’m not too familiar with this connection. It appears to be a “Dension” style automotive iPod adapter.
- 3-prong, airline-style headphone jack. There’s also a second headphone jack on the seat position control panel below the opposite arm rest.
Singapore did not provide a take-home amenity kit for Business Class passengers (I’m not sure about First Class). Shortly after takeoff, the flight attendant came by with a pair of fluffy socks, slippers, eye shades, and the Phitek headset. Toothbrush kits, disposable razors and other personal items are available in amenity drawers in the First/Business Class lavatories.
During the boarding process, First/Business passengers were offered an assortment of juices and water. After the aircraft reached cruise altitude, brunch was served.
I started off with sliced fresh fruit. My entree was “Braised Egg Noodle with seafood and black mushrooms.” The dish featured stir fried bok choy, noodles, prawns, and a spicy fish tempura (probably cod). The tempura coating lost some of its crispness but had a very nice flavor.
Dessert was a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream garnished with a dark cherry compote. Yum!
About 3 hours before landing in Narita, dinner was served. My appetizer was “Smoked Salmon with Crabmeat Salad with tarragon mayonnaise.” This was my favorite dish; it was outstanding. The entree was “Salt Baked Chicken: Marinated chicken baked with rock salt, seasonal vegetables and fried rice.” It was garnished with mushrooms and green beans. Very nice.
As we began our descent, the flight attendants brought by coffee and a cart with Brie, Cambozola, and Port Salut cheeses with an assortment of dried fruits and walnuts. It was a perfect finish for the long flight.
It’s always a pleasure to fly on Singapore Airlines. They do an excellent job and I’m looking forward to my next flight with them!
Hey Captain Hoke Great post as usual.
I’m curious though;
How weird does it feel to be “in the back” with SOMEONE ELSE doing the driving?
Hi Steve, that’s a great question and the subject of an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
sounds great and I’m jealous love the inflight entertainment system..
even though the food looks restaurant quality, it would be nice to see a chef on board Singapore Air, cooking food, the rest of Business Class looks to be outstanding and having a chef would be the coup de grâce to airline pre-prepared food.. the question is, would people pay extra for the chef?
I know people that worked for Airlines making meals and some claim they wouldn’t touch it..
Love the article..
Interesting that you mention having a chef onboard. Check out this tweet from Jason Rabinowitz from the 2017 Aircraft Interior Expo: https://twitter.com/airlineflyer/status/849205118105001984
Hi: As a former resident and travel agent of L.A. and been to LAX many times in the past-I’m surprised SQ didn’t have their A380 for your LAX-NRT flight. Whenever I would fly AA which as you know is right next door to Tom Bradley terminal and usually you have an unobstructed view of SQ planes and usually they’re A380. Side question: When you are able to fly sitting in the jump seat- how do you eat? Do you eat everything everybody else eats as well?
Now from BWI
If flying on a passenger airline flight deck jumpseat, there is no promise of food. If there are extra meals, the jumpseater may be offered a meal. The crew usually does their best to take care of the jumpseating guests up front.
On my cargo airline, if we are jumpseating as part of our schedule (positioning flight), we are provided a full meal that is the same or similar to the operating crew meals. If we’re jumpseating for personal reasons, we bring a sandwich along just in case.
Thanks for reading!
But, why is SQ resorting to 777’s. Isn’t the A380’s much more comfortable? Have you flown and or piloted an A380? Hey Captain Hoke: If you flown on the A380, how did you like it? I have a neat idea for the A380 since it’s completely double decked wouldn’t it be neat if they configured the plane where it would be all first class and everybody would have the 1st level as a living/dining room with spiral stairs taking you to the 2nd floor bedroom and on both floors have a private restroom. On the 1st floor the restroom would be for you and any guest from the plane you would be hosting and the 2nd floor would have another restroom with private shower-what do you think? I miss when I used to fly AD100/AD75. I remember flying with my father to my nephew’s bar-mitzva in Baltimore and my father had a regular coach ticket but, I had a AD90 ticket.
Singapore Airlines isn’t “resorting” to flying a 777 on this route. The 777 is an extremely efficient, very comfortable aircraft. Airlines match airplanes to routes based on passenger loads. An airline won’t put a 500 passenger A380 on a route that can only sell 300 seats per day.
Passenger demand also changes at different times of the year. During a high demand season, airlines often assign larger aircraft to a particular route. A great example of this is Louisville, Kentucky during the week of the Kentucky Derby. Louisville typically sees regional aircraft and smaller main-line jets, like the MD-88. During Derby week, Delta, American, and United all fly larger aircraft to Louisville (like the 767) to handle the increased demand. Southwest will add additional 737 flights.
I haven’t flown on an A380. I have heard that it is very nice to ride on.
If an airline thought it could make a profit by configuring an A380 as you describe, I’m sure they would do it. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is enough demand for this type of service. Tickets would be extremely expensive. It would be difficult for an airline to find enough people to pay to fly on that aircraft every day.
Thanks for reading!
Jason Rabinowitz tweet about on board cooking.. using induction is a great idea.. limits the hazards of cooking.. once the smell permeates the cabin, those that dont get the first class meal might up grade..
I think you’re right!
Thanks for reading.
Always amazed to know what happening inside cockpit.Being as a FR 24(VOHS 2) host from India I love your articles.
Thanks for reading! And thank you for providing FlightRadar24 data. That’s one of my favorite websites.