Before my First Class Suites experience, my original dream was to sit in business class, a considerable upgrade from cattle class. I’m neither tall or plus size but still, economy class seats can be a little too close for comfort. I was really fortunate to have been able to book this trip right before the great mile devaluation. One way business class flight to Japan for one now cost 43,000 miles but I managed to get it for 34,000 x 2 (wife and I) + taxes of ~$160 on the A380-800. If I was to pay for this trip by cash, it would have cost $3064 x 2 = $6128.
Business Class privilege starts at check in. At T3, there is a specific counter for all SIA business class passengers. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the “business class magic” that is normally felt when you see the long economy queue beside. Instead, there was still a short queue to contend with (It got a little longer while I was taking this photo).
After check-in and crossing the departure area, it was time to explore the Silverkris business class lounge. This is my 2nd time in the lounge; The first time I had access was at the Private Room in the First Class lounge. Silverkris lounge deserves another blog post in itself, which you can read here.
The Silverkris business class lounge in brief, provides travellers with a place to rest, dine, drink, bathe, charge electronics etc while they wait to board. In economy, you get none of these privileges unless you have access to Priority Pass lounges which you can read here. Still, the Silverkris lounge is one step up from most Priority Pass lounges.
It was time to board and my wife and I proceeded to the boarding gate. Priority boarding has always been one of my favourite part, and part of the luxury of business/first class travel. I wanted to be one of the first few in so that I could snap pictures of the business class cabin without encroaching on the privacy of other passengers.
Holding the blue business class ticket made me feel like I was in the episode where Mr Bean was showing off his new green American Express card whilst shopping… but I digress. I’ve never been a fan of queueing and will never queue for an hour or two just for Michelin star hawker food, much less for Hello Kitty or new IPhones. Skipping the queue has always big thing for me.
Business class (also colloquially known as “J” ) on the A380-800 is on the upper deck. In this plane, the whole upper deck consists of passengers book in J, whilst first class suites and economy are located on the lower deck.
After I got in, I requested for champagne (of course). In J, they serve Charles Heidsieck champagne unlike in First, whereby Dom Perignon and Krug are served. I was spoiled silly by my previous trip in First. But well, Charles Heidsieck is still a decent bubbly to drink.
Despite going in early, in a blink of an eye, it was time to buckle up. The pilot and air stewardess made their standard announcements and we were right on schedule. (I honestly wouldn’t have minded a delay because SIA business class is that comfortable).
After we were safely cruising at high altitude, the stewardess serving my aisle asked if I wanted my meal before or after I wake up. Being a noob on my first business red-eye flight, I requested it first whilst all the other Japanese passengers chose to have it nearer the end of the flight in the morning.
I chose the Book-The-Cook option months in advance and decided to go for the grilled chilean sea bass. I heard it was among one of the more popular options beside the Boston lobster thermidor that I had in First. My verdict? It was yummy but I think I set my expectation a tad too high. The creamy roux sauce however, was amazingly yummy!
After supper, I wanted to watch a movie, but lo and behold, my terminal just wouldn’t work and my seat wouldn’t recline no matter how I pressed the button 😦 I definitely wasn’t expecting this in business class and called the stewardess over. She told me the system needed to be restarted.
After trying to restart the entertainment system twice, it still wouldn’t work and I decided I wasn’t going to wait and sleep instead. The hard product was extremely disappointing but the soft product, the service of one of the stewardess totally made up for it. I told her it wasn’t her fault and I wasn’t angry with her but with the system. She totally stayed by my side, empathised, and we had a friendly conversation going on for awhile after. It’s little things like this which I think makes SIA a great way to fly.
I later found out that she wasn’t even serving my aisle (I tried to make a note of her name so that I could write a commendatory email to SIA for her and another Japanese colleague). The rest of the crew in comparison were professional but lacked the personal touch.
I was feeling quite sleepy, so I asked for my bed to be made after having a nightcap. I’m not sure if the converted bed is comfortable enough for tall people but it was perfect for me.
At roughly 2 hours before landing, I was woken up by the crew for my ‘breakfast’. I was feeling a bit peckish before I slept and requested for the carrot cake main course after my meal. Understandably, the crew couldn’t accede to my request but promised that I could have it if there were extras. There were; here’s a picture of how it looks:
The serving of prawns was generous but I didn’t feel the “oomph” that I expect from a good carrot cake. Maybe it’s just my tastebuds at 30,000 feet.
After the meal and a half a Korean movie later (my entertainment system could suddenly work!), we landed, and in pecking order, first class was allowed to leave first followed by the people in business class.
And just like that, my business class experience ends, but not before my last privilege: getting my luggage before the rest of the folks in economy.
I’ve already booked my next business class flight to South Korea on the A330-300. I will be writing about how to earn miles part III soon, so that you too, can experience luxury without pawning away your belongings (just kidding!). Read “How to earn miles part I” here & “How to earn miles part II” here.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, please like and share this post. Your support gives me motivation to write more articles. Thank you!