Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Singapore to Los Angeles Review
- Well-appointed cabin
- Amazing Book the Cook meal service
- Fantastic crew
- Awkward sleeping angle
- No amenity kit
Singapore Airlines' current long-haul business class stands out as a world-class experience.
As part of my journey from Australia to the United States, I travelled from Singapore to Los Angeles on board Singapore Airlines' Boeing 777-300ER in business class. Between the equatorial island nation and the City of Angels, Singapore Airlines currently operates a non-stop service with its premium-only Airbus A350-900ULR, and a one-stop service with a layover in Tokyo Narita with its Boeing 777-300ER. I opted to travel on the one-stop service via Tokyo to check out the ANA Lounge.
Table of contents
Flight number: SQ12
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300ER
Route: Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo
Class: Business Class
I secured my seat on this flight through Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer with a redemption of 110,000 KrisFlyer miles, plus AUD$205 in fees and surcharges. This flight was part of a bigger itinerary, starting in Melbourne and ending in Los Angeles, via Singapore and Tokyo with an optional stopover in Singapore that I purchased for an additional US$100.
The bulk of my KrisFlyer balance came from a 100,000 point sign-up bonus on the American Express Explorer Credit Card, which transferred over to Singapore KrisFlyer at a 4:3 rate. (Note that this transfer ratio is now 2:1 as of 15 April 2019.)
The remaining 35,000 KrisFlyer miles were transferred directly from my Velocity Frequent Flyer. As of 1 January 2019, for every 1.55 Velocity points you transfer to KrisFlyer, you will receive 1 KrisFlyer mile.
Searching for award seats on the Singapore Airlines website was straightforward and easy through the online search form. Singapore Airlines releases a lot more award availability to its own members than it does to partners, so booking directly through KrisFlyer offers a far greater number of award options.
I booked my award seat just under two months from the date of departure and still found many dates with Saver award space available. If you choose to book over the phone, contact the Singapore-based KrisFlyer call centre on 02 8228 1188 if in Australia or +65 6789 8188 if overseas.
START PLANNING YOUR OWN POINTS JOURNEY
You can earn Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer Miles to book a flight like this either directly in the KrisFlyer scheme, or by transferring from the Velocity program or the Amex Membership Rewards program. Check out the guides below for more information.
Most of Singapore Airlines' long-haul flights depart out of Changi Airport's cavernous Terminal 3. There is an entire row of check-in counters dedicated to business class passengers departing on Singapore Airlines. I arrived at the airport at 7:00am for a 9:20am departure and there were no queues.
Changi Airport is Singapore Airlines' and the Star Alliance's home hub so passengers departing in business class are spoilt for choice when it comes to lounge options. You'll be greeted with a warm welcome in the following airline lounges:
- Singapore Airlines
- SilverKris Lounge Terminal 3
- SilverKris Lounge Terminal 2
- KrisFlyer Gold Lounge Terminal 3
- KrisFlyer Gold Lounge Terminal 2
- Thai Airways
- Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge Terminal 2
The KrisFlyer Gold lounges are aimed towards Star Alliance Gold members travelling in economy class, so you will find the best experience visiting the SilverKris Lounges in Terminal 3 or 2. Located directly above Gates A1-A8, brightly lit blue signage directs passengers up to the entrance tucked away on the mezzanine floor.
The business class lounge is vast with countless pods of armchairs lining the hallway, interspersed with TV screens and separated by partition walls.
Communal tables lined with bar stools are also available near the rear of the lounge in front of a relax area filled with couches. Dimly lit lamps cast a gentle, warm glow throughout the lounge.
The lounge lacks tarmac views and natural light, but compensates for this with a large buffet spread, featuring a range of hot breakfast options, and a wide selection of fresh fruits and breakfast cereals.
During the stopover in Tokyo Narita, passengers are invited to use the ANA Lounge located near Gates 41-47 of Narita Airport's Terminal 1.
The lounge is clean, polished and boasts a classy noodle bar dining area alongside the self-serve buffet.
There are nine shower suites available for you to freshen up; however, these are first-come, first-served, which may pose a problem in the early evening when the lounge is close to capacity.
Boarding commenced 30 minutes prior to departure with PPS Club members and first class passengers ahead of business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members.
Keep in mind that Changi Airport operates security screening points at each individual gate, so no liquids, aerosols and gels over 100ml are permitted through. I once made this mistake in the past whilst attempting to bring through a bottled drink with me from the lounge.
Business Class Cabin
Singapore Airlines operates its one-stop service to Los Angeles with its four-class Boeing 777-300ER, featuring 4 first class seats, 48 business, 28 premium economy and 184 economy class seats. The business class cabin is divided into two sections, featuring a smaller forward cabin with 3 rows of seats and a larger cabin containing the remaining 9 rows.
The well-appointed cabin is stunning. Each seat pod features sleek curves and the edges of the seat shell are accentuated in bronze. A lack of overhead compartments above the centre seats gives the cabin a very spacious and open feel.
Curated by London-based studio JPA Design, the seat is a 2013 refresh of the original forward-facing flatbed seat brought into service in 2006. The seat cushion and backrest is upholstered in diamond-stitched leather, with each row alternating in colour between a beautiful deep shade of violet and graphite grey.
A bench running the length of one side of the seat houses a storage compartment and the generously sized tray table.
Seat and lighting controls are all located in a sleek black button panel in the armrest off to one side, adjacent to the headphone jack.
Storage space is plentiful – enclosed compartments to store your valuables can be found next to the tray table and also immediately above the cocktail table.
Underneath the seat in front is room for a large backpack.
All the little touches are there – a 110V charge port conveniently placed next to the laptop storage space, lights on either side of the headrest and a pop-out coat hook.
If your itinerary is booked for both segments (i.e. Singapore to Tokyo and Tokyo to Los Angeles), you can only select a seat that is available on both flights. The system doesn't allow you to select a different seat for each segment. I selected seat 23K, the right-hand side window seat in the last row of business class, immediately in front of the premium economy cabin.
Waiting for passengers at each seat are slippers, socks and eyeshades.
Singapore Airlines does not provide amenity kits to passengers; instead, lavatories are well stocked with essentials such as toothbrushes, combs and mouthwash, as well as eau de toilette, hand lotion and facial mist spray from luxury British perfume house Penhaligon's.
Once settled in, pre-departure drinks, hot towels and newspapers were offered while boarding was finalised. A pair of active noise-cancelling headphones are also provided prior to departure, which worked well and fit snugly, although they weren't as effective as the latest headphones from Bose or Sony.
The cabin manager, Raymond, made his way around to personally greet and welcome each passenger, which was a great way to set a positive first impression.
Singapore Airlines once again exceeded expectations with the food and beverage catering on this flight. Lunch service commenced two hours after take-off from Singapore, beginning with drinks service, followed by the airline's famous flame-grilled chicken and beef satay skewers, topped with a spicy peanut dip which provided the dish with a nice, hot kick.
With the flavours of the satay still lingering, a neatly presented antipasto platter was served, featuring smoked duck breast and parma ham topped with mozzarella cheese and tomato. Each passenger was also offered their choice of bread.
For the main lunch course, I pre-ordered through the Book the Cook service what is arguably the most revered dish on Singapore Airlines' menu – the Classic Lobster Thermidor!
Lobster tail meat is sautéed in butter, flambéed in brandy, sprinkled with cheese and then served back in its own shell alongside buttered asparagus shoots and saffron rice to create a truly tantalising dish. The lobster meat was flavourful and succulent.
Lunch was finished off with a creamy scoop of choc-chip ice cream and a choice of fresh fruit from the basket.
I tested out the Hanakoireki Japanese bento dining concept for dinner with the evening departure from Tokyo Narita. Meal service started with a cold appetiser dish served in a beautiful floral-inspired fashion.
This was then followed by a larger hot bento box paired with a bowl of miso soup.
It was most definitely a foray into the unknown, with many unfamiliar ingredients and elements I had never tried before. The boxes include various cuts of sashimi, along with udon noodles, rice, duck, tofu and different types of vegetables – all in all, an absolute treat for fans of Japanese cuisine.
Breakfast service before touch-down commenced with a duck pate appetiser, which featured some perfectly cooked slices of duck breast.
For the main breakfast course, I pre-ordered the Chirashi sushi bowl through Book the Cook. A vibrant assortment of sashimi, squid, egg and prawn sits on top of a bed of rice, akin to a traditional sushi bowl you would normally find at a Japanese fish market.
Dessert was a nice and light green tea chocolate cake which I picked from the Japanese Hanakoireki menu.
Each dish was colourful to the eyes and the tastebuds, and most definitely ranks Singapore Airlines as a leader in onboard dining.
The airline's Book the Cook pre-order service opens up a staggering 50 courses for flights departing from Singapore and 12 courses departing from Tokyo Narita. The variety available through Book the Cook has a focus centred on South-East Asian cuisines; however, it still has a Western menu to satiate any meat lover's cravings. The full Book the Cook business class menu for flights departing Singapore can be found on its website.
Should passengers choose to forego Book the Cook, the onboard menu was as follows:
The onboard drinks menu is extensive, ranging from fine wines and champagne to gourmet tea and coffee. The headline champagne on offer in business class is currently Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, with a long list of cocktails, spirits and aperitifs rounding out the alcohol menu. Coffee is supplied by illy and the tea range provided by TWG.
Not only does Singapore Airlines excel at entertaining the tastebuds, it also knows how to keep you preoccupied with its onboard entertainment selection. KrisWorld, the onboard entertainment system, contains more than 300 feature length movies and over 700 TV shows from all genres – there's something for everybody!
All of this is available through the large 18-inch HD entertainment screen, which had a crisp and clear image.
To give a better viewing angle while reclined, the main screen can be unlatched by the press of a button and tilted downwards, which is a thoughtful feature.
The seat design is unique in that instead of the backrest electronically reclining backwards into a flat position, the backrest is manually unlatched and folded forwards on a hinge joint, with the other side of the backrest serving as the flat sleeping surface. A video that is played immediately after takeoff shows you how to do this.
The pillow and covers are tucked behind the backrest for easy access when the bed is unfolded. The bed was long enough for me to sleep comfortably; however, the mattress was somewhat firm.
With the exception of the bulkhead seats, the foot cubby is set off to one side, which some may find uncomfortable due to the diagonal sleeping angle. If this bothers you, aim to select a seat in rows 11 or 15.
Verdict - Shing's Singapore Airlines flight rating: ★★★★★☆
An elegantly designed cabin and well polished meal service ranks this Singapore Airlines experience among the best of the best business class experiences to be had anywhere, bar some minor discomfort with the seat and bed (which personally didn't affect me as a side sleeper).
The cherry on top lies with the crew – in all interactions I was greeted warmly by name (which is always a nice touch) and treated with respect and kindness. Not only did the cabin manager Raymond take the time to personally welcome each passenger once they settled in, he also spoke to each passenger individually to pass on messages from the cockpit of anticipated rough weather about halfway into the flight.
All in all, Singapore Airlines is truly a great way to fly!
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