Singapore Airlines knows what it’s doing. No airline is perfect, but Singapore earns its status as a fan favorite for frequent fliers. Flying one of their long-haul premium cabins has been one of my AvGeek dreams for a while. So when I snagged a lucky award ticket during a trip to Asia/Australia — and on the A380, no less — I was EXCITED.

I’m not going to bury the lede. This flight was about as good as it gets. It was the airborne equivalent of watching a seasoned orchestra perform. Read on for the full story about my time in Singapore Airlines’ upper-deck A380 business class. And don’t worry, as great as things were inside the plane we still have plenty of window seat views for you to take in.

Touring Tullamarine

My flight was from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport to Singapore Changi. Tullamarine hosts huge variety of carriers and long-haul aircraft, and it made for some great planespotting. The picture below was on a wall in the terminal. I love how strong the Aussie AvGeek culture is.

I got a head-on look at the Airbus A380 that would be operating my flight. A lot of you probably remember that Singapore was the A380’s launch customer.

Before boarding I took a peek at Singapore’s lounge, one level down from the main concourse.

I loved that they had an A380 model sitting on the front desk.

Singapore’s lounge here does the job, though it isn’t anything special.

There’s plenty of comfortable seating and lots of power outlets. But right before the flight it can get crowded. And there’s no views out onto the ramp.

The lounge does have a shower room, a nice feature if you’ve got a long layover.

There was a range of food and drinks, though the food options were more snacky than substantial.

One cool feature: you can board the plane from the same floor as the lounge, instead of having to go back upstairs to the main concourse.

Isn’t she lovely?

Meet the Seat

I got onboard through a jetway that went directly to the A380’s upper level. Getting to board directly onto a plane’s upper deck is pretty cool. Though to be fair, climbing a set of stairs on a plane is also a fun AvGeek novelty.

My first reaction was how MASSIVE the business class cabin was. It stretches nearly the entire length of the upper deck, except for the first class cabin in front.

The cabin may be huge, but the pod-style seats keep you feeling secluded and cozy once you settle in.

Seats are in a 1-2-1 layout. The paired center seats are great for traveling twosomes, though if you’re flying solo you can raise a divider for some privacy.

I was in a right-side window seat in the second of the three mini-cabins. One tiny annoyance for AvGeeks is that the seat enclosure covers part of the windows.

Here’s a closer look at the seat.

There’s plenty of space, storage, and seat controls, all arranged in an intuitive way.

The flight attendants introduced themselves and handed out pre-departure drinks.

Check out our video below for the great window seat views during pushback, taxi, takeoff, and climb-out. And don’t forget to show our YouTube channel some love! Like and subscribe and we’ll keep the videos coming.

How’s this for AvGeek attention to detail: on the flight tracker the plane icon banks into its turns — no skids here.

Singapore’s Service

The second after the double-chimes rang there was a flurry of seatbelts clicking from the galley as the crew literally sprung into action.

The airline boasts a massive list of wines, coffees, teas, cocktails, and plenty of non-alcoholic options.

Since it was my first fancy flight on Singapore Airlines I had to start with the sling.

Check out the dinner menu here:

There was a solid gap between the initial cocktail service and the start of the full meal. To be fair, they had 78 passengers to prep for. But once the food showed up it was worth it. The plating was beautiful and the plates were set down one by one on the table, instead of using a tray.

Here was the starter, a panzanella salad with prawns.

The braised lamb neck with pickled carrot and Korean chili oil — listed as a special dish created by Matt Moran of the Aria restaurant in Sydney — was cooked perfectly and VERY flavorful.

And here were the desserts. Overall it was one of the best meals I’ve had in the sky.

By the time the meal wrapped up we were halfway across the continent, passing over Uluru.

The crew had me covered when I was in the mood for some midflight coffee.

And a couple hours before landing the crew brought out a “refreshment” meal. I went with the Mee Goreng noodles. As opposed to the intricate first meal service this one came out on a tray, but still tasted great.

The crew’s attitude and energy during this flight was just as great as the meals themselves. The flight attendants were incredibly proactive, making frequent passes down the aisle, letting each passenger get through the meal service at their own pace, and offering up suggestions for food+drink pairings.

Passing the Time

After the first meal the crew dimmed the cabin lights and we all settled in for the long haul.

Singapore’s inflight entertainment system Krisworld is one of the best around. Here’s a look at some of the many, many movie options.

The noise cancelling headphones were definitely above the average business class offerings.

Singapore is one of the small but growing group of airlines that offer free WiFi, though you’ll need a Krisflyer account to sign in. On this particular flight the coverage cut out a few times.

I love it when airlines take advantage of the mood lighting options that manufacturers now offer.

We hit the halfway mark in the flight …

… it started getting darker outside …

… and it felt like time to take a nap.

The seat turns into a fully flat bed.

It’s a broad bed, though the way the footrest snakes diagonally towards the window could limit some of your sleep positions.

The lavs had drawers with self-service toiletry amenities, and they were kept spotless throughout the flight. One of my cabin’s lavs was out of service. And even if that one had been working, the lav-to-seat ratio was pretty stingy for a premium cabin.

I took a nap, and woke up as our descent started. It was dark out and there weren’t many views on the way down since our approach was mostly over water.

The Verdict

This may be anticlimactic, but this flight was so perfect that I don’t have a whole lot to say here. I was expecting a great flight. And I got one. The A380 is the perfect platform to deliver a great passenger experience at an enormous scale. The space and comfort factors amplified the excellent work the cabin crew did through the entire flight.

Like I said at the start, this airline knows what its doing.

If you didn’t catch our earlier story on our 17 hours in the sky on SQ24, the world’s longest route, go check it out! And let us know what you think about this flight and share any experiences you’ve had on Singapore’s A380s in the comments section below.

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - NEW YORK, NY. Manu is an avid air traveler, private pilot, and a dedicated AvGeek. He enjoys writing about aviation from a millennial's perspective, and co-manages AirlineReporter's social media and video projects. His day job is as a doctor in NYC.
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Beat Of Hawaii

To each his own fits here with SQ. We have loved the airline but not on the upper deck of the A380. It feels claustrophobic for one thing. While the seats are very full featured and elegant, I feel like I’ve been pasted in with little room to move. Not only that but the food was lackluster from Sin-Syd, even book the cook. Not only that. While the flight attendants were very attentive, their service felt somewhat robotic and not spontaneous. It was a bit letdown overall. I’d contrast that with their regional first class between South Africa and Singapore on the A350, which hit high marks and was head and shoulders better.


I thought Singapore airlines stopped flying a380 to Melbourne..?

Hey eric, yes you’re right, we flew this a few months ago just before they took the A380 off this particular route


Singapore Airlines should fly to Lahore again.. they lose tourism chances by not having that flight anymore. I loved going from Sydney to Lahore on Singapore Airlines.


Great review covering every detail! I enjoyed reading it.

Manu , just flew the singapore A380 from Singapore to Sydney business, everything you reported was right except I found the seat very hard and when laid flat was like sleeping on wood . Garry.

Matt H

I have to say I think Singapore and Cathay are the most over rated airlines in the world. I’d rather fly United Polaris any day over them. emirates and ANA are truly exceptional. If you you got the same seat and same slow service on United you would complain to no end. No way Singapore and Cathay are five star airlines any longer.

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