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.
A sunny break from the Pacific Northwest’s typically gloomy winter weather is always a pleasant opportunity. Last month I ventured south from Seattle for a couple days seeking some sun and planespotting.
My wife and I stayed at our favorite LA hotel, the H Hotel Los Angeles. It’s walking distance from the airport and to the famed spotting viewpoint park at the end of runway 24R/06L, a.k.a. the In-N-Out park, so named for its proximity to the famous burger restaurant. It’s actually just across the city line in Westchester for those who like to be exacting about locations.
This trip, 24R/06R was closed, and had been for months, for a big refurbishment project. This meant the spotting at the park was poor, as the planes have been landing on 24L/06R on the north side of the airport, and the two southside runways are seeing additional traffic.
Not having a rental car to go visit the Imperial Hill viewpoint on the airport’s south side, the best option turned out to be the most comfortable one – the H Hotel’s magnificent roof deck. I did walk over for a burger, and some spotting along Sepulveda Boulevard, but the best light and angles for the situation were definitely from the hotel.
Even for repeat visitors, LAX never gets old. The photo options are great, and there’s a seemingly neverending assortment of airlines and planes.
Japan Air Lines has retired all of its Boeing 777-200s, and its very last one stopped overnight at LAX before being flown over to the Victorville boneyard.
Southern California gets winter inversion layers with fog, but sometimes it’s clear as a bell. The weather on this visit was slightly foggy in the morning, and the haze never quite lifted, but there were views of the downtown core and Hollywood sign from the rooftop.
I love flying with a middle seat open next to me (who doesn’t?) and I get to do it quite a bit. I wanted to give you advice on what has worked well for me, so that you too can fly high with an empty middle seat!
This is not one of those “how to” stories that is just clickbait and will tell you “use your miles to upgrade” or “give chocolates to the flight attendants.” Nope… this is all from my own personal experience. You won’t need to do anything unethical, it isn’t that hard, and it often pays off. It will take some time and it will require you to stay engaged from the moment you book your ticket until you board the plane. But I think it is totally worth it… and if you are an AvGeek, I bet you will enjoy the process as well.
Why should you trust me? Well, I would say that 85%+ of the time that I follow the steps below, I end up with a open middle seat next to me… I like those odds. See for yourself and follow these steps to increase the chance of getting an empty middle seat next to you…
Ahhh yes, this is the time of year to take a look back, before taking a look forward. I like to dive into AirlineReporter’s analytics and see what stories were the most popular and where you readers are from. Some of you maybe thinking “well heck David, there haven’t been as many stories this year.” Well, you would be right. I do not want to make any sort of grand statement that we will soon be back to the days of having a daily new story… but I hope we find a happy place in the middle.
And for those who love to see our new stories, but aren’t sure when they post, make sure to sign up for our newsletter and we will send you an email when we publish a new story (sweet self plug, right?).
Let’s take a look at the most read stories, what cities and countries our readers are from, and some other nerdy odds and ends!
I have been running AirlineReporter for over 15 years now and over that time I have been very lucky to experience some pretty rad things and I genuinely treasure all my adventures. Every now and again, someone will ask me which trip was my favorite and often my answers will differ. That said, there are three that consistently stand out. Since I was recently reminiscing about those good times, I figured why not share…
#1 – RWANDAIR’S FIRST 737 DELIVERY FLIGHT (September 2011)
RwandAir’s first Boeing 737-800 sits in a hangar at Boeing Field
During the delivery of RwandAir’s first 737, I remember being out on the flight line in Renton (where all 737s are built) and there were about five for Southwest Airlines. Getting a new 737 for an airline like that is just your typical Tuesday and there is no big fanfare. However, Rwandair’s 737-800 delivery was very different.
Although they already had two 737-500s and some smaller regional aircraft in their fleet, they weren’t purchased new. This 737 wasn’t just something exciting for the airline, but for the entire nation of Rwanda.
There ceremonial keys to the plane (they don’t actually work)
Due to fuel and crew rest requirements, we ended up with a fun flight path. We left Seattle and landed in Iceland to refuel. Then after spending some time on the very cold ramp, we were back in the air to Istanbul where we spent the night. We were hoping to get a feel of the local area, but we were there during Ramadan, so most businesses were closed.