Singapore Airlines is one of the most lauded carriers in the world, with more awards than you can shake a designer amenity kit at.
But The Points Guy UK travel site refused to be hypnotised by the bulging trophy cabinet and sent four of its experts onto one of the carrier’s A380s to carry out a simultaneous investigation into the standards in four cabins – economy, premium economy, business class and first.
Armed with video cameras, they boarded a flight from Frankfurt to New York and recorded mesmerising footage of their experiences – which were variable to say the least.
Ben Smithson ponders his first-class experience on a Singapore Airlines A380
Does it measure up? Ben scrutinises the dimensions of his luxury suite
The lucky reviewer in first class was Ben Smithson, the senior writer. His ticket cost was £5,539, or 86,000 Singapore Krisflyer Miles. But he still got a ‘cold, unfriendly check-in agent’ and found that his suite door ‘kept sticking when opening and closing’.
He also noted that there was ‘no clear separation between first and business class boarding queues’. And caviar was apparently conspicuous by its absence.
On the upside, he was looked after by an ‘impeccable, world-class crew’, had ‘complete privacy’ in the suite, which had a bed ‘more comfortable’ than his bed at home – and was pleased with the choice of Krug or Dom Pérignon vintage Champagne.
Jean Arnas, the head of video, was in business class – which costs £3,739 or 72,000 Singapore Krisflyer Miles on this trip – and also had a few gripes.
Head of video Jean Arnas reclines in his business class suite
He said that the check-in staff at Frankfurt were ‘unfriendly’, the security and boarding officials ‘rude and very inefficient’, and his suite not very private – because ‘the huge space offered also gives exposure to all the other passengers’.
He wasn’t happy with the in-flight entertainment either, which was ‘slow and clunky’. And the food choice was ‘good but limited’.
There were plenty of positives though – a ‘super-friendly, fast and beautifully nail-and-lip-matching crew and a very spacious suite with a very wide comfortable leather seat that turns into a flatbed’.
He also applauded the food and drinks presentation on the November 3 flight and how relaxing the whole experience was on the upper deck.
Director of content Nicky Kelvin was in premium economy. He said the crew was ‘incredible’
Nicky Kelvin, the director of content, was in premium economy, a cabin that on this journey costs from £2,384 or 47,000 Singapore Krisflyer Miles.
The check-in experience came in for criticism yet again. Nicky said it was ‘awful and aggressive’, but noted that they weren’t Singapore crew.
He wasn’t impressed with the food, either, which was the same as in economy, he said – but with one extra choice.
The fact that the toilets were shared with economy didn’t go down well either.
An ‘incredible crew’ that couldn’t do enough to make him comfortable, a ‘nice drinks selection, including cocktails like the famous Singapore Sling’, a separate check-in desk ‘with no queue’, a ‘very nice pillow and blanket’ and the fact that two bottles of water were handed out.
Liam Spencer beds down in economy, which from Frankfurt to New York costs from £409
Bringing up the rear was Liam Spencer in economy – a ticket that costs from £409 or 22,500 Singapore Krisflyer Miles.
He didn’t like his ‘lukewarm’ omelette and sausage breakfast, nor the ‘long gap’ between meal services. And he also complained that the check-in and security staff were rude.
The in-flight entertainment system didn’t please him either. ‘It was well-stocked but was not touch-screen and had poor responsiveness,’ he said.
There were several plusses though – a ‘friendly and attentive crew’, quick service, a comfortable seat, a ‘plush’ pillow, ‘lots of space’ and ‘well-stocked toilets’.
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