Singapore Airlines was recently named the world’s second-best airline at the Oscars of the aviation industry, the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022. But how does it perform when time is against the crew on a speedy flight? This eye-opening video reveals all.
It shows travel experts from The Points Guy UK (TPG UK) – plus one special guest, Czech YouTuber Adam Mach – simultaneously reviewing economy, premium economy and business class on a Singapore Airlines long-haul A350 flying a remarkable new short-haul route between Barcelona and Milan.
Despite the short flight time, the reviewers are charmed by the airline’s fast service and comfort levels, with economy snapping up points for its ‘lovely’ free food, premium economy for its ‘peaceful’ layout, and business class for its high-quality accessories. But there are a few wrinkles, from an ‘underwhelming’ business-class meal to a ‘thin’ blanket in premium economy. Read on for more…
The Points Guy UK team flew simultaneously with Singapore Airlines on an A350 flight between Barcelona and Milan. Liam Spencer (pictured) tested out the business-class seat
Liam Spencer enjoyed the luck of the draw, with TPG paying £312 for his Business Class seat – 15A.
He was impressed by it, describing it as ‘extremely comfortable’. He revealed: ‘I enjoyed its unique design compared to other business class products.’
However, he admitted that it ‘could have been a little comfier’ when folded out into a bed, with the horizontal configuration ‘a bit too firm for my liking’. What’s more, the footwell was ‘fairly narrow’, meaning his feet were ‘at quite an awkward angle in the fully flat position’.
The food was another low point.
He explained: ‘The meal itself was sadly a little disappointing for business class. There weren’t many options to choose from so I opted for a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich. It was by no means inedible, just underwhelming.’
On a more positive note, the accessories that came with the seat – ‘from the bedding and pillows to the noise-cancelling headphones’ – were ‘of the highest quality’.
Liam declared: ‘Singapore Airlines ensured that all the amenities were of the premium quality you’d expect on a business fare.’
Above is Liam with a smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich, which didn’t impress. ‘It was by no means inedible, just underwhelming,’ he said
Liam’s meal was ‘sadly a little disappointing for business class’
It didn’t take long for Liam to receive a glass of Champagne after boarding
The crew were premium quality, too.
Liam said: ‘[They] handed me a glass of Champagne shortly after sitting down, and were attentive and friendly throughout. I was impressed at how quickly they were able to serve and clear away a full meal service on this hop.’
Plus, it only took a zippy 25 seconds for a crew member to respond after he pressed his flight attendant call button.
Overall, Liam gave the experience a thumbs up. ‘It was a thrill to fly such a luxurious product on a route this short,’ he concluded.
Czech YouTuber Adam Mach tested out Premium Economy. Above, he unwraps his inflight meal – a ham and cheese croissant
Adam Mach found himself in Premium Economy, with TPG splashing £150 on seat 33K.
It was the YouTuber’s first time flying in this grade of cabin – and he was pleasantly surprised by the experience.
He said: ‘It really surprised me what an upgrade it actually was from regular economy.
‘The mini cabin of three rows gave enough intimacy to have a peaceful flight.
‘My seat was really comfortable, wide enough and also reclined well. Together with an uplifted footrest, comfy enough even for extra-long-haul flights, which the plane also operates on a daily basis. A great seat.’
As for the service, it was ‘quick’ – it took just 29 seconds for a flight attendant to appear once he’d pressed his bell.
Adam found that service was ‘quick’ – it took just 29 seconds for a crewmember to appear once he’d pressed his flight attendant call button
One niggle for Adam was a blanket that was on the thin side
Any downsides? Just a couple.
Adam said that while his pillow was ‘huge’, the blanket was on the thin side. And he was ‘left wanting a little more of Singapore Airlines’ supposed brilliant catering’, noting that as the flight was short he was only given a ham and cheese croissant, and that was ‘a bit dry’.
Despite these drawbacks, Adam’s overall experience was a positive one. ‘It was a really nice flight. Truly amazing,’ he declared.
Nicky Kelvin, Head of TPG UK, flew economy. Above is his ‘large comfortable seat’
Nicky said: ‘I was able to stretch out in a way that is never normally possible within Europe’
Nicky with his free Diet Coke on the flight
Nicky Kelvin, Head of TPG UK, drew the short straw, paying £76 for seat 45K in economy.
While the flight was ‘a similar price to other carriers, even the low-cost options’, he said that it included ‘free food, a large comfortable seat, a spacious cabin and in-flight entertainment’.
He found that because the cabin was ‘so large’, it meant there were free seats beside him. ‘I was able to stretch out in a way that is never normally possible within Europe,’ he said.
Nicky had picked up a freebie pair of Singapore Airlines headphones when he boarded, and was surprised by the sound quality when he tried them out. ‘For a free pair of headphones in economy these [were] actually really good,’ he admitted.
What about the service?
Nicky’s meal, a packaged egg sandwich, turned out to be ‘a lovely little snack’
Nicky said that even though the flight was brief, the crew hit the mark, with a flight attendant appearing just 36 seconds after he hit the bell.
‘The Singapore Airlines crew were able to deliver a real experience and taste of what a long-haul flight with the airline would have been like,’ Nicky revealed.
The refreshments were another highlight.
His meal, a packaged egg sandwich, turned out to be ‘a lovely little snack’. He received a free Diet Coke, too.
Summing up his flight, he declared: ‘For an economy product at such a low price point and within Europe, this experience was unbeatable.’
For more information on travel tips and tricks, sign up to The Points Guy UK. To see the full Singapore Airlines A350 Barcelona to Milan review video click here.
Nicky, Liam and Adam at Barcelona Airport before their flight to Milan
Jet-setting: The team’s Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 at Barcelona