Review: Singapore Airlines A380 Suites First Class from Tokyo NRT to Los Angeles

TL;DR – Wasn’t a fan of the ‘rushed’ service, but 3 vintages of Dom/Krug makes up for it

Introduction

We flew Singapore Airlines A380 Suites class from Tokyo to Los Angeles back in December 2015.  We had run into the Star Wars cast on the plane, so that was definitely the highlight of the flight.  You’ve seen lot of reviews on this already, so I won’t rehash.  I’ll make this short.

Also, I’m all about perspective.  If this was my first and only First Class experience, then you should read the review with a grain of salt, but now that I’ve tried 7 different First Class products, I feel that’s enough to give this review some credibility.  Here are the ones I’ve tried:

Booking the Flight

I booked this flight nearly 10 months out.  It’s hard to find award tickets from the US to Asia, but a little bit easier from Asia back to the US.  I spent 74,375 Singapore miles + $272 in fees per person for this one-way flight.

Where to sit

If you’re a couple, you DEFINITELY want to pick the 2 middle rows, so as soon as you book your flights, call up Singapore and book those seats!  I almost waited too long and luckily got the last middle row.  On the flight, we saw one lady who was sitting in 2F and her companion was in 3A.  That is definitely no bueno since you can’t get the double bed if you don’t get the middle rows.

sqa380

Image courtesy of Seatguru.com

Seat comfort

The seat was fine.  Actually, it was a bit old on my flight.  The tray table wouldn’t retract at one point and the FA had to muscle it down.  The divider goes down and so you can see each other eating, but it’s not like you’re sitting across from them like in CX and EY.

This was a 6PM flight, so by the time we got done with dinner, I asked for them to make our bed, which involves putting a nice mattress cover on the seat.  Sure enough, we were now sleeping next to each other.  After a minute, I ‘hug and rolled’ my wife back to her side and then fell asleep.

 

Champagne

Definitely the highlight of the flight!  Two vintages of Dom and 1 vintage of Krug.  I had all 3!  I then had my wife do a blind taste test for me, and luckily I chose Krug, but let me tell you, it was actually hard.   I took down probably about 1.5 bottles worth on the flight.

 

Entertainment

I don’t remember too much, but it wasn’t bad.  I don’t recall there being WiFi on the flight.  

Meal

I had prebooked my meal – the lobster thermidor and it didn’t look good when brought out.  From what I’ve heard since then, you only want to get the lobster if you’re departing Singapore.  Anywhere else, it’s a miss.  I prebooked my wife for the “Japanese meal” and it was A LOT of food.  She enjoyed that more than I enjoyed my lobster.

 

Service

I wasn’t a fan of the rushed service.  The FAs were nice and all, but I just felt rushed.  The thing that bothered me the most was that I had them give me a wake-up call something like an hour before we landed.  Sure enough, an hour before we landed, I heard loud knocking noises on my neighbor’s suite door and eventually on my door.  I was sorta expecting a quieter knock and a slow volume escalation; not a loud hard knock on my door.

The service was almost machine-like… a fine well oiled machine but still a machine, whereas I remember one part of my CX flight, the head purser kneeled down next to my seat to make small-talk.  I didn’t feel the SQ FA’s had the time and/or interest to get to know me; maybe it was because the F cabin was full on that flight.  Now I’m not saying I want every FA to talk to me on my flights (which I don’t), but it’d be nice if they at least attempted some chit-chat like, “How long were you in Tokyo?  Is Los Angeles home?”

 

Conclusion

Before I booked my First Apartments flight, this was the flight I was most looking forward to due to the double bed, and out of all my F flights, I felt this one was the most overrated.  The food wasn’t that good…the service felt a bit rushed… my seat was sorta broken.  The bed didn’t seem much wider than the ones on CX or First Apartments.  I’m glad I took the flight, but if I had a choice, I’d pick CX, EK, or EY before SQ again.

 

Photos

 

sq01

sq02

sq03

sq04

sq05

sq06

sq07

sq08

sq09

sq10

sq11

sq12

sq13

sq14

sq15

sq16

sq17

sq18

sq19

  • I’ve also had the Lobster Thermidor, which you can definitely give a miss. But the Japanese kaiseki is pretty impressive, even after a few (albeit underwhelming) Michelin star restaurants in Osaka. These are only available on the Japan flights though. Most Singaporeans (like myself) like the satay that you have a photo of. My general guideline: always choose the Japanese option if there is one (for Japan flights), second choice are the Singaporean dishes (which is part of the business BTC, I can’t remember if it’s also available in Suites), third choice Asian dishes 😀

    • Miles per Day

      I think my wife had the kaiseki and she enjooyed it. I probably should have done the same. Those are good guidelines though. Thanks.

  • J. Greisman

    Just got back on this flight RT JFK to Singapore through FRA. Just to supplement your review, there is no free wifi, but it can be purchased (6.99 for 15 mb). Also, the flight out of JFK was rather empty in suites and the service was leaps and bound better and more personal. On the flight back from Singapore the suites were almost full and the service, while lovely, had that “rushed” vibe you were describing.

    • Miles per Day

      Thanks for the info. I wonder if they installed it recently or it’s only available on certain segments.

  • JP

    How’d you get back to Seattle?

    I need to fly this when I come back from Japan….however I take a bunch of luggage back and don’t to have to book an extra ticket from LAX to SEA…

  • Chen Y Chang

    Yeah, service isn’t as good when the flight is packed. I flew Suites from LAX-NRT with one other passenger. The service was awesome!

    • Miles per Day

      That’s what I figured. How was your food? What’d you order?

      • Chen Y Chang

        My flight was back on Easter Sunday in 2014. SQ usually assigns 3 flight attendants in Suites so I basically had 2 flight attendants to myself. I also had the Lobster Thermiador. It was tasty, and I remember it looked a lot better than the one you had. lol I also had a steak for the 2nd meal. it was a lot of food for an 11 hour flight.

  • Ken

    Man, that food looks terrible for SQ. I would’ve been disappointed too.

    • Miles per Day

      Yeah I didn’t realize how bad that lobster looked until I saw it again