Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class, Delhi to Singapore on the 787-10


After a quick hop to the Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge at the Delhi Airport, I headed to participate in the celebrations that Singapore Airlines had planned for the launch of the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 flights from Delhi. While the party was still underway, I slipped out and on my way to the plane, to be able to get some good clear shots of the aircraft and the hard product inside.

Singapore Airlines is the first airline in the world to fly the Boeing 787-10, the most extended variant of the 787 aircraft. Eventually, they will have 49 of these aircraft in their fleet. Each plane has 36 lie-flat business class seats and 301 economy class seats, and they are used on the regional routes, such as those to Delhi, Osaka, Perth and so on.

Here is a first look at the Business Class on board this aircraft.

Singapore Airlines 787-10 Regional Business Class

Singapore Airlines 787-10 Regional Business Class

Like you would note, the earlier planes on this route used to have 2-2-2 Business Class seats, which is now gone, and you now have 1-2-1 Business Class with each side having aisle access. Here is a good look at the complete seat, which is called Symphony by Stella Aerospace, who are the seat manufacturers for Singapore Airlines.

While I will comment on the Business Class cabin later, take note of the seat shell which ensures all passengers in Business Class get a certain amount of privacy.

Here is a good look at the Economy Class cabin.

I thought Economy Class was very tastefully done, with the choice of colours ensuring the cabin looks bright during the day flights, adding a certain amount of freshness to the cabin. It is always a challenge to pick cabin colours which work from maintenance as well as a good-looks perspective, but this understated cabin does both.

All Economy Class seats have an 11.6-inch on-demand entertainment system which has USB Power and a power outlet as well. There is a cup-holder for your drink, and wifi on board to make sure you are productive. Regarding seat pitch, I gather each Economy class seat has at least 32″ seat pitch.

As passengers started boarding, I headed back to my seat in Business Class.

Singapore Airlines SQ 401
Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) – Changi Airport (SIN) 
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Departure: 09:53 AM
Arrival: 06:15 PM
Duration: 5 Hours 52 Minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 787-10
Seat: 11K (Business Class)
Meal Service: Lunch

Travelling alone, I was looking forward to flying on one of the A or K row seats which came along with the view outside. I lucked out when I called Singapore Airlines ahead of the flight and was able to get seat 11K, which is the first row of the Business Class and comes with a bassinet provision.

As you would see, there is more than enough space there to keep your bag on the bassinet if one is not in play on your flight. The seat had some excellent space to store all of my stuff I was travelling with.

Singapore Airlines has chosen a very nice colour combination, with a variety of brown hues which complement each other and soothe the eyes as well, apart from giving a sense of space.

If you are travelling solo, then you could look to get yourself a seat in the A or K seats. The seat alternate, so you are either near the aisle and far from the window, or near the window but far from the aisle. If you choose to be near the window, you will end up having to squeeze through the seat shells which are about 9″ wide, which should be a minor irritant.

The middle seats are similarly arranged with two seats next to each other, and two seats far from each other. There is a privacy divider in the middle which you can drop, in case you are travelling with someone you know, or keep it up to avoid making small talk.

Here is a look at the seat map to help you get a better understanding of the layout of the seats and the consoles. Seats in row 16 do not have any windows but the fuselage.

 

I placed my rollaboard bag in the overhead bin, which looked spacious enough to bring 4-5 bags placed on their side in one go. Once the overhead bins fold up, of course, they merge into the walls, adding to the sense of overall space as well.

At my seat, I had a blanket, slippers and eye shades waiting for me. Slippers for a 6-hour long flight? I could live with that.

I moved all the extra things that were bothering me to the bassinet which meant I could sit comfortably. The pillow was a large one, something I would usually use for sleeping and not as a throw pillow, so it went away as well.

Let me help you with a good look of the seat. Like I mentioned earlier, the seat shell creates a sort of a cocoon, which means that you don’t have to be bothered by anyone walking through the aisle since it won’t distract you in the first place. Not just that, with the padding, it also ensures you get a cushioned surface to rest your head sideways.

The seat by itself is about 20 inches in width, which may sound compact to some, but works well, given these are 8-hour or fewer flights, and you might not find yourself sleeping much between meal services in the first place. But retract the armrests, and you get another 6 inches of space to move around easily.

There is a large storage cabinet as a part of the console, where the headphones are stored, but you could use the space to store all sorts of personal effects such as your passport, your iPad and wallet. There are also two USB ports, not one, which means you can juice up your phone, your iPad, and with the universal power adapter, your laptop, all in one go. I tried juicing up my phone later in the flight, and the USB ports seemed to have enough voltage for a fast charge.

In front of me was a large television set for in-flight entertainment.

There was a large footwell as well, which meant I did not have to sleep sideways on this plane, but on my back was going to be just fine.

As soon as I was seated, a member of the crew came around and offered me welcome drinks. The choices offered included apple juice, mango juice, orange juice and mango lassi. I went with the lassi, of course. She also went back and brought me a hot towel right away.

Right after, reading material was distributed for everyone, and menu cards were distributed as well. Singapore Airlines does not give away amenity kits. However, the lav is well stocked with all the products you could need on the flight.

I headed to the lavatory to have a quick look. First comment, the business class lavatory, which is front of the aircraft and after the galley, was big. It wasn’t massive but very big.

I have to commend Singapore Airlines and Boeing to make this a contactless cabin. I am a germophobe to some extent, and this is the best thing to have happened since I just need to wave to flush and use my foot to open the trashcan.

But the best touch was another unique feature, where they made an allowance for you to be able to sit down and tie your shoelaces.

The lavatory had products from Penhaligon’s. And there were combs, razors, dental kits, etc. stocked up as well.

The flower was a nice touch.

Getting back out, it was time to fly, so I was helped to strap in with the three-point harness by the cabin crew who was serving my aisle.

I had a fantastic view thanks to the two big windows of the Boeing 787-10 in front of me.

We pushed back a couple of minutes ahead of our scheduled departure time and were very soon taxiing towards the runway and made a quiet roll, out of Delhi Airport in another 20 minutes. Those who frequent this route will notice the quiet of the new aircraft as compared to earlier aircraft flown on this route. We met another 787 coming in for Virgin Atlantic on our way out.

As soon the aircraft levelled out, the crew was back in action quietly and efficiently. First order of business was to start serving drinks. Apart from an extensive wine list, there was the champagne on this flight, and I went with the champagne option.

The champagne being served was Charles Heidsieck, and the flight attendant brought along a ramekin of some warm nuts as well.

I started to browse KrisWorld’s very extensive collection of movies for something nice to watch and brought out the headsets. These are OEM headsets, but noise-cancelling and did a very good job combined with the quiet plane ambience in the few hours we were going to be on the plane. I did not feel the need to pull out my own noise-cancelling earphones at any time.

The new KRISworld inflight entertainment system is powered by the Panasonic eX3 IFE system, and while there is a physical handset, it is a touchscreen and doubles up as a second screen, for instance, to keep up with the route information while your main screen plays your movies.

A word about that solid tray table, it is wide enough to hold your laptop and solid enough to have you work with it, so do not worry about having your tray table wobble with your keystrokes.

I started to watch Sicario, a movie I had missed out for a very long time, and in the meanwhile lunch service also begun. While Singapore Airlines has an excellent Book the Cook service, which is also available to Business Class customers, I was more interested in the Indian options SQ served on this flight, and hence I went with an Indian brunch menu, and that too the full-service at that.

Singapore Airlines is one of the very few airlines which actually does not just have a breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner meal service. Depending on your flight time, you could get brunch or a supper service as well.

First, the cabin crew brought me a selection of sliced fresh fruits, which were very refreshing.

This was followed by a portion of Swiss Muesli, again very delectable.

By this time, I was already starting to be slightly full, but I wouldn’t let that get in the way of me trying out the Indian main options that Singapore Airlines offered for lunch this afternoon.

I went with the vegetarian Indian option and was served Paneer, Dal, Pulao and Peas & Waterchestnuts on one plate.

Along with it, the flight attendant brought along a bread basket, which had a choice of breakfast rolls with preserves, and paranthas as well. It was all served hot.

The meal was excellent, both in presentation as well as in taste. Having tasted their Indian meals not just on this occasion but earlier occasions too, I can say Singapore Airlines has been able to nail the taste of an Indian meal very well, as compared to many other airlines which operate from India but are not as invested in designing the meal uplift from India. Kudos to Singapore Airlines, then, to engage Chef Sanjeev Kapoor on their international culinary panel for a while now, so they have the insights they need to design premium meals from India.

The main course was followed by me turning down dessert, but the flight attendant tempted me with some ice cream, and I could not say no.

By this time, my movie was coming to an end. At first, I wanted to get some work done, as in some emails which needed to go out. The aircraft had wifi, which worked after we crossed out of Indian territory.

Singapore Airlines offers free wifi for premium cabin passengers, but a very small batch of data at that. If you want to buy additional data, I’d reckon it is expensive, at 6 US$ for 20 MB.

 

Since I was flying in Business Class, all I had to do was to put my seat number and my last name, and I was able to connect to the wifi system and upload my emails.

In a bit, I was feeling slightly sleepy. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to put the bed on this flight to test. I used the touch-controlled panel on the side of the bed to lay out the flatbed.

As the flatbed laid out, the armrests also sunk inside, giving the bed a larger width for sleeping. The blanket which was placed on the seat was thick enough for this short nap. Since SQ is the only airline in the world which offers Milo on their flights, I did not pass the opportunity to get me some Milo on ice before dozing off.

I managed to get about one and a half hours of sleep, and I was very impressed with the firmness of the bed mode, which allowed me to sleep on the side as well as on the back, without having to worry about fitting in the seat or not.

While I could not get a great picture of the full-length bed, it is indeed long at 1.9 metres.

As I woke up, we were about twenty-five minutes to touchdown. I requested a cappuccino to be served. In the meanwhile, the captain came on the PA system making an announcement about our expected arrival time. My piping hot cappuccino came just before the announcement.

There were some great views on the outside as we got ready to arrive in Singapore.

We landed into Singapore just about on schedule, taking in all the sights of the wonderful traffic that graces the Changi Airport.

On arrival, however, I faced one of the worst waiting times at Changi to go through immigration, given the heavy load of multiple flights landing up at the same time, and it was about an hour before I could head to the baggage belt to collect my bags and run for my dinner meeting.

Bottomline

This is a great enhancement from Singapore Airlines, and you end up flying one of the 787-10s or the A350s with these regional seats I think it is a big step change from the last regional seat. I’d do this flight again in a jiffy, and hopefully, you would too?

What has been your experience with the Singapore Airlines 787-10 Regional Business Class? 

Pros

+ Personal Space
+ Fresh new product
+ Indian catering is spot on
+ Wifi on board
+ Krisflyer IFE experience

Cons

None really!

Rating

Comments

  1. In Business Class, the seat configuration is different in every alternate row. The row that you were in is all good. The next row, if you’re a little heavyset, you can’t even ‘enter’ the seat. Try it next time and you’ll see. The airline staff also said that many customers are complaining about this.

    Also, there is a small mirror at each seat that you can pull out and use. Nice touch. But fact is, the height at which it opens, you need to be half lying down in your seat to be able to use it!

    How can SQ have such basic design flaws! Just incredible!

  2. The seats are from Stelia Aerospace not Stella BTW. Nice review love it. I am planning to fly it in a few days now I know what to expect.

  3. Could you do a review on the same route in economy? It’s not enlightening to hear about business class on SQ since it’s always nice. SQ’s economy class has been declining more and more so it would be much more useful to your readers if you fly economy, where 90% of passengers (and ergo your readers) fly. Please do a better job in responding to the needs of your readers. Thanks!

    • Very true! Haven’t seen any boardingarea blogger who responds to the readers the way he does. A bit of arrogance. I’m not complaining Ajay. You’re doing a very good job. It’s just a little suggestion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *