Earlier today I flew Singapore Airlines in premium economy from Hong Kong to Singapore. I’m happy I got to try the product, as I’m now trying to rank the product along with Virgin Atlantic’s and Cathay Pacific’s, the other two premium economy products I’ve tried. I’ve covered Singapore Airlines’ amazing KrisWorld entertainment system, which is undeniably one of the world’s best, though I do want to share my initial thoughts on their premium economy experience.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy
Our family managed to snag four seats in premium economy under a promotional fare of HK$3800, which I believe was a great deal, considering economy can go as high as HK$4000 on Cathay Pacific. It was my second time on Singapore’s A380, and my first time flying premium economy on Singapore Airlines.
So, how did I find it?
Singapore Airlines A380 Premium Economy Seat
Singapore’s A380 features 36 premium economy recliners in a 2-4-2 configuration (there are five rows by the window and four rows in the middle). They are featured right behind the second door on the lower deck, behind the Suites, and economy class is featured right behind. I love the colour times of Singapore’s A380 premium economy – while the orange may look cheap from a distance, it’s subtle enough, and more mellow than you’d expect.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Cabin
The actual seat comfort is good. The padding is adequate for premium economy, but I’ve never found leather seats to be especially comfortable. The recline is more than sufficient and doesn’t protrude into the space behind you, which I’m happy with.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Cabin
Each seat features its own legrest and footrest, which is a nice touch. There was also ample space to use both features. While the legrest appears to be slightly small, I didn’t find that to be an issue during my four-hour flight.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Footrest
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Legrest
While you wouldn’t expect a premium economy seat to have much storage, I did appreciate all the little compartments the seat had. It’s certainly annoying when I end up juggling my computer, my phone, my headphones and my charger on my lap. It’s also worth noting that the seatback pocket is large and sturdy, and could fit a lot.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Storage
Each seat also comes with two USB ports and a power plug, which I found to be useful throughout the flight. Passengers travelling on longer flights will appreciate the additional USB port, and I liked that one port was provided on the seatback, while the other was provided on the panel beside you.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Amenities
While amenity kits aren’t provided in premium economy (at least on this short flight), I did get to use the headphones that were provided. They weren’t high quality – the padding was harder than the seat itself – though the sound quality was definitely good.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Headphones
The pillow was plush, and the blanket was sufficient for a four-hour flight, though I definitely hope that heavier blankets are provided on longer flights.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Pillow
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Blanket
Not mentioned are the amazing KrisWorld entertainment system and the WiFi that is charged by usage, which I’ve covered in a previous post. This is the same WiFi that has once cost a man US$1200, so I’d avoid WiFi charged by data usage.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy WiFi
Singapore Airlines A380 Premium Economy Food
Singapore Airlines offers Book the Cook in Premium Economy, so we all took advantage of that. I decided to order the fish with garlic butter, which was probably one of the best economy/premium economy dishes I’ve had in the air, due to how flavoursome the garlic butter fish was and how well executed the rest of the ingredients were. I do think that there was some coherency missing, though for a premium economy meal I’m more than happy to accept what I got.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Meal – Fish with Garlic Butter
Everyone else in the cabin who took advantage of Book the Cook, including my parents and my sister, seemed to be interested in the beef stew with mushroom, which was another decent choice. It was definitely better thought with the presence of mashed potatoes and a great sauce, though not as well executed as the fish that I was served, with tougher beef and bland mashed potatoes. The beef was only slightly too tough to pull apart with a fork and the mashed potatoes were nothing that couldn’t be fixed with the butter on the side, but there certainly is a gap between what we got and a true restaurant-quality meal.
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy Meal – Beef Stew with Mushroom
I’m happy that I got to Book the Cook, and certainly would continue to in the future – though don’t expect to be a gourmet meal of any sort.
Singapore Airlines A380 Premium Economy Service
The inflight supervisor was amazing on the flight – he was proactive, nice, kept walking through the cabin to make sure everyone was alright, and gave me access to first and business class after the flight so I could be happy with my pictures (and even showed me around, showing me how the business class seat turned into a bed). I didn’t manage to get his name, but he was so great at what he did and I look forward to be on another one of his flights in the future. Another flight attendant of Indian descent seemed to love her job as well and constantly took care of everyone, though I can’t speak much of her, as she seemed to mostly work economy on the flight.
However, I did feel like everyone else was just going through the motions. Most of the other “common” flight attendants didn’t crack a smile throughout the flight, despite kneeling down to talk to passengers in some instances. I can tell that everyone had been rigorously trained on this flight, but I wasn’t sure if everyone wanted to be there.
One rather big error was that it took an hour for my tray to be cleared. I understand that I was one of the first people in economy to get my meal, so it’s fair enough that I would have to wait longer to get my tray cleared, and I know that the A380 is a big plane, especially on the lower deck. However, I do think that the pace of the meal service could have been executed slightly better.
Singapore Airlines A380 Premium Economy Bottom Line
Singapore Airlines’ premium economy is a great way to spend four hours. The seat is solid, though I’m not sure if it counts as one of the best in the industry. The service on this flight was led by an enthusiastic man that clearly loved his job, though everyone else seemed slightly removed. I do love the Book The Cook option, though I don’t know how the “regular” food tastes, so I can’t really speak for that as resonantly.
Singapore Airlines is consistently known as the cream of the crop, so this flight has left me wondering if they’re really as perfect as everyone says they are. Apart from the supervisor, I didn’t really feel anything from other flight attendants that left me feeling that Singapore Airlines was a cut above the rest. However, I still have another flight on them, so I’m curious to see if my perspective changes.