A380 really so much better than A380 old First?

Old Aug 20, 19, 4:01 pm
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A380 really so much better than A380 old First?

I've seen the pictures and read the reviews. Sure, the A380 Suites are really impressive. But then I wonder:
  • As a solo traveler, will I care about the possibility of a double bed?
  • Food and other service elements are identical
  • And most important: the Suites look like a really confined space, where it's (almost?) impossible to gaze out the window
Is this true? Are there other differences that may insisting on a Suite vs an old F cabin worthwhile? I have the choice to fly from FRA (old F) or LHR (Suites)

Thanks
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Old Aug 20, 19, 6:44 pm
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The new suites are visually spectacular. Really well done aesthetically and they feel very special when you get in there. The crews are understandably excited about them and my perception is those crews have upped their already excellent service standards. Or possibly SQ just staffs those flights with their very best crews.

In the past year, I've done 10 or so flights in the old suites and 3 flights in the new. Only listing that so you know it's first hand experience.

Despite the new suites being more visually appealing, I personally don't find them an improvement functionally. Here are my complaints.
1. I do not like the seat. It's gorgeous and the leather is excellent. I just don't find it comfortable. It doesn't recline enough and the footrest isn't long enough. The latter is unforgivable to me b/c then your lower legs are dangling and that's very fatiguing on a longhaul flight.

2. The bed is slightly more narrow on the new suite compared to the old. Yes, you can leave it out all the time and still have a chair. So if you're someone that goes back and forth between bed and chair, then you may prefer this setup.

Take everything I say with the following caveat. My preferred seating position in the old suites is make the bed up for most of flight. I spend the entire flight in the provided PJ's. I work with my laptop in my lap. I watch TV like I'm in bed at home. And for meals, they have a temporary table that they can set up that attaches to the side of the bed. The last one is the only slightly problematic one and I will stay in chair mode if I'm eating immediately after takeoff or right before landing. But to everyone that will say it's a pain to make the bed and unmake the bed, I agree completely. Which is why I stay in bed mode.

But even without being in bed mode, I find the old suite chair more comfortable than the new suites chair. And I find the old suites bed more comfortable than the new suites. Oh yes, I should also point out that with the new suites, there is no way to sit up in bed. You'd be leaning against the inverted curvature of the windows. There is a way to prop the head of the bed up a little (like a hospital bed) to watch TV. But it's not comfortable and wouldn't work to say, sit up and work on your laptop.

In answer to your specific questions. Double bed is an option on old suites and you have a better chance with other single travelers more likely to take the windows. With 12 seats in old suites, you also have a better chance of getting 2 suites. One for a seat and the other set up as a bed. That's what usually happens for me.

Food and service are largely identical. As noted, service does seem slightly elevated and probably should be with only 6 seats to serve.

Definitely not a confined space. I find the old suites to be extremely generous. Better than just about anyone out there compared to ANA, JL, AF, BA. The new suites are just a ridiculous amount of room. When you can walk around inside your suite on a plane, that's not confined at all! That said, you are correct about the window. Dining and watching TV are both with the seat turned away from the window. And the chair turns very slowly so not practical to keep swiveling it around.

If I were you, I would just take whichever is more convenient. Absolutely no reason to take a positioning flight unless you just want to try out the new suites product.

Final comment. If this were a conversation between suites and standard F on the 777, I would absolutely tell you to take a positioning flight to get onto the A380 suites. The standard F is perfectly fine compared to other F. But the bed mode in particularly is not comfortable. There is a ridiculous flap over that connects the seat to the footrest and it's not the full width and it doesn't sit flush. So you will wake up with a sore spot wherever your leg hits the hump. FRA has one flight a day on each. I believe LHR is 2 of each. Make sure you pick the correct flight. F is the same price as Suites so take Suites.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Are there other differences that may insisting on a Suite vs an old F cabin worthwhile? I have the choice to fly from FRA (old F) or LHR (Suites)
Are you comparing old suites to new suites, or old non-suites F to new suites?
For me, I will choose J over non-suite F (SQ's J product is already so good that I don't see the point in spending extra for F),
and Suites (either new or old) over J.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 12:11 am
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Thank you ever so much! Very very insightful and helpful.

Originally Posted by shuigao View Post
Are you comparing old suites to new suites, or old non-suites F to new suites?
For me, I will choose J over non-suite F (SQ's J product is already so good that I don't see the point in spending extra for F),
and Suites (either new or old) over J.
Hmmm... I don't know to be honest. I am a very infrequent SQ flyer (don't come to Asia a lot), so I don't even know what "old non-suites F" is.

I'll be on an A380 flight from either CDG or LHR. The choice will depend on what my agenda looks like. It was only when I looked at the seat maps on expertflyer to see whether there was a window seat left - I absolutely want to look out the window! Don't care about TV - that I realised that the planes had different cabin layouts, and so I started researching a bit. That's when I discovered that the LHR flgiht has A380 Suites and the CDG A380 has, welll... what is it? Old Suites? Non Suites F? Just wanted to know whether I'd miss out on a lot if I went from CDG, or whether the setup in the old cabin from CDG might actually suit me better if it allows me to look out the window.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 1:30 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Thank you ever so much! Very very insightful and helpful.



Hmmm... I don't know to be honest. I am a very infrequent SQ flyer (don't come to Asia a lot), so I don't even know what "old non-suites F" is.

I'll be on an A380 flight from either CDG or LHR. The choice will depend on what my agenda looks like. It was only when I looked at the seat maps on expertflyer to see whether there was a window seat left - I absolutely want to look out the window! Don't care about TV - that I realised that the planes had different cabin layouts, and so I started researching a bit. That's when I discovered that the LHR flgiht has A380 Suites and the CDG A380 has, welll... what is it? Old Suites? Non Suites F? Just wanted to know whether I'd miss out on a lot if I went from CDG, or whether the setup in the old cabin from CDG might actually suit me better if it allows me to look out the window.
When is your intended travel date ? CDG will use 777-300ER for winter schedule (nov to end March) so these will be the non suite F. (Only 4 seats)

For the A380 with old configuration, there are middle seats (no windows view). While the new suites have windows views for each suite.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 1:57 am
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Youíre welcome. Iíve read many of your posts in the AF forum and itís always been helpful so happy to reciprocate.

Quick question. Your opening post said you had a choice of FRA or LHR but here you reference CDG. Not a big deal bc CDG is same as FRA with Old A380 suites. Just clarifying.

Regarding your other question. Youíll notice I was very specific in using Suites vs First. All SQ A380 is Suites class. Itís either the old 12 seat suites class or the new 6 seat Suites class. Currently only 5 routes have the new Suites. LHR and ZRH are the only 2 European options. No North American options yet.

All other aircraft, like 777, only offer Non Suite First. And some donít have First at all. Like A350. Non Suite First is a very good product. Similar to new La Premiere with 4 across on the 777 in layout, space, and on board service. I think La Premiere is a better execution of the hard product. SQ are currently re doing First and only part of the fleet is done. The seat is basically the same with slight cosmetic updates. New F config is 1 row of 4. Older F config is 2 rows of 4.

But getting back to suites. If flying from CDG, just take the A380 non stop in old suites. Youíll be very comfortable and itíll be an easier trip. Especially if you just want to look out the window. Youíre facing forward in old suites with windows to the side. If youíre eating, working, watching TV (which I know you donít care about), or reading a book, itís like a normal experience with windows to the side you can easily look out. Some rows have 3 windows while others have 2. I believe itís Row 2 that has 3 windows but not positive.

In new suites, for eating or watching TV, or working with table out, youíre facing the aisle with your back to the window. If you do try new suites, definitely take Row 2. Row 1 facing forward faces the wall. At least in Row 2, the bed is in front of you and you can still recline facing forward. I can explain that more if you need.

That said, as much as Iíve talked down the new suites, if youíre in London and can take the new suites non stop, itís worth doing. I know that sounds counter intuitive but there is something to be said for new and shiny. You can also connect to ZRH from CDG on Star Alliance if you really want to try new suites.

In order, for me personally, I would rank Old Suites, New La Premiere, New Suites. And call it a tie between A380 La Premier and SQ First.

Last edited by th14; Aug 21, 19 at 2:32 am
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by th14 View Post
You’re welcome. I’ve read many of your posts in the AF forum and it’s always been helpful so happy to reciprocate.

Quick question. Your opening post said you had a choice of FRA or LHR but here you reference CDG. Not a big deal bc CDG is same as FRA with Old A380 suites. Just clarifying.

Regarding your other question. You’ll notice I was very specific in using Suites vs First. All SQ A380 is Suites class. It’s either the old 12 seat suites class or the new 6 seat Suites class. Currently only 5 routes have the new Suites. LHR and ZRH are the only 2 European options. No North American options yet.

All other aircraft, like 777, only offer Non Suite First. And some don’t have First at all. Like A350. Non Suite First is a very good product. Similar to new La Premiere with 4 across on the 777 in layout, space, and on board service. I think La Premiere is a better execution of the hard product. SQ are currently re doing First and only part of the fleet is done. The seat is basically the same with slight cosmetic updates. New F config is 1 row of 4. Older F config is 2 rows of 4.

But getting back to suites. If flying from CDG, just take the A380 non stop in old suites. You’ll be very comfortable and it’ll be an easier trip. Especially if you just want to look out the window. You’re facing forward in old suites with windows to the side. If you’re eating, working, watching TV (which I know you don’t care about), or reading a book, it’s like a normal experience with windows to the side you can easily look out. Some rows have 3 windows while others have 2. I believe it’s Row 2 that has 3 windows but not positive.

In new suites, for eating or watching TV, or working with table out, you’re facing the aisle with your back to the window. If you do try new suites, definitely take Row 2. Row 1 facing forward faces the wall. At least in Row 2, the bed is in front of you and you can still recline facing forward. I can explain that more if you need.

That said, as much as I’ve talked down the new suites, if you’re in London and can take the new suites non stop, it’s worth doing. I know that sounds counter intuitive but there is something to be said for new and shiny. You can also connect to ZRH from CDG on Star Alliance if you really want to try new suites.

In order, for me personally, I would rank Old Suites, New La Premiere, New Suites. And call it a tie between A380 La Premier and SQ First.

None of the First Class seats in the world can match the new Emirates 'Fully Enclosed' First Class Suite. SQ's First Class seat on the B777-300ER is totally no match at all! Not even the new A380 Suites except in size. It's so amazing with so many high tech features like VIRTUAL windows in the middle seat, video call for service, temperature & lighting control, zero-gravity position. Emirates also has the most amazing wine list like vintage wines from 1998, Hennessy Paradis worth S$1499, Dom Pťrignon Vintage Rosť. Only SQ's F tea and coffee drinks list is better than Emirates. The tea and coffee drinks list on EK F is very simple. I have flown on it and the experience is just unforgettable...



https://www.emirates.com/sg/english/...t/gamechanger/

Last edited by vsepr; Aug 21, 19 at 2:52 am
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Old Aug 21, 19, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by th14 View Post
Quick question. Your opening post said you had a choice of FRA or LHR but here you reference CDG. Not a big deal bc CDG is same as FRA with Old A380 suites. Just clarifying.
Sorry, got confused myself. Outbound is from FRA, return is to CDG.

Originally Posted by th14 View Post
In order, for me personally, I would rank Old Suites, New La Premiere, New Suites. And call it a tie between A380 La Premier and SQ First.
Very helpful. I'll be in La Premiere on the way back, and for the outbound it'll be either New or Old suites, depending if my agenda makes me leave from FRA or LHR. I don't do positioning flights, it means even more time on planes. Phantom final legs to get a better fare, sure. But positioning flights, no thanks. But that's me, I understand why others are happy to do it.

Originally Posted by vsepr View Post
None of the First Class seats in the world can match the new Emirates 'Fully Enclosed' First Class Suite.
I have had more than my fair share of EK First Class Suites on the A380 a couple of years ago. The entire CDG staff knew me and even had the plane wait for me once, and there were a few waiters in the EK F lounge that brought me my preferred breakfast when they saw me without me needing to order. And yet, whilst very comfortable, the aesthetics of EK never really cut it for me (as does the whole DXB thing). Matter of taste I guess. Glad I don't have to go there anymore. This now seems to be a new EK First product, which I don't know yet, but i) because of aforementioned reasons and ii) because nothing beats a nonstop flight with uninterrupted sleep, not even EK new First. But good to know it exists, hadn't followed it too much.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Sorry, got confused myself. Outbound is from FRA, return is to CDG.


Very helpful. I'll be in La Premiere on the way back, and for the outbound it'll be either New or Old suites, depending if my agenda makes me leave from FRA or LHR. I don't do positioning flights, it means even more time on planes. Phantom final legs to get a better fare, sure. But positioning flights, no thanks. But that's me, I understand why others are happy to do it.
Youíre a smart man to avoid the positioning flights.

You probably know this already but youíre somewhat doing the trip backward. If possible, switch it around so you can go out of CDG on La Premiere. AF ground services at CDG canít be beat. Car service pickup, Escort, lounge, car service to plane.

SQ are treated as second class citizens at FRA. No priority security, Senator lounge only, no access to First Class Terminal, wait Iím crowd with Biz for boarding.

Return from Singapore in SQ to Frankfurt or London. Then you get to take advantage of SQ home base ground service. Not as good but still miles better. Private FC check in area. Similar to BA wing. Private immigration line. Then walk across the hall to Krisflyer lounge/ TPR. TPR is not the greatest F lounge but very nice a la carte dining area.

No idea what the AF lounge is in Singapore but wonít be nearly as nice.

Again, donít rearrange all your plans around flights. But always better to start from carrier flagship outstation. So if you can move your Frankfurt business to the end of the trip, you can do it this way.

SQ has a dedicated lounge in LHR which is better than Senator lounge in Frankfurt. If that makes a difference in your decision making.

You can use SQ TPR on arrival bc of the unusual security setup at Changi. So if you keep your original plan, you can just walk over there and treat as the arrival lounge for you flight.

Do pay attention to note above when youíre traveling. You donít want to be switched to 777 service out of CDG.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 7:19 am
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(Unfortunately?) it is my work diary that dictates which flight I can take from where ;-) Thing is that the AF (or Lufthansa for that matter) flights arrive too late in SIN. I nbeed to arrive in the morning.

I am familiar with the P service in Paris, wouldn't be a new discovery. And in FRA, Lufthansa allows me to use First Class Lounge in B (where SQ leaves from) thanks to my HON status, so it's survivable.

But good to know about ability to use the TPR in SIN upon arrival!! I had started to wonder where I'd take my shower. So I can after arrival on SQ go to TPR and shower there?
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Old Aug 21, 19, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
But good to know about ability to use the TPR in SIN upon arrival!! I had started to wonder where I'd take my shower. So I can after arrival on SQ go to TPR and shower there?
Yes, you can use TPR. Technically the rule for Star Alliance is class for onward travel but I've never had an issue in Singapore. Keep your boarding pass and they'll check you in.

Changi Airport has security at each gate. So technically, all lounges and stores are 'landside' but inside of customs and immigration. You basically have free reign to wander the airport inside of customs and immigration. Head for the Krisflyer lounges. The check in is for the Business class lounge, they'll then lead you to the First Class lounge which is further inside, and then TPR which is just beyond the First Class Lounge.

Showers are nothing special. They're perfectly fine but not as nice as say The Pier. Major complaint is no toilet inside the shower suite. But the shower suites are located inside the toilets so it's right there. But some people aren't happy about leaving your items unattended in the shower suite while using the bathroom just outside. It's self serve so just go in and grab one of the 3 or 4 rooms. There is attendant constantly cleaning but you won't have to wait on someone to let you in.

If you have time after your shower, head over to the TPR dining room and get breakfast. It's a la carte and pretty good. If not, head back over to First class lounge and you can grab things off the hot buffet. Shrimp dumplings are a winner and you can get them at both spots.

They did just start doing some renovation on the lounges and I'm not sure what the current status is. I think they started on the Star Gold lounge which is outside of Krisflyer lounges so you should be fine. Or they're on the Biz part. I think TPR was on the schedule for next year sometime.

After you exit lounge, follow signs for immigration. It's downstairs and takes less than 5 minutes and you'll be outside waiting on a cab.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 12:38 pm
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Thanks a lot!

I am familiar with the layout and setup of SIN, have been there many times and most recently a few weeks ago, but never arriving on SQ and never had the need to take my morning shower there. That's why I didn't know whether the SQ lounges could also be used as arrival lounges, Good to hear that they can.

BTW, on one of your above questions: La Premiere used the QF First Class lounge. Well...
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Old Aug 22, 19, 1:36 am
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Originally Posted by th14 View Post
The standard F is perfectly fine compared to other F. But the bed mode in particularly is not comfortable. There is a ridiculous flap over that connects the seat to the footrest and it's not the full width and it doesn't sit flush. So you will wake up with a sore spot wherever your leg hits the hump.
Sorry for the OT but I'm glad I'm not the only one! Drives me utterly insane.

In case it is useful for anyone here, I have discovered that the problem arises because the seat back sags too low, which then raises up the flap edge in a see-saw motion. The solution I have found is to ask for a blanket or two (not duvet), fold it into a decent height, and place it just by the forward edge of the seat cushion before deploying the bed. By making sure the seat back doesn't sag too low, the flap no longer rises up to protrude against the legs.

On the topic of New Suites vs. Old Suites, I absolutely love the New Suites for travelling as a pair, but agree that the case is less compelling when travelling by yourself.
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