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SQ "Suites" Class NRT to LAX on A380

SQ "Suites" Class NRT to LAX on A380

Old Sep 16, 11, 10:32 pm
  #1  
tol
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SQ "Suites" Class NRT to LAX on A380

I haven't posted a TR here in years. In fact I haven't logged on to FT since January, so bear with me as my TRs will probably not be as detailed or as good as others. I'll do the best I can and will happily answer questions. I snapped a few pics with my iphone and I'll upload them as soon as I figure out how.

I purchased a one way first class ticked via expedia on Singapore Airlines flying out of Manila. For whatever reason, booking the flight out of Manila is much cheaper than booking it out of any other city. So the flight was Set 14 MNL to SIN, 3 hour layover, SIN to NRT with a 11 hour layover. I have a very good friend in Tokyo so I could spend those 11 hours well, otherwise the long layover would put me off.

First leg was in an older craft with old style 1st class seats, not full flat. By coincidence, I happened to be the only person in the F cabin, so I got a lot of attention. Otherwise, not much to report.

The SIN lounge was the best I've ever seen. The Lufthansa Frankfurt lounge used to be my favorite, but not anymore. Gigantic lounge chairs, delicious selection of snacks and deserts and a sit down restaurant with a menu. Huge showers, and many of them so you don't have to wait or get a number or key from an attendant. Just walk in, lock the door. Plenty of space to hang your cloths and keep your valuables.

SIN to NRT was the SQ first class pods that was the gold standard prior to the introduction of the A380. I've flown it a couple of times before and it is my Favorite F class compared to LH, CX, JAL, TG. I'll be comparing the Suites class to this as a frame of reference.

NRT lounge. SQ uses the ANA lounge which is quite comfortable but not on par with SIN or even the LH Frankfurt lounge. Nice shower, but you need to leave your boarding pass with an attendant who gives you a number. You may have to wait for a shower to become available, though I only had to wait a few minutes.

The A380. The first class cabin has 10 pods. It is quite huge. There is a large stairway, king of like on a cruise ship to the upper level which contains business class. The head attendant offered me a guided tour of the plane which I happily accepted. More on that later.

3 of the 10 pods were occupied, so the attendants suggested we use one pod for sleeping and the other for lounging and storage. As if there wasn't enough space already. Notice I use the word Pod rather than "suite" as SQ likes to call them. I do this because they are basically enclosed pods. The enclosures are mostly screens. You have slightly more personal space than in the previous style SQ F pods. Ergonomically, however, they added some nice touches. There is a compartment to store your eyeglasses, if you happen to forget your case as I often do. There are two USB ports so you can watch your iphone or computer screen on the entertainment screen. The screen was actually a bit smaller than on the SQ F pod, and it's a bit farther away from you. Still, there was a wide selection of movies and it was easily controlled. It is not moveable, however.

Storage of your carry on is under the opposite seat in your pod, which is actually large enough and comfortable enough for someone to sit with you. There is no overhead storage compartment, Which means you can stand up without hitting your head so long as you are under 6'6''.

For sleeping, they make the bed for you as before. The bed is softer and more, um, bed like than in SQ F. It is also longer. One of my few (actually, only) complaint about the previous F class is that it was bit too short for me, and I'm 5'9''. OTOH, the older seats were VERY wide, which was great as I'm broad shouldered. The newer pods are narrower, and my shoulders were a bit cramped. Still, it was very comfortable.

Then the tour of the plane. The new Business class looks very comfy. It was arranged as 1-2-1 seating, was much wider than any business class I had ever seen, and is full 180 degrees flat. It would definitely be my first choice for business class travel. The economy section seemed to have a bit more legroom than most. Still pretty pact though, with 3-4-3 seating. Despite this, the hallway was wider than I've seen. You can walk in it without bumping into the passengers. They have personal screens and the same entertainment selection as in first class, or so I was told. Don't know if that was included in the ticket price or if you have to pay extra to access it.

And after all that luxury, I boarded my US Air flight home to LAS. How's that for back to reality?

In Short, the "Suites" class is very nice, but I'm not sure it represents a huge improvement over SQ's previous and outstanding F class.

I will try my best to upload my photos. If I've left out key details, I'll happily answer any questions. Hope this is helpful to someone.
tol is offline  
Old Sep 17, 11, 4:07 am
  #2  
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Thanks for the report. May I ask how much you paid (base fare or all-in, either would be fine)? I assume the fare was just to LAX and not to LAS.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 7:38 am
  #3  
tol
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Originally Posted by armagebedar View Post
Thanks for the report. May I ask how much you paid (base fare or all-in, either would be fine)? I assume the fare was just to LAX and not to LAS.
Hi armagebedar,

The price was $3,900 one way out of Manila to LAX. LAX to LAS was $124 on US Air economy, one way. Checking on the same SQ flight out of NRT, it was actually, $10,000. That's why 3900 seemed like a "bargain." Last year and the year before I flew out of Manila for $2900, but that was with CX to HKG in business and then SQ in F to SFO on their 747, IIRC, then LAS all in one ticket . That was a much more convenient flight given the single stop and 3 hour stop over. The 12 hour Tokyo layover wasn't bad for me since I got to meet a friend of mine. Otherwise it would have been painful.

By way of comparison, one way in F on TG from FRA to BKK would have been 8,500, so I used my United account and got it for 62,500 miles on Sept 8. TG has a very nice F on that flight but it's an older plane and cabin.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 12:42 pm
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Awesome read, how does this suite compare to EKs ? can anyone shed light on this
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Old Sep 17, 11, 9:56 pm
  #5  
tol
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Originally Posted by KrazyTrain18 View Post
Awesome read, how does this suite compare to EKs ? can anyone shed light on this
Never flew EK except in coach and it was a 777. Overall though, the suite concept IMHO does not really add much to SQ's already great F class pods. I would be almost as happy flying that as in the Suites section.

Although, I have to say I was quite impressed with the A380 as an aircraft. Well designed and a smooth flight. The cabin seemed quieter as well.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 1:40 am
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I'm pretty sure the SQ 380 has 12 Suites, not 10.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 5:15 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by ung1 View Post
I'm pretty sure the SQ 380 has 12 Suites, not 10.
It is 12 Suites. 8 singles & 2 pairs.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 10:36 pm
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Interesting read tol. Well done on getting such a cheap fare for the suites ^

I am surprised that you preferred the Private room to the FRA LH FCL/FCT. IMO the LH FCL is waay better!
Also surprised at how much you like the SQ F seat, I would rate it significantly lower than CX F and JL F (suite) as well LH F (A380 only).
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Old Sep 19, 11, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by KrazyTrain18 View Post
...how does this suite compare to EKs ? can anyone shed light on this
You will find both SQ Suites and EK Suites long haul in my flickr album if you want to look at the differences
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Old Sep 21, 11, 12:56 am
  #10  
tol
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Originally Posted by pogonation View Post
Interesting read tol. Well done on getting such a cheap fare for the suites ^

I am surprised that you preferred the Private room to the FRA LH FCL/FCT. IMO the LH FCL is waay better!
Also surprised at how much you like the SQ F seat, I would rate it significantly lower than CX F and JL F (suite) as well LH F (A380 only).
The FRA FCL is indeed very nice, but I don't think it can compare to the SIN SQ lounge. Immediately before this trip, I flew on TG in first from FRA to BKK using my United Mileage Plus account (62,500 miles for one way) SO i had a chance to experience both within a week. The SQ F lounge is seem huge. Or maybe it just seems huge because far fewer people were in it at the time. The lounge chairs were exceedingly plush and comfortable. The restaurant was very nice, although the LH lounge was strong in that department too.

As for the other airlines, last time I flew CX in F for a long haul was in 2006. Perhaps their newer pods are better. LH F was very nice on the 777 but the SQ F was better IMHO. I have not been on any other A380 so can't compare suites.

Anyway, the bottom line is if you are flying out of Manila and don't mind a long NRT layover, then SQ is the way to go.

Hope this was helpful to someone. I'll be at the Acapulco Banyan tree this weekend. I think there is already a TR about it but I will try to add my own when I get back.

P.S Blissworld, thanks for those awesome pics.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by tol View Post
The FRA FCL is indeed very nice, but I don't think it can compare to the SIN SQ lounge. Immediately before this trip, I flew on TG in first from FRA to BKK using my United Mileage Plus account (62,500 miles for one way) SO i had a chance to experience both within a week. The SQ F lounge is seem huge. Or maybe it just seems huge because far fewer people were in it at the time. The lounge chairs were exceedingly plush and comfortable. The restaurant was very nice, although the LH lounge was strong in that department too.
Ahhhh that explains it. You didn't use the LH FCL... The lounge you used is the SEN Lounge which technically isn't really a First class lounge and is pretty naff IMO. The FRA FCL is only available to passengers flying on LH F (not available with a TG F boarding pass)

Originally Posted by tol View Post
As for the other airlines, last time I flew CX in F for a long haul was in 2006. Perhaps their newer pods are better. LH F was very nice on the 777 but the SQ F was better IMHO. I have not been on any other A380 so can't compare suites.
Yeah the new CX F seat is miles ahead of the old seat and I actually consider it to be the best seat in the world. LH doesn't fly 777's but I agree that SQ F is much better than both the old CX F and LH F ^

Originally Posted by tol View Post
Anyway, the bottom line is if you are flying out of Manila and don't mind a long NRT layover, then SQ is the way to go.
Agreed Or possibly CX F if you can get a fare as good as the one you got with SQ F.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 10:06 am
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Originally Posted by KrazyTrain18 View Post
Awesome read, how does this suite compare to EKs ? can anyone shed light on this
I have flown both SQ Suites and EK F. It's hard to compare and pick a real favourite as they are both different.
Suites is more advanced and is much better for sleeping with a proper separate bed. EK F on the other hand has a minibar and of course showers on the A380.
At the end I think it comes down on what you think about the airlines in general. I think both the food and the service are better on SQ than EK so my choice would eventually be SQ Suites of the two.

As for the lounges I have tried both the LH FCT/FCL in FRA and SQ The private room in SIN.
Again they both have their pros and cons. LH has a buffet whereas SQ has most of its food made-to-order, so everthing is freshly prepared while you wait and the presentation of the food is superb. On the other hand LH wins when it comes to the drinks selection.
The service is considerably better in SQ TPR, much more attentive than in FRA. And of course far fewer people use and have access to TPR which creates a feeling of exclusivity.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 6:55 pm
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tol
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Originally Posted by pogonation View Post
Ahhhh that explains it. You didn't use the LH FCL... The lounge you used is the SEN Lounge which technically isn't really a First class lounge and is pretty naff IMO. The FRA FCL is only available to passengers flying on LH F (not available with a TG F boarding pass)


Yeah the new CX F seat is miles ahead of the old seat and I actually consider it to be the best seat in the world. LH doesn't fly 777's but I agree that SQ F is much better than both the old CX F and LH F ^



Agreed Or possibly CX F if you can get a fare as good as the one you got with SQ F.

I could be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure it was the F lounge. I flew in Lufthansa First class in November '09 and I'm pretty sure this was the same lounge. And it did say Lufthansa First Class at the entrance.

Thanks for the CX tip. Now I have to make a point of trying it. Wont be easy since my AA One World account is down to only 130k miles or so. I concentrate all my miles accumulation on United these days. Still, every so often one finds a discounted ticket flying out of out of the way cities.
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Old Sep 22, 11, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by tol View Post
Thanks for the CX tip. Now I have to make a point of trying it. Wont be easy since my AA One World account is down to only 130k miles or so..

Pefect! You only need 125K or 135K roundtrip to Asia.
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Old Sep 23, 11, 6:12 am
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Last edited by JohnDP; Nov 30, 13 at 4:21 am
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