Sitting in the back of the plane has never looked so good…

One of my favorite ways to redeem American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points is via transfer to Singapore Airlines. Though KrisFlyer points were devalued slightly in mid-2017, and again in early 2018, they remain a great value for what is one of the best flying experiences in the world — Singapore’s A380 First Class Suites.

I’ve been lucky enough to fly SQ’s suites and “regular” first class a few times, but I had yet to try their spacious business class, so I jumped at the opportunity to try it out on their A380 flight from New York to Frankfurt, which then continues on to Singapore. Singapore used to fly the A380 between Tokyo and Los Angeles, but that’s now flown by their 777-300ER (with the sleek new first and business class cabins), so this is one of the few ways to fly a premium A380 product out of the US.

It’s all about the points

There are several ways to get yourself into business class on Singapore’s A380, the ideal ones being via transferable points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou. You can also transfer Marriott points that you earn via the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. This particular flight was 58,500 Krisflyer miles (pre-devaluation), which can be transferred from three rewards programs of any of the cards listed below:

Chase Cards

American Express Cards

Citi Cards

Main takeaways from the flight

What’s Awesome:

  • Great service, almost as good as in first class
  • The seat honestly feels like it’s nearly as good as Singapore’s old non-suites first class
  • Noise-canceling headphones work well, and are needed that far back in the plane…
  • Excellent storage at the window seats

What’s Not:

  • Poorly-positioned power outlets IMHO
  • As in all planes, you feel turbulence quite a bit more in the back of the plane than over the wings or up front
  • The IFE screen is comparatively small, given how far it is away from you


The Seat

The first thing you’ll notice about these seats is their crazy width — just note the position of the seatbelt, almost half way across the seat! The flipside of this is that it’s not all useful in bed mode (pictured below), so don’t get your hopes up about having a huge bed to sleep in on redeye flights… But bed mode notwithstanding, these seats are great for lounging, watching movies, getting work done, sharing with your travel partner, whatever, as long as you don’t need a deep recline; one quirk of both these older Singapore first and business class seats is that they actually flip forward to reveal the sleeping surface for bed mode, which means their actual recline is pretty limited, unlike other seats that basically recline from fully upright to bed mode. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is less than ideal.

As you can see above, the bed basically has you angled from one corner of your seat area to another, which is actually ok in practice, and effectively the same positioning as your standard reverse herringbone setup, only this is waaay more spacious. It’s worth noting that any seat at a bulkhead has a much wider footrest area, which you can see below (compare the bench on the left to the little footwells on the right):

Check out more random seat photos, including storage areas, seat controls, etc. in the gallery below. All in all, I think that while these seats might look a bit dated, they’re pretty well-designed aside from the recline issue.

The Amenity Kit

Another quirk of Singapore Airlines is the lack of a proper amenity kit. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as they’ll bring you anything you need a la carte, and you start your flight off with necessities: slippers, eyeshades (which are great, by the way…), and socks. I actually kind of like this approach, as amenity kits can be pretty wasteful if you think about it.

There’s plenty of lotion, toothbrushes, etc. in the lav, so take that for what you will. The germophobe in my would prefer these being delivered in my own private amenity kit, but again, I can get behind what is probably some serious waste reduction. I think I heard somewhere that when Alaska Airlines stopped giving passengers the can of soda (just giving one cup at a time) during economy beverage service, it saved almost $3MM. So yeah…

The Food

Truth told, I ate bunch of food in the lounge because I was starving, but I did force myself to eat more for the sake of this review 😉 The flight started off with the usual warm nuts, and for me, a glass of Bordeaux. Prosciutto antipasto followed, then the entree was Moroccan spiced chicken breast, and it was pretty good. For dessert I opted for the cheese plate as I’m a huge cheese fan (especially camembert…).


Aside from the somewhat small screen, the IFE setup in Singapore business is pretty good. I like that I can actually choose which side of the seat my headphones are plugged into (it’s the little luxuries that count!), and the controls are not awkwardly placed.

The Cabin

The entire upper deck of the A380 is business class, which actually makes business class feel strangely crowded, even though it’s a 1-2-1 configuration. I guess what I really liked about seat 96K was that it is in its own row, with no seats in front or behind. That makes it feel more private, but it is right in front of the lavatory, which I did notice once or twice during the flight. That said, the vast majority of passengers opt to use the lavatories in front of row 91, so the foot traffic you get in back is pretty minimal.

Check out the economy cabin, too!

Since I boarded early — I always try to be one of the first people on the plane — I had some time to go down and check out economy, which you can see pictured below. I will have the opportunity to fly SQ economy and premium economy later in 2018, and I have to say I’m not dreading it like I thought I would, as it doesn’t look too bad (even though it is an evil 3-4-3 configuration…). Tons of space in those exit rows, but the usual missing window and restricted legspace at the window seat.


The Bottom Line

So…was it worth the 58,500 points?? Yep, well worth it, and I would fly Singapore business class again in a heartbeat — not only is it one of the top business class products out there, but it beats anyone else flying from New York to Frankfurt. Anyone else like Singapore’s A380 business class as much as I do?? Let me know in your comments below.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With a 60,000 point new cardmember bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of having the card, plus 2x points on travel and at U.S. restaurants — all for a $95 annual fee — this card is one of the top rewards card values available. Chase points are transferable to 9 airlines and 4 hotels, giving you the option of booking directly via these loyalty programs for some massively lucrative award redemptions in first & business class or at 5-star luxury hotels & resorts.

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