Life is full of difficult questions. Who am I? Where did I come from? Is Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy seat worth the extra money? Needing to answer at least one of these once and for all, we decided to upgrade to Premium Economy on the final leg of our trip back from Vietnam via Singapore. Did it pass our overnight flight test? Find out.
Aircraft Type: A380-800
Flight Number: SQ221
Route: Singapore to Sydney
Seat Class: Premium Economy
Flight Time: 7 hours 20 minutes
Luggage Allowance: 35kg checked
Service has always been an area where Singapore Airlines excel, and our recent experience was no different. Having just arrived from Hanoi, we were feeling pretty unenthusiastic about spending seven hours in Economy on the way back to Sydney. To remedy this, we went to the service desk to enquire about upgrading using our KrisFlyer Miles. Though we had enough points, we were informed we could only upgrade at the airport if we were KrisFlyer Gold members or above. We’re still on our KrisFlyer training wheels, so it wasn’t to be on this trip. Already having our hearts set on Premium, we paid the extra to upgrade instead.
The moment we found our seats, 31D and E, we knew we’d made the right choice. Rolled out in 2015, the Premium Economy layout still looks slick. The seat itself is blue-grey leather with orange trim, and features height-adjustable wing head rests, multiple storage areas, an adjustable reading light with three brightness settings, and a foldout leg rest. Being over six foot tall, the leg rest was a little on the small side for me, but with a bit of manoeuvring (read: in-flight yoga) it was possible to find the comfort sweet spot. The leather was slightly worn, but given the seats have been in service a while, general wear and tear is a given. The seats were directly behind the bulkhead, so tray tables folded out of the armrest.
Technological advancements have brought in-flight entertainment forward in leaps and bounds in recent years, so it was a surprise to discover this A380’s in-flight system was so out-dated. There was no touch screen; it was all controlled via a tethered remote control. But with that said, the system was responsive and navigating wasn’t difficult. One downside of our seat choice was the 13” wall-mounted entertainment screen. It was positioned just that little bit too high up the wall in front. I chose to watch more G-rated films since the family behind could see my screen. The seat also featured a universal power outlet, two USB ports (one under the screen and another at the rear of the arm rest), and noise-cancelling headphones.
Food & Beverage:
A printed menu in the seat pocket in front detailed both meal options and the drinks available on our flight. I opted for the braised beef in red wine with steamed beans and linguine. All the individual elements were delicious, but it was a bit disjointed with all parts of the main separated. It would probably have been better served with mash potato than linguine, but that’s just me. Dessert was Brown Sugar Blondie flavoured Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (which I could have easily eaten two of). A continental breakfast with croissant, muffin and fruit was served the following morning – it was basic but satisfying.
Cabin crew were friendly and approachable throughout the flight, giving just the right amount of attention and space. The meal services were both efficient, which was to be expected given Singapore Airlines’ reputation, and they always kept the glasses full.
Hands down the best Premium Economy offering I’ve flown and easily worth the extra cost to upgrade. While I only got limited shut-eye on the overnight flight, it was a lot more comfortable than it would have been in our original Economy seats. The service was great, warm and friendly without being too in your face. Would definitely choose it again.
Thinking of flying Premium Economy? Visit singaporeair.com for more info.
– We travelled at our own expense.