Flying business class was never an option for me whenever I wanted to book a flight. Since my first flight at 6 years old, until now, I have always flown in economy class. Sometimes I joked with my travel buddy while walking from the gate to enter the plane (there are always two lines, one for economy class, the other one for business and first class), 'I think we should go through the business class lane, pretending to be a business class passenger. Then get kicked out to the economy seat after the crew realized that we are not supposed to be in the business class.'
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate to be in an economy class given the fact I always go with Garuda Indonesia to fly from Melbourne to Jakarta direct almost every year. They have the world's best economy class and cabin crew, I admit that and am super proud of it (being Indonesian).
However, my first experience flying business class with Singapore Airlines really takes my flight experience to a whole new level and open my mind to new things about airlines industries that I never thought of before.
I consider myself lucky enough to not spend a fortune to experience what people say a ‘luxury travel’. Yes, you heard that right. Like many other frequent flyer miles seekers, Peter, my husband who started it all, he planned it for the last 3 years to get a "free" (redeemable with a small fee) business class tickets for our overseas trip which we used in this case for our honeymoon.
So here we go, on 24th December 2017, we got to experience our first ever business class flight, from Brisbane to Singapore then from Singapore to Bangkok. (We'll talk about our short flight to Bangkok in another blog post). We booked this flight quite late, only around 1-2 months before the departure date. That’s why we couldn’t get a Melbourne flight to Bangkok (we live in Melbourne) and had to purchase a separate domestic flight to Brisbane from Melbourne which was quite expensive during high season in December. It was all worth it though since the experience on Singapore Airlines from Brisbane to Singapore was terrific.
Here are a few things that wowed me from the moment I stepped on the plane:
- Look how much space I have got in my seat - I couldn't even reach the leg rest in front of me on the normal seat position unless I switch to the recline position.
- The overhead cabin luggage storage is so high above my head that I couldn’t reach without having to step on my seat. I can have one storage for myself which I don’t find in the economy cabin because you'll be sharing it with other passengers on the same row.
• Champagne, anyone?
The cabin crew offered us a glass of champagne as soon as we sat down. This was the first time we got offered a glass of champagne before take-off, very exciting indeed! Even nowadays the economy class rarely offers any beverages pre-take-off.
• Wow, what is that storage for?
I spent a good few minutes to explore all the available storage around my seat. There was one push-up door drawer that actually has a mirror inside. Isn’t that cool that I have my own mirror in my seat? Normally in the economy class, I have to go to the lavatory to see a mirror. There are just so many storages for one person!
• I found a slipper and noise cancellation headphone in one of the hidden storage.
Oh yeah! Noise cancellation headphone from the airline in a flight. That’s my dream comes true. I don’t like those economy headphones that I normally use my own iPhone earphone to connect to the entertainment system. How sad. But this is honestly a deal breaker on a long-haul flight to me.
The crew offered some magazines and asked if I'd like to read any magazines. This time I didn't feel like reading one, so I opted it out.
• Wait, there is a proper menu?
There was an impressive proper menu for business class and from reading through it I knew that I will have first ever three-course menus on a plane, wohooo! There was a ton of drinks to choose from the menu too, from alcoholic beverages to an array of options of coffee and tea! There is even an option for cappuccino and the best of all is selections of TWG teas which are super expensive because they are high-end tea brand from Singapore.
• Drink to order after take-off.
The crew asked me what I wanted to have to drink after take-off. Immediately I said, Singapore Sling! This is one of the must-have alcoholic drinks when you fly with Singapore Airlines.
Look how big is the screen! It's a 15.4-inch screen with KrisWorld entertainment system. The not so good side, the resolution was bad though for a big screen like that. I believe this is so because of the older generation of business class (Boeing 777-200ER Refitted). I also feel like the movie selections were not that great too. The good thing is there are so many other things to do or explore on this flight alone, I couldn't even finish watching one movie. Compared to the economy class, the majority of passengers will just spend their most times watching movies during a long-haul flight.
• Meal time!
We pre-ordered our lunch using Book The Cook service from Singapore Airlines website. We couldn't hide our excitement when we chose what we were gonna eat a few days before our departure. We even did some research of popular dishes that people normally order from Book The Cook when they fly business/first class with Singapore Airlines. When the crew set up our table and delivered the meal, it wowed us because we got proper cutleries and plates to eat, even with our own salt and pepper on a table cloth! That is my friend, what is called a next level of dining in the sky.
Here is the summary of what we ordered:
Entrée – Marinated prawn with smoked chicken and mozzarella, balsamic dressing
- Main course – Braised Short Rib with Celeriac Pear Puree
- Dessert – Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream
- Main course – Pan Fried Barramundi in native pepper berry sauce, with sautéed vegetables and saffron fettucine pasta.
- Dessert – Yuletide Log Cake
Cheese – Smoked Cheese, Woombye Triple Cream Brie and Milawa Blue with garnishes
Refreshment – Sweet Potato Noodle with Vegetables and Korean Beef Bulgogi
For complete review of food in this flight, please check out our blog post here.
After the late lunch, I decided to take a short nap. At first, I didn’t know that the seat can be converted into a flatbed. I did try the recline position and I think it was only about 145 degrees then I started to see that other passengers asked the cabin crew to make a bed for them and from there I knew that the seat is convertible to a flatbed. Here we go, #IFlyFlat for the first time!
So I asked cabin crew to make the bed for me while I paid a visit to the toilet. When I came back my bed was ready for me. It was super exciting to just see the bed. I tried to take a short nap but unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. Maybe because of all the excitements from flying business class for the first time? I told Peter that I won’t sleep during my first experience flying business class, so I can enjoy every single minute of it and it came true for this flight. Or maybe because of the sleep position as the bed requires us to sleep at an angle, and the bed comes narrower towards the leg. This is another downside of this particular design of the business class. If you are short like me (I am only 154 cm), it won't be much of an issue, but it would be a big problem when you are a tall person.
• No amenities? (not so wow)
Singapore Airlines decided not to give any amenities to business class passengers because I heard that it is a waste of money. I kind of agree with that although there are other airlines that hand out amenities even to business class passengers. It is reserved for passengers who fly on First Class. I'll talk more about Singapore Airline's First Class Amenity Kit in another blog post. Stay tuned!
What went well
Five-star service from Singapore Airlines, the crews were awesome. It all went smoothly from the moment we went to the business class lounge until we stepped out the plane.
All the hard product of this particular business class is good, except for the entertainment screen which is a big let down.
Noise cancellation headset is a big plus compared to economy class.
Luckily, we ordered the right menu from Book the Cook although some people say it can be a hit and miss experience. Everything looked and tasted awesome. Make sure you take advantage of this service if you fly with Singapore Airlines on business/first class for your next flight.
Had a relatively smooth flight with light turbulences.
What could have been done better
Spend more time to get to know more of the crew and possibly had more chat with them.
Entertainment monitor to be upgraded so the resolution is higher and quality is better.
Take more photos and videos from different angles and explore more of the cabin.
Do we like our first business class flight? Yes, we do a lot. We love it so much that we are now obsessed to collect even more points (in our case Velocity Points from Virgin Australia). I guess it was a right choice to fly with Singapore Airlines for our first business class flight, as they are in my opinion is the best airlines in terms of all areas. They have a top-notch service, all the cabin crew we met were so friendly and welcoming, the food and drink were excellent, their hard-product is still one of the best in the world, and the business class that we had were considerably first class in comparison to some other airlines. The best of it all we were able to redeem our Velocity points to use it for Singapore Airlines flight, an advantage if you live in Australia.
How about you guys? If you have some stories to share about your first business class flight, please leave us some comments below. Don’t forget to check our review video below!