Even though one of my early Flyctory.com posts was about my B777 Singapore Airlines First Class experience, it took me until late October 2022 until I finally explored their Premium Economy class. The upgraded economy experience is a cabin class I use very frequently. Thus, I was very interested of flying with the Asians could be an alternative – especially as they nowadays operate some routes from Europe to North America. My wife and I took the Frankfurt (FRA) to New York (JFK) service, while there are also, for example, Manchester (MAN) to Houston (IAH) flights. Here are my thoughts.
SQ A380 Premium Economy – Our flights
The Singapore Airlines flights from Frankfurt (FRA) to New York (JFK) are very handy. The flight to the Big Apple is one of the earliest US flights from Germany’s largest airports, SQ 26 leaves at 8:35 hrs and is scheduled to arrive at JFK at 11:10 hrs. The return is rather late as well and had a scheduled departure at JFK on 21:15, arrival at Frankfurt 09:50 the next day. My wife and I had a weekend in New York from 28th October to 1st/2nd November 2022. Especially compared to Lufthansa, the tickets feel to be more expansive. Thus, we were very curious if the price upgrade is worth it.
SQ A380 Premium Economy – On The Ground
The ground service at both airports was surprisingly limited. Despite both, my wife and I have a Star Alliance Gold status, the service felt chaotic. There were already quite long queues at the Frankfurt check-in when we arrived some three hours before departure. Singapore AIrlines opened the counters surprisingly late. In Frankfurt, they also checked out vaccination status (explicitly on behalf of the airline, not for US regulations) – which was very strange as they did not do the same before the flight back to Germany. There are separate counters per class (which also means that there is a counter for Premium Economy as well). Singapore Airlines does not offer any kind of priority boarding for Premium Economy customers.
The New York check-in felt more organized, However, the boarding process was really chaotic with misleading information and unclear sectioning of passengers into groups.
SQ A380 Premium Economy – The Cabin
There are several configurations of the Airbus A380 operated by Singapore Airlines. On both of our flights, the Premium Economy cabin was located in the very front of the main deck, right next to the staircase to the cockpit and the stairs to the upper deck. The seating comes in a 2-4-2 configuration (2 seats at each window, 4 in the middle). The first two rows just come with window seats. The front row 31 comes with a significantly larger legroom due to the bulkhead. Nonetheless, the seat pitch in the cabin is generally really good and you can exit the seat even if the passenger in front of you is fully reclining the seat.
Singapore Airline’s Premium Economy cabin comes with footrests (or legrests in the front rows), a reading light and coat hooks. There is a nice storage below the armrest and small storages in front of you and in the seat in front of you. The tables are located in the armrest. There are power outlets at each seat. I however liked that there is an additional USB port between the seats – this is also the location of noise cancelling headphones, which are provided by the airline. We paid the additional fee for the first row on the return flight, which was really relaxing.
One definite plus of the Singapore Airlines cabin is the Inflight Entertainment System. The large screens are located in the seat in front of you. The first row seat has fixed screens on the bulkhead. Compared with other peers, the offer is massive. There were more than seventy more movies for November 2022 only – which is more than some airlines have in their portfolio in total. The range of TV series, music and audio content is impressive as well.
In the configuration my wife and I flew, Premium Economy shares the toilets with the front of the economy cabin. Unfortunately, the toilet status light shows an open bathroom even if a door is not open on the opposite side. The toilet as such is nice. Singapore Airlines does not offer an amenity kit by default. Items like socks are handed out on request (they are not actively offered). A toothbrush kit is provided in a drawer of the bathroom.
SQ A380 Premium Economy – Service
Regarding the food, I already introduced you to the Premium Economy service by Singapore Airlines in my September to November 2022 Food I had onboard posting. I was not overwhelmingly happy with the food. However, the service on the flight to New York was rather nice. Remarkably, you would have to pre-book vegetarian food in both cases if you don’t eat meat – there was no vegetarian option by default. The service on the return flight was ignorant and I really had issues to have sufficient drinks during the service.
SQ A380 Premium Economy – My View
Singapore Airlines indeed does offer a good premium economy product. However, they are a premium airline and they typically demand premium prices. Keeping that in mind, I was a bit of disappointed. The ground service had issues in both cases, the onboard service on the return was definitely below peers on that route. Thus, Singapore Airlines deservedly misses a very good rating in my review.
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