Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2468 posts, RR: 7 Posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
This is a report on Singapore Airline’s A380 flight SQ220 from SYD to SIN. I specifically went to Sydney to catch this flight, as I spent most of my time in Australia in Melbourne. So, without further ado…
Airline: Singapore Airlines Flight: SQ 220 Sector: SIN-SYD Equip: Airbus A380-800 Seat: 12K Class: Business Class Dep: 08:50 hrs Arr: 13:45 hrs
I had a very interesting ride to the airport. I was waiting to flag a cab outside my hotel in Hyde Park, when a white, unmarked van pulled up to the curb and asked if I needed a ride to the airport. The bell boy said it was legit and the driver did produce a license. He was pretty rough around the edges and his companion looked more like a cheap prostitute than anything else. Once I was seated I realized an unfiltered cigarette odor, but by then we were on the way to the airport. It was probably a bit of a stupid move to get on an unmarked van, but they did get me to the airport for A$20, much cheaper than a regular cab. All this was a bit of an anti-climax to what was in store for me at the airport.
As I arrived nearly two hours early, the lines for Business Class and Suites were very short and I soon had my boarding pass and Express Lane pass. This seems a new thing at Sydney, and is probably useful when there are longer lines at Immigration and Security.
View of the WhaleJet before the immigration and security checkpoint
I spent some time at the lounge, which I was hoping would be renovated due to the EIS of the A380, but it was still the same old, small lounge. I grab some fruit and a yogurt, and then left the lounge in search of some duty free shopping.
The gate for the A380 is divided in four. The far left lane if for Economy Class seated on the lower deck, the lane left of center is for Suites, the lane right of center is for Business Class, and the far right lane is for passengers in Economy Class seated on the upper deck.
Boarding was called about 30mins before departure. Going towards the upper deck, you first go down the first section of the airbridge that is attached to the terminal, and then you go up one of the fingers that goes to the upper deck. Passengers were greeted at the door by the leading stewardess, but no one showed me to my seat as is the case on some other flights.
Magazines and papers were offered along with fresh juices. From the start I got the feeling that the stewardesses were not as warm or smiling as on other flights. This could be due to them getting used to the new equipment or fending off Economy Class passengers from going for a peek into Business Class or Suites. I will also mention that as soon as we took off and the seatbelt signs were off, most passengers in Business Class started roaming around the front part of the upper deck cabin.
View of the massive screen
Another shot, this time with me smiling
View out the window with AC and UA aircraft to Vancouver and Melbourne, respectively.
The morning service started with a hot towel and a glass of orange juice. This was followed by the F/A’s setting up the tables. The tray table is huuuge! I could have easily fit breakfast and my laptop on the side. As in the 744, the A380 has storage bins just below the window, which are very handy to store all your belongings and have easy access to them.
Breakfast consisted of a plate of fresh fruit, along with a roll or croissant, and followed by an optional yogurt and bircher muesli. The choices for “The Main Event” were:
1. Chinese noodles with prawn and pork
2. Wild mushroom quiche with chicken sausage and grilled tomato
3. Chive omelette with ham steak
I opted for the quiche and sausage and both were very tasty. The grilled tomato tasted like it had just come off the grill, which was delicious! This was all washed down with more OJ and two cups of very strong and very good coffee.
After this I created a playlist of music on the new Krisworld system. Unfortunately, the system seems as old as the new one, and the control was very unresponsive, which brings me to another point I wanted to make. The A380 has been in service for about three weeks, and it is already showing some age! Now, you can call me picky, but I found surprising that the fabric on the footrest looked old and one of the bins next to me took a lot of effort to close as the hatch was already loose. Not too good for an aircraft this new.
Listening to music on KrisWorld
However, the plane did have that new car smell. It was great! The mood lighting was also very good and I must say I felt we had been tugged to the runway, as it is extremely quiet on board. It is a bit similar to the 777, but with less of the engine rumble. On that, it also had quite a bit of power on takeoff, unlike some other Airbii.
After listening to some music and watching a movie, I decided to wander around the cabin. As we were nearing Ayers Rock, some of the passengers in the front of Business Class were allowed downstairs were the Suites were to take a peek out the window and see Ayers Rock. Interesting, yes, but I was much more keen on seeing the suites. I had forgotten to take the flash off my camera, so when I took a pic of the Suites and the flash strobe came off, the leading steward gave me a disapproving look and quickly escorted me back upstairs.
Mid-upper deck lavatory
Fwd Business Class cabin
Fwd stairs leading to the Suites
Ayers Rock as seen from door L1
And here they are, the SQ Suites
After this little incident, I decided to check out the middle section of the Business Class cabin. As there are no storage bins in the middle, it feels very big and airy. The pictures of the seats do make them look small and cramped, but they are quite the opposite!
Mid-upper deck Business Class cabin
After this I wandered to Economy Class and I took the circular staircase to the lower deck. Even with the middle storage bins, the cabin looks very ample and airy. Unfortunately, down there most of the window shades were up, whereas in Business Class they were all down and the mood lighting had been set.
There were a lot of people wandering around all the different cabins, and I got the feeling that the F/A’s were getting exasperated with all the people getting in their way. This probably explains why the service was not as usual.
Aft Economy Class cabin
View from door R4 (or is it 5?)
The Aft staircase leading to the upper deck
Fwd upper deck toilet... it is huuuge!
After getting back to my seat I decided to turn my seat into a flat bed. I requested help from the F/A as I wasn’t sure exactly how to do it. I thought it would be a full turn down service, but he only put the seatback down and handed me the duvet in a plastic bag. Maybe they do have a full turn down service on overnight flights. The bed is unbelievably comfortable, although it was about the right size for me to fully stretch, and I’m just 5’9. However, it is big enough to sleep on the side and assume the foetal position. The screen tilts so that you can still watch TV or a movie while you are in the fully flat position. On that, it should be noted that in the seat position, the seat does not recline quite that much. So there is a bit of a gap between having the seat reclined or going for the full bed.
View of the new KrisWorld home screen and the control, which has an info screen displaying which song/movie/show is playing along with the time remaining to destination
Fully flat bed
About 2hrs from Singapore the F/A’s came around to ask for lunch orders, at which time I put my seatback up again. The lunch service started with a seafood salad with vinaigrette, and “The Main Event” choices were:
1. Panseared filet of steak
2. Chicken stir fry
3. Cod wrapped in air dried ham with pasta and vegetables.
I had the third option, and although I didn’t like the pasta sauce (I’m not a big fan of tomato-based sauces), the cod wrapped in the ham was delicious! This was followed by a very nice and nutty ice cream covered in some kind of raisin compote. There was no cheese platter, fruit, or port on offer, but I did ask for a cappuccino to wash down the meal.
Appetizer. Notice the new china as well as the size of the tray!
I wanted one of the F/A’s to come around and take a picture of me, however after lunch they all seemed to disappear. This brings me to my only peeve about the new seats. They offer a great deal of privacy, but that in turn makes it very hard for you to be aware of the F/A’s location should you need them without having to ring the button.
We started our descent from FL360 about 30mins outside Singapore and landed towards the South on rwy 20R. Just before our final approach did the F/A come around to take a couple of pics of me.
This should give you an idea of the size of the seat
And another one with one of the shades open
Overall I was very impressed with the A380. The a/c is extremely big, both inside and out, and there is quite a sense of space inside the cabin, especially where the stairs going down to Suites in the front are. Never thought I’d see so much empty space on a plane!
The crew were not their usual, which might be due to several factors, including familiarization with the a/c and coping with most curious passengers roaming around the different cabins.
I will try and get on the A380 again in mid-December (if I can argue that the flight from BNE to SIN does not suit me) and will see if the crew’s attitude has changed for the better.
Thanks a lot for reading and please be kind enough to leave a comment.
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 32767 times:
Nice report Coal, brings back memories of my recent ride on her
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I had forgotten to take the flash off my camera, so when I took a pic of the Suites and the flash strobe came off, the leading steward gave me a disapproving look and quickly escorted me back upstairs.
- Ah, not good - 'escorted me back upstairs' - tis actually quite funny!
Door5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 710 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Interesting report Mr Coal.
I expect one problem with the layout of the A380 is passengers will try to go walkabout. Perhaps this is something the crew do not like about the new aircraft - it would be interesting to hear from any SQ crew members working the A380. SQ has always been very protective of their premium classes and ensuring their peace and privacy is not disturbed by passengers from other classes!
OA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 30070 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Nice TR . I was wondering how they would control people from walking around. Still I guess if your in J class you can wander around J and Y so thats a good amount of space to be free to walk around.
The loose latch on the locker is probably something that they will fix. I wouldnt be too worried about minor things. They can be replaced easily. When I flew on the new LX A320 interior I noticed the latches on the tray tables were loose and on take off a few tables dropped down. This has since been fixed. I guess its just teething problems.
BrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 4153 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
I must say, this is probably the best TR of the A380 thus far. We all know what the SW foot, etc is like!
Actually when I saw you sitting in the seat, I was surprised how 'narrow' it looks. I had expected acres of space on each side, leading to a 'park bench' effect. But that looks really nice and comfy. I wish I had the £££££ to pay for SQ J!
Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
Christao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 980 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Nice report, good balance of pics and description. In the picture of the seat in fully reclined mode, it looks a little odd that the seat narrows around the head. This is the indentation for the foot rest from the seat behind yours, I assume? Just doesn't look terribly comfortable.
BNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3215 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Thanks for the trip report Coal.
Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 11): Actually when I saw you sitting in the seat, I was surprised how 'narrow' it looks. I had expected acres of space on each side, leading to a 'park bench' effect. But that looks really nice and comfy. I wish I had the £££££ to pay for SQ J!
Actually I read somewhere that seats 11AK and 12AK which are the window seats on both sides are narrower than the rest of the other business class seats.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I requested help from the F/A as I wasn’t sure exactly how to do it. I thought it would be a full turn down service, but he only put the seatback down and handed me the duvet in a plastic bag. Maybe they do have a full turn down service on overnight flights
Not that I am aware of, no turn down service for evening flight.
ThreeFourThree From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Coal, thanks for a great report with some really great pictures. You just get the feel that it is a really contemporary and nice place to be on the new A380.
Wow, you saw Uluru, that's pretty cool to see it from a plane!
Thanks again for the trip report. It was great
I notice that the screens are very reflective, unlike the 77W. Here is a photo of it...
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): The tray table is huuuge! I could have easily fit breakfast and my laptop on the side.
I found the tray table extremely heavy to move about. The sides of the tray table storage, I am sure, would be damaged in no time.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): As we were nearing Ayers Rock, some of the passengers in the front of Business Class were allowed downstairs were the Suites were to take a peek out the window and see Ayers Rock. Interesting, yes, but I was much more keen on seeing the suites.
Hmm... Was this announced that you guys could go downstairs? Once I was on the Upper Deck of an MAS 744 and the captain announced that the people on the left side of the plane could have a view of the famous piece of rock. As I was in 16A (front row), I had an excellent view as the plane was momentarily tilted to the left.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): The pictures of the seats do make them look small and cramped, but they are quite the opposite!
Indeed it does. And that was also my impression of the new seats until I tried them for myself. I guess they have already made provisions for the seat to recline within the shell so there was no need to create additional aesthetical illusions of space.
Quoting Door5Right (Reply 7): I expect one problem with the layout of the A380 is passengers will try to go walkabout. Perhaps this is something the crew do not like about the new aircraft - it would be interesting to hear from any SQ crew members working the A380. SQ has always been very protective of their premium classes and ensuring their peace and privacy is not disturbed by passengers from other classes!
Yes, you could tell the F/A's were devoting most of their time to keep the pax in their respective classes
Quoting OA260 (Reply 8): Nice TR . I was wondering how they would control people from walking around. Still I guess if your in J class you can wander around J and Y so thats a good amount of space to be free to walk around.
Quoting Christao17 (Reply 12): This is the indentation for the foot rest from the seat behind yours, I assume? Just doesn't look terribly comfortable.
Yes. But you still get about the same width at the head area as you would with the old Spacebeds (or, say for instance, on Thai's Royal Silk chairs), so it is quite comfortable. The fact that you can lie down on your side and sleep comfy just drives home the point of how big the chair is.
Quoting BNE (Reply 14): Actually I read somewhere that seats 11AK and 12AK which are the window seats on both sides are narrower than the rest of the other business class seats.
I thought so too but didn't find the seats narrow at all! Actually, if you are in the upright position without your seatbelt on, it is a bit uncomfortable due to the large size.
Quoting BNE (Reply 14): At least I am not the only one to take a picture, huuge is the understatement.
Quoting AirEcosse (Reply 15): Hello, thanks for posting a great trip report and pictures.