Following our Bangkok and Singapore trip in December 2017-January 2018, we were lucky to be able to get Business Class award seats for our departure flight with Singapore Airlines. Check the review post here.
For our returning flight to Melbourne, we initially planned to fly business class too. However, since it's holiday season and we started pretty late when searching for the award seats, there were only First Class seats available for Singapore to Melbourne route, all business class seats were unavailable. We thought about it for a while and decided since it was for our honeymoon, then why not get the first class too while it was still available, also our Velocity points were still adequate. We redeemed the first class for 80,000 Krisflyer miles per person. It would be nicer though if it were Suites rather than First Class, since the miles to redeem are exactly the same value for both for the same route. Unfortunately, currently Suites are only available from Singapore to Sydney route, which was very predictable that none was available at the time we looked for it.
First class check-in area
Our first-class journey started off with Grab Car ride from our hotel on Orchard Road to the Changi International Airport in Singapore. We arrived at a dedicated First Class check-in area, exclusive only for Singapore Airlines First Class and Suites passengers. There is a separate driveway for the check-in area just before the main entrance of T3 terminal and you might need to notify your driver if they are not aware of it.
Arriving at the First Class check-in area is like arriving in a 5-star hotel. There was concierge waiting for you at the front of entrance and they will get to your car, open the door and grab your luggages without the need to be asked. It was a very pleasant surprise since we have never such hospitality when arriving at an airport terminal before.
Next thing we do was entering the lavish check-in area. There were about 4 check-in desks available and sofas to relax just in case all the available desks are occupied. Unlike any ordinary check-in desks, the first class check-in desk are like a luxurious office desk with proper fully padded chairs for passengers to sit during the check-in process. We don't need to carry our luggage to the scale as the concierge will do that for you. All we need to do was just sitting and waiting until the staff checked us in.
There was one time Peter joked to the check-in staff when she asked about our passports and said "So, you're flying first class today?". Peter said, "No, actually we are flying economy". Then he said, "Just kidding" with a big grin in his face.
Once we checked in, we took a few moments just to sit in the sofa and took some footage too for our Youtube video. We really wish that memorable moment won't end too fast but then there is nothing much you do here - you might better off spending your time in The Private Room lounge which we will discuss later in the post.
Then we got out of the check-in area and right in front of us there was a door to enter the dedicated immigration area just for first class passengers! That's just another WOW that came out our mouth. Before headed to immigration, we decided to take some photos and footage first since it was holiday season and there was a huge and beautiful Christmas installation located in the terminal area. Later, we actually regret doing that! I'll explain a bit more later.
We then headed to the 'first-class' immigration. There was only one desk and one immigration officer waiting for us. Just before we arrived at the desk, there is also one security guard standing at the entrance to check our passport and boarding pass. Now you can think and count the number why first class tickets are so ridiculously expensive. That's because we need to pay for these dedicated services. The immigration officer turned out to be Indonesian/Malaysian (can't really tell) since when he saw our Indonesian passport, he immediately spoke in Bahasa, which is really nice. I never had such a warm welcome from an immigration officer before, he was smiley and was very polite.
The Private Room
After we got passed the immigration, we then headed to The Private Room. All SIA first class and Suites passengers are invited to The Private Room in terminal 2. This is an exclusive lounge where you get fine dining experience while you are still on the ground and waiting for your flight. Obviously, we did not want to miss this experience and did a full review of the lounge. Stay tuned for another blog post to talk about The Private Room.
We spent the time before boarding at The Private Room, literally left the lounge just 5 minutes before the boarding time. The boarding gate is luckily close enough to The Private Room. However, we forgot we still needed to go the security check - it is a shame though you don’t have a direct access from the lounge to the gate. By the time we got to the security area at the entrance of the gate, surprisingly we noticed no one was sitting on the chairs at the gate area where we were supposed to board.
We then thought, damn, are we coming late? We reached the gate on time actually, only around 5 minutes after the boarding time that was printed on the ticket. There were only a few passengers left walking to get the tickets scanned at the gate, so we were among the last passengers to board. Whoa, I think we spent time too long at The Private Room!
At the jet bridge, we made a glorious left turn on that First Class/Business class jet bridge branch. A small experience that I always wanted to have when I boarded in economy class, I wanted to know what is behind that First/Business Class bridge. We were welcomed warmly by the cabin crew. The first class cabin on this flight only consists of 1 row with 4 seats. We were seated at 1C and 1D, in the middle row. We were not the only passengers in the first class cabin, as there are other two first class passengers boarded. They are also a couple and seated in between us. I was not disappointed with the fact we have other passengers sitting in between us, since I still felt a total privacy in the cabin. There were also curtain that was always closed between first class and business class cabin. So it still felt like a private jet to me since I could not feel that there were actually hundreds of passengers behind us.
Once we sat down we were offered to have a welcome drink then we immediately ordered a glass of champagne. As you all probably would know, Singapore Airlines First Class and Suites offers two popular champagnes on board: DOM Perignon and Krug. We have tried DOM when we were at The Private Room so this time we opted for KRUG Vintage 2014. As I am not a wine lover, I couldn't not really taste the difference. I might be able to feel a slight different taste but couldn't really describe it in words. Peter said he prefers DOM than Krug, but again he couldn't describe the difference in words as we are not a regular champagne drinker.
Along with the champagne, they also served us a small cup serving of warm nuts. Yes, we can feel it was warm! The nuts were warmed up before served to us. That was such a pleasant touch. Unfortunately, since we were among the last passengers to board, because of that we didn't have a long time to enjoy the pre-take-off drinks and nuts. Sadly, the crew needed to clean them up for boarding. I didn't even finish half of the glass of the champagne. Such a waste of money in my opinion :(
The storage in this first class cabin was massive. There is no cabin compartment above your head in the middle row giving you a sense of spacious cabin. You can definitely feel a big difference between business and first class.
I stored my cabin luggage in the storage area under the In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) screen in front of me, which only took half of the storage. You can bring up to two cabin luggage as first class passengers. I used the other part of the storage underneath to store my backpack and shoes.
Similar to business class cabin we had from Brisbane flight to Singapore, there are a few compartments in between the IFE screen. The difference is these compartments are bigger and looks more luxury than business class cabin.
First Class Seats
The seat configuration of the first class cabin in this particular flight is 1-2-1, with only one row. Each seat has extended curved partition to provide more privacy. The middle seats that we had were perfect for honeymooners or couple. The seat itself is super wide, I felt like that 2 people can sit together. It is diamond-stitched with luxurious leather. The partitions at the right and hand side have mood lightings which you can set from intense to cool reading mode. The seat can be converted into a fully flat bed, complete with linen, duvet, and pillows.
IFE & Bose
The screen is massive. It’s 24-inch HD-enabled personal LCD with Krisworld entertainment system. With Bose noise-cancelling headphones which was super impressive, we felt on top of the world! Considering we never flew First Class before, lying down on the fully flat bed with personal TV and noise-cancelling headphone it almost felt like a dream to be honest.
When we first arrived at our seats, we didn't see any amenities, pyjamas, or slippers. Later we figured that the cabin crew handed them out to us after take-off.
I actually asked for my slippers before take-off since I also did the same thing on the last business class flight, I wanted to be as much comfortable as possible, and wearing slippers makes a difference of the take-off experience compared with economy class :P
After take-off, the crew handed us the pyjamas first, it was wrapped in a bag with the same fabric as the pyjama. Soon after, I decided to change my clothes with my Singapore Airlines pyjama in the toilet. Yay! This was the first time we wore a pyjama in a flight!
The amenity kits were given to us before take-off. It is a Salvatore Ferragamo branded pouch contains luxury amenity items like lip balm, hand lotion, and a travel size of perfume in a same brand. Honestly the perfume smells like heaven! I got the 'female' version of amenity bag and Peter got the 'male' version. Both are from Salvatore Ferragamo.
The products in female bag is all in the ‘Signorina’ theme which has got peachy champagne colour packaging, while the male one is in Acqua Essenziale Blu theme in all dark blue packaging.
The toilet has some noticeable differences compared to business class toilets. First, there was orchids! I can see purple orchids laid on the side of the mirror as decoration. Second, there are no hot/cold buttons for tap water like in the economy/business class lavatories. It uses automated sensor tap. When I first used it I didn't know, I was trying to press on the 'button' which turns out not a button at all. I just needed to wave my hands to activate it just like the usual sensor taps.
For hand-washing purpose, there were small-sized hand towels, similar to the hot towel you will receive throughout the flight, in addition to the normal facial tissues.
There were a few other basic amenities on the drawers like toothbrushes and sanitary bags. The soap, hand lotion and mouthwash were the same as the ones we found at the first class bathroom at The Private Room in Changi Airport, and they are Salvatore Ferragamo branded too.
There are two toilets available for first class passengers, one on each side. So it is almost a guarantee you will not find yourself in a queue to use the toilet.
The food was amazing, much better than our Business Class flight from Brisbane to Singapore before. But amazing is underrated, it is superb.
We ordered our foods for the supper using Book The Cook feature from SIA website, just like we did for our Business Class flight.
Make sure you pre-order the food at a minimum of 24 hours before your flight, otherwise you will be stuck with options from the printed menu given on the flight.
I got the duck risotto for main course and Peter ordered Kyo Kaiseki set meal which means he had his full 4-course of Japanese meal pre-booked.
For breakfast, there was only one option which was the continental breakfast.
I will write more about it in a separate blog post. The food itself deserves its own dedicated blog post to explain about all the details. Please check out the following food review blog post:
First Class Dining Experience with Singapore Airlines
The service as usual were incredible. Basically, for first class cabin there were 2 dedicated flight attendants (unfortunately I forgot to take note of their names). With 4 first class passengers in total, that means every two passengers has got our 'private butler' :D
On top of it there was a cabin manager always checked on us and made sure we got the best experience on the flight. He was super friendly and chatty. He can speak in Bahasa as he said he's originally from Malaysia. He knew that we are Indonesian so both Indonesian and Malaysian actually speak similar language in Bahasa. He attempted to joke by saying sorry there was no red/green chili sambal after seeing I didn't quite finish my main course, which was a nice gesture. For the record, Indonesian and Malaysian are known for their preference to eat anything rice dishes with sambal. We take fresh chili/sambal very seriously and it's a staple in our food. Everything tastes better with chili :)
The first class cabin that we had, may not be the best first class product in the world, in comparison with other airlines. However the service, food, on the ground experience, that what makes the experience was totally worth it. We mentioned that flying business class with SIA we had really opened up our mind about airlines industries. We can say again now that this first class flight experience has blown and even more open up our mind about aviation. The money we pay to the airline not only contributes to the seat you pay for on the aircraft, but it is more than that. You think about the staff on the ground, the lounge, the service by the cabin crew, the pilots, the catering company and the chef who prepares and makes the food, airport facilities, etc. Those factors are what we should think whenever we pay for an airline ticket.
For us personally, it's a hard work collecting those Velocity points for the past 3 years at least. The redemption of this first class tickets is totally worth the effort, time, and money we spent. If you live in Australia and you haven't done so in your life or you have an enormous amount of frequent flyer points you haven't spent with anything, we are here to help you. Send us an email, leave comments here, contact us via our social media, and we are happy to help you answer any questions.
We will definitely fly again with Singapore Airlines, either economy, business, first class, or Suites. We have booked award seats for our upcoming Japan trip later in October this year with SIA for our departure flights from Sydney. We’re going to try the new A380 Singapore Airlines business class seats. Maybe it won't be so new again by the time we fly with it, but we are so excited to try the 'double bed' in the business class. All the aviation geeks have been raving about this 'game changer' product of SIA. So, we really look forward to trying this ‘double bed’ seats. In the meantime, stay tuned for our next blog post about the food in this first class flight experience. Also, don’t forget to check out our Youtube video below.