Review: Singapore Airlines SQ 308 Business Class Singapore to London

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Before I begin: My heart goes out to everyone who are affected during this difficult period. This is not only painful for the travel industry. It has negative impact on everyone one way or another; even myself. It may sound insensitive to some to complain about Business Class seats while there are people suffering. But it does not mean that everyone should stop being positive and carry on doing what they love. I’ve had travel taken away from me and I am not about to allow this horrible pandemic take away my love for sharing my travel experiences with the world. One day, hopefully soon, this review may be useful to some. Stay safe and positive (but test negative) everyone! <3

Seat version: 2006 Business Class (2006 J)
Cost: 25,000 miles + US$85.30 for SIN-LHR and LHR-SIN
Frequent Flyer Program: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Aircrafts with this seat

Singapore Airlines features this old seat in all its Boeing 777-200ER and the majority of its A380s. If you are flying in an A380, the easiest way to check if you will be flying in this seat is by looking at the last row number of the Business Class cabin in that airplane when you choose your seat upon booking. If the last row number is either 27 or 96, you will be flying in this seat.

Please refer to the following table to know beforehand which Business Class seat you will be in:

Seat VersionAircraftBusiness RowsSeat WidthLie-flat?Screen Size
2006 JBoeing 777-200ERAny34 inchesYes15 inches (non-HD)
2006 JAirbus A38011-2734 inchesYes15 inches (non-HD)
2006 JAirbus A38011-27, 91-9634 inchesYes15 inches (non-HD)
2009 RJAirbus A330Any20 inchesNo15 inches (non HD)
2009 RJBoeing 777-200Any20 inchesNo15 inches (non HD)
2009 RJBoeing 777-300Any20 inchesNo15 inches (non HD)
2013 JBoeing 777-300ERAny28 inchesYes18 inches (HD)
2013 JAirbus A35011-22, 10-2928 inchesYes18 inches (HD)
2017 JAirbus A38011-24, 91-9725 inchesYes18 inches (HD)
2018 RJAirbus A35011-2120 inchesYes18 inches (HD)
2018 RJBoeing 78711-2020 inchesYes18 inches (HD)

Legend:
J = Business Class
RJ = Regional Business Class
Black Font = Average
Green Font = Above Average
Red Font = Below Average

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Airport lounge

Flying Business Class with Singapore Airlines from Singapore gives you access to SilverKris Lounge in Changi Airport.

Seat features

This seat is one of the widest Business Class seats in the world and width-wise it is comparable to many First Class seats from other airlines. But do not let the numbers fool you. You do not get all 34 inches from your chest up. In the upright take-off position, it looks insanely wide. You will also notice a huge gap behind the seat. This is hiding a slope for the passenger behind you to place their feet when their seat is in lie-flat bed mode. This wide-ish seat allows you to move your butt around more, nothing much else.

1-2-1 seat configuration in the Business Class cabin
1-2-1 seat configuration in the Business Class cabin
Middle seats
Middle seats
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Seat 14K. Notice the huge gap behind the seat back
Seat 14K. Notice the huge gap behind the seat back
Seat 14K
Seat 14K
Bed mode. Note how the width of the bed tapers off
Bed mode. Note how the width of the bed tapers off

The size of the in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen is not proportionate to the seat. Being in standard quality (non-HD) was probably not a big deal back in 2006 but it is unacceptable to still have it in the majority of Singapore Airlines A380 aircrafts in 2020 when airlines are already introducing Ultra HD screens. To make matters worse, the remote for the IFE was barely working. I had to press the buttons really hard to get it to work every single time.

Tiny screen
Tiny screen
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Remote for entertainment system
Remote for entertainment system
Noise-cancelling headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones

There are plenty of useful compartments within reach. The compartment door beside my screen could not be closed completely. There is a huge storage area beside the window that is large enough for a small bag. Be careful when using the “table top” in between your seat and the window as there is a tiny hole where small items can easily slide into during the slightest turbulence. When I looked into that gap, I saw accumulated receipts and food scraps from previous passengers. Eww, is that 14 years worth of trash?

Small storage compartment, power and USB sockets
Small storage compartment, power and USB sockets
Vanity mirror and cup holder
Vanity mirror and cup holder
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Large storage compartment
Large storage compartment

While other top airlines still give out beautiful amenity kits to Business Class passengers, Singapore Airlines stopped doing so many years ago in a cost-cutting move. You will receive personal eye shades, socks and lounge slippers. Other items like lotions and shavers are available in the restroom.

Basic amenities
Basic amenities

Dining

Flying in a premium cabin with Singapore Airlines gives you access to Book the Cook (BTC) where you can choose your in-flight main course beforehand. I went for Nasi Lemak for Brunch and Classic Lobster Thermidor for Lunch.

Presentation was OK. I hate to mention another airline in this review but Qatar Airways makes dining with other airlines look like crap. See for yourself here and here.

The Nasi Lemak was great. While presentation for the Classic Lobster Thermidor is great, it tasted horrible. I heard many complains about how bad it is but I never thought that Lobster can taste this yucky. In fact, I had a BTC Lobster Thermidor during my First Class flight from Hong Kong to Singapore last year and that actually tasted pretty good. Mind you, I am not a fussy-eater. Ask the people around me and they will tell you that it is really easy to impress me with food. When I say that a dish is bad, it is really bad. This made me wonder, are lobster dishes for flights departing Singapore always bad? Please enlighten me if there are any frequent SQ flyers out there.

When I fly Business or First, I like to put my seat in bed mode and keep it in bed mode as I sit up to enjoy my meal. Because of the weird slope caused by the rear passenger’s foot compartment, I could not do that with this seat. The table cannot be pulled further away from the window to make this possible.

Food menu (Click to enlarge)
Food menu (Click to enlarge)
Drinks menu (Click to enlarge)
Drinks menu (Click to enlarge)
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Drinks menu (Click to enlarge)
Drinks menu (Click to enlarge)
Drinks menu (Click to enlarge)
Drinks menu (Click to enlarge)
Brunch: Fresh fruits to start
Brunch: Fresh fruits to start
Brunch: Nasi Lemak
Brunch: Nasi Lemak
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Satay service
Satay service
Lunch: Smoked Trout with Orange Wedges
Lunch: Smoked Trout with Orange Wedges
Lunch: Classic Lobster Thermidor
Lunch: Classic Lobster Thermidor
Lunch: Classic Lobster Thermidor
Lunch: Classic Lobster Thermidor
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Honey Semolina Cake
Honey Semolina Cake

Service

Service was great throughout the flight from the airline with the world’s best cabin crew. As the flight was only about 20% full, I asked if there is an empty Business Class cabin in the rear of the plane where I can get some photos. After asking her supervisor, she said OK and brought me to the rear.

Conclusion

There are way too many of these ancient seats still in service with Singapore Airlines. If you think that this criticism on a 2006 seat is unfair, I would like to remind you that they are charging over $5,000 or 194,000 Krisflyer miles for round trip Business Class flights to Europe in these crappy seats with substantial wear and tear. They do not charge a different price for each type of Business Class seats. And this seat here, cost more than what other 5-star airlines are charging for the same route, both in cash and miles. Unless if you really enjoy shaking your butt while sleeping, don’t waste your money or miles on this one.

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Ratings (vs other Business Class seats)

Seat: 3/10
Dining: 7/10
Privacy: 8/10
Service: 10/10
Cleanliness: 7/10

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