Singapore Air 777-300ER Business Class San Francisco – Hong Kong NH Collection Royal Teleport Hotel, Bogota, Colombia
CHECK-IN AND BOARDING Singapore Airlines’ latest iteration of the Business Class product is a further refinement of its popular long-haul offering. The investment in upgrading the existing fleet is expected to be complete by next year.
My domestic connection arrived at San Francisco hours before the early morning departure of SQ01 for Hong Kong. Since the SilverKris Loudge would not be open for several hours, I made my way to another airline’s lounge to get some work done. However knowing the SilverKris reputation for food, I refrained from eating. My wait was not in vain; SilverKris opened with a generous spread offering a variety of delicious choices.
The departure gate was not far from the lounge, so a few minutes before general boarding, I got a gentle reminder to make my way there.
THE SEAT Once at the gate, I was invited to bypass general boarding and go through the designated Business Class boarding lane. In the Business Class cabin I was immediately struck by the color choices. The soft coral lighting complimented the seat fittings, right down to the thin copper accent strip around the top of the seat. A smile from the cabin attendant and a delightful glass of Tattinger Brut Millésimé 2007 helped me settle in.
The entire pod is well designed and spacious, with plenty of nooks and crannies for stowing personal items. Conveniently, the USB/AC power ports were behind a small door at eye level in the seat back in front of me, so I could see exactly what I was plugging into. The seat itself was firm but cushy to make the long ride comfortable.
Now for the inflight entertainment. The 18-inch screen produced a gorgeous high definition picture. With the touch pad remote and noise-canceling headphones, the effect was virtually immersive. The entertainment offered Hollywood releases, television series and productions from around the world, including selections from Singapore.
THE FLIGHT We took off on time at 1:15 AM PT, and despite the lateness of the hour, the meal service began shortly after. The unflinchingly courteous crew always smiled, spoke softly and never failed to address me by name.
Among the supper choices, I picked the French curry spiced chicken breast, which fortunately was not too laden down with curry. After the service was cleared, I toyed with the idea of a movie, but it was just too late.
Unlike many other business class lie-flat seats, these do not merely stretch out to some lumpy semblance of flat; no, here, the seat-back folds forward to create a truly flat service to sleep on. I had the flight attendant show me, and I’m glad I did because there’s a trick to it. The back of the seat is padded, and in front of you there’s a cubby on one side for your feet, so there’s plenty of room to stretch out. It’s the same configuration as Singapore’s old business class seats, but they managed to avoid that uncomfortable seam that I found on the earlier version. I thought the retractable seat belt might be too restrictive, but I soon learned how to maneuver that, and enjoyed several hours of restful sleep.
Somewhere over the Pacific I awoke to a breakfast of peach pancakes with sausage. Then I settled in for an early morning movie. Here I discovered my IFE remote had failed; the touch pad didn’t work. Fortunately the old-fashioned buttons still did the job, so I was able to navigate the entertainment options without a problem.
ARRIVAL We arrived at Hong Kong International Airport 10 minutes early. Since it was early Saturday morning, the immigration lines were short, baggage claim was speedy and I was soon on my way to my hotel. VERDICT The new Singapore Business Class is class all the way. Beautiful interiors, tasty food and of course, Singapore’s legendary impeccable service. With the exception of that remote, this was a nearly flawless experience.
TESTED BY Dan Booth
PLANE TYPE 777-300ER
SEAT CONFIGURATION 1-2-1
SEAT LENGTH 51 inches/129.5cm
SEAT WIDTH 30 inches/76.2cm
SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees
PRICE Internet rates for a round trip Business Class ticket between San Francisco and Hong Kong in September started at $5,634.