Before I went to Texas on Singapore Airlines’ inaugural flight from Manchester to Houston, I’d never flown Business Class before. In fact, I’ve never even ventured into Premium Economy. So, when I got the news that, after a busy few days in NASA’s hometown, we’d been upgraded for the journey home, I was more than a little excited. And lucky for us, the luxury started before we’d even boarded the plane…
Unfortunately there isn’t a Singapore Airlines ‘SilverKris’ lounge at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, but the carrier’s partnership in the Star Alliance meant our tickets gave us access to the terminal’s United Club. And I couldn’t have been more thankful. After four days of eating ribs, burgers and Tex-Mex aplenty, it was a welcome relief to see a buffet that included foods like salad, fresh home-made soup and bread. I treated myself to two bowls of tasty butternut squash soup with a warm roll, and both were utterly delicious. The lounge also offered luxury sofa-style seating, a free bar and shower facilities – to name a few. The time in the lounge flew by, and soon it was time to take advantage of priority boarding…
You could fit two people on the Singapore Airlines Business Class seat, it’s that wide – up to 34 inches to be precise (depending on whether you’re in the airline’s new or normal Business Class). When I sat down it felt more like sitting in a huge armchair, not the squished-up Economy offering I’m used to. Legroom certainly isn’t an issue; in fact I had more space than I knew what to do with! All around there are stylish, hidden cubbyholes for your phone, shoes, handbag, head phones and not to mention plenty of places to put your feet up, or ports to charge your various electronic devices. And then there’s the secret dinner table compartment; it pops out from your armrest, ready to be deployed when you need it…
Speaking of tray tables, the food (and drink, for that matter) in the Singapore Airlines Business Class cabin is well presented, carefully thought-out and delicious. There’s something about eating fluffy pancakes, complete with blueberry compote and fresh cream, in the air, with real cutlery and flesh linens, that makes them tastier than they are at home. You can even use this award-winning airline’s ‘Book the Cook’ service 24 hours before your departure, which gives you the chance to select your menu options before you’ve even left for the airport. Imagine dishes like classic lobster thermidor, a simple yet tasty oven-roasted chicken breast, cheese boards and delicious pastries – to name just a few. If it’s a food coma you’re after, you’re bound to get your money’s worth here.
Forget the tiny screens I’d gotten used to in Economy; the 18-inch screens in Business Class feel practically cinema-sized in your little seat bubble. You can choose from 1,000+ entertainment options, including the latest TV shows, music, games and of course movies; I opted for comedy chick-flick Bad Moms and thriller Green Room on this occasion. But my favourite element was undoubtedly the noise-cancelling headphones. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to fully block out all that plane noise (or the sound of someone snoring nearby), and fully immerse yourself in your chosen flick.
With complimentary toothbrushes and shaving kits (in addition to the socks, slippers and eye masks handed out by the cabin crew), the Business Class bathrooms have everything you could ask for. Above all, they are also consistently clean and tidy, making a trip to the toilet a pleasure – rather than something to dread.
Once you’ve eaten all the food, used all the amenity kits and watched a film (or three), there’s nothing else for it: it’s bedtime. Extending to 78 inches in Singapore’s New Business Class offering, your seat’s fully-flat mattress comes complete with linen, duvet and pillows. And if, like me, you’re baffled by how the seat-to-bed action works, the cabin crew will be more than happy to assist. Unfurl the mattress and slide across the privacy screen (if you’re sat in the mid-section of the plane), and it’ll feel like you’re snuggled up in your own bed, in the seclusion of your own bedroom. All of this is perfect if you’re planning to hit the ground running when you get home, or back to the office. I never sleep on planes (as I have attested to before) but, on this journey, I actually managed to get a few hours shuteye – just what I needed for my drive home from the airport.
The #SIAcares Initiatives
As you might expect, the travel experience may have changed since you were last onboard. But one thing hasn’t, and that’s the award-winning hospitality and all the usual comforts offered by our friends at Singapore Airlines. From check-in to arrival, you can travel with confidence thanks to their #SIAcares initiatives, which include onboard care kits for all passengers and enhanced cleaning and rigorous disinfecting throughout your journey. All that’s left to do is grab a glass of bubbly, sit back, and relax, and enjoy your return to the sky in style!