If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I’m the most regular person you’ll meet. I’m in no way fancy. Just real regular. So, like most regular people, I flipped out when Singapore Airlines presented me with a business class ticket on their inaugural flight from Singapore to Düsseldorf. You guys, I flipped out. It was like I’d been gifted a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory, except better. Not only was I going to live La Vida Loca in business class, but I was also heading off to a part of the world I’d never been before; Düsseldorf.
Singapore Airlines is one of the most well-known and well-loved airline brands in the world and for good reason. As I discovered on a recent behind-the-scenes tour, there is a huge amount of time, hard work and attention to detail that goes into building a brand with a reputation like SIA (you can read about that here). When you board a flight, all of this comes together and the experience you have is based on all these wonderful things underpinning it, making your flight enjoyable. So, I wanted to share with you, my experience flying with Singapore Airlines on their brand new A350 from Singapore to Düsseldorf (did I mention the business class bit?!)
Check-in like a rockstar and relax in the lounge
Let’s start at the very beginning. Flying business class is, in itself, an experience. At Singapore’s Changi Airport, you get to check-in at a fancy, special desk just for business class passengers. You also get extra luggage, a total of 40kg, so you’re free to do as much shopping as your suitcase and wallet can handle.
Once you’re checked in, you stroll your fancy self over to the incredible SilverKris Lounge. If like me, you have no idea what a SilverKris is, you’ll be pleased to learn the Kris is actually an asymmetrical dagger with a very distinct blade. Don’t worry, you won’t find any real ‘Kris’ in the lounge. Instead, you’ll be treated to a fabulous buffet of tasty treats as well as refreshing drinks, great wine, beer and even sweets like yummy ice-cream. Did I mention the free wifi? How about the showers for freshening up pre-flight? You guys, the lounge is a haven for any long-haul traveller and I can assure you, I made the most of it.
That sweet moment you see your seat
I shed a tiny tear of joy when I saw my seat on the plane. Knowing full well most people will never get to fly this way (myself usually included) I decided to make the most of it, on behalf of every person who has ever flown economy and wished they were up in business. This one was for you, guys! Like an embarrassing tourist I started taking lots of photos of the business class area and you know what, I don’t regret it.
As I mentioned earlier, we were on SIA’s inaugural flight from Singapore to Düsseldorf, flying abroad their BRAND NEW A350. As I sat down, I got a smug little grin on my face, knowing my ample rump was the first to take up residence in the seat. It was so incredibly comfortable and spacious, with two fluffy pillows for me to rest and, later, sleep on. The plane has been designed with higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag.
My seat was not only big and spacious but had lots of compartments to store things as well as a mirror and spots to charge my phone using my USB cord. I could spread out and get comfortable, properly, knowing I had a good few hours ahead of me. There was also a huge 18-inch LCD screen in front of me, stocked with a tonne of great movies and tv shows to watch. I got to catch up on movies I’d wanted to see, but missed, like The Jungle Book, The Boss, Money Monster and the new Captain America flick.
SIA has also launched their ‘Companion App’ which allows you to use your phone in-flight via the KrisWorld wi-fi. The app forms part of the SingaporeAir app and offers you the ability to view the current flight path and location on your device, check updated flight information, browse the entertainment available, save favourites and control it all from your device.
Eating and sleeping
Let’s talk about the important parts of flying; the food and your ability to sleep on the plane. Firstly, the food. I went for a ‘Book the Cook’ meal, which is essentially restaurant class meals served at 30,000 feet. The meals are created by well-known chefs and served in-flight silver-service style. You guys, we’re talking white table-cloths and delicious meals served on fine china, with silver cutlery and first-class wines. It’s unbelievable.
Not only this, but flights are stocked with top-notch wines. I should know, I drank a lot of it (on your behalf, of course). The hostesses had great knowledge of the wines on board and, when asked, were able to give me recommendations on what to pair with my meal. SIA even have air sommeliers, as I learned during our behind-the-scenes tour.
After my meal, I decided to settle down to sleep. I’ve got to be honest here, I was a bit of a business class rookie and thought the seat only reclined really far back, which I was pretty happy about in the first instance. Turns out, that seat lays down FLAT. Like, perfectly flat. I had to ask for help because I had no idea how to do it, but it does. You flip it down, set up your pillows and the duvet (YES, a DUVET!) and snuggle in for the night or settle in to watch a few movies. It was so comfortable and did wonders for my body being so stretched out.
Singapore to Düsseldorf
With my flight being the inaugural one, it’s no surprise this is new for SIA. When we landed, we were greeted with a water cannon salute (the plain was showered by water being pumped out of fire-trucks! So cool!) The flight is direct from Singapore to Düsseldorf, with a flight time of 13 hours or so. Flying overnight without any stops was fantastic, it made the trip much easier on my mind, body and soul.
For Australians in particular, this is a real game changer. It’s very easy to get from Australia to Singapore, I often catch flights from the Gold Coast to Singapore on SIA’s budget airline, Scoot, for as little as $120 one-way p.p. You can spend a few days exploring Singapore, then climb aboard an A350 and set-off to explore Europe, using Germany as a starting point. SIA are running direct flights from Singapore to Düsseldorf as well as Munich and Frankfurt, where we flew out of at the end of the trip.
I had the most amazing day exploring Düsseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt. These are places I never imagined I’d get to visit and it was honestly an incredible trip. I was so thankful to be part of the trip and experience something as special and cool as being on the inaugural flight. Being able to experience it in business class was even better and something I’d recommend everyone try at least once in their lifetime if they can.
I just want to say a huge thank you to Singapore Airlines for the incredible service, from your in-flight staff, those who arranged the trip and those who accompanied us too. The whole thing was unforgettable and something I can’t wait to do again! Also, a huge thank you to my girl Nicola, of Polkadot Passport. I was able to attend this amazing trip on her behalf and will be eternally grateful – if you don’t already, I suggest you follow Nic because she’s one heck of a storyteller and photo-journalist (and also an amazing human!).