Singapore Airlines Suites review- LAX-NRT

If you’ve never slept on a double bed in the sky, add it to your bucket list. Earlier this month we had the pleasure of flying Singapore Airlines’ Suites class from Los Angeles to Tokyo for our first ever trip to Asia. It was also my first time flying the A-380, which is the only aircraft that features the suites, and I was really looking forward to the flight. Booking Singapore Suites for two in advance at the Saver level while not impossible, is really hard to do. We were fortunate to find two seats a year in advance.

The cost of the flight for two people was approximately 150,000 Krisflyer miles and approximately $300+ in fuel surcharges, transferred directly from American Express. When booking Singapore, it’s important to book directly with them, not only because they release more award space for their own members, but because you also get a 15% discount off award redemptions. I was able to select seats right away, and I made sure I selected the double bed, which there is only two of.

At the airport – LAX

We arrived early enough to the airport (about 4 hours early) since I wanted to check out the Star Alliance First Class lounge (and because L.A. traffic is very unpredictable). Check in wouldn’t open for another 30 minutes, so we sat around by the main entrance area.

Singapore-AirlinesAs soon as the check in counter opened at 12:15 p.m., we headed up to it to check in and get our boarding passes, and then headed to airside.

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In the terminal, we headed for the Star Alliance First Class lounge to get some drinks and eat lunch, and unwind for a bit.

Star Alliance First Class lounge

Star Alliance First Class lounge

Prawns salad

Prawns salad

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Open terrace on Business Class lounge

Open terrace on Business Class lounge

Tom Bradley international terminal

Tom Bradley international terminal

After spending a couple of hours at the lounge, we headed to our gate, which was at the end of the terminal, a good 10-15 minute walk.

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Boarding was delayed for a few minutes, and then they finally made the announcement, and we were the first ones to board.

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We were greeted at the entrance by the in-flight manager, who introduced himself, escorted us to our seats, took our jackets and stored them in our seats’ individual closets.

Personal closet

Personal closet

Our two flight attendants came by to introduce themselves, offer newspapers (which we declined) and pre-departure drinks. I went with the 2004 Dom Perignon (fortunately 2003′s was nowhere to be found) and my wife had a glass of white wine.

2004 Dom on the ground? Yes please!

2004 Dom on the ground? Yes please!

Boarding took quite a bit, so we settled in and enjoyed our drinks. Here’s the drinks menu:

Singapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesThe flight attendants brought our pajamas and our his and hers amenity kits, and we made a couple of final calls to our family before putting our phones on airplane mode.

The A-380 first class cabin has 12 suites, with 4 individual suites on each side, and two rows of double beds in the middle, with a partition that can be put up or taken down depending on whether you’re traveling with the person next to you or not. In this flight, 8 of the suites were full, including both double beds (a couple in row 1 and us in row 2). There were 4 individual window suites open, which I was hoping for, since it meant I would be able to watch the takeoff and landing.

The seats were gorgeous, and this particular aircraft had already been reconfigured with the new darker upholstery.

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Ottoman with extra sitting for visitors

Ottoman with extra sitting for visitors

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After boarding was finally completed, I moved to the window suite next to mine to watch the takeoff. The captain made the usual announcements about welcoming everyone, announced the flight time would be approximately 12 hours, although I really wouldn’t have cared if it was 24.

While we were taxiing, the safety video played on our screens:

Singapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesThe A-380 usually gets an airport escort during taxiing, which is sort of cool to watch.

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I also enjoyed just sitting back and watching the display of long-haul aircraft at the gates.

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Aeroflot 777

Aeroflot 777

Etihad 777

Etihad 777

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Korean Air A-380

Korean Air A-380

After what I can describe as the smoothest takeoff I have ever experienced, we were on our way up the West coast, with incredible sights of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline.

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After we cleared 10,000 feet the captain immediately turned the seatbelt sign off, and I transferred back to my seat. I also immediately unpacked my pajamas and went to the lav to change into them. The socks ran a little large and kept sliding off, so I just ditched them and went with the slippers only.

First class pajamas

Givenchy first class pajamas, socks,  slippers and eye shades

First class lavatory

First class lavatory

Bench for sitting down and changing

Bench for sitting down and changing

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The lav is very well stocked and has pretty much anything you can imagine that you might need on the flight.

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Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Toothbrushes and toothpaste

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There are two first class lavatories for the 12 suites in first class, which is very convenient and it pretty much means no lines. They are also cleaned and sprayed each time someone exits the lavatory, which is almost unheard of on other airlines we’re all accustomed to. The trash bin even has a foot pedal so you can open it and close it without touching it.

As soon as I exited the lav, one of the flight attendants was right outside waiting for me ready to store away my clothes. She hanged them and put them away inside the closet in the empty suite next to mine.

The pajamas were very comfortable. I was worried about getting an L size since I usually run Medium, but the extra size and them running a tad loose made them feel very comfortable. I loved the little details, like the zipper having the SQ logo in it.

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Ready for the next 12 hours!

Ready for the next 12 hours!

After I got settled in, we unpacked our amenity kits, which are made by Salvatore Ferragamo, and feature a full bottle of cologne/perfume for men and women depending on the kit, lip balm and after shave balm for men, and lip balm, hand cream and a moistened towel for the women.

Men's amenity kit

Men’s amenity kit

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Women's amenity kit

Women’s amenity kit

The amenity kits themselves are light on products, since everything else you need is always well stocked and constantly refilled in the lavatories.

Bose noise cancelling headphones

Bose noise cancelling headphones

The flight attendants then came by and took new drink orders, and this time I went with the Krug Grande Cuvee and my wife had another glass of white wine.

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Immediately after, the table was set and they also brought hot towels to clean our hands.

Here’s the menu:

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As an appetizer, we each had the Malossol caviar, which was excellent. The only thing I didn’t like is that they didn’t serve it with a mother of pearl spoon. This is the proper way of handling caviar, which should never be touched with metal utensils as it tends to spoil the delicate flavor. I’m not a caviar connoisseur or anything along those lines, but just from what I’ve read about eating it.

Chilled Malossol caviar

Chilled Malossol caviar

My wife also had a salad as an appetizer, and she really enjoyed it.

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For dinner, we had both used the Singapore Airlines Book the Cook service, through which you get a number of items you can pre-order in advance. It’s a pretty safe bet, since if you don’t like your order you can always get something off the regular menu during the flight. For our first dinner, we both ordered the Lobster Thermidor, and it did not disappoint. It was excellent.

Lobster thermidor

Lobster thermidor

After so much food, my wife skipped dessert, and I decided to try the dark chocolate mousse.

Dark chocolate mousse

Dark chocolate mousse

Ok, so this was the only (minor) blemish during our flight. The cake was fantastic, but the ice cream was frozen solid. In fact, it was so frozen that I’m pretty sure it could have been used as a weapon. Since I was so stuffed anyway, I chose not to ask the flight attendants to warm it up to melt it, and I just had the cake and a tiny bit of ice cream “shavings”, which tasted pretty good.

After dinner, I ordered a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, but it was way too bitter for my taste, and I felt really guilty about asking for cream and sugar, as expensive as that coffee is, but I wanted to try it nonetheless.

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Here’s the beverages menu:

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After dinner came the big surprise. We were flying the day before my wife’s birthday, so I had pre-ordered, and the airline was very gracious to provide, a birthday cake for her, which they brought along with the customary Singapore Teddy Bear. It was lovely, and she was very surprised. A big thanks to the airline and the crew for making this happen.

Singapore-AirlinesIt was sort of funny how the flight attendant almost gave away the surprise. My wife is the only person in the world who doesn’t like chocolate, so I had made sure to pre-order a non-chocolate cake. A few minutes before they brought the cake, our flight attendant asked us if we wanted anything else for dessert, and casually told me wife “but I know you don’t like chocolate”. When she left my wife looked at me and asked me how it was possible that they knew she didn’t like chocolate. I just said “I don’t know, I guess they’re THAT good at paying attention!”.

The cake was excellent. We really enjoyed it, and then asked the flight attendants to please share the rest (about 3 quarters of it!) with the rest of the crew. We never saw it again, so they must have liked it! We’re hoping they really enjoyed it!

After dinner, we went to the lav to freshen up while the crew made our beds, which must be pulled together and brought down from the panel behind the seat. It’s a pretty elaborate process, which they seem to master and only do in a couple of minutes.

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Headphones rest and control buttons

Headphones rest and control buttons

My wife slept for about 3-4 hours, while I flipped through the entertainment system. I picked Jurassic World, and proceeded to waste 2+ hours of my life. The movie wasn’t good, but I was determined not to sleep if I could help it on a westbound, mostly daylight flight.

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After the movie I got up and walked around the plane. I headed upstairs through the front staircase to check out the Business Class cabin, which takes up the entire plane’s upper deck.

Forward staircase

Forward staircase

Business class cabin on upper deck

Business class cabin on upper deck

Business class seats

Business class seats

The business class cabin was roughly 60% full, so there were plenty of empty seats. Sadly, it didn’t occur to me to try one out, but they looked very comfortable.

Rear spiral staircase leading down to economy class

Rear spiral staircase leading down to economy

After walking around I got back to my seat and watched a couple of other shows (CNN’s “The Sixties” and Mr. Bean). At that point still being awake started wearing down on me. I also started to get a bit hungry, but the mid-flight snacks didn’t look like anything I wanted to eat, so I just ordered some Rooibos Red tea, which was very good.

Singapore-AirlinesSingapore-AirlinesAt that point my wife woke up and asked the FA to put her seat back up. I chose to keep my bed for as long as possible since I wanted to lay back down after dinner, so I asked the flight attendants to serve our dinner for two on my wife’s side of the cabin.

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For dinner I had pre-ordered via Book The Cook the 5-spice Chilean Sea bass. It was excellent. My wife ordered off the menu this time, and had the Roasted Ling Cod Fillet and she really enjoyed it. Something about being on a cabin pressurized at 8,000 feet that just makes the fish taste much better than beef, so I was glad we ordered fish instead. We also each had a smoked beef salad as an appetizer.

Smoked beef appetizer

Smoked beef appetizer

Roasted Ling Cod Fillet

Roasted Ling Cod Fillet

5-spice Chilean Sea Bass

5-spice Chilean Sea Bass

After dinner I had another cup of tea and laid down for a while and my wife watched some TV. I really really hated having to pass on free Johnnie Walker Blue label, but I just needed a lot of fluids since you dehydrate pretty fast on a plane. Then I felt we started our descend into Narita and I went back to the lav to change into my street clothes while the flight purser put away my bed and put my seat back up. After we got below 10,000 feet and the seatbelt sign was still off, I switched over to the window seat and watched our approach into Narita.

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Right before arrival, the flight attendants, the purser and inflight manager all came by individually and thanked us for flying with them and told us it was a pleasure taking care of us for the long flight. We chatted for a couple of minutes about their work for Singapore Air and about their next 2 days in Tokyo. Before exiting the plane they all posed for pictures with us (I really love the Singapore flight attendant uniforms), and then headed up the jet bridge towards customs.

Singapore-AirlinesAfter we cleared customs, we headed to the baggage carousel, where to our confusion, we couldn’t find our bags. An employee from the ground services crew then noticed us and pointed to an area where a Singapore grounds crew member was already waiting for us with our bags, which by being tagged first class were the first ones off the plane. That was a nice touch!

Overall impression:

Flying Singapore suites has always been my dream flight, and it did not disappoint. The crew was very warm and welcoming, proactively engaged in casual conversation with us and we could tell they genuinely cared about the passengers and their comfort. The flight, at almost 12 hours, was a breeze, and felt pretty short since it was so fun. I really love Singapore Air and can’t wait to fly them again!

 

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6 Responses to Singapore Airlines Suites review- LAX-NRT

  1. Shannon says:

    How sweet and considerate of you to arrange a birthday cake for your wife!!!

  2. Talissa says:

    Birthday cake – sooo cute! I wonder how to order it? Do you email them? Or can you do it on their website? I am flying LAX to Narita in August, actually on my birthday. I would love to pre-order one for myself! :)

    • travelguys says:

      Talissa, yes, I emailed the airline in advance and received a voicemail a few days later confirming they had received my request. After that I sort of forgot about it until they brought it in after dinner.

  3. Tom McNerney says:

    Really interesting to know SQ reserves two award seats in First/Suites, I had always assumed it was only one. I’ll try to find one from London now.

    I’ve reserved both suites and regular first a dozen or so times on awards, suites is something of a bargain LON-SIN at 91,375 miles versus business at 68,000 (if you pay real money the premium is usually a lot more in percentage terms) and oddly awards availability is often better than in business.

    • travelguys says:

      Tom, the award for LAX-NRT is very hard to find, especially for 2 people. I booked it a year out, which isn’t impossible but always hard to find.

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