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There’s business class. Then there’s first class. Then there’s Singapore Airlines first class.
Singapore Airlines is one of the best airlines in the world, and flying Singapore Airlines first class using credit card points is surprisingly simple. It just takes a few strategic credit card signups to put you within reach.
How We Booked With Points
I’ll cut to the chase: it’s ridiculously easy to earn Singapore Airlines miles via credit card points. Singapore Airlines partners with all of the major credit card currencies (Chase, AMEX, Citi, and Capital One), which means there are a variety of simple options to accumulate Singapore Airlines miles.
For example, our Singapore Airlines first class flights between Singapore and LAX cost us 118,000 miles each. By earning the signup bonuses on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Premier credit cards, you could easily earn 120,000+ points. And that was precisely what we did.
The best part is always seeing how much people will actually pay to fly in these business or first class cabins. The Singapore Airlines first class flight between Singapore and LAX is currently costing over $7,500. Not bad for signing up for two credit cards.
I’m never going to pay that much for a flight out of pocket, which is why I love the world of credit card points.
I should note that Singapore Airlines is stingy about releasing award space, especially for its first class cabin. In fact, Singapore Airlines doesn’t release first class cabin award space to Star Alliance partners, so you can book them only with Singapore Airlines frequent flyer miles. It’s yet another reason why transferable credit card points are so valuable.
Also, as a friendly reminder, be flexible when trying to book your flight and try to either book award travel well in advance (9+ months) or just before your departure (within two weeks).
This review will focus on the Singapore Airlines first class experience on their Boeing 777-300 from Singapore (SIN) to Los Angeles (LAX). This itinerary also included a shorter business class flight from Bali to Singapore and a layover in The Private Room (a private lounge within a first class lounge within a business class lounge – so exclusive it warrants its own post!).
But let’s get to the Singapore first class flight itself.
After a nice layover in The Private Room in Singapore’s Changi airport, we headed to the gate. My wife and I were the first to board in our separate entrance for first class passengers.
We were greeted by multiple friendly flight attendants who directed us to our seats. We quickly settled in and we’re offered a pre-departure glass of champagne.
The champagne choices? Dom Perignon and Krug Grande Cuvee. Singapore Airlines first class not only offers the famous Dom Perignon (around $200/bottle), it gives a SECOND premium option in Krug Grand Cuvee (around $100/bottle).
I’m not going to pretend like I’m some champagne connoisseur. In fact, I hardly drink champagne and my awareness of Dom Perignon comes from rap songs. But that didn’t prevent me from sipping my fair share. They also offered both champagne in The Private Room, so by the time I stepped in Singapore first class, I was on champagne number four for the evening.
Singapore Airlines First Class Seat
Compared to a typical economy or business class seat, the Singapore first class seat was essentially a throne.
The seat provided PLENTY of room to spread out and relax for the long journey from a Singapore to LAX.
I’m a pretty big dude, and there was more space than I knew what to do with. Meanwhile, you could pretty much double that amount of extra space for my wife.
The Singapore first class seat had so much space that we could basically both comfortably fit in one. A perfect opportunity for a champagne toast.
Inflight Entertainment and Wifi
The long flight between Singapore and LAX was going to take 16+ hours. Luckily, Singapore Airlines made sure we would be well entertained for the journey across the Pacific Ocean.
The seats featured a huge TV screen and a big ottoman underneath to prop up your feet. Each seat also came with fancy noise cancelling headphones.
Singapore Airlines is well known for their KrisWorld inflight entertainment system. KrisWorld comes loaded with over 1,800 shows and movies to peruse during the flight. What’s even more impressive is that KrisWorld is available for all passengers and not just first class passengers. It’s no wonder Singapore Airlines inflight entertainment is among the best in the industry. It makes the 16+ hours for those poor souls sitting in economy much more manageable.
However, where Singapore Airlines first class passengers really have the advantage is inflight wifi. While economy and business class passengers can pay $30 for 200MB of data, first class passengers can use unlimited inflight wifi for free. If you were a business traveler, I guess that means you could keep up on work. But in our case, we were more interested in checking our email and Twitter.
Just a quick reality check: it’s still airplane wifi. So don’t expect stream Netflix or do anything that would consume too much bandwidth. But still, surfing the internet while you’re on a plane across the world is an awesome perk.
Singapore Airlines First Class Cabin Layout
The seats were organized in a 1-2-1 layout, so each Singapore Airlines first class passenger had direct access to the aisle.
But here’s the thing… there was only one row of first class seats. So there were only four total passengers in the Singapore Airlines first class cabin. Besides my wife and me, there was only one other younger couple flying with us.
What’s also crazy? There were two dedicated flight attendants for the Singapore Airlines first class cabin… which meant that we pretty much had our own personal flight attendant.
And there were two dedicated bathrooms in the first class cabin… which meant each couple had their own private bathroom. Clearly we weren’t going to be waiting for drink refills or waiting in line for the lavatory.
I gave my wife the window seat, and I took one of the two middle seats. There’s a retractable partition between the middle seats, so even though it didn’t look very private when we first got on the plane, it could be easily fixed.
The seat also came with a Singapore Airlines first class amenity kit. There were separate Lalique-branded kits for men and women. The men’s kit came with a full bottle of cologne, lip balm, lotion, and “facial mist.” Yes, facial mist. I guess it’s used instead of lotion to help remedy the dry air in a cabin.
The women’s amenity kit came with similar items, but instead of a facial mist, it came with face lotion… why do the ladies get face lotion instead of the mist?? Both amenity kits came with leather cases embossed with the Singapore Airlines and Lalique logos.
The kits weren’t stocked full of toiletries like some other airlines might include, but there were other amenities (toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, combs, etc.) available in the bathrooms.
Singapore Airlines First Class Food
I’ve become accustomed to my complimentary pack of pretzels while flying on Southwest Airlines. Needless to say, the dining experience on Singapore Airlines first class is a small upgrade.
Each of our seats came with an elaborate, leather-bound menu for the flight. Here’s the full menu:
Singapore Airlines First Class Menu Breakdown
You’ll see a variety of different menu choices. While the Singapore first class flight was technically from Singapore to LAX, it actually included a stopover in Seoul, South Korea. So we had two first class flights in one itinerary : one from Singapore to Seoul, and then another from Seoul LAX. Sounds horrible, right?
The menu options between Singapore and Seoul were fairly basic. The six-hour flight departed after midnight, so the offerings focused on breakfast. Since most people would prefer to sleep through the night, the menu planned on passengers to eat their meal shortly before landing the next morning.
The menu options in Singapore Airlines first class from Seoul to LAX were much more extensive. The options included a curated menu by an Australian chef, a Korean-inspired menu, and a “standard” five-course menu (not counting the canapés, naturally).
In addition to these options, Singapore Airlines first class also offers a separate menu for snacks between meals, and another five-course breakfast to enjoy before landing.
Yes, that’a a lot of food.
But what… there’s more!
What’s great about Singapore Airlines first class is they also offer a “Book the Cook” option in addition to the flight’s standard menu choices. The airline offers premium class passengers to pre-select their entrees days before their flight, allowing a more bespoke and fine dining experience. Singapore Airlines first class is famous for its Boston lobster thermidor option with “Book the Cook.” It had limited availability on certain first class routes departing from Singapore. And lucky for me, Singapore to LAX was one of those routes. 🙂
We had our first meal (champagne’s not a meal, right?) about 45 minutes before landing in Seoul. My wife and I were plenty full from our time at The Private Room lounge, so we welcomed the chance to sleep (more on the first class bed later).
The flight attendant placed white linens on our tray table along with orange juice, water, salt and pepper shakers, silverware, and a charger plate. Even when flying business class, most meals come out on trays, so having each piece coming out individually was a great example of the elevated Singapore first class experience.
The first breakfast course was an assortment of fruit. I also opted for glass of orange juice.
The fruit was followed by a croissant, yogurt, and coffee.
Breakfast finished with eggs, sausage, and potatoes. And more coffee (of course).
It’s hard to go wrong with airplane breakfasts, and Singapore Airlines delivered. The breakfast hit the spot after an evening of multiple Dom Perignon glasses.
After breakfast, we deplaned in Seoul and headed to the Asiana Airlines airport lounge. Singapore Airlines doesn’t have its own airport lounge in Seoul, so instead they partner with fellow Star Alliance member Asiana for their premium class passengers.
The stopover lasted about two hours, where we enjoyed some of the massage chairs in the Asiana Airlines lounge and then headed back to the Singapore Airlines gate.
The flight between Seoul and LAX was scheduled for about 13 hours, so this was our opportunity to enjoy the full Singapore Airlines first class dining menu. (We sat in the exact same seats on the exact same plane, so there’s no need to re-review the seats, service, etc.)
The five-course meal started with the canapé: Singapore and beef satay. Definitely the first time I had “canapé” on a plane.
Next was the appetizer: Parma ham and pork pistachio terrine with caramelized fig.
The soup course was a white onion and thyme soup.
The salad was fairly basic: mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, and red radishes. After an already long day of travel, a basic but fresh salad is just what you need.
And finally… the main course! Taryn looked at the “Book the Cook” menu before our trip and decided to go with the Korean bibimbap option. Not fancy at all, but being Singapore Airlines first class, they included ALL the fixings. The sizable dining table was full of food; my wife felt guilty that she couldn’t finish it.
At this point, I was excited to finally try the famous meal only available in Singapore Airlines first class: Boston lobster thermidor. However, much to my dismay, the flight attendant informed me that the airline didn’t have a record of me pre-ordering the lobster. Since the dish is only a “Book the Cook” option, it’s only available by pre-order. So instead of my much anticipated lobster, I was forced to order off the in-flight menu. I went with the wok fried beef filet.
The beef was delicious… but I was totally bummed to miss out on the lobster. In any case, I was already very full from the previous courses. So it’s not like I went hungry.
The dessert menu was a sort of deconstructed strawberry shortcake. Fresh, simple, and delicious.
Overall, it was the best dining experience I’ve ever had on a plane. What really set it apart was the service. Since my wife and I had a dedicated flight attendant, there was no delay between courses and our champagne/water/wine glasses were never less than half full. The individually placed dinnerware was also a nice touch. Obviously, Singapore Airlines first class dining is a far cry from what we would have been served in economy.
Singapore Airlines First Class “Bed”
One of the highlights of flying in premium cabins? Lie-flat seats. And considering this was a long flight across the Pacific, we wanted to take full advantage of the Singapore Airlines first class seats.
Or should we call them beds? The seats themselves are 35 inches wide… while the width of a twin bed is about 38 inches. So the first class seats basically transform into a twin bed in the sky.
After the meal, our flight attendant invited us to change into pajamas provided by Singapore Airlines. Yes, airline pajamas. While we were changing, she said she would change our seats into beds.
Like the amenity kits, the pajamas were also Lalique branded. I’m usually a t-shirt-and-shorts-as-pajamas kind of guy, so wearing actual pajamas felt a little weird. But after a few flights, it was nice to change into a fresh set of clothing.
Naturally, my wife and I marked the occasion with more Dom champagne.
I thought it might be a little weird to wear pajamas on a plane, but since the first class cabin only had four passengers, it felt very private. It’s not like we paraded around the whole airplane in sleepwear.
Bed in the Sky
The bed themselves lived up to the expectations. It was seriously like a bed in the sky!
There was PLENTY of room for me to not only stretch my legs, but also to stretch my arms out as well. Some business class seats can feel like a crammed cocoon: a small cubby hole for the feet and no wiggle room for your shoulders. This was clearly not the case with the Singapore Airlines first class seat/bed.
There was so much room, that my wife and I could easily both fit in the seat/bed. It wouldn’t be comfortable to actually sleep in the same seat (after all, it’s like a twin bed), but this demonstrates just how much room you have.
And if you’re wondering… no, the seats/beds don’t give you that much privacy. While some first class or even business class products have become “suites” with closable doors, the Singapore first class seats are open air and allow flight attendants to check in while passengers are sleeping. So don’t get any bright ideas. 😉
Final Thoughts on Singapore Airlines First Class
I used to think flying first class rather than business class was a waste. My rationale? As long as the cabin has a lie-flat seat, there can’t be that much of difference in the flying experience. I thought that the food can’t be that different, the service is probably the same, and I would be better off saving my credit card points for more business class flights rather than splurging on first class.
Boy was I wrong.
Singapore Airlines first class is worth every penny (or credit card point). From the service to the amenities to the food to the seat/bed, it was easily the most luxurious flying experience we’ve had. Since it was a long journey from Singapore back to the United States, it was the perfect opportunity to fly first class rather than being stuck in economy for the 18+ hours of flying.
If you are strategizing how to leverage credit card points for an incredible award redemption, I’d highly recommend Singapore Airlines first class.