Singapore Airlines operates twice daily flights from Mumbai to Singapore, and if you wish to enjoy a full day in Mumbai before heading out, the second flight SQ423 that departs close to midnight, is the flight you should go for. This flight is also operated by the A380-800 aircraft, featuring the airline’s latest premium class seats.
On our outbound flight from Singapore to Mumbai, we were able to snag the pair of middle seats in Business Class in row 11, which could be converted into something close to a double bed. The only other two rows in Business Class that feature these double bed seats are in rows 91 and 96. On this return leg, we only managed to get the middle seats in row 16, so no double bed for us this time. In any case, it’s still Singapore Airlines’ latest Business Class seat, so no complaints here.
Pulling up into the departure hall at Mumbai International Terminal 2, we were glad to find that all premium class passengers have dedicated check-in rows for them. Plus, there were quite few passengers departing out of the terminal this evening, so waiting time was practically non-existent.
After our boarding passes were issued and bags tagged and sent off, we proceeded through immigration and security to spend some time in the GVK lounge. But more on the lounge in another post.
At around 45 minutes to departure, we made our way to the gate, to find the aircraft being in the final stages of preparation ahead of boarding.
Dedicated lines were set up for Suites, Business and PPS Club passengers, which made the overall boarding process very orderly and smooth. As you might already know, in the newest A380 configuration for Singapore Airlines, all premium passengers (Suites and Business) are located on the upper deck, and board via the lone jet bridge that leads there.
As this is the same product I reviewed on the outbound flight, I will just run through the key features of this latest Business Class product. During boarding, the soft purple hues of the cabin lighting make for a luxurious and comfortable setting as passengers get settled down in their seats. The cabin is also made more spacious with the omission of overhead compartments along the middle of the cabin. With the current density of seats, having overhead compartments only along the sides is more than sufficient.
Compared to the 2013 long-haul business product, this is actually slightly narrower, albeit with more storage options. The large surface next to the seat can comfortably accommodate your laptop or tablet, with space for more.
Here you’ll also find the IFE control panel, charging ports, a vanity mirror, and the seat controls as well. There is a reading light that is fully adjustable, and the signature motif that glows on the inner surface of the seat cocoon shell.
Note that unlike the couple seats in rows 11, 91 and 96, the partition between the middle seats cannot be lowered completely. However, the privacy screen can be raised fully, which is useful for solo travellers.
Beneath the centre console is where you’ll locate the literature compartment. The crew had already distributed bottled water, slippers and eyeshades before boarding, and placed these items neatly there.
Right next to the large LCD screen, you’ll also find additional storage compartments for your loose articles, a coat hook, and additional charging ports for your devices. The seat bedding and an additional pillow were also stuffed neatly in the cubby.
There is no point converting the seat into a bed while on the ground, but I’ll explain how this little panel is used. Unlike the 2013 long-haul business product that requires you to flip the seat back over to reveal your lie flat bed, the latest seats allow you to convert your seat into a lie flat bed with the touch of a button. To increase the surface area of the bed, this little panel can be pulled out as shown. Of course, please keep this stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.
The tray table can be deployed either as a half or full sized surface, and is large and sturdy.
After boarding was more or less complete, I started to tune in to KrisWorld. Singapore Airlines offers an amazing set of noise cancelling headphones in Business Class. When not in use, simply hang it up here on the side console.
While taxiing out to the runway, the ambient lighting slowly turned from purple to orange before finally turned off for takeoff. The iconic safety video was also shown then.
After an on-time departure out of Mumbai, the crew got cracking with the meal service, starting with some smoked duck breast with mozzarella cheese and pesto.
For this flight, some main menu options include an Indian selection of chicken with capsicum and stuffed cottage cheese with some Indian breads and dips, as well as the standard selection items such as seared salmon and braised chicken. Of course, with the Book the Cook service available for flights operating out of Mumbai, I went with the lobster thermidor for my main course.
To round off my supper, I enjoyed a generous scoop of strawberry ice cream topped with some pistachio.
Although the flight was not long enough for me to sleep and fully enjoy the lie flat bed, that didn’t stop me from deploying it. Here, you’ll see that unlike the bulkhead row seats, you’ll have to sleep at an angle. However, the actual bed surface is actually quite large, and unless you’re a tall giant, you should be able to get some comfortable sleep on this bed.
To follow the progress of your flight, you can either tune in to the flightpath channel on KrisWorld, or simply consult the IFE controller which displays sufficient information on the time to go, and the estimated time of arrival at your destination.
The remainder of the flight proceeded uneventfully, and we touched down in Singapore right on schedule, just after sunrise.
Overall, this is a splendid Business Class product, and even more so if you can snag the middle seats in the bulkhead rows where you can to have a double bed. Otherwise, you’ll still get to enjoy a large lie flat bed when deployed, all with the touch of a button. The seat shell design also confers a high degree of privacy, so there are absolutely no issues in that department. This product is only available on Singapore Airlines’ A380 fleet, but if you do travel in Business on the airline’s long haul fleet, you won’t be disappointed as all of Singapore Airlines’ products are highly competitive and industry leading!