Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Back in the spring of 2018, Singapore Airlines received its first Boeing 787-10 aircraft, becoming the world’s first operator of the type. Since then, the airline started deploying the aircraft on a variety of regional routes.
I had a chance to try the aircraft on a flight from Osaka to Singapore, not long after the aircraft was introduced on the route. Read this review to see what the five-and-a-half-hour flight on Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 in business class was like.
Are you interested in trying business or first class for the price of economy?
If so, you might want to check out Four Ways to Try Business Class Without Breaking the Bank - a free guide that I put together detailing some of the ways I was able to do so - and experiment with some of the methods mentioned in it.
Checking-in at Kansai Airport
After arriving at Kansai Airport, I headed to “H-counters” where Singapore Airlines’ check-in desks were located. While there was a fairly long queue in front of the economy class desks, thankfully, the business class lane was almost empty.
Check-in was smooth, and besides my boarding passes, I was also provided with a meal voucher and lounge invitation which let me choose one of the four options below to relax before the flight:
- JAL Sakura Lounge – While there are Star Alliance lounges at the airport as well, Singapore Airlines uses the JAL lounge for its passengers instead
- Ganko Sushi – A restaurant offering sushi and other Japanese food
- Pronto – A café & bar also offering a selection of dishes including pizza and pasta
- Tully’s Coffee – A café offering a selection of coffee and other drinks, as well as some lighter meal items
While the first option provided regular lounge access, the other three options provided a 2,000 JPY (a bit less than 20 USD) credit at the shop. It was interesting to be offered all these choices – presumably to reduce the crowd at the JAL lounge which can get quite packed in the busy morning hours.
Initially, I wanted to go with the sushi option since it would be a while before I would go back to Japan. In the end, though, I decided to visit the JAL Sakura Lounge – among other reasons so that I could review it here.
As I was making my way to the lounge, I spotted the really slick-looking Singapore Airlines 787-10 that I would later board. I also had a chance to enjoy the architecture of Kansai airport – the first airport in the world that was built from scratch on an artificial island – which I really love.
Boarding the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10
After enjoying some food at JAL Sakura Lounge, it was time to head to the gate. The flight was departing from gate 41, and there was a dedicated waiting area for business class and elite passengers near the gate’s entrance.
Boarding started on time, and I was among the first passengers to step onboard the plane which – since it was delivered just a month prior – still had the smell of a new plane.
The cabin of the Singapore Airlines 787-10 was quite stunning. The airline has decided to install full-flat seats, each offering direct aisle access, on the aircraft in spite of it being only used on regional flights.
I settled in my window seat, 17A, which I found to be very comfortable – easily rivaling some other airlines’ long-haul business class seats.
On a side note, it’s the same type of seat that Turkish Airlines decided to put on their 787-9s which will be used mainly for long-haul flights.
The seat was well equipped with features.
In the seatback in front of me, there was a large high-definition touchscreen, and on top of the console to the right of me, there was a small table on which – upon boarding – slippers, eye-shades, and socks could be found.
Above the table, there were a small storage compartment (that also included the power outlet) and a side mirror, and below it, there were the IFE and seat controls.
Besides that, the seat was also equipped with a reading light and an armrest which could be retracted to provide for a larger sleeping surface.
The seat’s foot cubicle was fairly spacious as well – it was much better than the foot cubicles of some other airlines’ staggered seats.
Departing Kansai Airport Bound for Singapore
Not long after I sat down in my seat, one of the cabin crew members came to offer me a welcome drink for which I chose a glass of champagne. That was followed by a selection of newspapers including The Straits Times.
At this point, I decided to check the flight map on the in-flight entertainment system. Unfortunately, it showed a flight time of just 5 hours and 39 minutes to Singapore – too short to be able to fully enjoy the flat-bed seat!
We left the gate five minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time of 10:50AM.
While making our way to the active runway, I could spot Thai Airways’ Airbus A380. It was nice seeing such a large aircraft at Kansai airport. Interestingly, during busy seasons, Singapore Airlines and Emirates use the type on their flights to Osaka as well – so the demand is definitely growing
Singapore Airlines’ Regional Business Class Lunch
As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew got started with the flight’s lunch service
As is usual with Singapore Airlines’ business class, it started with a satay service. There was a choice of beef and chicken satay, and the crew asked each passenger how many they wanted.
Given that there would be no beef satay on my connecting flight to Mumbai, I decided to get a couple of beef ones. I also ordered a glass of SilverKris Sling – Singapore Airlines’ signature cocktail available to its first and business class passengers only – to go with it.
For the meal itself, there were four choices – a Japanese “Hanakoireki” bento-style meal, as well as three “standard” options. You can see the details in the menu pictured below.
While I wanted to try the bento, unfortunately, it had ran out two rows ahead of me which I found quite shocking. Apparently, almost everyone in the first few rows ordered it, and so, I had to settle with one of the other three options.
The crew was very apologetic, and suggested I have the teriyaki chicken for the main along with “Matsunomidori Junmaidaiginjyo” – a premier sake served to celebrate the launch of 787-10 flights to Osaka.
I, of course, didn’t hesitate to accept the suggestion.
First, bread and the appetizer were served. While I am not a great fan of duck, the dish was quite tasty – mainly thanks to the fact that the duck was smoked.
The main – along with the recommended sake served in a nice sake pot – followed.
The chicken was very juicy and tender, and it was quite delicious.
In fact, I generally find Singapore Airlines’ Japanese meals to be exceptional – oftentimes even better than what the Japanese carriers serve. Among others, I had a great chicken dish and Japanese-style meat loaf on a premium economy flight from Singapore to Los Angeles.
The meal ended with a serving of caramel ice cream, a cheese plate, and some fresh fruits.
The ice cream was top-notch, and I really appreciated the fact that rather than being served in a paper cup – like many airlines do – it came on actual glassware.
To go with the dessert, I had a cup of iced cappuccino.
Actually, the meal didn’t end until a bit later when I was served a couple of chocolates along with TWG’s vanilla bourbon tea.
Cruising Towards Singapore
With the meal finished, I spent the rest of the time enjoying the in-flight entertainment that Singapore Airlines offers. More specifically, I watched “The Scythian Lamb” – a Japanese thriller.
I also had a chance to try the seat in a couple of different settings including a relaxation and the full-flat modes.
It’s worth mentioning here that unlike on Singapore Airlines’ other aircraft (apart from their new A380s), there is no need to “flip the seat over” to turn it into a flat bed. Instead, the seat gradually reclines all the way which is much more convenient.
The seat in Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 is also the only seat in the airline’s fleet where passengers can stretch legs straight rather than diagonally. While don’t find sleeping diagonally to be a problem, I know some people do – and so, for many, this might be an improvement.
Finally, when turned fully-flat with the armrest down, the seat is fairly wide. The seat padding is also softer than on Singapore Airlines’ other aircraft types, and so that provide for a better sleep for those that have trouble sleeping on harder surfaces.
The one complaint I – as someone that enjoys looking outside – have about the seat, though, is that its head cover is blocking the window view.
As for the bedding, only a pillow and a comfortable blanket were provided. Understandably, given that it was a 5-hour long daytime flight, no bed sheets or extra pillows were provided.
The business class lavatories were quite average. They were kept clean throughout the flight and were well-stocked with amenities, though.
Arriving at Singapore Changi Airport
Just a few minutes after turning my seat into a full-flat bed (yes, it was a very short flight), it was time to put the seat back up and prepare for landing.
The cabin crew came around the cabin offering candies, and later, making sure that everyone’s seatbelt was fastened and seat was fully upright.
Not long after that, we flew over the tip of Malaysia, entered Singaporean airspace, and landed at Changi airport – bringing this very enjoyable flight to an end.
Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Regional Business Class Summary
While the business class seat on Singapore Airlines’ 787-10 is smaller than on its long-haul aircraft, I still found it to be a wonderful product – especially given the fact that the aircraft is exclusively used on regional flights.
Other than that – once again – Singapore Airlines did a very good job with the onboard service. Both the crew and the meals were great.
The only unfortunate thing was that, as mentioned earlier, I could not get the “Hanakoireki” meal. That should be easier the next time I fly the airline to Japan, though, since now it allows pre-ordering the main dish.