Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class from Mumbai to Singapore

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class from Mumbai to Singapore

Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Hirofumi is an aviation enthusiast based in Zama, Japan. He fell in love with commercial aviation when he was eight, and ever since then has flown on more than 600 flights with more than 70 airlines. If you happen to read Japanese, also make sure to check his personal blog here.

Earlier this year, I had a chance to try all four types of flat-bed business class seats that Singapore Airlines currently operates.

The first of the four flights took me from Mumbai to Singapore onboard the airline’s Airbus A350-900. Continue reading this review to see what the flight was like.

Check-in and Boarding

After arriving at the airport, I headed to Singapore Airlines’ business class check-in counter. As usual, the process was courteous and smooth – a typical Singapore Airlines experience.

Airside, I wondered a bit around the terminal – Mumbai airport’s terminal 2 is stunningly beautiful and was originally built with the concept of combining an airport terminal with an art museum – before heading to the GVK Lounge which I reviewed before.

Singapore Airlines Check-in at Mumbai Airport
Singapore Airlines check-in desks.
Mumbai Airport
Airside.
Mumbai Airport Airside
Not your typical airport terminal.

Just like the check-in, the boarding was efficient as well.

There was a business class lane reserved for the actual business class passengers and PPS Club (status that can be achieved by spending 25,000 SGD on Singapore Airlines tickets in a year) members.

Economy class passengers with Star Alliance Gold status had to board with premium economy passengers instead.

Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Cabin and Seat

Singapore Airlines operates A350s in three different configurations:

  • Three-class long-haul configuration with a total of 253 seats (42 business class, 24 premium economy class, and 187 economy class)
  • Two-class regional configuration with a total of 303 seats (40 business class, 263 economy class)
  • Two-class ultra-long-haul configuration with a total of 161 seats (67 business class, 94 premium economy class)

The two-class regional configuration was only introduced recently and the ultra-long-haul configuration can be found onboard the airline’s A350-900ULR which operates the world’s longest flight among others. My flight was operated using an aircraft with the standard three-class configuration.

When I first reached my seat, I was shocked by its massive size. It was, by far, the wides aircraft seat I’d flown on – that includes the first class seats I had the chance to fly in (not that there were that many).

While the seat was wide, that cannot be said about the foot space – as is the case with many of the “modern” business class seats. Being 167 cm high, it didn’t bother me at all, although I can see how it could be restrictive for taller people.

Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class Seat
The massive seat.
Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class Cabin
Looking across the row of seats.
Singapore Airlines Business Class Seat
Legroom and foot space.

As for the seat’s storage areas, there was a small space that could fit a pair of shoes under the seat, and there were several other open and covered smaller areas around the seat that could be used for storing smaller items such as cellphones and glasses. However, any larger pieces of luggage had to be placed in the overhead compartments.

Next to one of the storage compartments, there was also a small vanity mirror.

There were no individual air nozzles above the seat.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Headset
Storage compartment for headset.
Singapore Airlines Storage Compartments
Storage compartments and vanity mirror.
Singapore Airlines Seat
Storage space under the foot space.
Overhead Panel on Singapore Airlines A350
Overhead panel.

Other than the above, the outer armrest featured the seat controls, and there were reading lights on both sides of the seat. There were also a universal power outlet and USB (and some other) ports.

The one unusual seat feature that caught my attention was the ability to adjust the height of the tray table.

Seat Controls on Singapore A350
Seat controls.
Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Seat Reading Light
Reading light on the outer side of the seat.
Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Seat Reading Light
Lights on the outer side of the seat.
Power Outlet
Power outlet and USB ports.
Tray Table
Lever for adjusting the table’s height.

Departing Mumbai Airport

Singapore Airlines doesn’t provide a full amenity kit in business class. Instead, only slippers, socks, and an eye shade were waiting at the seat upon boarding. Other amenities could be found in the lavatories.

The flight’s menu (as well as the in-flight magazine, entertainment guide, safety card, and other printed materials) were prepared at the seat as well.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Amenities
Slippers, socks, and an eye mask.
Singapore Airlines In-Flight Magazine, Menu, etc.
Menu and other printed materials.

While preparing for departure, the cabin crew came around offering pre-departure drinks. I went with a glass of orange juice, and not long after finishing it, we were ready to depart.

We taxied past the slums surrounding Mumbai airport, and took off. After take off, it was possible to get an idea of just how large the slums in the city are.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Welcome Drink
Welcome drink.
Mumbai Slums
Taxiing past Mumbai’s slums.
Mumbai
Mumbai.

Once the seatbelt signs were switched off, I headed to one of the lavatories. It was well stocked with amenities including dental kits and shaving razors (just like Singapore Airlines economy class lavatories are), and there was a changing board as well.

Singapore Airlines Lavatory
Towels and amenities.
Singapore Airlines Amenities
Dental kits, shaving razors, etc.
Changing Board
Changing board.
Decoration
Decoration.

Singapore Airlines A350 In-Flight Entertainment System

While waiting for the meal service to commence, I took a look at the in-flight entertainment system. The seat was equipped with a high-resolution touchscreen, as well as a remote control with a screen. Singapore Airlines provided a noise-cancelling headset.

Singapore Airlines Headset
Headset.
IFE Controller
IFE controller.
Singapore Airlines In-Flight Entertainment System
Main screen of the IFE.

KrisWorld was very easy to navigate – especially so using the touchscreen. There was an extensive selection of movies as well as TV series. On this short, five-hour flight, I decided to watch 12 Strong – a movie about the US military team that was sent to Afghanistan right after the September 11 attacks.

Singapore Airlines Movies
Movies.
Singapore Airlines In-Flight Entertainment System
Spotlight.
TV Shows
TV shows.
12 Strong
12 Strong.

Besides the entertainment programs, there was also an in-flight map that could be rotated, zoomed in, etc. freely.

Singapore Airlines Moving Map
Airshow.

Singapore Airlines Regional Business Class Lunch

As for the meal service, I was impressed by the offering on the fairly short, five-hour regional flight. Both the quantity and quality were top-notch, and the meal definitely rivaled some of other carriers’ first class.

Let’s start with a look at the menu. (For the non-wine drink menu, check my review of a Singapore Airlines A330 business class flight from Singapore to Delhi.)

Singapore Airlines Business Class Menu
Singapore Airlines Business Class Indian Lunch
Singapore Airlines Business Class Lunch
Singapore Airlines Business Class Lunch
Singapore Airlines Business Class Champagne and Wine Menu
Singapore Airlines Business Class Champagne and Wine Menu
Singapore Airlines Business Class Champagne and Wine Menu
Singapore Airlines Business Class Champagne and Wine Menu

I started out the meal service with a glass of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve which was followed by the first course – a delicious lamb and chicken satay.

And, I followed that with a glass of SilverKris Sling – Singapore Airlines’ original cocktail made out of gin, orange liqueur, orange juice, pineapple juice, and Champagne – and a glass of Cru Bourgeois red wine.

Singapore Airlines Satay
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve with lamb and chicken satay.
Cru Bourgeois
Cru Bourgeois.

For lunch, I went with Ruchi Thali – a traditional Indian set meal prepared by Sanjeev Kapoor, Singapore Airlines’ Indian cuisine chef.

The set started with a polenta appetizer that came with fresh Indian-style salad and a little jar of yogurt. The presentation of the appetizer was refined and the quality was excellent.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Appetizers
Appetizers.
Polenta Fries
Polenta fries and accompaniments.
Indian Salad
Simple Indian salad.

I chose the slow braised chicken curry for the main. As the menu above mentions, it came with dal (lentil curry), braised lady fingers, and basmati rice with vegetables and berries. Just as the appetizer, the main was excellent and equivalent to what one could find in a good restaurant on the ground.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Lunch
The main.

Once I was done with the main, I was served a tasty dessert – the chef’s original dish combining gajar halwa (sweetened carrot) and Western-style tart. Together with the dessert, I had a cup of very flavorful TWG Vanilla Bourbon tea.

Singapore Airlines Business Class Dessert
Carrot tart.
Tea
TWG Vanilla Bourbon tea.

By this point, I was already stuffed. However, how could I refuse the cheese and fruits plate that followed?

Cheese Cart on Singapore Airlines
Cheese cart.
Fruits
Fruits.
Cheese and Fruits Course on Singapore Airlines
Cheese and fruits course.

Finally, once all the plates were cleared, the crew distributed pralines. That finished what was the best business class meal service I’d had the chance to experience.

Singapore Airlines Pralines
Pralines.

Full Bedding Set on a Five Hour Flight

With the meal service over, I asked the crew for a turn-down service. I was impressed that even though it was just a five-hour daytime flight, there were a mattress pad, two large pillows, and a comfortable duvet.

The one thing that is worth noting about Singapore Airlines’ long-haul business class seats is that the turn-down service really is a turn-down service. To turn my seat into a bed, the crew had to pull a lever on the back of the seat to fold it over to its other side. In other words, the back of the actual seat becomes the bed surface.

Also, while I didn’t find that to be a problem, some people might find the bed quite hard (and the mattress pad too thin.

Singapore Airlines Bed
Bed.
Singapore Airlines
Watching a movie.
Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Cabin
Cabin.

Evening Arrival in Singapore

Not long after I laid down, it was time for the crew to prepare the cabin for our arrival. And, the memorable flight came to an end just after five hours of flight time when we landed in dark Singapore.

Singapore
Arriving in Singapore.
Singapore
Singapore.

Singapore Airlines A350-900 Business Class Summary

I can only describe the flight with one simple word – amazing.

Both the check-in staff and cabin crew were courteous, the meal was of high quality, the seat was comfortable, and full bedding was offered even though it was just a short regional flight.

Thanks to that, Singapore continues to be my (and many others’) favorite airline.


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