Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
After having a great experience onboard Singapore Airlines’ regional A330 business class between Singapore and Delhi last year, I really wanted to try the airline’s long-haul product which is well-known for offering a massive seat.
The opportunity for me to do so came when the airline started operating A380s with a revamped business class cabin and receiving its 787-10s for which it was the launch customer. More specifically, when Singapore Airlines announced that it would be using the newly configured A380s on its route to Hong Kong and the 787-10s on its route to Osaka Kansai airport in Japan.
Knowing that these two sectors could be easily combined in an open-jaw ticket and that they would allow me to fly both Singapore Airlines’ latest long-haul as well as regional product, I decided to start planning this trip as part of me making my way back from India to Japan.
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.
Taking Advantage of Attractive Ex-India Fares
What made this trip possible were Singapore Airlines decent business class fares that it oftentimes offers out of India to North Asia and the United States. [Keishi’s note: Singapore Airlines recently offered excellent fares between Ahmedabad and Newark which included flights on the world’s longest scheduled route.]
Even though I was living in Delhi at the time, after looking at a variety of different combinations, I eventually opted for an itinerary out of Mumbai since the fare was noticeably cheaper compared to originating in other Indian cities.
As for the positioning flights, I flew to Mumbai onboard an Air India A320neo (I reviewed the flight before) and back on an IndiGo A320 (I won’t be reviewing that flight).
As for the Singapore Airlines ticket, for 104,000 INR (or about 1,600 USD at the time) I got:
- Mumbai to Singapore (A350-900)
- Singapore to Hong Kong (“new” A380-800)
- Osaka to Singapore (787-10)
- Singapore to Mumbai (“old” A380-800)
Thanks to the itinerary above, I was not only able to fly on the new A380 and the 787-10, but also on an A380 with the original cabin and on an A350-900. In other words, it gave me a chance to try all four types of flat-bed seats that Singapore Airlines currently uses.
Completing the Puzzle
Since I needed to get to Tokyo, booking the above still left me with two unanswered questions: how to get from Hong Kong to Tokyo and how to get from Tokyo to Osaka.
As for the Hong Kong – Tokyo segment, after a bit of research, I found a great deal with HK Express for their “U-Biz” fare. While not business class in its true sense, the “U-Biz” fare included several perks compared to the regular fare including the ability to choose an emergency exit row seat and a free piece of checked luggage.
A nice added bonus was the fact that the flight arrived at Haneda rather than Narita airport.
To get from Tokyo to Osaka, I decided to just take Shinkansen – the Japanese bullet train – rather than fly.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be posting reviews of all the Singapore Airlines flights, the HK Express flight, as well as of the lounges (and a hotel) that I had a chance to experience along the way.
And, of course, in the end, I’ll also take a look at each of the four different business class seats to see which one is the best – so, stay tuned!