Singapore Airlines, long known for being one of the world’s best airlines, has also long been known for being on the cutting edge of trends in first class travel. It was one of the first airlines to introduce lie-flat accommodations (in the late 1970s First Class passengers would leave their Main Deck seats to bed down on banquette-style seats on the upper deck) and set many industry standards for premium cabin services and amenities.
Singapore’s First Class is available on a limited number of flights—generally those on older aircraft without the range to fly nonstop to Singapore—but the added comfort and amenities can make the longer journey time seem to fly by.
What to know about Singapore Airlines First Class
First Class is slowly disappearing from Singapore Airlines flights—and it’s bifurcated on the remaining services. Onboard the Boeing 777-300, it’s still called First Class. Onboard the Airbus A380, it’s known as Suites. Both aircraft make limited appearances at US airports as Singapore Airlines transitions to more nonstop flights between the US and Singapore, which are operated by the Airbus A350, which doesn’t offer First Class.
Best routes for Singapore Airlines First Class
From the United States, First Class is available on flights from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo. Suites are available on flights from New York (JFK) to Singapore via Frankfurt.
Singapore also operates nonstop flights from New York (JFK), Newark, San Francisco, and Los Angeles onboard Airbus A350 aircraft without First Class. Flights from Seattle/Tacoma operate via Vancouver, while flights from Houston (IAH) operate via Manchester; both are also operated by Airbus A350 aircraft.
Examples of deals Going has found on Singapore Airlines
- $2,261 roundtrip to Frankfurt in business class
- $1,192 roundtrip to Singapore in premium economy
- $549 roundtrip to Tokyo in economy
The Singapore Airlines First Class experience at the airport
Singapore Airlines First Class lounge
Singapore Airlines operates SilverKris lounges in Singapore, London, and a number of major markets in Asia and Australia. First Class passengers typically have a dedicated area in the SilverKris lounge when the airport has flights with First Class or Suites available onboard.
SilverKris lounges typically have a wide selection of hot meals during meal times or when a Singapore Airlines departure is imminent (some lounges remain open outside of flight times but food and beverage selections are reduced). Much of the food and beverage on offer is emblematic of Singapore, with dishes like Nasi Lemak, Singapore Street Noodles, Ramen, Hainan Chicken Rice, Curry, and the airline’s signature Singapore Sling cocktail. Beverage options in particular are enhanced in the First Class areas of the lounge, often with top shelf liquors and champagnes not available to Business Class passengers.
Many lounges also have shower suites, quiet rooms, entertainment rooms, children/family areas, and nursing rooms.
At airports without SilverKris lounges, passengers may be directed to partner lounges. In Los Angeles, First Class passengers use the Star Alliance Lounge; at New York (JFK) passengers use the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Singapore Airlines First Class check-in
First Class passengers have a dedicated check-in queue separate from other classes of service.
At Singapore’s Changi Airport, there’s a separate First/Suites check-in facility, where checked luggage is taken by porters, and passengers are escorted to a lounge where check-in formalities are completed. The lounge also has a private entrance to dedicated security and immigration processing.
First Class/Suites passengers can check two bags up to 32 kilos / 70 pounds each on flights from the US or Canada. On reservations that do not include the US or Canada, the weight concept applies, and passengers can check a total of 110 pounds / 50 kilos.
First/Suites passengers can carry on two bags up to 7 kilos / 15 pounds each.
The Singapore Airlines First Class experience in the air
Singapore Airlines First Class seats
- 777-300: The 777-300 is the only aircraft in the fleet that continues to offer a First Class seat (but not a Suite). The seats are a whopping 35 inches wide, trimmed in Poltrona Frau (read: race car interior) leather. They’re lie-flat, with mood lighting and individual controls. The entertainment screen is 24 inches in HD. There are just four seats in the intimate cabin.
- A380: The A380 has Suites installed on the forward part of the upper deck. Suites are distinctive in that they can be entirely closed off from the aircraft cabin. The seat is a reclining swivel chair, and rather than converting to a bed, the bed is separate, made up in crisp hotel linens. Pairs of suites can be booked together and combined into a double bed suite. Individual controls operate the lights, flight attendant call, window blinds, and door to the suite.
Benefits of flying Singapore Airlines First Class
First Class and Suites passengers are looked after from the moment they check-in. They’re generally escorted between points in the airport, from check-in to the lounge, and between connections, and a passenger services officer is on hand to provide assistance throughout the journey, from checking connecting flight status to rebooking, if necessary.
Singapore Airlines First Class meals
A feature that Singapore Airlines is famous for is its Book The Cook service, now several decades old. Passengers in First Class can pre-order specific entrees in advance to be served onboard. The menu varies by departure city (the widest selection of entrees is naturally available on flights departing Singapore) and offers a selection of Western and Singaporean or Asian dishes.
Passengers electing not to avail themselves of Book The Cook services have a wide selection of entrees available onboard, and meals in both First and Suites are served on-demand, whenever the passenger requests.
Meals kick off with Dom Perignon champagne and caviar, followed by a selection of breads (Singapore Airlines is known for garlic bread), soup, salad, entree, and dessert. Meals are served serially in courses on a dressed table without trays, and flight attendants can combine courses or speed up service for passengers who want to maximize sleep time. On most flights there’s a selection of hot snacks available at any time throughout the flight upon request to a flight attendant.
Understandably, top shelf liquor is available in First Class. Singapore notably serves Dom Perignon or Krug for champagne, and focuses the rest of the wine list on top wine vintages from some of the most prestigious wine regions in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.
Premium liquors are also on offer, with Johnny Walker Blue, Macallan, and Belvedere Vodka standing out. There’s an extensive cocktail list, including the Singapore Sling—the national cocktail of Singapore.
Singapore Airlines First Class vs business class
On the A380, the Suites product speaks for itself. The Business Class seat is lie-flat, but without the fully enclosing suite with separate armchair and bed. On the 777, the Business Class seat is a less spacious version of the First Class seat.
How to book Singapore Airlines First Class
How much does it cost for a first class ticket on Singapore Airlines?
Between the United States and Singapore, roundtrip fares run between $12,000 and $18,000 roundtrip. Between the United States and either Tokyo or Frankfurt (the cities through which the First Class/Suites equipped aircraft transit), fares can sometimes be lower if competing airlines offer fare sales. At Going, we haven't seen many great deals for First Class, but we have found many relatively cheap flights in Singapore's almost-as-good business class for under $2,500 roundtrip.
How to upgrade to first class of Singapore Airlines for free.
Singapore Airlines only upgrades passengers to First or Suites free of charge for operational reasons such as an overbooking. In that event, the airline will upgrade passengers booked in Business Class based on frequent flyer status.
How much does it cost to upgrade to first class on Singapore Airlines?
Singapore Airlines sells upgrades, subject to seat availability, within 72 hours of flight departure for already-booked passengers. There have been some reports of upgrades from Business Class to First Class running several thousand dollars.
How many miles to upgrade to Singapore Airlines First Class?
Upgrades with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are allowed only for passengers ticketed in Business Class (passengers ticketed in Economy or Premium Economy cannot upgrade to First/Suites with miles). Redemption amounts from the United States to Singapore start at 72,000 miles one-way.
Singapore Airlines does not allow upgrades from Star Alliance partner programs to First Class on most intercontinental flights.
First Class or Suites on Singapore Airlines is an exclusive “get” because the fares are rarely deeply discounted, and mileage redemptions are difficult, as Singapore is known to release very little First Class inventory for award redemptions, and only members in the airline’s KrisFlyer program can redeem for Suites.
But with well-regarded, comfortable onboard service, it may be worth it for the bragging rights alone.