Apologies for not posting a follow-up from the Singapore Airlines A380 handover yesterday. That’s partly because I got bogged down in boring old mainstream journalism, but also because of the epic queue to tour the aircraft and in particular to lay eyes on the now legendary double-bed version of the Singapore Suites.Here’s what we’re talking about.
Frankly I’m really not qualified to comment on the niceties of different airlines’ first class products, but even I can see that this – and the single-passenger version – is in a league of its own. But, I hear you wonder, can you actually, you know, make love in it? This was the question that nobody was asking out loud yesterday, but which haunted the proceedings like a saucy spectre.
The answer is that it depends on the weather. You can in fact give yourself and your partner near-total privacy by closing the door and pulling down the blinds. However – and it’s a non-trivial however – be aware that the bottom 3 inches or so of the blinds are actually made of a see-through mesh. This is to meet the regulatory requirement that the flight attendants can peek in to ensure that you’ve buckled up in the event of turbulence.
A senior Singapore Airlines spokesman told me that with a more or less straight face. And I’ll leave you to conjure up your own wonderful mental images of petite ‘Singapore girls’ trying to persuade tipsy and frisky high-net-worth individuals that they need to belt-up.
But seriously, the Singapore A380 on-board product is really quite superb in the suites, business or economy class. In terms of seat-width, leg-room, IFE, electrical provision and all the other specifics it’s terrific. But – and interior furnishings are really not my forte, as Mrs Daly can attest – the overall ambience and design are about as good as it gets on a commercial aircraft. For the first time in years something is happening that really is a step-change for air travel.
To end – my hot economy class tip (this bit is relevant to my life.) SIA is one of the airlines that lets you select your seat online. The ones to go for are the two-abreast rows next to the emergency exits. You could play football in the area next to an A380 door and with the new wider seats, more leg-room than you could actually use, a 10 inch screen with several hundred programming choices, at-seat power, and a USB port with access to a basic suite of office-like software – you will be getting one of the best long-haul bargains in the world. Sex is pretty much out of the question though.