January 31, 2017
Flight Review: Singapore Business A350 Singapore to Johannesburg
Straight to the Point
You can book a 10 hour 40 minute flight in Singapore Airline’s business class on the A350 using 38,250 miles! Here’s how to book it and what the flight was like.
Booking with Miles
The best way to book this flight is using Singapore KrisFlyer miles. The first thing you should do is go to Singapore Airline’s website and make a free KrisFlyer account. You need to be logged into a KrisFlyer account to check award availability. Once you login, lookup the route you want and search for award seats. The site will tell you how many miles you need and what the taxes are. Once you know there are award seats on the route you want or waitlist seats you’re willing to take a shot at getting, transfer your miles from any of Singapore’s four major reward partners-Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Citi ThankYou Rewards. Keep in mind the following typical transfer times for KrisFlyer:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards-Same Day
- American Express MR-Same Day
- Starwood Preferred Guest-7 Days
- Citi ThankYou-2 Days
Once the miles are in your account, you’re free to book your award! The flight I took from Singapore to Johannesburg is bookable for just 38,250 miles+ $200 USD in taxes! You can find my full Singapore KrisFlyer rewards overview here.
The A350 is the newest jet from Airbus. It can fly ultra-long distances of 7,950 miles, seats 366-440 passengers, and is one of the most eco-friendly jets on the market. Singapore is one of the first airlines to take delivery of A350s and they’re currently operating them on a handful of routes. The typical configuration on these planes is economy, premium economy, and business class (no first class). I got to try one of their first routes on my overnight flight from Singapore to Johannesburg!
Business Class Seat
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The first thing you notice about these seats is that they’re huuuge and semi-private! Singapore’s retrofitted its newest business class seats on this plane in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving every seat direct aisle access. Although the side panels of the seat don’t give you full privacy, they do a decent job of making you feel like you’re in a semi-enclosed space. The seat also has a do not disturb button that’ll let the flight attendants know to leave you alone if you’d like.
There were two things I didn’t like about these seats. First, you can’t fully recline them electronically with the control panels. You can ask a flight attendant to manually separate the back part of the chair and turn it into a bed (pretty small detail I know). The bed itself was very comfortable though and I slept for a good seven hours. My other complaint is the footspace of these seats when fully reclined. I had a small cubby like area for my feet. While this is fine when you’re sitting, when you turn the seat into a bed it’s very cramped.
Cramped Footspace 🙁
Because my flight departed Singapore at 1:30 AM, we weren’t offered full dinner service-which is normal for flights that late. We were offered light options of Lobster Dumpling Noodle Soup or Garlic Focaccia with Roasted Beef and Swiss Cheese.
For breakfast, I had utilized Singapore’s ‘Book the Cook’ option. Book the Cook allows passengers in Premium Economy, Business Class, and First class to preorder special meals online that aren’t offered on the in flight menu. I got the poached eggs with hash browns. They were alright by airplane standards :p The regular breakfast menu on this flight had the following options:
- Baked Crepe with Chive Scrambled Eggs
- Fried Carrot Cake
- Buttermilk Pancake with Maple Syrup
All the meals come with your choice of fruits, cornflakes, muesli, yogurt, and pastries.
The flight attendant service was excellent. The cabin crew was very friendly and attentive to everyone and made an effort to make passengers feel comfortable. They were all professional and fun to speak with. And I have to say I love Singapore’s uniforms! I wish I had taken pictures with some of the crew, you can just use google to check out what they look like.
The overall flight experience was great. The cabins on the A350 were brand new and comfortable and the on board service was excellent! I’d definitely fly Singapore again when traveling through Asia.