Singapore Airlines introduced the Airbus A350 to it’s Manchester to Singapore route in January 2017 replacing the Boeing 777 which serviced Manchester via Munich.
In this trip report, I will be reviewing the Business Class Product on the Airbus A350-900 and experience at Manchester Airport. I was looking forward to enjoying the flight as I have been flying Singapore Airlines Economy with the family to the Far East since 1994.
The Manchester to Singapore flight is the first leg of my journey to Bali and tagging along was my wife and youngest daughter.
Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Review
- Departure Date: 9th August 2017
- Departure Airport: Manchester (MAN)
- Scheduled Departure Time: 11.40
- Arrival Airport: Singapore (SIN)
- Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
- Flight Number: SQ51
- Airline Class: Business Class
- Seat: 11K
Check-in at Manchester Airport was slow, and both Economy and Premium Economy passengers were getting checked-in quicker than Business Class.
My daughter and I had soft bags, so we had to go to a separate desk to check them on the flight. However, when we got there, the Singapore Airlines pilots and crew were loading their bags on to the luggage belt and managed to break it!
Not the greatest of starts to the journey and unfortunately not the only mishap and disappointing experience.
For once it was hassle free through Manchester Airport Security, so it was a quick walk around duty-free and then to the lounge to relax before the flight.
Business Class Lounge
Singapore Airlines use the Swissport Lounge in Terminal 2, and it had, had a makeover since I was last there a couple of years ago.
There is a separate part allocated for Singapore Airline passengers. However, when I arrived, the area was full due to the Houston bound flight passengers also using the lounge.
In simple terms, the food and drink offering was average with no premium drinks available for Business Class passengers. Therefore, in my opinion, not a great advert for Singapore Airlines and it was a good job I had a full English Breakfast at the Hilton before arriving at the terminal.
Boarding was a nightmare at Manchester Airport with the same disorganisation as my previous flight flying Etihad Airways Business Class to Abu Dhabi on the way to Singapore in January 2017.
By the time the boarding process was ready to begin every passenger seemed to be standing up ready to dash through the gate.
Once onboard I decided on a glass of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne as my pre-takeoff drink, but this was the only one I was going to get even though we spent over an hour sitting on the aircraft before takeoff.
The reason for this was a plane stuck on the runway which delayed takeoff by an hour and twenty minutes, but I did get offered a hot towel just not another drink.
After takeoff, I had another glass of champagne with some nuts and sat back to relax on the eleven-hour flight.
The Business Class Cabin on the aircraft was in a 1-2-1 configuration which felt spacious when seated in the front row of the forward cabin.
There were 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy and 187 Economy seats on the aircraft.
After doing some research before booking my ticket, rows 11 and 19 offered a little more space at the front of each Business Class cabin.
Although on SeatGuru there is a comment relating to proximity to the galley and lavatory may be an issue, I didn’t find it a problem. Food preparation was not evident in the front galley, and the toilet was not available at times during the flight as it was closed for the crew to utilise.
The New Business Class seat looks smaller than the old product but with a pitch of 60 inches (5 foot), when fully flat 78 inches ( 6.5 foot) and width of 28 inches (2.3 foot) the area felt spacious.
There is plenty of storage space with the seat and light controls within easy reach and a video touchscreen handset.
Handcrafted from Scottish leather the seat when not entirely flat offers a cradle position (Lazy-Z) and a lounging position so you can stretch and rest your legs on the ottoman.
I didn’t use the flatbed on this flight, but you can read my return journey review for more detail.
Inflight Entertainment System
I have always found the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer in-flight entertainment system to be one of the best in the skies, even when flying economy.
In Business Class on the A350, you get an 18 inch HD enable screen, with touch screen and handset controls. There is a great variety of film, TV, music and game options, and not forgetting the noise cancelling headphones.
However, the one thing I’ve found when travelling Business Class is that I don’t tend to watch that much on flights anymore.
What amenity kits? Singapore Airline doesn’t offer you any, but you can ask for one which has limited offerings inside but on the other hand, you do get slippers!
Food and Drink
The Manchester to Singapore Business Class Menu had an extensive offering of food and drink. You could also book and cook on the flight up to 24 hours before departure.
Lunch was served about an hour and a half after takeoff, with the breakfast service starting two hours before arrival in Singapore.
There was a selection of snacks and other hot dishes available (limited options) if you wanted to eat in between meals.
The champagne on the flight was Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve with two red wines, two white wines and a port wine.
My wife enjoyed the famous Singapore Sling on the flight but there was no Tiger Imported beer which was a little disappointing for me.
Needless to say, I went for the Pan Broiled Beef Fillet with Shallot Sauce for lunch, Chicken Noodles for a snack midway through the flight and Caramelized Onion Egg Frittata with bacon and veal sausage for breakfast.
You can view the full menu on my Youtube trip report being added shortly.
There are three Business Class toilets on the Airbus A350, one situated at the front of the main cabin and two behind.
The toilet located at the front of the cabin was unavailable from time to time due to the pilots and crew using the facilities.
Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class Cabin Service
Unfortunately the service onboard the flight was below my expectations.
The Cabin Crew were fine but didn’t seem to go the extra mile, which was evident from the start when only one drink was offered before takeoff, even when we were sitting on the aircraft for over an hour before departure.
I had to ask another member of the Cabin Crew on more than one occasion for a drink even though I had requested it before.
Maybe I’m being a bit picky but the delay in Manchester meant when we finally arrived in Singapore we had to rush to our contacting flight.
We all made it to the Bali bound aircraft but not all of our luggage did!