Flight check: Singapore to Zurich on Singapore Airlines

By Leighton Luke

Leighton Luke flies Singapore to Zurich on Singapore Airlines SQ346.
The big bird - an A380. Photo / David Toso
The big bird - an A380. Photo / David Toso

The Plane: The big bird - an A380.

Class: Suites class.

Seat: 3D. The twelve spacious suites are on the lower floor and arranged in a layout of four singles down each side and two rows of two doubles in the middle of the cabin but, because the A380 is such a big plane and the suites are so private anyway, it never feels cramped or crowded outside. Naturally, the seat converts into a fully flat bed and, as one of the middle suites, it can be joined with 3C to create a very roomy double bed. Although the partitioning is not floor to ceiling, each suite is quite literally cocooned from its neighbours and my wife and I both slept soundly in our double suite.

Price: At $8,535.00 one way, it's certainly no bargain but it really is worth every cent.

Flight Time: 13 hours and 20 minutes. I would not have been at all sad if it had been a longer flight.

On Time: Right on time for both departure at 01.30 and arrival at 07.50 the same day (but see above).

How Full: Seven passengers in total, so just over half-full.

Entertainment: Singapore Airlines claims to have over 1,000 movies, television programmes, albums and games on offer on its Kris World in-flight entertainment system. Among them was a very reasonable selection of movies from around the world, but I chose to take advantage of the peace, quiet and space that the suites provide to devote the bulk of my time on board to getting a good night's shut-eye.

Food and Drink: As always on SQ, it was outstanding. After a beautifully chilled glass (or two) of Dom Perignon 2006 to welcome us aboard, five courses of fine dining followed soon after the seatbelt sign came off. Beginning with chicken and lamb satay skewers before moving into an entree of chilled scallops, I had the Straits Chicken Curry for my main course which, on flights out of Singapore can be pre-ordered from the "Book the Cook" menu. It was delicious, of course, as were the dessert, chocolates and 20-year old tawny port that followed. Although I was still feeling rather full after my evening meal (no surprise there!), I was determined to tackle breakfast when the time came and I had already made another Book the Cook selection: poached egg served with hollandaise sauce, lobster, asparagus and potato hash. It was served well under two hours before landing at Zurich but, despite being both extravagant and a little bit rushed, it was a truly wonderful way to start the day.

Service: Very good, as might be expected. The crew were friendly, helpful and attentive at all times and did their absolute best to address any queries or accommodate any requests. Serving breakfast just a little bit sooner - maybe only as little as 20 minutes earlier - would have made the final hour or so feel a lot less rushed, though.

Baggage: Not an issue, with an allowance of 50 kilograms checked-in and two carry-on bags.

Toilets: Kept spotless and well-stocked with Salvatore Ferragamo amenities at all times.

Airport Experience: Departing from Terminal 3 at Changi Airport, the check-in, immigration, security and boarding experiences were all painless. As Suites Class passengers, my wife and I were lucky enough to be able to pass the time before boarding in the Private Room, the lounge dedicated just to Suites and First class passengers on SQ (not partner airlines') flights. The discreet and courteous staff bring glasses of champagne and take orders for pre-flight snacks from the menu in the dining room area: having previously enjoyed the wonders of the lobster Provencal and the wagyu beef and foie gras sliders, we found it impossible to go past them: so, so good!

Would I fly this again? Yes, please. Can we go now?

- NZ Herald

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