Flight test: Singapore Airlines first class suites

A Singapore Airlines suite on an A380 superjumbo.
A Singapore Airlines suite on an A380 superjumbo. 

THE ROUTE

Zurich, Switzerland, to Singapore.

THE PLANE

Airbus A380.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer/Star Alliance.

UP THE BACK OR POINTY END

Suites class, seat 3D.

TIME IN THE AIR

Eleven hours, 40 minutes.

THE SEAT STUFF

There are 12 Suites with four singles along each side of the plane and two doubles in the middle. Each seat has a pitch of 81 inches (about 205 centimetres) and is 35 inches (88 centimetres) wide.

BAGGAGE

A generous 40 kilograms for checked bags and two carry-on bags of 7 kilograms each.

COMFORT FACTOR

In photos promoting Singapore Airlines' Suites class there is a double bed sprinkled with rose petals and a bottle of champagne in the middle. This seductive scene is no doubt intended to evoke a romantic mood and certainly one of utmost privacy. The reality is almost as good, although the atmosphere is more business club than mile-high club. The oversized soft leather seats are comfortable enough to fall asleep in, but turn over the main seat and the dream of a bed in the sky materialises: a large, completely flat bed with a soft underlay, a choice of pillows and a Givenchy-covered doona.

THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT

Suites has a private cinema feel with a 23-inch (58-centimetre) LCD screen playing Hollywood to Bollywood and everything in between. Many Singapore Airlines flights have Wi-Fi and phone connectivity, but ours did not.

SERVICE

Celebrities are huge fans of Suites, my lovely flight attendant says, naming Harrison Ford as a regular. I call her "mine" because within a few minutes she has made me feel like a movie star on a private jet. The service is personal, attentive, interested and genuine. I choose Dom Perignon over the Krug and as she tops up my glass my charming flight attendant says champagne is so much better when you have someone special to enjoy it with. She's engaging and witty and knows just when to leave.

FEEDING TIME

Dinner is a glamorous affair with as much formality and attention as you would expect from fine dining. The executive chef for our flight is double Michelin-starred Carlo Cracco, an Italian who stimulates my tastebuds well before I read the menu. It's a hard choice between veal, pork ribs, prawns, or whole fish. And that's just the mains. I start with malossol caviar with all the trimmings including a shot of vodka. People come and go bearing plates and bottles and warm hand towels. Sadly I'm still too full after dinner for freshly cooked eggs for breakfast in Singapore.

ONE MORE THING

Because I have flown Suites and have an onward flight the same day I have an invitation to the Private Room in Singapore. Like an exclusive club, the Private Room with its hushed tones and oversized armchairs in leather and velvet matches the airline's claim that Suites is a class beyond First.

THE VERDICT

The trip has been heavenly but of all luxuries, the luxury of a good night's sleep would have to be the most precious. It's a dream come true to leave a long-haul flight feeling refreshed.

FREQUENCY

Singapore Airlines has daily flights from Zurich to Singapore. A seat in Suites class costs $8928 one-way. See singaporeair.com.

Tested by Susan Bredow, who travelled at her own expense.

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