Airline review: Singapore Airlines B777-300ER, business class, Singapore to Sydney

THE ROUTE

Singapore to Sydney

THE AIRCRAFT

The B777-300ER, known for passenger comfort and fuel-efficiency, is a solid member of Singapore Airlines' wide-body passenger fleet.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

KrisFlyer; Singapore Airlines is part of the Star Alliance network that includes Virgin Australia.

CLASS

Business

DURATION

Seven hours and 40 minutes, departing in the evening from Singapore and arriving in Sydney at the wholly agreeable hour of 8.15pm. The flight continues to Canberra, touching down at 10.20pm. With SQ288 effectively operating as a loop, Canberrans can fly direct to Singapore without detouring through Sydney. My flight arrives in Sydney early, clocking in at seven hours, 10 minutes.

FREQUENCY

SQ288 departs Singapore for Sydney/Canberra nightly.

CHECKING-IN

I've flown into Singapore from Frankfurt so I merely need to transfer between gates. With a leisurely two hours and 45 minutes to while away, I pop into the airline's busy lounge for a snack and hot drink. If I'd read my ticket's fine-print more closely, however, I might have done things differently as the boarding pass includes extra services (such as a free 10-minute upper back or shoulder massage) and a multitude of discounts at outlets such as The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, valid for a month from my travel date.

THE SEAT

19K, a window-less window seat, in a forward-facing 1-2-1 configuration. There are 48 seats in business class. Each diamond-stitched, Scottish leather seat is 28 inches (71 centimetres) wide and is manually flipped out into a fully flat 78-inch bed that includes a cubby hole for your feet. Even though this flight is my fourth in the airline's business-class cabin, I can't execute the seat flip. That's okay, because an attendant always materialises to fold out and pack up the bed whenever I stand next to my seat wearing a confused expression.

BAGGAGE

Business-class passengers can each check up to 40 kilograms of luggage (no bag can exceed 32kg) and two carry-on bags up to seven kilograms each.

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COMFORT

Pack your trakky daks as pyjamas are not handed out on overnight flights. Amenities include an eye-mask, socks and slippers. Toothbrushes, razors and cologne can be found in the toilets. The noise-cancelling headphones double nicely as earplugs.

ENTERTAINMENT

The KrisWorld entertainment system offers more than 1800 options on the 18-inch LCD flat-screen, including new-release Hollywood fare, TV shows, music, games and apps. If you want to plan your viewing, this month and next month's movies can be found on the airline's website.

SERVICE

I used to think the airline's iconic Singapore Girl, dressed in a colourful sarong kebaya that also indicates her rank, was big on elegance but not so much on personality. When I ask my attendant upon boarding if she can hang my jacket, she says, "That'll be $5 – joking!" Further witticisms delight me throughout the flight.

FOOD

After trying the airline's Book the Cook service on other sectors (the Singapore chicken rice is a standout), I'm choosing from the a la carte menu on this flight. I'm still full from dining on Bresse chicken with morel polenta while flying from Frankfurt so I'm free to experiment. My thoughtful attendant tries to warn that my Western palate might not enjoy the Singapore fried carrot cake – a savoury dish of radish-rice flour cake. She's right but I'm happy enough nibbling on its decorative prawns, and hungry again by the time I'm offered a grilled chicken sandwich on rye with onion jam and harissa. For drinks, I compare and contrast the airline's Singapore Sling and SilverKris Sling, which is topped with Champagne – I prefer the latter candy-coloured cocktail.

THE VERDICT

Although the business-class seat on the airline's A380s feels more modern, it was the personality-plus service on the B777-300ER that won my heart. Singapore Airlines won World's Best Cabin Crew at the 2019 Skytrax awards – certainly, the attendants working this flight had a sixth sense for when their help was required. If I won the lottery (some might argue that I already have, given my job), I would happily splash the proceeds on travelling the world in this cabin with this airline.

OUR RATING OUT OF FIVE

★★★★★

Katrina Lobley travelled as a guest of Singapore Airlines (singaporeair.com) and Dusseldorf Airport (dus.com).

See also: World's best airline for 2019 named as Qantas soars into top 10

See also: Airline review: Singapore Airlines' first class is the flight experience of a lifetime

Airline reviews A to Z: Read all of Traveller's flight tests 

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