Disappointed in A380

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  • Anonymous


    Is anyone else disapointed in the Singapore Air A380?

    I normally travel First Class on Thai Airways between Bangkok and London (about 14 times per year) and I booked myself on the A380 in Business Class – looking forward to the most spacious business class in the air, as advertised by Singapore Airlines – expecting it to be as good as First on Thai!.

    Well, I think the advertising was somewhat misleading – OK, it is the widest in its class but the print and TV media advertising showed lovely leg room as well, and the leg room is disappointing. The seat width is a novelty (for now) but I found myself struggling to make use of the width – give me leg room any time over a wider seat! The aircraft itself is fantastic but I think SQ are a little bit “over the top” with their advertising and portrayal of the seating.


    In a recent email exchange with BT, Alex pointed out that many Airlines have withdrawn 1st Class services between Asia & Australia/NZ.

    This includes Thai Airways also…have you travelled recently or tried to make a reservation?
    You will find older 772 aircraft BKK -SYD, & 1st Class is no longer. The 346 down to NZ has been withdrawn, again replaced by older (cira 1990’s seats on one service a BT reader reported) aircraft.

    Whilst SQ maybe not as you wanted, at least it still has 1st class.
    Having flown from LHR-BKK – AUK in January 1st class Thai, many things went wrong, seats were broken, & a follow up to Customer relations in the UK, gave a “not received” response!!!

    If you sit in a new SQ business Class service, you may well find its superior to Thai’s First, that is now being phased out.. I am sure also Etihads Pearl Class, would give the leg room you need as well as Privacy, they seem to have the balance right.

    Not many choices remains these days, or will in the future?


    My travels don’t take me as far as Oz or NZ but I do travel to Beijing and Hong Kong regularly from BKK and the old seats are used in First on these routes. Its no so bad because they are only short haul – I’ll try one of the ME airlines when one of them joins Star Alliance….!

    I may try Thai to Milan next trip and then connect Milan/Dublin on Aer Lingus – Thai uses the A340-600 on this route and the First Class product in this aircraft is supposed to be superior to that used on the 747-400s to London.

    Do you know if this is the case?


    Sorry, I have to disagree with the first post. I have flown on the Singapore Airlines A380 twice. The inaugural flights from Singapore to Sydney and also the inaugural Singapore to Heathrow.

    On both occasions in a paid for business class window seat. The seat design, space and service were all far above my expectations. It’s the best business class seat in the sky as far as I am concerned. Here, I am comparing business class products only, not first class.

    Yes, the seat back of the seat in front does feel closer than other airlines. But that design point also provides more privacy. Yes, the marketing is misleading as the pictures are taken with no seat in front. But most other airlines do the same with their marketing seat pictures too. So Singapore Airlines are no different to the rest of the industry in that respect.

    The best use of the space is when the seat back is folded down into a bed. Even in the chair position you have space to put things without having to stuff everything into seat back pockets or lockers when meals are served.


    I travelled down from LHR-BKK – AUK in January 1st Class, with Thai on the A346, & from LHR – BKK on the 747…

    The seats were exactly the same, perhaps the only difference being that the 346 was newish, so perhaps the seats were also. Having only 2 rows at the front, it seems a rather small space, Business being behind the curtain. I prefer the 346 to fly on, but the 747 old as it is, offers that nose cabin that really is spacious, & much more private, much like how we all love the Upper deck in C, for its quiet, privacy & good air!
    U feel you have a dedicated cabin to walk around, but the 346 does not give that feel.

    I was very fortunate to return from Sydney to AUH on an Etihad 346 Pearl /Business Class a few weeks ago. They usually run a 345 but this was assisting capacity…they are chocker on most flights to Oz, in all classes doing very well.

    The fore Business cabin, just behind 1st Diamond Class, was much better with the galley in-between the rear C cabin, then economy. This is a better layout.

    I suppose these days, I am spoilt with Etihad’s 773 & 345/6 aircraft, Unusual for most EU Airlines where they have many older aircraft, no matter how they dress up the re-vamped Classes.
    Maybe we need with some of the other airlines, to keep a sharp watch on the Aircraft used on the route we need. As for me, its as important to make a choice on the Aircraft, as it is on the Airline, if services vary so much as they appear to on Thai now. I really do make a choice for the new aircraft for the best envrionment, even if the service remains the same…

    I have to say though, their 1st Class Spa, lounge & whole st class at BKK is the best in the world. I was lucky again to use SQ’s new 1st class lounge in Fab & as great as it was, it didn’t have as many facilities & the fabulous spa as Thia’s.
    Pity it appear to be in demise…


    Have yet to try the A380, but when travelling to AKL always use EK as the 1st cabins are just brilliant, so private for sleep and service normally OK.

    Business Traveller replies:

    From our experience some readers prefer an overly wide seat in business class while others are happier with more legroom. So far no other airline has followed SIA’s style of seating and one wonders if so much space will be sustainable in the long run considering the soaring cost of fuel.

    Consider that on a B777 with the new product, SIA seats passengers four across (1-2-1) in business class whereas with British Airways you would be accommodated eight across (2-4-2).

    Our original story on SIA’s new products (see online news October 19, 2006) explains the pros and cons of the seating layout.


    With regard to Thai Airways in First Class I have flown four times in the last year between Auckland and Heathrow or Frankfurt via Bangkok on A340-600 and on two of their Boeing 747-400 flying to Frankfurt and from Heathrow had the new First Class. Whilst it is nice, the seats are noisey and often have problems and the service on-board is not as good as it used to be. On Bangkok to Auckland sector I called four times for a drink in the night to find all the crew at the back of the plane chatting. Writing to complain at thai airways is a joke, it took me eight emails to get an answer and an apology. Want a good first class, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Qatar are the best by far. Emirates are flying the new A380 to Auckland in Feb 09 and we are looking forward to this new experience for New Zealand business travellers.


    I know this page of the forum might not be related to Thai Airways but I feel I most reply to some of the comment about Thia’s New First class, I have been lucky enough to travel from BKK to FRA with Thai in First in June of this year and June of Last year. On last year’s flight the cabin was nearly full, 9 out of the 10 seats were occupied, I found staff to be very friendly and courteous, and service was what you would expect in First class. On the flight this year things were slightly different, I experienced something I have never had the privilege of experiencing before, the boarding area at BKK was very busy, making me think the flight was going to be full, delighted that I had managed to get a single window seat rather then a middle seat, this was not the case, economy was full, and so to was business but I was the only passenger in First class, 10 seats and 3 crew all to my self, needless to say the service was second to none, Sitting drinking vintage Dom Perignon with the crew asking me on a very regular basis if I needed anything, could they get me anything, one of the best flights ever. I had a great laugh with the flight manageress who informed that I would be free to move seat every hour if I wished, being the only passenger.

    I most add what made the flight even better was it was a miles and cash booking thru BMI, 40000 and 350GBP, don’t get me started on the hassle of booking anything with that airline since they have moved there call centre to India, nothing but aggravation every time, a bunch of incompetent morons working for them down there, a great shame, they use to be one of the best airlines for customer service, now I would say one of the worst.


    I to just flew A380 and thought the aisles were very narrow and wondered how they would get someone who fitted the seat down it in case of illness?
    On another matter has anyone used Thai from Madrid to Bangkok?


    bill82 submitted a poll to gauge the reaction of flyers to Singapore’s A380 on http://www.airlinestars.com. So far, people are generally statisfied as of 18 votes. Check it out: http://airlinestars.com/node/509


    I do FULLY agree with Mark Roberts that the TG ground facility ( the lounge and the spa ) are just unique in the world ….!..I have never ever fallen in love with an airline lounge like the TG First Class one !…it is HEAD AND SHOULDERS above the rest ,even the marvellous Qatar Airways First Class terminal ,the CX Fcl Wing at HKG and the SQ Silverkris lounges ..( i haven t tried the new SQ lounges yet !)…what i like most about TG inflight service is the warmth of its flight attendants approach ..let me add that the concourse where the TG Royal Silk and Royal First lounges lie is one of the best ,most attractive areas in any airport I have ever seen on earth !………


    I couldnt agree more with BMI “Diamond Club”!

    It is totally atrocious trying to call & get any sense from the other end.
    I am afraid the line clarity is terrible, there is a delay on the line, the “Plastic” scripts the staff are asked to out begining & end are just cringing. They have no knowledge with all respect to them, of other Star Alliance routes, aircraft, gateways..they deny flights exist when i see them on the PC infront of me with the relevant airline.
    Booking is a gamble…i turned up for my flight to Australia at LHR to find it required a paper ticket NOT an e-ticket which i was re-assured was fine. I had to go from T3 at LHR to T1 luckily with the BMI office open, but even they stated they didnt have the authority to issue the ticket, giving in eventually.
    U would be stuck at some Overseas gateway if this happened with No BMI staff available, they dont even know who the Airline is outside of Europe!!!

    Further, SQ wont release any flights for rewards on its A380 services, this means that getting a seat out of LHR with increased use of these, as down to Australia is impossible.
    Neither will they release seats on the new Raffles services, operated by 773 Aircraft! Its impossible to get seats out of Europe with SQ or in or out of Australia.

    Star Alliance, is becoming pretty useless for miles redemptions..which is why my Business is going to Etihad Airways. Sad, but MH, & TG are facing deacreased demand, & lets face it, these hundreds of new Arab Airline Aircraft, are going to take the business from somewhere else, are they not?!!

    Are BMI are going to be sold very soon? I wonder what will be the outcome for those holding miles, where they will & IF transferred to another airline?

    Cant be a worse service anyhow, but my gut feeling is sepdn the miles now.
    In the current climate i cant see them being better value or even holding their value.
    I think FF Miles are like UK House prices at the moment, the market is on a downward spiral, & the value of them can only de-value. There is going to be a global squeeze on our spending earned miles for sure…If it hasn’t started already?


    I am searching for the best business class. Paris via either Bangkok, Sing; or KK perhaps UEmirates. Then Sydney finally Auckland return.I simply dont have a clue which airline to choose. A friend said Singapore for business. Others have said Etihud ? Talk about confused. I will travel this route a lot in the future so information is crucial to me. PLEASE ?
    <a href="mailto:[email protected]“>[email protected] (Gary)

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