SQ – Duesseldorf to Singapore on A 350 Business ClassBack to Forum
BACKGROUND: Since May 2017 SQ serves Duesseldorf 3 times a week using the new A 350-900. This will be shortly increased to 4 times a week. The airline profits on this route from the feed it receives from Lufthansa.
CHECK-IN Duesseldorf: We arrived approx. 2/12 hours before our midday flight. There was one check-in counter for business class. No other passengers were in front of us, so check-in was done by friendly SQ staff and was quick and our luggage was checked through all the way to Kuala Lumpur, our final destination. Within minutes we were on our way to the fast track security which again was very fast and manned by friendly staff.
THE LOUNGE IN DUS: SQ as other Star Alliance members use the Lufthansa Business Class lounge. The lounge is quite spacious and quiet with the usual amenities provided. There are plenty of tables for dining and areas designated for rest, watching TV and a business area where one can work. Free internet access is now standard. The bar contained the usual drinks stock and there is always some hot and cold food available. There are no flight calls.
BOARDING: We left the lounge approx. 30 min. before official boarding time. On the way to the gate one has to go through passport control. There was quite a queue developing since only 2 out of six counters were occupied and our flight was not the only one leaving the Non- Schengen area.
We did not have to wait long before boarding commenced and as business class passengers we could board first.
We entered the aircraft through a second door and were greeted by a friendly crew member who showed us to our seats. The business class cabin has two sections; one between doors 1 and 2 with 16 seats and a smaller section after door 2 with 16 seats. The lay out is 1-2-1. We were allocated seats 20D and 20F which are the middle seats in the smaller cabin.
As Singapore Airlines does not supply an amenity bag we had to ask for eyeshades and earplugs which were happily brought to us.
THE SEAT: It is very big and spacious. Pillow which can be used as a comfortable lumbar support, blanket, head phones (noise cancelling) were on the seat. There is a lot of storage space. But for the middle seats there are no overhead storage compartments. The seat has a limited recline and the leg rest could not be raised fully horizontal. I felt when I am sitting even with the full possible recline the huge TV screen was too close to me. The seat can be converted into a bed by flipping the back of the seat over. The cabin crew will gladly do it for you. It was then very comfortable to sleep in.
However, we found the seat to be controversial. My wife didn’t like it at all. That basically came down to the fact that you cannot gradually recline the seat as you become tired but have to get up and wait until the bed is made. Moreover, despite not having very long legs, she was unable to raise the leg rest without getting her feet caught by the bulk of the seat in front of her.
THE FLIGHT: After take-off the crew served the drinks which were already ordered on the ground. Shortly afterwards the signature dish, Satay, was served. Unfortunately this was very disappointing. Firstly you receive only three sticks and secondly the Satay sauce was very blend.
We pointed out to the crew that Malaysia Airlines serves six sticks and has a much tastier sauce. When my wife asked for a second helping, initially the crew member, replied she will find out if there are any leftover. However, after a long wait, my wife enquired about this request and was informed by another crew member there were no left overs. She made her annoyance known. However, shortly afterwards she received her second helping and the crew member made notes of our complaint.
Lunch service started with Smoked Duck Breast Salad as the only appetizer which was good. This was followed by either
– Roasted Chicken Breast with Black Truffle Jus
– Char Siew and Wanton Noodle Soup
– Pan Fried Emperor Bream Fillet with Morel Cream Sauce
– Phanaeng Neua (Thai style beef curry)
I choose the roasted chicken and my wife the Thai curry. Both were ok.
As regards to drinks there was Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne as well as 2 white and 4 red wines to choose from.
Dessert was either Haagen Daz Strawberry Ice Cream or Chocolate Marquise Cake. We opted for the ice cream. To finish it off I had a selection of cheese whilst my wife selected fruits from the basket.
About 2 hours before landing in Singapore a full breakfast was served. The main courses here were either Cheese and Bacon Quiche, Griddled Buttermilk Pancakes or Sen Mee Phad Koong Kup Kai (Stir-fried rice vermicelli with shrimps, chicken and leafy greens).
Service throughout was attentive and the crews very friendly.
IFE: The offered program is quite substantial with plenty of films and tv –programs, music and games available. Each seat is equipped with an 18-inch TV-touchscreen which is located within arm’s reach of the seat if your arms are long enough. A more comfortable way of controlling it is with a detachable touchscreen controller located on the side of the seat to select their entertainment choices. We found this interface took quite a lot of getting used to and was not that easy to handle. The headphones were noise cancelling and I found them very good especially for listening to music.
ARRIVALS: We arrived in Singapore (terminal 3) about 10 minutes earlier than scheduled and had plenty of time to transfer to terminal 2 for our onward connection to Kuala Lumpur.
VERDICT: The flight left on time and arrived early. The Airbus 350 is a great plane and so much quieter than any Boeing. This was a very pleasant flight with a friendly cabin crew who made sure that everything that needed to happen did so. The only disappointment was the satay. I hope it will be better next time. As mentioned before the new seat is controversial and not to everyone’s liking. However, we still think SQ’s business class is one of the better ones we have flown.
To underline Singapore Airlines’ good service I like to mention that at check-in for our return flight we had a separate ticket with BA (economy class) from Duesseldorf to London. Not only was our baggage checked through but we also received the boarding passes for the BA flight7 Feb 2018
Thanks for the detailed report. One wonders whether BA would through check passengers’ luggage for LHR-DUS-SIN when connecting to a rival and Star carrier ?
Interesting that SQ appears to have made a success of DUS whereas CX will drop DUS next month (after barely three years on the route).7 Feb 2018
Thanks for the detailed report.
Interesting that SQ appears to have made a success of DUS whereas CX will drop DUS next month (after barely three years on the route).
Maybe the Star Alliance link up with LH provides the traffic that makes the difference to sustainability?7 Feb 2018
Good point, FDOS. With LH, as readers know, only flying long-haul from FRA/MUC * Star members have the opportunity to fly a Star carrier from DUS to SIN and beyond.
* Although LH now flies TXL-JFK this is only a temporary measure following AB’s demise. EW (Eurowings) will take over the route soon.
But as regards CX one would have thought its services via HKG would have appealed to the large Japanese community in that city. Yes I know ANA flies ex-DUS but CX (via HKG) serves quite a few destinations in Japan and one imagines its fares would be keener.7 Feb 2018
Just to comment on annoyance of not getting (initially) the second helping of satay.
One need to understand that every kg matters in aircraft loading and it does not make sense to load food for second helping where in business class other courses are plenty full.
Knowing SQ’s service standards, the second helping that was served later probably from crew food.8 Feb 2018
Alex Mc Whirter questioned whether BA would through check passengers’ luggage for LHR-DUS-SIN when connecting to a rival and Star carrier ?
In December we travelled back from Lima with Iberia in Business to Madrid (on an Iberia booking) and then on a separate BA booking to LHR.
We could not get the bags through checked to LHR even though our MAD-LHR flight was on IB metal !
When I questioned why I was shown a printed sheet that said that from Feb 2017 bags would not be through checked if there were multiple bookings.
I guess the answer to Alex’s question is NO !9 Feb 2018