Tried & Tested

Flight review: Singapore Airlines A350-900 premium economy

1 Feb 2023 by Hannah Brandler
Singapore Airlines to deploy Airbus A350 on Kolkata-Singapore route

Background

Singapore Airlines has three configurations of its A350-900 aircraft for medium-haul, long-haul and ultra-long range services.

This service from Singapore to London Heathrow was operated with the long-haul configuration of its A350-900, which includes 42 seats in business, 24 seats in premium economy and 187 in economy class. SQ13 had a departure time of 1245 and arrival time of 1910.

We have previously reviewed the premium economy product on the A380 aircraft. Plus, see our feature:

Which airlines have the best premium economy?

Check-in

I checked in online and downloaded my boarding pass. It’s worth downloading the SIA app as it provides useful information such as the check-in and bag drop location. This was Zone 4, Row 7 and included check-in desks, self-service boarding pass and bag tag machines, and automatic bag drop machines. The machines were quick and easy to use.

I arrived early so that I could explore the Jewel retail and entertainment complex, and then returned to the terminal to proceed through immigration via e-gates.

Boarding

At Changi Terminal 3, the shops are located before security. Bear this in mind given the 100ml limit on restrictions. Boarding took place at Gate B3 at 1235, which is in a fairly large lounge area with four gates and a small kiosk selling water and snacks. Business class passengers boarded first, followed by passengers seated at the back of the aircraft and then all remaining travellers.

Changi airport bag drop

The seat

Premium economy has 24 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, with a grey colour scheme brightened by orange accents. There are three rows in this cabin, with a curtain to separate it from business and economy.

The seat is well-designed with a headrest featuring movable wings, making it more comfortable for sleeping, and an adjustable personal reading light. There is a built-in calf rest and a footrest under the seat in front.

Passengers can store belongings below the seat in front or within the magazine pocket. There’s a small mesh pocket below the 13.3-inch HD touchscreen monitor.

There is a USB port between the seats at the rear of the armrest, as well as another USB port on the right of the monitor. There’s a UK power socket by your legs.

At the front of the armrest is space for both passengers to place a drink, and a sturdy tray table is within the armrest.

There is a large orange pillow and a blanket at the seat, with noise cancelling headphones in the pocket in front. Ear plugs, eye mask, socks and dental kit are available on request for flights over seven hours.

The seat feels spacious – it is wider than in economy (19 versus 18 inches) – and there’s also up to 4 inches of added legroom.

SIA premium economy A350-900

Best seat

The bulkhead row (31) offers extra legroom – window or aisle seats are recommended.

My window seat at the back of the cabin (33K) was comfortable. I would not recommend the aisle seats C, D, G or H in this row as you are bordering on economy class and the row behind this is where the bassinets are if babies are on board.

The flight

Shortly after take-off the cabin crew confirmed food choices for those that had pre-ordered. We were offered beer, juice or water, followed by a glass of Champagne and a snack.

This is a long flight, so I had time to watch a movie and sleep at various intervals. Lights were dimmed in the middle of the journey and the aircraft was quiet.

The IFE has an excellent selection of 1,800 entertainment options, including new film releases and live TV, and you can bookmark these as you browse. My monitor was frozen at first, but worked once rebooted. The sound then did not work, but staff provided business class headphones which did the trick.

Krisflyer members in economy and premium economy get two hours’ free wifi if they add Krisflyer details when booking or at check-in. To access this on board, you need to input your email and Krisflyer membership number into the IFE system. This also allows members to save preferences, bookmarks and settings for the next time that they fly, providing a more personalised journey. Non-members can purchase 100-200MB for US$9.99-15.99 or US$15.99 for three hours.

It’s also possible to link your device to Krisworld if you have the Singapore Air mobile app, allowing passengers to browse content and create a playlist. Passengers can also shop on board via the e-shopping experience, which is currently available on select A350s.

SIA A350-900 dinner

Food and drink

This flight included lunch and dinner services, plus snacks. Passengers can pre-order meals online or via the app, with the option to experience the Book the Cook service. If you don’t pre-order, the inflight menu is available on the IFE.

Lunch was served at 1430 and was a little disappointing. Dinner at 2115 was tastier and included an appetiser of orzo with a sesame soy dressing and curried tofu; a Malay-style fish tamarind curry with white rice and sauteed vegetables; and a generous slice of pear hazelnut cake. Both services come with a bread roll, butter, a block of cheddar and crackers.

I was quite thirsty throughout the flight as you only get water in small cups, which did not feel sufficient. Other drinks available included red and white wine, various spirits, Tiger/Heineken beer, Singapore Sling and non-alcoholic options.

Arrival

We landed at Heathrow Terminal 2 ahead of schedule at 1840.

Verdict

This is a good premium economy product, with the added legroom and seat width making a long journey more comfortable than in economy class. Service was attentive and friendly.

FACT BOX

  • Flight time 14 hours 25 minutes
  • Configuration 2-4-2
  • Seat width 19.5 inches
  • Seat pitch 38 inches
  • Price Internet rates in March for a one-way Singapore-London flight in premium economy start at £2,118
  • Contact singaporeair.com
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