I recently wrote about my Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 business class flight, and as I explained in the post, I managed to assign one of the awesome bulkhead seats in the cabin. In this post I wanted to talk a bit more about that. What makes these seats so special, and how can you select them?
This can make a big difference in terms of comfort, so it’s worth being aware of if you have an upcoming business class flight on the airline…
In this post:
Why are Singapore Airlines business class bulkhead seats special?
Airlines configure their cabins as efficiently as possible, so many kinds of business class seats have footwells you have to place your feet into when in bed mode. This minimizes the amount of pitch airlines have to allocate to each seat, as that footwell is typically to the side of the seat in front.
However, airlines often have a bit of extra space in bulkhead rows, since there’s no seat in front. Some airlines create a premium business class product they can market separately (like Condor’s Prime Seats and Virgin Atlantic’s Retreat Suites), while other airlines just offer a better product in the first row, but don’t overhype it. The latter is exactly what Singapore Airlines does.
For example, looking at the Boeing 777-300ER, below is what the standard business class seat looks like…
While below is what the bulkhead seat looks like…
What’s awesome about the bulkhead seats is that you have a huge open space in front of you. If you’re just sitting up, you can use the bench as an ottoman, which the other seats don’t have. Meanwhile if you turn the seat into bed mode, you have a much bigger sleeping surface than the other seats.
While there are minor variations to the seats, this concept applies on all A380s and 777s, as well as on select A350 (specifically, A350-900ULRs and standard long haul A350-900s). This doesn’t apply to 737s, 787s, or regional A350-900s (which have a staggered configuration in business class).
How do you select Singapore Airlines business class bulkhead seats?
I appreciate that unlike some other airlines, Singapore Airlines doesn’t monetize seat assignments in business class.
Instead, the airline reserves its “special” business class seats for PPS Club members, which are elite members in the carrier’s frequent flyer program. That’s a nice reward for loyalty, and PPS Club members can select these seats at the time of booking directly through the carrier’s website and app.
Fortunately all other passengers get access to these seats starting 96 hours before departure, on a first come, first served basis:
- Singapore Airlines opens online check-in 48 hours before departure, and at that point all available business class seats can be assigned online
- Between 48 and 96 hours of departure, these seats can only be selected by phone, so you have to call Singapore Airlines to request these seats
For example, for my recent flight in Singapore Airlines’ 777 business class, I noticed several days before departure that a bulkhead was still available. So 96 hours before departure I called Singapore Airlines, and was able to assign that seat. The entire call took just a few minutes.
Which seats are Singapore Airlines business class bulkhead seats?
So, which Singapore Airlines business class bulkhead seats feature extra legroom, and are blocked under this policy?
- On the Boeing 777-300ER, this includes seats 11A, 11D, 11F, 11K, 15A, 15D, 15F, and 15K; personally I prefer row 11 to row 15, as it’s much more private and not near any bathrooms
- On the Airbus A380, this includes seats 11A, 11D, 11F, 11K, 91A, 91D, 91F, 91K, 96A, 96D, 96F, and 96K; personally I love row 96 as it’s so private back there, then I prefer row 11, and then I prefer row 91
- On the Airbus A350-900ULR, this includes seats 10A, 11D, 11F, 11K, 19A, 19D, 19F, and 19K; I don’t think there’s an obvious answer as to which row is better, as both are near lavatories and galleys
- On the Airbus A350-900 (non-ULR and non-regional), this includes seats 11A, 11D, 11F, 11K, 19A, 19D, 19F, and 19K; personally I prefer row 19 to row 11, as I like mini-cabins
Note that Singapore Airlines’ regional Airbus A350-900s and Boeing 787-10s have very different business class seats than the above. So while the seats are still blocked and follow the same policy, they don’t have the same advantage as in Singapore Airlines’ long haul business class product.
On long haul aircraft, Singapore Airlines’ bulkhead business class seats are pretty special. What makes them different is that they feature way more personal space, as you have a huge ottoman you can place your feet on, and that also becomes part of a larger bed. If you can snag one of those seats, I’d highly recommend it.
While Singapore Airlines reserves bulkhead seats for PPS Club members up until 96 hours before departure, at that point the seats become available to all business class passengers. Between 48 and 96 hours of departure, they can only be reserved by phone, while within 48 hours they can be reserved through online check-in.
Anyone else like Singapore Airlines’ bulkhead business class seats as much as I do?