Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class A350 Singapore To Kuala Lumpur

Filed Under: Airline Reviews, Singapore

Introduction: A Detour Across The Pacific
Review: Qantas Business Class 787 San Francisco To Melbourne
Review: Sheraton Melbourne
Review: American Express Lounge Melbourne Airport
Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Melbourne Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Lounge Melbourne Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge Melbourne Airport
Review: Singapore Airlines First Class 777 Melbourne To Singapore
Review: Singapore Airlines Private Room
Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class A350 Singapore To Kuala Lumpur
Review: Sama-Sama Express Hotel Kuala Lumpur Airport
Review: Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur Airport
Review: Malaysia Airlines Business Suite Lounge Kuala Lumpur Airport
Review: Malaysia Airlines Business Suite A350 Kuala Lumpur To Tokyo
Review: Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
Review: Japan Airlines First Class 777 Tokyo To Chicago


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I recently reviewed  Singapore Airlines’ longest flight, from Singapore to Newark, and now I get to review Singapore Airlines’ shortest flight, from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.

Both flights were operated by A350-900s, though the flight between Singapore and Newark was operated by the “ULR” version (ultra long range), featuring just business class and premium economy.

Singapore Airlines 115
Singapore (SIN) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Saturday, December 15
Depart: 6:40PM
Arrive: 7:40PM
Duration: 1hr
Aircraft: Airbus A350-900
Seat: 22A (Business Class)

Getting an A350 on a sub-200 mile flight sure is a special treat. At the door I was greeted by the friendly team of two flight attendants and the cabin manager, and was pointed towards my seat.

Singapore Airlines’ A350-900s feature 42 business class seats. This includes 26 seats in the forward cabin, in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Singapore Airlines A350 business class cabin

Then there’s the rear business class cabin, where I’d be seated, featuring just 16 seats spread across four rows.


Singapore Airlines business class cabin A350


Singapore Airlines business class cabin A350

Since I was seated at the very back of the cabin, I also peeked into the premium economy cabin, which consisted of 24 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.


Singapore Airlines premium economy cabin A350


Singapore Airlines premium economy seats A350

Anyway, I had assigned myself seat 22A, the window seat in the last row of business class on the left side.


Singapore Airlines business class seat A350

I won’t talk too much about the seat as such, given that I’ve shared my in-depth thoughts on the seat in previous reviews.


Singapore Airlines business class seat A350


Singapore Airlines business class seat A350

Even though this was a very short flight, service was spectacular. A moment after settling in I was offered a bottle of water, along with my choice of juice or champagne. I didn’t have a pre-departure drink, given that I had a good amount of Dom Perignon in the lounge and a good amount of Krug on the previous flight, and I figured I had already maximized my enjoyment.

Singapore Airlines business class pre-departure drink

A few minutes later I was offered a warm towel, as well as a selection of reading materials.

Singapore Airlines business class warm towel

The cabin on this flight was empty. Of the 42 business class seats, only 16 were occupied. On top of that, I was the only person seated in the rear cabin, so I had all 16 seats to myself (not that there’s much you can do with more than one seat).

Economy was fairly full, on the other hand, though by 6:30PM boarding was complete. At this point the captain came on the PA to welcome everyone onboard and inform us of our flight time of 40 minutes.

At that point the safety video was screened, and we commenced our pushback.

Pushing back Changi Airport


SilkAir 737 Changi Airport

During the taxi out I checked out the airshow for our short 184 mile flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (for context, that’s just over half the distance of a Los Angeles to San Francisco flight).

Map to Kuala Lumpur

We had a quick taxi, and at 6:50PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 2C.

Taxiing Changi Airport


Taking off Changi Airport

Gosh do I love an A350 wing and engine view!

View after takeoff from Singapore

We hit some turbulence on the initial climb out, so the seatbelt sign wasn’t turned off until 10 minutes after takeoff.


View after takeoff from Singapore

View enroute to Kuala Lumpur

At that point the crew sprung into action to close the curtains between cabins, and of course I sprung into action to capture pictures of “my” private cabin. 😉


Empty Singapore Airlines cabin


Empty Singapore Airlines cabin

Literally within a minute of the seatbelt sign being turned off I was asked what I wanted to eat. The choices were either a tuna croissant or chicken wrap. I chose the tuna croissant, and was asked if I wanted tea or coffee.

The tuna croissant was served on a proper plate with a glass of water (there’s no other drink choice). On one hand it’s nice they put it on a plate, though it being served in plastic packaging isn’t exactly the presentation you’d expect from Singapore Airlines.

Singapore Airlines business class snack

The croissant itself tasted… fine. It’s roughly how I’d expect a croissant to taste in economy on a US flight from their buy on board menu.


Singapore Airlines business class snack

A few minutes later I was brought out a cup of coffee.


Singapore Airlines business class coffee

The problem is that just 15 minutes after takeoff (five minutes after the seatbelt sign was turned off), the captain advised the crew to prepare the cabin for landing.

I have to give the crew big credit for how friendly and professional they were. Even though there wasn’t much service, they were an absolute delight, and couldn’t have been more charming.

There was quite a bit to see on the descent, between the sunset, thick clouds, and thunderstorms in the distance.

View approaching Kuala Lumpur


View approaching Kuala Lumpur

View approaching Kuala Lumpur

For the last 25 minutes the crew couldn’t provide any service, so I just looked out the window and enjoyed watching the map. The approach was bumpy, with the nose constantly being pitched either way up or way down.

View approaching Kuala Lumpur


Airshow approaching Kuala Lumpur


Airshow approaching Kuala Lumpur


Airshow approaching Kuala Lumpur


Airshow approaching Kuala Lumpur

We touched down in Kuala Lumpur at around 7:30PM, and from there had a five minute taxi to our arrival gate. The thunderstorm really started to get worse once we landed, as there was a lot of rain, lightning, and thunder.

Cabin upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur

I bid farewell to the crew, and from there I had a quick overnight before continuing to Tokyo the next morning.

Singapore A350 business class bottom line

I almost feel silly sharing my thoughts on a 40 minute, sub-200 mile flight. The fact that Singapore Airlines operates widebody aircraft with incredibly friendly crews and any service at all is more than most airlines can say. In the US you’d likely get zero service on a flight like this.

At the same time, I think it’s only fair to mention that Singapore Airlines can’t in any way to compete with service on Gulf carriers on flights this short. If you flew Qatar Airways on a flight this short you’d get a full meal, a huge range of drinks, and even a cappuccino or other custom made coffee drink. They work from the second the plane takes off till the second the plane lands.

But that’s of course totally unnecessary, and it’s also worth stressing that the crew had five minutes to perform their service on this flight, between the time the seatbelt sign was turned off, and when the crew was told to prepare for landing.

Comments

  1. I don’t know. I’ve flown a lot of shuttle flights along the coasts and you get free beer/wine on JetBlue and Alaska/Horizon. I’d take a proper beverage over that nasty croissant.

  2. Oh yes. I took the same flight with my family in Economy and it’s was a truly memorable experience. At the end we only wish the flight was longer. We enjoyed our time on the plane and wanted more once we landed in KL.
    Looking forward our next adventure from Tokyo to Singapore with Singapore Airlines and yes this time it’s premium economy.

  3. I don’t know…perhaps size of aircraft and regulations on service during descent varies. In your qatar review people were still eating during descent…is that always allowed?

  4. @Alpha, you’d get proper Charles Heidsieck on a sub 200 mile route on SQ. Not even in JetBlue Mint do you get proper champagne on a transcon. Get a grip, the croissant is just the icing on the cake. US carriers are decades behind this product.

  5. ‘At the same time, I think it’s only fair to mention that Singapore Airlines can’t in any way to compete with service on Gulf carriers on flights this short.’

    Not all Gulf carriers. Only QR. This level of service will never happen on a 45-minute flight on EK or WY.

    Please edit your post. Only QR goes above and beyond for short flights.

  6. To clarify: I indeed mean WY in the above post (Oman Air). EY (Etihad) is far, far worse. WY is not a typo.

  7. @VT-CIE

    I regularly fly MCT-DXB in Emirates J and the quality of the food is outstanding. You receive two beverages in-air and a full meal, and that flight is just 40-50 minutes. However, I do agree that WY is not as good on these ultra short haul flights.

  8. @JW they weren’t serving champagne on this flight. And seriously who cares on a slightly longer 200 mile flight? Keep the champagne, I’ll take working WiFi and air vents.

    (FWIW I’ve flown this product medium and long haul and I’d take Mint over it. Service and food is significantly better with Mint.)

  9. Perhaps the reason they leave the sandwich in the wrapper is to give you the option of taking it with you since the flight is so short.

  10. @Jay J
    That was my thoughts.
    I think it was MU red-eye in J. They asked if I wanted breakfast serverd or in a to go bag.

  11. I appreciate a lot of these reviews. I’m hitting some of these cities in the next few weeks so its great to have up to date reviews since service/product quality can change over a period of years.

  12. On a 5hr trans-continental flight in first on a US carrier you are served a pre-take off drink in plastic and they try to pass off sparkling wine as champagne. They really are a joke. On American the other day (in first – why do they even call it that when at best its premium economy) I asked for a coffee with milk, not cream and it was cold, genuinely cold, and the reason I got was because I asked for milk in it. I looked at the flight attendant and said “seriously that is your excuse?” They really are so far behind its not funny.

  13. You are FAR too generous in this review. I’d rather take the snack basket with choice of drink on AA F from DCA to LGA. As others have said MH serves proper food and drink on the exact same route. This is pathetic for any airline, especially SQ.

  14. I flew the same flight in business KL to Singapore. While there was a drink prior to departure and a bottle of water, but no food or drink was offered after takeoff. Not really necessary on what is about 20 minutes in air but I was surprised.

  15. As per @joebiden, they’re right. While they don’t serve alcohol, MH has served me hot chicken satay on this exact flight in J in the four times I’ve flown it.

    No excuse SQ.

  16. No matter what, most of us would agree that the ME and Asian carriers on such a short flight still beat the US carriers in terms of service, presentation, and food/beverages. They simply cannot compete on the same level as their peers in the East. Also, on such a short flight or even longer flights, US carriers would never use widebody aircrafts to the scale of their competition in Asia.

  17. Well, I wouldn’t be so sure about QATAR AIRWAYS, that type of service was offered before on intra gulf flights, back in 2015 the cabin crew refused to continue the service due to time constraints on flight less than an hour, however no worries, these days after the blockade the only remaining flight is to Kuwait city – KWI. and a short haul of similar caracteristics would be to SYZ – Shiraz. both over 01 hour flight time wich I doubt they would offer a full meal service like the airline did before. In this life. in this world every past time was better.!

  18. Well, I wouldn’t be so sure about QATAR AIRWAYS, that type of service was offered before on intra gulf flights, back in 2015 the cabin crew refused to continue the service due to time constraints on flight less than an hour, however no worries, these days after the blockade the only remaining flight is to Kuwait city – KWI. and a short haul of similar caracteristics would be to SYZ – Shiraz. both over 01 hour flight time wich I doubt they would offer a full meal service like the airline did before. In this life. in this world every past time was better.!

  19. @Lucky, what if it is really turbulent and the captain keeps the seatbelt sign on for the entire flight? Would you get a cold drink because SQ is a very strict airline when it comes to seatbelts. Would the crew be able to provide any service?

  20. i flew with bangkok airways when a i was in thailand. in 1 hour flight they gave analmost propter lunch served on a tray, even in economy class. it was so crazy. the flight attendants had to complete the meal service in 20 minutes: a crazy rush! After the served the mela they passed after 15 minutes to take the tray back. The food was good indeed.

  21. i flew with Bangkok Airways when a i was in Thailand. In 1 hour flight they gave an almost propter lunch served on a tray, even in economy class: it was so crazy. The flight attendants had to complete the meal service in 20 minutes: a crazy rush! After they served the meal they passed after 15 minutes to take the tray back. The food was good indeed.

  22. @ Oliver — I imagine they wouldn’t be able to provide any service, and I would guess that even happens sometimes. I find Singapore to be a really strict airline when it comes to seatbelt sign use, crew being seated, and hot beverages not being served at that time.

  23. There is NO SQ115. All SQ flights ex-SIN are even numbered, with exception of Oceania flights that are odd numbered ex-SIN. Based on your departure timing, you would have been on SQ118 and not SQ115 which does not exist.

  24. nice to see Champagne on offer for this mini-flight of Singapore to Kuala Lumpur flight (where taxing time is almost longer than flight time); would SQ offer playing cards on this short-range flight?

  25. I flew SIN-KUL with SQ in J and then KUL-SIN with Ethiopian Airlines in J (5th degree that continues into Ethiopia). Interestingly, ET offers a hot snack on the route, served on plates with proper cutlery. They also had full bar available, blankets, pillows, PDB, etc. Even though I was getting off in SIN, they came by and provided me an amenity kit as well… not bad for a 45 minute flight!

    Yes, Ethiopian Airlines is more competitive on a route in/out of SIN than SQ.

  26. “I didn’t have a pre-departure drink, given that I had a good amount of Dom Perignon in the lounge and a good amount of Krug on the previous flight, and I figured I had already maximized my enjoyment.”

    @Lucky, This is just sad. You can never maximize enjoyment when it comes to alcohol. I’m sure @DEBIT would claim that the WHITE, MALE, REPUBLICAN scum would never stop drinking. You shouldn’t either.

    Cheers!

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