Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class A330 Ahmedabad To Singapore

Filed Under: Singapore

Singapore Airlines 531
Ahmedabad (AMD) – Singapore (SIN)
Saturday, October 27
Depart: 10:50PM
Arrive: 7:10AM (+1 day)
Duration: 5hr50min
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 15H (Business Class)

I boarded through the second set of doors, where I was greeted by an exceptionally friendly cabin manager and flight attendant who pointed me left into the business class cabin.

The A330 is the backbone of Singapore Airlines’ short-haul fleet. The plane has a total of 30 business class seats spread across five rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Singapore Airlines A330 business class cabin

I had assigned myself seat 15H, the aisle seat on the right side in the last row of business class. Though really I ended up sitting in the window seat, since it was empty (I always like to secure an aisle seat so I have access to the aisle, but with an empty window seat I’ll choose to sit there).

Singapore Airlines A330 business class seats

Singapore Airlines has angled seats on their A330s. These aren’t just mildly angled seats, but the angle is really steep. More on that later.

Singapore Airlines A330 business class seats

The seatbacks have personal televisions, literature pockets, and some storage compartments.

Singapore Airlines A330 business class seats

The storage compartments can be unlocked using the latches to the side of the seat. They’re quite small, and only big enough for some cords, a pair of glasses, or a phone.

Singapore Airlines A330 business class storage

There was more exposed storage underneath the center armrests.

Singapore Airlines A330 business class seat storage

Along the far side of the seat were the entertainment controllers, as well as the seat controls.

Singapore Airlines business class seat controls

Singapore Airlines business class seat controls

Then underneath the center armrests were 110V and USB outlets.

Singapore Airlines business class power outlets

The tray table also folded out from the center armrest.

Singapore Airlines business class tray table

Between seats is a privacy partition, which actually extended out quite a ways, and would be useful in the event that you’re seated next to someone.

Singapore Airlines business class privacy partition

However, in this case I not only had a pair of seats to myself, but the entire row.

Singapore Airlines business class cabin A330

Unfortunately Singapore Airlines’ A330s don’t have individual air nozzles at seats, which is quite annoying.

Singapore Airlines business class overhead console

Waiting at my seat upon boarding were an excellent pillow and blanket. The pillow was thick and plush (almost too thick, which is rare for me), while the blanket was soft and comfortable.

Singapore Airlines business class pillow and blanket

Also already waiting at my seat were slippers and socks. There are no amenity kits on Singapore Airlines, but rather most of the basic amenities that you’d expect are available in the lavatories.

Singapore Airlines business class slippers & socks

Waiting at my seat upon boarding were headphones, a bottle of water, and the menu for the flight.

Singapore Airlines business class headphones, bottled water, and menu

Singapore Airlines could really invest in new headphones, since the ones they offer feel quite cheap.

Singapore Airlines business class headphones

Within a few moments of settling in, two lovely flight attendants came by to introduce themselves, and I was offered a pre-departure drink.

The choices were between orange juice, water, or the midsummer breeze mocktail. I chose the midsummer breeze, which consisted of apple, orange, and pineapple juices, along with some 7-up. I was also offered a warm towel.

Singapore Airlines business class pre-departure drinks and towels

There were three flight attendants working business class and only a total of 11 passengers, so service was even better than usual.

At 11:05PM boarding was complete and the main cabin door was closed. A moment later the captain announced our flight time of 5hr5min, and anticipated that we’d be able to make up time enroute and still get to Singapore on schedule.

Singapore A330 business class cabin view

At 11:10PM we pushed back, at which point the cabin manager made his welcome aboard announcement and then screened the safety video. Their new safety video is such a huge improvement over the old one, in my opinion.

At 11:20PM we began our taxi, and three minutes later we were holding short of the departure runway. The captain announced that we were just waiting for one plane to land before taking off, and at 11:30PM we were finally cleared for takeoff.

The seatbelt sign was turned off just five minutes after takeoff. While Singapore Airlines doesn’t have any Wi-Fi on the A330, they have an excellent entertainment selection.

Singapore Airlines business class entertainment selection

The selection of movies and TV shows is nearly endless, so I have nothing but good things to say about that. After Emirates’ ICE system, I’d say it’s the best inflight entertainment in the sky.

Singapore Airlines business class entertainment selection

Singapore Airlines business class entertainment selection

I also love that they had an episode of “Amazing Hotels” about what’s probably my favorite hotel in the world, Fogo Island Inn.

Singapore Airlines business class entertainment selection

I also checked out the moving map for our journey to Singapore.

Moving map for flight to Singapore

Moving map for flight to Singapore

Despite this being such a late night flight, there was a full meal service onboard. The menu read as follows:

The drink list read as follows:

Just 15 minutes after takeoff I was served a drink of choice along with packaged almonds and cashews. The champagne on offer was Charles Heidsieck.

Singapore Airlines business class meal — drinks and nuts

After that they waited a bit to continue the service. 35 minutes after takeoff tablecloths were distributed, and then a few minutes later the appetizer was served. The appetizer consisted of marinated prawn nicoise salad with tomato, green beans, boiled egg, kalamata olives, and balsamic vinaigrette.

With the meal I switched to the Italian white wine. This is a random note, but I don’t really get why Singapore Airlines uses such small glasses for both wine and water. You’d think they’d use nicer glasses for wine, and would also have bigger water glasses. Fortunately Singapore Airlines crews are so attentive that even those small glasses rarely get more than half empty.

Singapore Airlines business class meal — appetizer

I was also offered a selection of bread, and selected a couple of the Indian choices, plus Singapore Airlines’ always delicious garlic bread.

Singapore Airlines business class meal — bread selection

For the main course I ordered the Indian vegetarian option, which was saunf mirch paneer, makai kaju mara pyaaz, dal haveli, and zaffrani mewa pulao.

The meal was so spicy and flavorful and just all around excellent.

Singapore Airlines business class meal — main course

Next up was dessert, which was a praline gateau, consisting of almond sponge layered with chocolate hazelnut praline cream.

Singapore Airlines business class meal — dessert

Lastly there was a cheese plate. I was stuffed at this point, but figured I should get it for the picture.

Singapore Airlines business class meal — cheese plate

The meal service was done just under 90 minutes after takeoff, and the service couldn’t have been better. The team serving business class was exceptional, and had that special Singapore Airlines touch. They were attentive without being overbearing, I was always addressed by name, and they were also proactive.

Moving map to Singapore

After supper I decided to recline my seat to check out just how uncomfortable it is. Singapore Airlines has what I consider to be just about the most uncomfortable angled seat out there, as the angle is pretty extreme.

I’m someone who really struggles to sleep unless conditions are perfect (darkness, a comfortable bed, a good temperature, etc.). Unfortunately this seat is simply too uncomfortable for me, given that I had slept all day and wasn’t that tired.

Singapore Airlines A330 business class bed

Singapore Airlines A330 business class bed

I didn’t mind that I wouldn’t be able to sleep, since I was taking redeyes six nights in a row, and was basically on a pattern where I was awake all night and sleeping much of the day. So I instead chose to work on my laptop.

Eventually I decided to order a cappuccino. The challenge on Singapore Airlines is that they don’t serve hot beverages when the seatbelt sign is on, and their pilots are also really conservative when it comes to using the seatbelt sign. The sign was on for over half the flight, so it took a while till I could order one.

Singapore Airlines business class cappuccino 

In fairness, this was a very bumpy flight at times. The crew had to sit down twice, and over the Bay of Bengal we hit some pretty major turbulence for about 20 minutes.

I eventually checked out the lavatory. There are two for business class behind the cabin, and they were spotless.

Singapore Airlines business class lavatory

Before I knew it we were just under 50 minutes from arriving in Singapore.

Moving map to Singapore

Moving map to Singapore

Around this time the crew came through the cabin to offer drinks, including apple juice and orange juice, plus mints.

Singapore Airlines business class pre-landing drink

At that point the landing cards for Singapore were also distributed.

Singapore landing card

At 6:30AM Singapore time the first officer made another announcement informing us that we’d be landing at 7:05AM, and also asked the crew to prepare for landing, since he expected it would be bumpy.

Moving map approaching Singapore

The approach itself ended up being quite smooth.

Probably the highlight of this flight were the incredible views on approach, given the sunrise.

View approaching Singapore

View approaching Singapore

View approaching Singapore

View approaching Singapore

We touched down in Singapore at 7AM.

View approaching Singapore

From there we had a 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 2. Unfortunately the windows fogged up after landing, so I couldn’t take any pictures.

On the way out I was able to snag a picture of the cabin, given that we deplaned through the forward door.

Singapore A330 business class cabin upon arrival

From there I headed to the Crowne Plaza Changi to get some rest before continuing to Newark late that night.

Singapore Airlines business class A330 bottom line

Singapore Airlines’ soft product is phenomenal, even on a fairly short redeye from India to Singapore. The crew was exceptional, the food very good, the pillow and blanket comfortable, and the entertainment great.

My only complaint — and it’s a pretty major one — is that the seats are so uncomfortable if you’re trying to sleep. In the future I’d avoid these on overnight flights if I were planning on sleeping.

The good news is that Singapore Airlines is taking delivery of a bunch of Boeing 787-10s, and they feature fully flat beds and direct aisle access. These planes will become the backbone of Singapore Airlines’ short-haul fleet, so that’s great news for their hard product.

If you’ve flown Singapore’s A330 business class, what was your experience like?

  1. TAP uses 4 ex-SIA A330 with exactly the same seats on routes from LIS to select destinations in Brazil (mainly SSA, BSB, CNF) and also MIA. Flights are over 8h so the hard product is poor. They will move to AC in June 2019 and get a complete refit by end-2019.

  2. “Between seats is a privacy partition, which actually extended out quite a ways, and would be useful in the event that you’re seated next to someone.”. Shouldn’t it be stranger rather someone ?

  3. Maybe they make the glasses smaller to force more interaction with the flight attendants. SQ likes to put them front and center!

  4. @Lucky, on your comment on the size of the glasses, Singapore has two sets of cutlery depending on the aircraft type – one for the A330, B772, B773 and B787 which fly mainly short-haul and regional routes, and another for the A350, A380 and the Boeing ER fleets that fly mainly long-hauls.

    The key differences are in whether glasses have stems, and the extent to which the plates for the main course curve up more. Both of these are present for the short and regional jets. Though why there is the need to differentiate puzzles me.

  5. I flew their red-eye A330 and slept really well. Despite being a bit cramped, the seat was perfectly fitting and it almost felt like full-flat (and I’m 167cm or 5’6″). The comfort level may depend on the person’s height.

    The meal part, Indians have really late night dinner usually after 9pm. It’s not unusual that sometimes you get invited for a home-dinner gathering and the meal served at 11pm. Not only SQ, but other carriers like MH, TG out of India leaving after 12am also serve full supper service.

  6. @Hiro, that’s the real difference between Asian and American carriers. They take an attempt to study culture and implement it on flights and then think of cost cutting elsewhere. American carriers in such situations would just generalize and tell you no meals after 8.

  7. Yes those seats are an absolute disaster. The guy who decided on those seats should be stripped in for 2 weeks of regional redeyes.
    What a failure.

  8. Their 787s are terrible in terms of sleeping comfort. Seatbelts that go over your shoulder, plus seats are narrow, have a hard base and are too short, similar to their new 380s but then even smaller. Only difference is that they offer more privacy and have touchscreens.

  9. I don’t think ordering a plate of food just for the purpose of a picture is something I’d congrat you for. Please, be a more food responsible consumer.

  10. Some rough translations since you said “whatever the heck that is” 😉
    Hindi to English:
    Saunf – fennel
    Mirch – chilli or pepper
    Paneer – cottage cheese
    Makai – corn
    Kaju – cashewnut
    Hara pyaaz – green onion
    Dal – lentil
    Urdu to English:
    Zaffran – saffron
    Mewa – fruit/dry fruit
    Pulao – pilaf

  11. @Carlos, I’ve been told airlines throw out prepared food such as the cheese plates after the flights. It is a sanitary thing. so regardless of how much of it he ate it would have gone to waste.

    I guess if it wasn’t an overnight flight the angled flat seat wouldn’t be that big a deal for a relatively short flight (I’d note that most US carriers use regular first class seats for trips even to Hawaii at 5-7 hours, not even angled flat!). I have never been a huge fan of the Singapore business class seats, while wide they are awkward to lay flat in and I find it annoying to have to flip the whole thing down to sleep instead of gradually lowering myself as I get tired. The service and food are what make them stand out though!!

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