Singapore Airlines unveiled their new cabin products for their Airbus A380 at a big media event in Singapore on Thursday. The biggest buzz was around the new suites, offering a separate seat and bed and with a wall that comes down between seats so that couples traveling together could have their own room and double bed on the plane.
That’s amazing — but there are only 6 suites on the plane. There are 78 business class seats, and the divider comes down between middle seats to offer double beds. There are 44 premium economy seats. But on the world’s largest aircraft there are 343 economy seats. Most passengers – by far – will be flying economy.
So here’s Singapore Airlines crew singing to the attending media before showing us the products:
As much as I love great premium cabin products, most passengers fly economy and I went straight to look at the new economy seat first. I think what I actually appreciate the most about Singapore Airlines is the thoughtfulness that goes into their economy product. Economy here doesn’t mean “self loading cargo.”
Here are (7) things I love about Singapore Airlines economy. They are little things compared to double beds in business class and designer pajamas. But it’s the little attention to details that make long haul travel in back a bit more civilized.
- You’ve still got 32 inches of pitch that’s a greater distance from seat back to seat back than you’ll find on US airlines.
- Six-way adjustable head rest so in addition to a seat that they say offers better back support (I’ll leave that to those who have flown twelve or more hours in the seat to judge), you can nestle in comfortable in a variety of positions moving the head rest up and down, forward and back, and adjusting the sides.
- An adjustable foot bar to rest your feet on which is something you usually only get in premium economy, and that I wish US airlines offered in domestic first class.
- A cup holder and coat hook along with placement of the pockets in the seat back in front of you, a pouch for your phone that’s convenient to charging ports
- Large 11.1 inch touch screen video all the better to watch Singapore’s extensive KrisWorld entertainment system.
- A pillow and blanket and they’re reasonable sized too.
- Economy passengers get premium economy meals. To be sure premium economy gets more choices and even pre-order options, and portions may be larger, but the entrees in premium economy and economy are the same. Economy class passengers are served food I’d actually eat.
With more and more being taken away from economy on most airlines as premium cabins get the bulk of attention, it’s just nice to see an 18.5 inch wide economy seat (United and American offer many seats at just 17 inches wide) and with investment in the little touches that make all the difference in tight quarters over a long flight.
Most of the attention at the unveiling event was on the premium cabins, but a willingness to invest where most people sit is something I think Singapore Airlines ought to be shouting from the rooftops.