Last summer, I enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Singapore and the Indonesian islands of Java & Bali. You can read my reviews here:
- Review: Singapore Airlines A380 new First Class suite London to Singapore
- Review: Marina Bay Sands Hotel (Singapore)
- Review: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
- Review: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Ubud (Bali)
- Review: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ubud (Bali)
- Review: Amanjiwo, Borobudur (Java)
- Review: Amandari, Ubud (Bali)
- Review: Amankila (Bali)
- Review: Banyan Tree Ungasan, Uluwatu (Bali)
- Review: Bulgari Bali Resort (Bali)
- Review: Anantara Uluwatu (Bali)
- Review: Singapore Airlines B787 Dreamliner Business Class Bali to Singapore (today)
- Review: Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Singapore to London
Today (October 16, 2018): Review of Singapore Airlines’ B787 Dreamliner Business Class from Bali to Singapore.
On July 27th 2018, I flew Business Class in a brand new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner of Singapore Airlines (SQ) from Bali Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). Last March, SQ was the world’s first airline to take delivery of Boeing’s newest aircraft Dreamliner variant, the B787-10. With 49 firm orders, SQ is set to become the largest customer for the 787-10. SQ’s low-cost subsidiary Scoot is already an operator of both B787-8s and B787-9s, making SQ the first airline group in the world to operate all three variants of Boeing’s Dreamliner family of aircraft. SQ has installed a new type of regional Business Class layout and seat on its Dreamliner fleet, which I found to be very comfortable and definitely a step up from it subpar A330 Business Class product. SQ’s B787-10s are used for flights up to eight hours, with current destinations including Osaka, Perth, Bali, Bangkok, Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City.
SQ features in my top 10 lists of the best airlines for longhaul Business Class, the best airlines for longhaul First Class, the most luxurious A380 First Class products, the world’s best airlines for in-flight meals, and the best First Class amenity kits.
Have you ever flown SQ’s B787 Business Class? What was your experience? Leave a comment below.
- Trip: Bali (DEN) to Singapore (SIN)
- Airline: Singapore Airlines (SQ)
- Aircraft type: Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
- Aircraft registration number: 9V-SCF
- Flight Number: SQ943
- Date: July 27, 208
- On time departure: yes (1.30 pm)
- On time arrival: yes (4 pm)
- Miles: 1040
- Flight time: 2 hours & 30 minutes
- Seat: 19A
- Class: Business
In this review (more information & photos below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Cost of my ticket
- Premier Lounge at Bali Airport
- Facts & figures about SQ’s B787
- Business Class cabin
- Business Class seat (+ best & worst seats)
- Onboard internet
- Other inflight experiences (views, crew, lavatory)
- My verdict (score)
1. COST OF MY TICKET
I paid 17,500 KrisFleyer miles + $21 SGD (Singaporian dollar) for the one way journey from Bali to Singapore. KrisFlyer is the frequent flyer program of SQ.
2. PREMIER LOUNGE AT BALI AIRPORT
Since SQ doesn’t have its own lounge at Bali Airport, its Business Class passengers as wells as elite members of its frequent flyer program have access to the Premier Lounge, which is a contract lounge used by many other airlines as well (e.g. Air New Zealand, Air Niugini, Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, EVA Air, HongKong Airlines, Jetstar, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, NAM Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei, SilkAir, Singapore Airlines, Sriwijaya Air, and Thai Airways). The Premier Lounge is one of only three lounges within the international terminal (the other two being T/G and Garuda). All three lounges are located next to each other on a mezzanine level above the main departure hall.
The Premier Lounge is basically a large room comprising several seating areas that are spread around three wood beams. There are several types of seat to choose from, ranging from basic chairs to red circular sectional sofas. One side of the lounge features floor-to-ceiling windows offering a view of the interior of the departure hall. Since the lounge opened less than 3 years ago, the interior is still fairly new looking, although the design – mixing modern elements with traditional Balinese artefacts – is a little tacky IMHO and there are several sign of tear and wear. Two buffet stations take center stage at the lounge, offering a decent but otherwise unremarkable selection of cold and hot items (including both Western and Asian dishes). There’s also a bar where you can order the ‘special of the day’. Other facilities at the lounge include a business center, a meeting room, a kid’s room, and showers. The only real issue I had the with the lounge (apart from its rather unattractive decor and uninspiring food) is that the place gets very crowded since it only offers a limited amount of seats for number of airlines (and passengers) it serves.
3. FACTS & FIGURES ABOUT SQ’S B787
- The B787-10 is constructed using lightweight composite materials.
- Its length of 68 m (223 ft) makes the B787-10 the longest variant of the Boeing Dreamliner family of aircraft.
- The plane uses 25% less fuel per passenger compared to other, older aircraft of similar size.
- The B787-10 is 8 decibels quieter during departure and takeoff compared to other aircraft.
- The B787-10’s unique Smoother Ride Technology features “smart sensors” that detect turbulence and are designed to reduce motion sickness eightfold.
- The B787-10’s flight range is 7500 mi (11910 km); that’s less than the B787-9 variant, which has a flight range of 8786 mi (or 14140 km).
4. BUSINESS CLASS CABIN
The Boeing 787-10 features SQ’s new regional cabin product, configured with 337 seats in two classes: 36 lie-flat seats in Business Class and 301 recliner seats in Economy Class. All 36 Business Class seats are located in one large cabin and are arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 layout, spread over 9 rows. Each seat faces forward, has direct aisle access, and is located within a large, curved, silver-grey shell, providing complete privacy for all passengers. There are two alternating row layouts:
- The layout in rows 12, 15, 17 and 19 sees the passengers in seats A and K located directly next to the window, with a large console between them and the aisle. In these rows, the middle seats D and F are separated from each other by a large compartment in the plane’s center, formed by the consoles of both seats.
- The layout in rows 11, 14, 16, 18 and 20 differs regarding the location of the seat console. The console in window seats A and K is located next to the window, so passengers here are seated more along the aisle than the window (with the views partly obscured because of the console). In these rows, the middle seats D and F are next to one another with both consoles located on the aisle side, turning these seats into a private mini-suite that is perfect for couples or friends traveling together (adjustable dividers can be raised if you are seated next to a stranger though).
The regional Business Class product onboard SQ’s B787 is a huge improvement compared to what is offered on the carrier’s fleet of regionally configured Airbus A330s (which I reviewed here). The later comprises 30 Business Class seats per aircraft, arranged in five rows with a standard 2-2-2 configuration (meaning that not al passengers have direct aisle access). So if you have a choice, always make sure that you are booked on a B787 for one of SQ’s intra-Asian flights, especially on routes where SQ operates multiple aircraft types (such as the Bali to/from Singapore route).
Click here for a seat map of SQ’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
5. BUSINESS CLASS SEATS (+ BEST & WORST SEATS)
I had selected seat 19A for the 2,5 hour flight to Singapore.
Manufactured by Stelia Aerospace, SQ’s B787-10 regional Business Class seat has a generous pitch of 44 inch (111 cm) but is only 22 inch (56 cm) wide, so it may feel a little tight if you are a ‘passenger of size’. Fortunately, the seat width can be increased to a more comfortable 26 inch (or 66 cm) when you lower the retractable armrests.
Each seat is located within a curved shell, whose inner side is covered in soft Alcantara padding with a quilted pattern, a material frequently used to fit the interiors of sport cars. Not only does this design element add a touch of luxury to the seat, it also absorbs the plane’s sounds, hereby reducing the overall levels of cabin noise and enhancing a ‘cocoon’ effect. A light panel is located within the shell at eye-level, comprising 3 LED spot beams that are angled to illuminate different parts of the seat.
Each seat has a large console on the side. The console’s upper part holds a small storage cabinet, a concealed mirror, and a business panel with in-seat power supply and USB ports. The console’s lower part features a cocktail table doubling as a working surface, a control panel for the seat’s lighting and position, and a handset for the inflight entertainment. As explained above, the location of the console differs from seat to seat, with some seats having the console on their aisle side while others have the console on the window side or along the plane’s centerline. The seats with the console on the aisle side are the most private ones, but less accessible because the gap between the console and the seat in front is quite narrow.
Each Business Class seat comes with a 18 inch full high-definition touchscreen monitor. A large tray table is hidden under the TV screen, and needs to be pulled out and folded open for any use. Below the TV screen is also a generously spaced foot cubby, with some storage space underneath. This ottoman becomes part of the bed when the seat is reclined into its fully flat position, and although the bed is quite narrow, its length of 76 inches (190 cm) is more than adequate, even for tall passengers.
What are the best Business Class seats on SQ’s B787? Click here for a seat map.
- Solo travelers should go for one of the window seats (A and K). The seats with the cabinet on the aisle side are the most private ones since they are somewhat sheltered from the cabin. These seats are located in rows 12, 15, 17 and 19.
- The dual and more intimate seats in the center of the cabin (D and E) which have their consoles on the aisle side are perfect for partners traveling together. These ‘honeymoon seats’ are located in rows 11, 14, 16, 18 and 20.
- The bulkhead seats in row 11 not only feature more leg room, but they also have extra space next to the TV screen which can be used as either a bassinet or storage area.
What are the worst Business Class seats on SQ’s B787? Click here for a seat map.
- If you are ‘passenger of size’, I suggest to avoid the seats with the console on the aisle side because of the narrow gap between the cabinet and the seat in front (wich may prove a real challenge to access the seat).
- Solo travelers should avoid the honeymoon seats in the plane’s center, although an adjustable divider can be raised for complete privacy if you are seated next to a stranger.
- Passengers seated in row 11 and 20 may occasionally suffer from noise from the lavatories and galley.
- Seats 16A and 16K have no window and are thus best avoided.
Passengers traveling on SQ’s regional Business Class receive the following amenities:
- A high-quality blanket
- A stylish, colorful pillow
- Noise canceling headphones (to block the noise from the engines and cabin); you cannot take these home as the headphones can only be powered within an aircraft.
- An amenity kit is not provided. Penhaligon toiletries (e.g. hand lotion, facial mist and fragrance) are available though in the lavatories in case you would need them.
A light lunch was offered during this 2,5 hour flight. Due to the short duration of the flight, the different meal courses were served all at once on one tray. The menu read as follows:
- Appetizer: marinated prawns with lime pepper vinaigrette and papaya asian slaw salad.
- Main course: seared salmon fillet in tomato black olive vinaigrette with lentil carrot stew and squash.
- Dessert: kue mutiara, indonesian jackfruit sago coconut pudding.
IMHO, the food was decent but not great.
Each seat features an 18 inch, high-resolution touchscreen monitor which can also be controlled by a handset located in the seat’s console. SQ’s inflight entertainment system, called KrisWorld, features more than 1800 on demand options including tons of movies, television programmes, music, games and apps.
SQ also offers a Companion App that allows you to discover what is playing on KrisWorld even before you step onboard. Via the app, you can browse content pre-flight and place movies and TV shows in a folder that you can access on board by linking your smart phone to your tv screen. You simply need to download the free SingaporeAir mobile app from Google Play or App Store to enjoy this features.
9. ONBOARD INTERNET
WiFi is available on SQ’s B787-10 and of reasonable speed. To access the onboard internet, you need to enable WiFi on your smart phone, tablet or laptop, and connect to the ‘KrisWorld’ or ‘OnAir’ network. SQ offers 30 MB of complimentary data to Business Class passengers and members of its loyalty program. Once your data have been used, you have to pay, and unfortunately, the rates are on the high side and data limited:
- Basic (30 minutes; maximum of 30 MB data): $4.99 USD
- Standard (3 hours; maximum of 150 MB data): $12,99 USD
- Pro (entire flight; maximum of 500 MB data): $29.99 USD
10. OTHER INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES
#CREW: Dressed in her signature sarong kebaya, the female SQ flight attendant is the symbol of Asian hospitality recognised the world over. But besides being an iconic eyecatcher, SQ cabin crew – both male and female – are often regarded as the best in the industry, and with good reason. They address every customer by name and do all they can to make your flight as enjoyable as possible. The flight on this crew was great, but perhaps not as exceptional as the cabin crew I encountered during my First Class journey onbaord SQ’s new A380.
# TOILET: There are 2 bathrooms in the galley between the cockpit and the Business Class cabin. As mentioned above, the lavatories are stocked with Penhaligon toiletries (e.g. hand lotion, facial mist and fragrance).
# VIEWS: We enjoyed clear weather all the way from Bali to Singapore, affording sublime views of Indonesia’s majestic volcanic landscape.
11. MY VERDICT
- Premier lounge (Bali): 6/10
- Cabin design: 8/10
- Seat comfort (upright): 8/10
- Seat comfort (bed position): 8/10
- Food (quality): 8/10
- Food (quantity): 9/10
- Inflight entertainment : 9/10
- WiFi: 8/10
- Service: 10/10
- Overall experience: exceptional: 8,2/10