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Old 2nd January 2019, 04:52 PM   #1
SQueeze
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Default SQ Suites old and new - a recent reflection

SQ Suites: old and new - a recent reflection

Itís been quite a long while since we travelled SQ Suites (some 3-4 years). We have been somewhat been quite happy with business class and that too we traveled the Ďadventurousí airlines like Saudia, Air Astana, etc.

But we missed SQ and especially we were chasing the New Suites! So we booked some saver seats of the older Suites in late 2017 prior to devaluation. As luck has it, we managed to have the New Suites confirmed when they upgraded the A380 on one of London routes. Those days, CDG and LHR were easy to secure on the older A380s. I believe these days, much harder. Not sure when will be our next Suites trip again.

I was not intending to cover the old Suites because I thought many had done it before and everyone is familiar with it. However, I was still quite blown away by it that I feel that I should share the same. While the hardware is still good in many ways (except the IFE), I feel SQ has upgraded their meals too and I was really blown away by it.

Part 1: SQ336 (SIN-CDG)
Aircraft: A380-800
Registration: 9V-SKR
Class: First
Seat: 2D
Load: 4/12

They are still wonderfully maintained and other than the colour which does make it feel a little out of trend (it was in trend in early 2000s), everything is still spotless.



So they tried to upgrade the upholstery relatively recently but I think this is done in quite a poor taste. The original designer would have freaked out learning of this. The earlier milk tea brown beige was so much better looking than this depressing colour. This colour would have been picked by an operations guy. Stain and scratches will not be obvious. Sorry, canít help but nag, my profession is a constant battle and argument concerning similar issues.



The crew was Super awesome. It reminded me again what made this beyond First Class.

It started with champagne. My preference is always the Krug.



And then a supper service which blew me away. It was spectacular visually (SQís previous weakness) and also the taste. I picked mostly Matthew Moranís selection.



The starter was smoked duck breast with a fruity jelly which was so balanced and complex. Jerusalem artichoke added a tangy zinc into the sweetness of the others. It was beautifully plated too and looked very modern.



There was no traditional caviar service for this supper service but they served this beautiful plate of caviar on a perfectly cooked al dente angel hair and sprinkled with a beautifully aromatic nutty oil. It was a new combination and it was a wonderful surprise.



Next was ricotta-filled gnocchi in thick pumpkin chestnut veloute. Also wonderful and a creative combination of flavours.

]

The main course was seabass (perfectly moist) on a bed wakame. Very modern and creative and an east-meets-west dish. I only wish may be a little more sauce would have been better.



The last course was dessert, which was probably the weakest, but I was too satisfied with the rest I can overlook this one.



Bed was swiftly made and in no time, we were going to sleep in our pad. Looking around, I think everything is perfect, except that the IFE screen seems to be super tiny and slow.....



And door shut closed

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Old 2nd January 2019, 04:59 PM   #2
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Next morning breakfast was wonderful too. I have seen these before but it was still very good.





Waffle stack



and lots and lots of Blue Mountain coffee



Overall, it was a fulfilling flight with still a good hardware which is still ahead of many competitors. The food was one notch higher than I expected from SQ. And the crew was six star as usual. It was a perfect start to a holiday.



Part 2: SQ317 (LHR-SIN)
Aircraft: A380-800
Registration: 9V-SKU
Class: First
Seat: 1A
Load: 6/6


The return journey was the most anticipated one of the year. SQ317, scheduled to be operated by the New Suites.

SQ and all Star Alliance Airlines now depart from Terminal 2



First class check in was empty while business class were quite full.



During the check in, I was offered a buggy (something new to me but then I hardly flew F ex-LHR and the last time was in 2013). They gave me a detailed instruction but it was still not clear because there was no map given. Just a description, go down one level, near the kidís play area. The buggy will be waiting.

So we went down, and hanged around the kidís area. There was a buggy station for passengers with special needs. Like this one.



That was so weird, so I queued up the counter, and I was almost embarrassed when the CSO said this was not for me. Our buggy should be waiting at the side, not quite visible, in the walkway nearby.

So I turned around, walked a few metres, and quite hidden from sight was our buggy, already waiting. Phew. What a task. We almost gave up this service.

The buggy was an amazing smooth ride through the endless tunnel of T2 to the satellite wing. It even went up the elevator.



And we were dropped in the quite-ordinary Silver Kris Lounge which was newly renovated but in a boring way. Comparing it to the AC or UA lounges nearby.

But then this is First Class Lounge so it was quiet and felt exclusive.



The food was just so so. We were craving for home food after 2.5 weeks travel in Turkey, France, and Morocco so we settled for these. But their tastes were not quite the same.



Upkeep was not perfect either - for a first class lounge, I expected spotless.



Anyway, we didnít spend much time there before we headed to board. Where boarding had commenced and the Gate was quite chaotic. It was going to be a full flight. SQ317 is definitely one of the more popular departures for SQ.

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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:12 PM   #3
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First view of the big bird that would fly us home that day 9V-SKU, the first A380 with the new interiors. Boarding would be to the upper deck



The entrance was awkwardly through the galley (literally through it). Before we entered the single-aisle cabin. They should have made it an experience by boarding by stairs below and make the galley entry as second option for those who need.



Seated at my seat which is a swivel chair, from where I can directly look into my neighbour across the aisle. Oops



I had never been this excited since quite awhile, so time to pose. The space is so huge like a small office.



The first impression was however not that spectacular. Somewhat the cabin was not that impressive in daylight hours. I like contemporary minimalist sophisticated luxe approach and I believe this is the direction to go but I think the designer should have done mock up both during daylight and evening hours to see how they materials respond accordingly.

The veneer is patchy and the grain is not consistent. So I am sure a lot of people will remark if those are stains or designs.



The carpet is nice.

]

And this is the seat. It does not look comfortable but it is superb. Definitely a great improvement over any previous versions. I could sit there for hours. I only wish it were slightly wider so it feels more like a comfortable lounge chair. The Etihad apartment seat has a better width in my opinion but theirs is not as comfortable.



Next is checking all the compartments of which there are plenty although I think quite a few of them are not quite reachable unless you got out of your seat.






For example, the magazine rack is beyond my reach while sitting. But all these are small minor issues. There is a trade off to an expanded suite compared to a compact design.




Amenity kit is in one of it. Very nice packaging. Forgot to take out and share the contents.



Near the door, is a cabinet for coats and jackets. With a substantially-sized mirror.

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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:20 PM   #4
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And window shades are electronically operated and itís a cool feature. I actually like the sound of it.



This is the IFE control, itís detachable. And the interface is fast, intuitive, and superb. Definitely no confusion like during the 2013 upgrade.



There is a smaller monitor for this particular seat more for safety demonstration purpose on the forward wall.



Then it was take off.



And service started with Krug. As the cabin was dimmed, the space became more beautiful.



Browsing through the menu. I think this SQ had not renewed since decades? I think itís been the same since I first took their F class on the 744 in 2009.








Lunch started with the obligatory satay, an SQ classic and a must have.



Followed by my favourite full caviar service and shot of chilled vodka.



Followed by a yummy cream it chickpea soup.



And the hearty goat cheese salad.

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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:25 PM   #5
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My main was herb crusted lamb loin which was just ok. It was nothing compared to the catering ex-SIN which was very Creative and fresh and moist. This dish also needed a bit more sauce.



And meal was ended with the tarte au citron.



Reflection on the menu: seen it, tasted it before. It was ok. I had so much higher expectation after the outbound flight.

Then time for tea. It would be nice if there is a proper tea service with pot.



Before I checked out the impressive toilet. One is bigger than the other. With a very comfortable dressing table.



A coat hanger? I wonder for that? There is no shower there (which is also a pity)



And WC with its beautiful lid.



This is the smaller toilet, which also has a bench in front of the mirror.



More props inside the bench. Sorry, SQ, I was too curious.



When I returned, the bed has been beautiful set up. And no words would ever do justice to how great it felt. The fabric was Super soft. This was truly the highlight of the new Suites.



The two screens were right in front. Which I find quite a problem as essentially you are watching your and your partner’s show at the same time. But can’t think of any other better design with a double bed set up.



But while watching in seated mode, you don't see the other screen. The IFE screen is satisfyingly huge.

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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:27 PM   #6
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I was then dozing in and out through this day flight in darkness until breakfast time.

It was nothing of the ordinary. We have seen these before.

Fruit platter.



Muesli.



And then what I have been looking forward to after 1 month plus away from my regular jaunts to India - Masala dosa.



Alas unfortunately, it didnít taste up to the mark. It was dry...

Before Long, we touched down smoothly at Changi just Pre-dawn.

Reflection: the new Suites was definitely superior than the old however the old one was still an amazing product ahead of its competitors. Now, everyone is raving about the New Suites but we should not forget the earlier game-changer which is still worth trying out for. My favourite feature of the new Suites is the fabric (number one) and the IFE screen. I hope SQ could up their game in the catering department. SQ service is still TOP notch even in a full cabin like the inbound journey.
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Old 7th January 2019, 08:33 PM   #7
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Thanks for the TR, SQueeze! Very nice pics and a fascinating comparison of old and new Suites. I've never tried old Suites, but based on your TR it still looks like a great product.

If you had the choice of new or old Suites for a future trip, would you go out of your way to fly new Suites, or do you see old Suites as being comparable (or at least acceptable)?

Sounds like you found the catering onboard quite variable...your standards for inflight catering are pretty high! I am surprised something like Indian masala dosa on your return leg would not meet expectations, since spicy cuisines like Indian cuisine normally do very well onboard planes. On the other hand, even on the ground, dosas need to be made fresh (No self-respecting Indian restaurant on the ground would serve you a non-freshly made dosa), so maybe the nature of the dish makes it difficult to do right onboard a plane.

That pic of the double bed in the new Suites looks amazing!

And thanks for solving the mystery of where those stools for companion dining are stored onboard the new A380s. I would never have thought of lifting the cushion cover of the Suites bathroom bench!

Thanks again for the TR!
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Old 8th January 2019, 04:15 AM   #8
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Great TR, SQueeze. I really enjoyed the comparison between the new and old Suites. The purple mood lighting on most newly delivered aircraft is a nice touch.

It almost looks like a mini-hotel with a large flat screen TV. The electronic window shades look like a great touch, similar to what EK has on their Suites classes on different aircraft.

I could tell you had an enjoyable flight.
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Old 17th January 2019, 04:59 PM   #9
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What a delightful comparison report! Thank you for sharing!
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Old 30th March 2019, 07:52 PM   #10
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Wonderful report and lovely photos! I am very jealous.
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Old 30th April 2019, 01:31 AM   #11
Buster CT1K
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Thanks for the great report!
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