Review: SQ IAH-MAN Business

Date: Wednesday October 18
Flight: 51
Aircraft: A350-900
Origin: IAH
Destination: MAN
Seat: 11K Business
Scheduled Push Back: 7:10 PM
Actual Push Back: 7:03 PM

I was pretty excited for this trip. I’ve flown Singapore Airlines once in First Class from HKG-SFO. However, I wasn’t feeling well and didn’t take in the whole experience. I was also pretty excited to fly on the A350 for the first time. While the A350 doesn’t feature First Class, Singapore Business class is industry leading.

I walked over from the American Express Centurion lounge located a few gates away and followed the cardboard cut out of the Singapore Girl.

There were several seating areas at the gate. One area was reserved for Business Class passengers. One for Star Alliance Gold and Premium Economy. The other for Economy. Upon showing my mobile boarding pass, I was told I needed to get a paper print out from the desk. It seems even though Singapore issues a mobile boarding pass, it’s not used by airport staff.

Singapore Airlines doesn’t have their own lounge in Houston and “invites” premium passengers to use the United Club. That must be an experience for seasoned Singapore Airlines fliers who aren’t familiar with US carrier lounges.

At 6:40 PM boarding started. Even though my boarding pass was listed as Group 2, we were the first group to board after the standard pre-boarding. I boarded through door 2L and was greeted by a Singapore Girl who directed me to my seat. The seat is large and contained a pillow, slippers, socks, and noise canceling headphones.

To the left of the seat was the seat controls and lighting switches.

On the right hand side was the headphone compartment, power, entertainment controls, and multi-media ports. I find it odd that for a new plane they have the iPod S-Video type connection.

The entertainment console was large and crisp. The seat also provided ample leg room.

During boarding, flight attendants came around to offer Champagne or orange juice, newspapers or magazines, and a hot towel.

Singapore doesn’t offer pajamas or amenity kits in business class. While I understand the no amenity kit as these items are provided in the lavatory, the no pajamas is definitely something they should add. The lavatory had any amenity you would normally find in a kit. As a side note, I would be pretty upset if some guy decided to shave during the fight.

Singapore Airlines offers “book the cook” where you can pre-order your meal in advance. I went with the 6oz beef tenderloin. However, a menu was provided and is extensive.

Singapore also has an extensive beverage selection of Champagne, wine, cocktails, mocktails, soda, juices, and coffee/espresso.

We pushed back from the gate a few minutes early, and took off at 7:17 PM. The seatbelt sign was turned off at 7:24 PM. Since pajamas aren’t offered, I changed into some shorts and browsed the entertainment system before the service began.

Before the flight took off the flight attendants took drink orders which were served shortly after departure along with warm nuts. The flight attendants always addressed me by name and would kneel down when talking with me.

The tray table was set and the salmon appetizer was served.

My main course of beef tenderloin was then served. The beef was cooked perfectly and not overdone, and the plantains were sweet. The vegetables were a bit bland but passable.

The flight attendants came around with dessert which consisted of blueberry cheesecake, vanilla ice cream, and a cheese course. Chocolates were also handed out. Doing the diet thing, I passed on that.

After having a cup of tea, I turned down the seat into a bed. Unlike most airlines, Singapore Airlines seats don’t recline into lay flat mode. The seat reclines a little bit, but flips down to become a bed. When I flew first class the cabin crew did this for me upon request. It seems in business it’s more of a self serve operation.

Flight attendants also distributed bottled water and hotel towels after the service.

About 2 hours prior to landing a flight attendant took my breakfast order. I decided to go with the noodle dish. My tray was set and I started with fruit and muesli (other options other than muesli were cereal, and yogurt which US carriers would consider a standalone meal).

Next up was the main dish of noodles with chicken.

Upon landing I saw a decent amount of United, and American Airlines aircraft. My phone connected to T-Mobile. Our gate was taken and we needed to wait 20 minutes. So just like any other landing.

Survey Says

Singapore Airlines is fantastic. The service was so smooth and polished. Nothing was served on trays. Everything was placed right on your tray table. All the crew was very friendly and always smiled when speaking with you. Everything about this airline is premium. Even the equal packets are specially packages for Singapore Airlines.

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