What's it like to fly with Singapore Airlines during the coronavirus?

As the Star Alliance member begins to bring back more flights, we detail the new Singapore Airlines travel experience.

By David Flynn, June 7 2020
What's it like to fly with Singapore Airlines during the coronavirus?

After seeing its extensive international network crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic and Singapore's ban on visitors and transit passengers alike, Singapore Airlines this week begins a gradual 'reboot' aimed to put more destinations back onto the map.

It's helped by the city-state's decision to once again permit travellers to transit through Changi Airport using special transit lanes and protocols to prevent them mingling with others who could potentially bring the coronavirus back into the country.

Meanwhile, a previously reported, discussions are now taking place between the Singapore and Australian governments on opening travel between the two countries without the need for a 14-day isolation period.

But what will it be like to fly with Singapore Airlines during the coronavirus era? Here's how the airline is reshaping its travel experience, based on the advice of medical experts, aviation regulators and feedback from passengers.

Before the flight...

In the lead-up to your Singapore Airlines flight, expect to receive an email containing an 'e-brochure' regarding health and safety measures applicable to all stages of your journey.

Business class and first class passengers and eligible frequent flyers visiting the airline's SilverKris airport lounges will see the buffet replaced by à la carte meals, with lounge staff wearing face masks all the time and gloves when necessary.

Also read: Singapore Airlines' new Changi T3 flagship lounges slowly take shape

Singapore Airlines says all its aircraft – along with those of siblings SilkAir and Scoot – now undergo "an enhanced cleaning process" before each flight, including "aircraft fogging procedures that follow regulatory requirements."

"Common surfaces and areas such as windows, tray tables, handsets, in-flight entertainment screens, lavatories and galleys are wiped down with an approved strong disinfectant. Headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets, and blankets are also washed and replaced after every flight." The airline also plans to trial an ultra-violet light cleaning procedure for lavatories.

During the flight...

Upon boarding, all passengers will be handed a special inflight amenity kit containing a surgical mask, anti-bacterial hand wipes and a hand sanitiser.

Also read: Amenity kits get the PPE treatment for a post-pandemic world

Cabin crew will wear face masks throughout the flight, don eye goggles when interacting with customers, and gloves during the meal service.

Those meals are also set for a shake-up "to reduce the risk of contact for both our customers and crew members," the airlines says.

No meals will be served on flights within South-East Asia or to mainland China, although passengers will be handed snack bags.

On longer flights, first class and business class meals will be served on a single tray consisting of an appetiser, main course and dessert.

But there's some good news: from the middle of June the airline plans to "progressively reintroduce" favourites such as its signature satay sticks.

The pre-ordering of meals, including the airline's popular Book The Cook service, has been suspended for all flights into Singapore, while flights departing Singapore to non-South East Asian destinations, with the exception of mainland China, "will support a limited Book The Cook menu option."

And while newspapers, magazines and seatback literature have been removed from aircraft, passengers can download digital editions of over 150 international newspapers and magazines through the Singapore Airlines app.

Over the next few months, that app will also allow passengers to place orders for food and print boarding passes and baggage tags at airport self-service kiosks. 

Also read: Flight of fancy – Singapore Airlines' Airbus A380 first class concepts revealed


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Air Canada - Aeroplan

19 Jul 2018

Total posts 17

Is wearing a mask required on board for customers?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 340

Yes is the simple answer

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

Masks are mandatory when outside in Singapore and most certainly at the airport. Penalties for non-compliance are draconian. Similar rules are in force in most other Asian countries, Japan being one of the few exceptions. I would reconsider travel until such time restrictions are relaxed.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 174

I hope the enhanced cleaning of the aircraft, pillows and blankets is here to stay, even after the pandemic passes.

For a space you spend hours upon hours in, knowing it's clean is paramount.

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