Singapore Airlines' new A380 business class seats with double bed

By David Flynn, November 2 2017

Singapore Airlines has opted for measured evolution rather than radical revolution with its new Airbus A380 business class seats, but with a twist: some middle seats can convert into a double bed, in keeping with the airline's new 'space made personal' marketing mantra.

The second-gen superjumbo seats – revealed at an international launch held today at Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre, alongside new first class suites – are a fresh product from JPA Design, which also created the airline's Boeing 777-300ER business class cribs launched in July 2013, which also appears on its Airbus A350 jets.

SQ's A380 'business class 2.0' seats are 25 inches wide (three inches less than their Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 counterparts) and well-appointed, albeit with a lighter and slightly more contemporary colour scheme.

Singapore Airlines has retained the familiar forward-facing layout and 1-2-1 configuration, with a similar degree of 'personal space' plus an extended seat shell for privacy and a slide-down divider between middle seats.

However, the position of the paired centre seats has been swapped around so that in the A380 the passengers are sitting closer together, away from the aisle – the current seats have passengers nearest to the aisle.

Travellers can extend the seat into what SQ terms Lazy Z and Sundeck positions for relaxing before reclining the seat into fully-flat bed mode, which gives you 78 inches (1.98 metres) of snooze space from head to heel.

The middle seats directly behind each of the business class cabin's three bulkhead rows can convert into a double bed – those are 11D/F, 91D/F and 96D/F – although Singapore Airlines says it doesn't expect these to sell at any premium over the rest of the cabin.

There's room enough under the seat to stow your carry-on bag, and find ample space around the seat for getting work done above the clouds, plus nooks for items such as laptops and tablets, smartphones, books and reading glasses.

Of course, each passenger gets a pair of AC and high-powered USB sockets to keep their tech charged up en route, and an 18 inch HD screen for chilling out to the airline's KrisWorld inflight entertainment system.

Travellers can even choose their mix of inflight movies, TV shows and music before they fly, using a smartphone or tablet app which lets them select content from the current KrisWorld catalogue for their flight and then sync that list against your seat over the A380's WiFi system.

(You can also use your Apple or Android device as a remote control for the IFE and call up real-time information on your flight path.)

Other creature comforts include a height-adjustable table which swings up and out from the side console, a personal vanity mirror and a cocktail tray.

These could also be the seats we'll see in SQ's long-range Airbus A350-900ULR jets which will restart direct flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and New York in 2018, in what some pundits expect to have a two-class configuration alongside SQ's premium economy seats.

Same space, more seats

Singapore Airlines' new and upgraded Airbus A380s will sport 78 business class seats, running from directly behind the six-suite first class cabin – which has been relocated from the lower deck to upstairs – to the aircraft's tail, allowing Singapore Airlines to create a 'premium' upper deck dedicated to its highest-paying passengers.

The business class cabin is divided into three sections 50 seats, 20 seats and just eight seats.

Interestingly, all of those 78 seats fit into the same floorspace as 66 seats in the airline's current A380s (counting from the first upper deck exit row, ahead of which now sits first class).

This is evidence of a more space-efficient design for the new seats compared to the first-gen business class benches, even though both list as having 55 inches of pitch.

However, the airline has not opted for any form of social space – similar perhaps to what Qantas plans to do for its own Airbus A380 fleet – nor of course an inflight bar a là EtihadEmirates and Qatar Airways. 

Singapore Airlines will begin flying its new business class seats daily on the Airbus A380 between Singapore and Sydney (SQ221/SQ232) from December 18 2017, with selected Singapore-London services tipped to follow from March 2018.

David Flynn travelled to Singapore as a guest of Singapore Airlines.

David

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.

russell

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 327

A double bed with zero privacy is a bit confronting.

SteveCF

SteveCF

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 171

Yeah I agree Russell, I don't think it makes sense, you really want a bit more privacy than that.

Paully

Paully

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 23

Forget the in flight movie - i'll watch the two in the double bed next to me thanks :-)

MikeAir

MikeAir

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

14 Jul 2017

Total posts 13

Only for those of us sitting around you Russel.

Upton99

Upton99

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2017

Total posts 1

Walking past sleeping couples could be awkward. I would have preferred an onboard bar. Mingle and have a chat with others

Fothamickelburg Banned

Fothamickelburg Banned

06 Mar 2017

Total posts 3

What better way to join the mile high club!?

xtfer

xtfer

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 127

I can think of several that I would prefer, over "in the middle of the cabin".

tomJ

tomJ

02 Nov 2017

Total posts 35

Now cheaper than ever!

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

I'd prefer doing so in SQ's new Suites Class bathrooms, personally. But each to their own!

autvlr

autvlr

12 Apr 2011

Total posts 70

Some tricky “artwork”. I assume the seats are angled (herringbone) when flat so your “double bed” isn’t really a side by side bed.

Any idea who is the manufacturer of the seat?

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@autvlr:

"Any idea who is the manufacturer of the seat?"

The infamous Zodiac......that's right, the OEM that's largely responsible for the 350 delivery delays over the past 2yrs....

LP

LP

30 Jun 2016

Total posts 44

Doubles only at bulkhead...

jubbing

jubbing

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 217

While the spacing looks great, and I'm sure it's super comfy - they (ironically) went and made the color scheme TOO subtle. Etihad's FCA still looks nicer with the finishes.

aparasher

aparasher

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 7

Would have been great if the partition between seats could have slid down. It would be useful especially when travelling with kids.

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Those seats look atrociously sexy. And yes there will be privacy dividers so no one needs to worry about being double-bedded with someone they don't know.


This new seat is higher-density, higher-amenity, and okay its a touch narrower but 25" wide is still damn generous. It'll be an excellent seat on SQ's aircraft. Now all they need to do is start considering the issue of cross-fleet product consistency.

BrisbanePE

BrisbanePE

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 31

Must admit I don't need to be that close to my partner on a long haul flight. Conversely I'd prefer to be somewhat further away from a complete stranger.

rambler

rambler

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 25

BrisbanePE That depends on who the stranger is.

davidould

davidould

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Dec 2016

Total posts 1

"BrisbanePE That depends on who the stranger is."

Heh. I suspect there is an inverse relationship between how close you want to be to that stranger and how close they want to be to you. ;)

mcglynp

mcglynp

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jan 2016

Total posts 61

Are the IFE changes allowing you to pre-select and sync entertainment by wifi applicable for all classes or will this be a business and first only feature?

timster

timster

04 May 2016

Total posts 34

One wonders if there will be an airline policy around who is allowed to share a bed ? Singapore is not exactly renowned as the most 'inclusive' of countries.

BLAMEX

BLAMEX

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2017

Total posts 63

QF take note. So disjointed that QF did not use the 787 as an opportunity to have a product that will be the market leader rather than playing catch up. Further the IFE QF offers in respect to range is limited compared with SQ CX etc. I would rather spend 17 hours on this SQ product than QF. One disapointed Platnum 1 customer.

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

If you're a QF Platinum 1, then you're already giving QF enough money as it is without them having to introduce a world-beating product. So you aren't going to give QF an incentive to change unless you shift entirely to SQ.

FLX1

FLX1

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@BLAMEX:

"QF did not use the 787 as an opportunity to have a product that will be the market leader rather than playing catch up."

But neither is SQ with their brand new premium seat products:

1. Based on objective measures such as design layout+specs+features, this new J hardware fm SQ is hardly the market leader(unless we count the convertible double-bed feature which delivers zero privacy) today....DL One is.

2. The F suite is larger than EY Apartment but still far far behind EY Residence.

"One disapointed Platnum 1 customer."

Your own FFP membership status(and many others like U) is exactly the evidence which shows the QF strategy to rely more on FFP program than on premium product innovation can deliver more biz @ least fm QF's home mkt.....

plad

plad

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

16 Jun 2017

Total posts 35

I don't like those seats. They are too narrow. They look similar width to the terrible seats on their A330-300. What was the problem with the old J seats?

LachlanSturt

LachlanSturt

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Apr 2014

Total posts 4

I'm not sure why Singapore opted for a new seat, the 777/A350 product is sensational. This new seat looks cheap and claustrophobic. That privacy divider is honestly one of the poorest designs in modern J cabins that I have seen!

Cheap, nasty, and squishy. No thank you, I'll stick to QF/CX.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1133

The seat shell does look quite plasticky in the PR photos.

Goat Guy

Goat Guy

03 May 2017

Total posts 5

Sorry, I think the current SQ J seat is poor and I was in one last night and I'll be in another tomorrow night. Tight on legroom and the fact you can't go from recline to lie flat without a lot of mucking about explains why they changed. Interestingly there are no photos I have seen about how the bed works aside from the double. Without the offset you'd imagine you'd need to lie at an angle. I can't understand why the window seats have all that hardware between you and the window rather than the aisle which would create more privacy and allow you a better view out.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1133

Hmm as much as I love SQ I don't think this has a patch on QR's new Qsuite.

Agfox

Agfox

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 99

"new business class seats" link produces a 'Page not found' error

Agfox

Agfox

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 99

Sorry, I thought I was posting that comment in the First Class article : post fail!

sra35

sra35

QF

02 Oct 2012

Total posts 38

I love shiny new toys and can’t wait to see it in the flesh. David when will you get to see the real thing?

MacDaddy

MacDaddy

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Nov 2017

Total posts 5

I don't buy it. At the end of the day, they've stuck 11 rows in the main cabin where there used to be 10 and 2 at the rear where there was one which means they must have (re)moved the rear toilets. And it looks like you still have to faff around to make the bed with the awful handle pull that baffles everyone the first couple of times. Major upgrade on Suites, not so much on Business

Arza

Arza

Dragonair - The Marco Polo Club

10 May 2015

Total posts 7

The footwell of the new seat is still extremely small and still functions as a bed only if you lie on it on an angle. The bed is almost a short zigzag!

Travelwell

Travelwell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 76

I'd love to book 2 business seats just to sleep in the double bed solo. Probably cheaper than first but probably to the sneer of fellow passengers.

Russjking

Russjking

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

Oh no! The old wide seat with a separate fold-down bed beat anything else up there for comfort.

This doesn't seem to do that.

eric0913

eric0913

03 Nov 2017

Total posts 1

The cost reduction product, the end of SQ legend.

Clancy

Clancy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 55

Fully flat, but angled, what? No thanks...!!! I gave this up on a QF flight from LAX to SYD on an older 747 some years ago. Flat should be flat, not sloping, curved or any 'alternate position'. The feeling of slowly sliding off the 'flat bed' while trying to sleep is not great, actually it's really uncomfortable. But wait, that is why SQ has the narrow foot well, as a brake., to halt progression into the darkness...

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2336

You sleep fully flat but your body is lying at an angle, not straight down the seat.


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