Trip Reports

Melbourne to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350 Business Class

Australia to Europe in comfort

After four years of delays, cancellations and reschedulings, in late November 2022 I finally got to head off to Europe with my family, the points redemption trip of a lifetime in Singapore Airlines’ Business class.

Flight 1 Details
AirlineVirgin Australia
Aircraft TypeBoeing 737-800
RouteHobart to Melbourne Tullamarine
Flight NumberVA1325

With a morning of last minute packing, and taxi hassles behind us, we arrived at Hobart Airport a little over an hour prior to departure and checked in for our short hop up to Melbourne.

VH-YQO at Hobart

Priority boarding was smooth, and shortly after settling into seat 2F the crew came around with pre-departure drinks, and took our meal orders while economy class boarded.

Climbing out from Hobart Airport

Our aircraft, a 2013 Boeing 737-800, VH-YQO, was fitted with VA’s standard business class seats, which, though comfortable, do feel a little tired, with the headrest on mine being a little dodgy.

The Business class cabin of VH-YQO

Pushback and take-off was uneventful, and following a noticeably slow and shallow climb out, lunch was served. I found the cold chicken and quinoa dish to be pretty filling, and more than adequate for the 60 minute hop up to Melbourne.

We arrived into Melbourne’s Terminal 3 slightly delayed, slipping into the line up of VA 737s, and after a lengthy wait for our checked bags, we made the short walk to Singapore Airlines check-in at Terminal 2.

Flight 2 Details
AirlineSingapore Airlines
Aircraft TypeAirbus A350-900
RouteMelbourne Tullamarine to Singapore Changi
Flight NumberSQ208

Singapore Airlines Business class check-in and bag drop was pretty speedy, and we were soon on our way through security and passport control. The International terminal was noticeably empty as we wandered round to the SilverKris Lounge, with many closed shops, and only a few gates in use.

The Lounge was also fairly empty, and while it doesn’t have the greatest of views, being located inside and downstairs, the overall environment isn’t too bad. There was a solid variety of drinks, meals, snacks and desserts available during our time there, especially for such a compact lounge, but I held off on in anticipation of the in-flight catering.

China Southern Boeing 787-9 B-1168 at Melbourne Tullamarine

As the lounge began to fill up a bit, we decided to head to our gate in the newer, airier pier of MEL’s Terminal 2. The plane spotting opportunities were pretty limited due to the thick, tinted glass, though it was nice to see the 787th Boeing 787 built, China Southern’s B-1168.

Boarding was a little slow, but heading down the left-hand airbridge was a treat in itself! The crew were incredibly friendly, and virtually the moment I sat down in the positively enormous, cocoon-like seat, I was offered an orange juice. My only qualm with the seat was the weirdly narrow armrests, which made them a little awkward to use.

The seat was very clean and scuff-free, and the addition of Christmas wreaths above the windows was a nice, festive touch. The A350’s windows and overhead bins are noticeably bigger than other widebodies, and the overall cabin styling is quite pleasant. This first flight was on one of SQ’s ‘regional’ configured A350s, and the next features an even more luxurious Business class seat.

Climbing out of Melbourne Tullamarine

Our pushback was a little delayed, which gave me the chance to flag down a crew member to get a set of headphones, as unfortunately they were missing from my seat, along with a menu and water bottle. This was quickly rectified, and the safety video was played as we taxied out past Terminal 1 and climbed out into the clouds.

Cruising over rural Australia

Shortly after levelling off, the crew offered with drinks and nuts, while and took dinner orders, while I got the hang of the seat controls and remarkably high quality noise-cancelling headphones.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the crew came round to set our tray tables, with metal cutlery and actual tablecloths! First offering a basket of hot bread rolls, I got a garlic bread, before the appetiser, Smoked Duck on Slaw with Mustard Dressing was brought out. For the main course, I selected the Gnocchi in Pesto with Baby Spinach, Pine nuts and Parmesan, and the Cookies and Cream Cheesecake. The crew were incredibly attentive throughout the dinner service, offering drinks between each course, and cheese and crackers after desert.

Each and every course was absolutely delicious, and after checking out the very clean, well stocked bathroom, I lowered my bed to the flat position and cozied up to watch a movie. Being just shy of 190cm tall, I found the foot nook of the bed a little cramped, but comfy overall, although I didn’t end up sleeping. I ordered a hot milo around half-way through the flight, which, beyond almost burning my tongue off, was fairly nice.

Around two hours prior to our arrival into Singapore a refreshment was offered to passengers who were still awake, and I went with the Penne Pasta with Chorizo Sausages and Bacon, which was just as enjoyable as the first meal.

Refreshment onboard SQ208

Our approach and descent into Singapore Changi was uneventful, although, a few seconds into our very long taxi to the terminal, the windows completely fogged up, preventing any plane spotting.

Flight 3 Details
AirlineSingapore Airlines
Aircraft TypeAirbus A350-900
RouteSingapore Changi to Frankfurt Rhein-Main
Flight NumberSQ326

We disembarked and made our way to the Aerotel airside transit hotel in Terminal 1 for a few hours sleep. The room wasn’t too bad, and I was far too tired to be bothered by the lack of windows. After a few hours sleep we were back up and on our way to enjoy the incredible SilverKris lounge for breakfast.

While the continental breakfast options were a little limited, the lounge itself was amazing, and with a huge variety of seating, I picked a spot nearer the entrance, with an acceptable runway view, allowing me to spot a few aircraft while I ate.

After filling up on lounge food we made our way to gate B7 to prepare to board long-haul configured Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 9V-SMT for flight SQ326 to Frankfurt Main Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt Main auf Deutsche). Boarding was called fairly promptly, however not before the repetitive screech of the gate agents’ dot matrix printer had become insufferable.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 9V-SMT on gate at SIN

All announcements throughout the flight were made by a single crewmember in both English and German, although they were thankfully kept to a minimum, unlike the incessant PA usage I was going to experience on AirAsia X in January.

Singapore Airlines long-haul business A350 Business class

Even in comparison to my seat on the previous leg, Singapore Airlines’ long haul Business class seat is huge. With oodles of legroom, a massive screen and ample width, the seat was incredible. The storage options were pretty similar to the previous seat, with a number of shelves and crevasses available to store my stuff and get settled in. My only qualms were the bulkiness of the airbag seatbelt, which made it a little uncomfortable to wear, and the distance to the window, limiting the views.

Pre-departure drinks were offered again, and thankfully water, headphones, and a menu were in my seat upon boarding this time. It began raining just as we pushed back, so didn’t get much of a view till we picked up enough speed taking off, allowing me to grab a quick snap of 4 RSAF KC-30s lined up.

The first meal service began with Chicken Satay Skewers as we approached our cruising altitude of 40,000ft, followed by a Sesame Crab Mayonnaise Salad appetiser with grilled egg and pickled ginger. The obligatory bread rolls were brought around before the mains, which I had prebooked using the airline’s ‘Book the Cook’ service, going with the Char Siew Wonton Noodle, a Singapore specialty. For dessert I went with the Pistachio Cake, which came with a delicious mixed berry compote. While the crab salad wasn’t to my taste, the rest of the meal was great, and it was quite a novelty being able to prebook the main.

The cabin lights were dimmed a few hours after the lunch service, and the crew came round offering to make up seats into lie-flat beds, which I duly accepted, settling in to watch a movie.

The bed was incredibly comfortable, with a soft mattress cover making up for the slightly narrow footwell. Even in a sitting position the bed was perfect to get cozy, so after conceding that I probably wasn’t going to get any sleep I ordered an Ovaltine and sorted through a few photos.

A few hours into the flight, the already sluggish internet dropped out as we flew over Iran, although I wasn’t too bothered, as the IFE was already excellent.

As we flew around the Black Sea the cabin lights were turned back on and the crew began the light dinner service with a Smoked Chicken Salad appetiser. For the main I had again prebooked with the Book the Cook service, this time having the Southern Singapore Farmed Barramundi, with gnocchi. A passionfruit cake was offered for dessert just as the sun began setting over the Balkans.

As we began our descent, I had a quick look around the seat and found 15 buttons, 6 reading lights, 6 no stowage stickers, 5 storage nooks, 2 headphone plugs, 2 USB plugs, one universal power outlet, an iPod plug, an HDMI port, and a coat hook and mirror.

9V-SMT after arrival at FRA

Our approach and landing into Frankfurt was pretty uneventful, although I was absolutely over the moon at the sight of dozens of Lufthansa A340s and 747s parked around the airport as we touched down. Spotting 747s of a further three airlines as we taxied in, along with a few 767s, I failed to get a single unblurred photo, though I did note down registrations for my logbook, and vowed to go planespotting at Frankfurt sometime in the next few years.

After making our way through EU immigration and collecting our bags, we headed across for a night at the Hilton airport hotel above the railway station before taking a Deutsche Bahn ICE to Bern, Switzerland, via Mannheim the next morning.

Mannheim Hbf

Overall it was an incredible few flights and an experience I’ll never forget. Although I had nothing to compare it to, I found Singapore Airlines’ Business class to be absolutely flawless, from the food and service to the seats and lounges. I’d like to apologize for the near 13 month wait for this trip report, but I have a few others in the works, so make sure to follow me on Instagram to be the first to know!

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