Best Airline Overall
- Over 1,000 movies and TV shoes available for free viewing
- Nominal change fees make rescheduling a breeze
- Extra leg room and seat space—even in economy seating
If you’ve done any research whatsoever into the best ways to fly, you’ve surely come across Singapore Airlines. Ranked one of the top airlines in the world by CNN, Thrillist, Forbes, and Condé Nast Traveler, you know this has got to be a luxury airline you can trust.
Suites and first class seats are limited, and only available if you are willing to shell out the, big—BIG—bucks.
Cabin Comfort: Well, to start with, let’s talk about the insane suites designed by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste. Not only do these private suites (complete with sliding doors and blinds, might we add) feature comfy seats in addition to separate beds to stretch out on, but two can be combined to create one queen bed and double room.
While these cabins can only be found on A380s, and are extremely costly, you have several additional seating classes to choose from, including first class, business class, and economy.
First class is almost as nice, featuring cabins with giant beds and TVs. Business class features fold out beds, complete with linen duvets and pillows. And those in economy still don’t even have it that bad with 19.5 inch-wide seats (expect one less seat per row than most airlines) that recline a full 8 inches and feature calf and foot rests.
Singapore Airlines is also known for the unbelievable wine selection, with inflight sommeliers and free wine and champagne onboard, but the food should not be overlooked either. The menu is designed by 8 of the best chefs in the world, and those dining in first class suites can expect 5-star meals such as Lobster Thermidor and Pad Thai. And, while maybe not lobster, the Asian inspired dishes in economy are (almost) equally as delicious.
Entertainment: All seats feature a built in touch screen TV monitor with over 1,000 movies, TV shows, songs, and games. Additionally, each seat comes with noise-cancelling headphones, and some flights even have internet and text messaging available to passangers. Even at the very back of the plan you’ll have USB ports to charge your electronic devices. While the TVs may be smaller in economy—13.3 inches verses the 18 inches you will find in the cabins and first class—the same entertainment is available whether in the back of the plane or first class.
Baggage & Change Fees: In terms of carryon luggage, Singapore Airlines will allow up to two pieces of luggage (up to 7kg each with the sum of length, width, and high of each piece not exceeding 115cm) if you’re in the suites, first class, or business class, and one piece of carryon luggage, adhering to the same requirements, if you’re in premium economy or economy.
While the checked bag allowances will vary by your destination and class of travel, expect to have 1-2 free checked bags ranging from 51 pounds (economy) up to 110 pounds (first class).
Much like baggage fees, change fees on Singapore airlines are based on the class of travel and type of ticket you purchase. For example, a change of date/time on a Singapore airlines flight is free for advantage tickets and $25 for saver tickets, while a change of route, cabin class, or award type will cost you a flat $25 regardless of the class of travel or type of tick you’ve purchased. Regardless, the most expensive fee is a no show fee, which ranges from $100 in economy all the way up to $300 in first class. Aside from that, most fees are between $0 and $75—which honestly isn’t bad compared to most airlines.
Customer Service: Aside from the fact that you can expect each and every flight attendant to have undergone a four-month training program covering everything from wine appreciation to cultural sensitivity, if you need assistance in terms of booking or changing flights rest assured knowing the Singapore airlines is committed to customer service, with delay contingencies and customer service plans in place to be utilized as needed.
Planes in the Singapore airlines fleet are on average seven years old, and many are even younger. So, what does that mean for you? Expect equipment that’s efficient, reliable, environmentally friendly, and, best of all, on time. In fact, Singapore Air has a punctuality percentage of just over 84% per the 2018 Punctuality report, ranking the airline in the top 8 most punctual mainline airlines. Like we said, a luxury airline you can trust.
With such a young fleet this can’t come as a surprise, but Singapore Airlines is also known to regularly upgrade its planes with cutting edge technology and comfort—which applies to all seats and cabins.
Frequent Flyer Program: Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program, known as KrisFlyer, is one of the industry’s most simple and straight forward systems. Miles are accrued based on the distance flown and the class of travel. Singapore Airlines also partners with Star Alliance airlines (Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa, and United—just to name a few), as well as a number of non-alliance airlines (JetBlue, Virgin, Tigerair), so you can earn and redeem miles when flying with a number of other carriers. Singapore Airlines partners with a number of non-airline partners as well, which makes the miles earned as a KrisFlyer incredibly valuable.
Depending on what level of KrisFlyer membership, or PPS Club membership (reserved only for frequent and premium travelers) you hold, a number of other benefits may be available as well, including: priority standby, priority check-in, additional baggage allowance, priority boarding, lounge access, complimentary travel insurance, event invitations, membership gifts, and bonus miles.
Air Fare: Singapore Airlines is currently advertising flight promotions from San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Manila for right around $700 USD for economy roundtrip through the end of 2018. Now, if you would prefer a suit, first class, or business, class, expect to shell out between $12,000-$14,000 USD…ouch.