Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class was introduced in January 2016 but the re-fitted B777 on DXB-SIN route became available only very recently.
Of course, I couldn’t resist and booked return flight to Singapore straight away.
The seats are looking very sexy, with its orange stitching and details across the steel coloured leather, but are they comfortable and good value for your money ? Find out below …
SIA Premium Economy Class in ( PEC ) facts :
38-inch seat pitch ( 32-inch economy )
18,5 inches width ( B777 )
8 inch recline
2 USB ports
28 seats on B777 in separate cabin
Flip-up padded legrest
13.3 inch touch screen ( 10-inch economy )
Double arm rest ( no more fighting with your neighbour )
Additional passengers benefits :
Book the cook – online pre-booking of your favourite dish
Priority check-in and boarding
Champagne during flight
Generous luggage allowance
Noise canceling head-set
Big blanket and pillow
What I didn’t like :
No lounge access
Screens in first row are stowed in middle island and once retracted they feel a bit wobbly.
Screens were re-starting themselves every now and then
No pre-flight drink
Wi-Fi available only for purchase
AVOD is not as easy to navigate through ( compare to Emirates )
Washrooms only available at the end of economy class cabin
Unsupervised children from economy class were let running through the premium cabin ( on many occasions )
The Verdict :
COMFORT – to be honest, the seats look better than they feel. They aren’t big enough, wide enough and don’t recline enough to be really comfortable. The legrest didn’t support my feet and kept collapsing down.
DINING is the same as economy class plus some extra bubbly and cocktails. I was missing a bottle of water in the seat. The service is excellent, but that applies for any SIA class.
VALUE – Of course these seats are better then the economy ones, but economy in SIA is excellent anyway, so I would use PEC only if there is a special offer on or for a long -haul night flight ( 8hrs + )
Photo Gallery :
Detail of the back of the seat
Orange pillow and stitching
USB and TV in middle island ( front row only )
Detail with touch remote
Front row with “TV island “
Blanket, Menu and Amenity Kit ( socks and toothbrush )
Singapore sling and nuts after take-off
Space for bottle of water ( my own bottle )
TV Island detail
Flight route channel
Buttons for recline and legrest
Personal reading lamp
Handrest in middle two seats goes up…good for travelling couples
Detail of touch screen remote
Additional USB in the armrest
Dinner time …
Never enough of this …
Ice cream treat after dinner
Pocket for personal stuff
The legroom isn’t that huge after all
Front row offering unlimited space
Cushions are decent size
Another round of nuts and G&T
Premium Economy seats are available on all A380 and most B777-300 aircrafts flying to :
Of course, as a big fan of “everything flying”, I have to share with you my experience.
But first, why is this aircraft special?
New tapered wing – A350 XWB is faster and 25% more fuel efficient as a result of its wing, marking an evolution in aerodynamic design.
XWB stands for “extra wide body” ( 220 inches / 564cm ) and offers maximum space and comfort, high ceilings and panoramic windows with electromechanical shades.
Dynamic LED mood lighting that cycles tones and colours suiting the time of day and destination, to help minimise jetlag and aid relaxation
Lower cabin pressure and optimal humidity, so you arrive refreshed to your destination.
A350 XWB is one of the lightest aircraft of its type, made 70% from advanced composite materials
25% lower carbon dioxide emissions than with current generation aircraft in its category.
To purchase one, you’ll need approximately $290 million ☺
Directly after entering the airplane, you step inside of a spacious lobby which acts as a bar for business class passengers during the flight.
Business Class Lounge
Business Class Lounge ceiling detail
Both, economy and business class cabin feels spacious and the seat colour theme is working well. The space is designed with smooth curves, flowing lines and straighter walls. The innovative lighting adds to the first good impression.
Business Class seats
Detail of the seat
Economy seats manufactured by well-known company Recaro are in 3-3-3 configuration. Seats look comfy and with a very generous leg-room.
Economy Class Seats
Pleasant color theme
LED lighting system can create millions of colour tones
Seats are very thin
Detail of the economy seats
Economy class cabin
Unfortunately, the leg-room comes at a cost…seats are very thin, so you can imagine, the slightest screen touch of a person behind you, children’s kick or just someone trying to get out, makes the seat shake like in severe turbulence.
I was annoyed during my 45min flight by a passenger behind me and also, was obviously annoying
the lady in front of me (guessing from her angry looks). Now, try to sleep on 8 hours night flight!
I just can’t help it, but on a second look, the cabin and washrooms just appeals very “plastic” and somehow cheap.
Detail of the AVOD
That’s all you get on a short haul flight
USB, earphones connection
Outdoor camera for some exciting views
Very generous leg-room
Economy class cabin
Also, compare to B787 Dreamliner (main competitor), which I have also flown on with Qatar Airways, the cabin is much nosier.
Anyhow, I was really excited to try, as A350 is the first Airbus aircraft with both fuselage and wing structures made primarily of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer and with its distinguished black flight deck windows and tapered wings it is really unmissable machine at any airport.
At Doha Airport
Prior take-off at DXB
Left turn towards Doha with nice view of Dubai downtown
Ready to land in Doha
It can also fly between New York and London 2.5 times without refuelling. ( 8000+ nautical miles / 15.000km )
I think, I will stay loyal to Emirates A380, as in my (passenger) opinion, it’s the very best “flying machine” in the skies so far…
It was in December 2015, when Emirates introduced its first 2-class A380, but only last month, I’ve finally got a chance to fly on one and would like share with you my experience of the upper deck economy and business class.
So far, the 2-class A380’s are being used on routes to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Manchester and Copenhagen and are amongst the newest ones in the 80 aircraft’s strong Emirates A380 fleet.
If you find yourself flying on this aircraft, always choose the upper deck economy seats.
Five reasons why :
Seat configuration 2-4-2
Smaller, quieter cabin
Extra storage space next to all window seats
Just this little extra special 2nd floor feeling ☺ and nice staircase
Note, if you like to enjoy the view and take a pictures, the curvature and window angle on the upper deck makes it a more difficult.
Selecting your economy seats on Emirates A380 lower deck? Click HERE for the Best Seat guide!
Top of the staircase to the upper deck
Upper deck economy cabin
The latest seat design
ICE Screen detail
Multi-socket + USB
2nd USB and headset socket
Storage bins by each window seat
…closed storage bin creates great hand rest
Detail of ICE remote controller
ICE offers 2000 TV channels
The entire upper economy cabin view
Top of the staircase
View over the Alps and mighty Rolls-Royce engines
Checking the washroom
Those 2 seaters are great
Economy class meal
2 seats on each site are great if you travel with a companion
Economy class breakfasts
Emirates 2-class A380 fits 615 passengers from tip to tail. It’s the most bums on seats of any airline flying the double-decker jet. See the passenger seats comparison below.
Total amount of passengers by airline – CHART :
Emirates : 615
Qatar : 517
Air France : 516
Lufthansa : 509
Thai Airways : 507
China Southern: 506
Etihad : 498
Asiana Airlines : 495
Malaysia Airlines : 494
Qantas : 484
Singapore Airlines : 471
British Airways : 469
Korean Air : 407 ( wanna fly with them 🙂 )
14 First class private cabins and 2 in-flight spas were completely removed to make the extra space for 120 economy seats. Business class also took a hit, going from 76 seats down to 58 – although the airline’s iconic cocktail bar can still be found at the rear of the upper deck. The lower deck remains given over to economy, with 437 seats in total.
Upper deck business offers :
58 flatbed seats
1 On-board Lounge
1-2-1 seat configuration
The window flat-bed seats are the best as they are wider and more spacious than in the middle section. You will enjoy in-seat mini bar, noise cancelling head set and luxury amenity kit. Food was in my opinion on the average side, but the on-board Lounge made up for it with nice finger food and sandwiches.
I couldn’t help it 🙂
“Sea” of Business class seats
Every seat has its own minibar
Ready to enjoy the experience
Plenty of legroom
Necessary glass of bubbly
And the famous lounge
No matter what class you flying in, the ICE entertainment system and very-responsive touch screen is the best AVOD in the skies. I also love the 3 different views available through the outdoor cameras. Service and food is great and too, especially enjoy like the little cheese, bread stick set in economy meal.
Doha’s Hamad Intl. Airport ( HIA ) has already been open for some time, but only recently, all works were finally completed, including landscaping and indoor glass sci-fi train, which quietly glides through the terminal.
“Checking things out”
View at HIA from the air
Private terminal and lagoons
View at HIA from the air
Airports playing a substantial part of the travelling experience and a good airport can really enhance the entire journey.
HIA is the world’s newest mega airport and quickly become my second favourite (after Singapore Changi of course) due to remarkable architecture, smooth transfers and inspiring environment. The airport feels relaxed and not hectic compare to DXB airport to other busy airports around the world.
The massive departure hall is surprisingly quiet and subtle colour décor makes the space feel warm and calming. The dramatic curving silhouette reminds of an ocean waves. But let the photos speak for themselves…
DEPARTURE HALL :
The space is vast and airy
Immigration uses face recognition devices
I am always amazed by the ceilling
Supporting structure detail
Outside of the terminal
AFTER CHECK-IN :
Long escalator towards the first class lounge
Train track on the left side
Central space of the airport
Art kids play area
Directional signages, easy to navigate around
View at the taxiway form the terminal
Plenty of sitting areas
Stairs towards the train
Another artistic playground
Macbook computers Free to use
I love the perfect lines
Details of a wall decor
ARRIVAL AREA :
Travelator towards immigration area
Quiet and spacious
Water feature on the left
More art installation
Walking towards taxi pick up
Organised taxi with a meter
HIA is home to Qatar Airways, competing with Emirates, or Etihad in terms of quality. In my opinion, QR and EY are more focusing on “premium” passengers but even so, economy class is far better than most European and all American carriers.
The Teddy bear …
Art installation by New York based Swiss artist Urs Fischer made of cast bronze. It is 7m tall and weighting 18 tons. Teddy was purchased through an auction for 6.8mil.USD. Ooops…
Me and Teddy
He really is unmissible
Up and close with the bear
The bear is sitting right in the middle of it
Now, enjoy some interesting facts:
Current capacity is 30mil. passengers, the full build out will be 50 million passengers per year.
Over 60% of the land the new airport sits on is reclaimed. The sea was buried so that the airport could sit where it does and not disturb the area around it.
While the airport does look like one massive structure, there are over 100 buildings.
HIA is 29 square kilometers big (11.2 Square Miles), that makes it the 9th biggest in the world.
175 check-in counters / 16 lounges / hotel / spa / 50 F&B outlets / sleeping areas / Free fast Wi-Fi / Kids playgrounds / Free use of Apple Mac’s / endless shopping
Enjoy one of the 28 art installations by local, regional, and international artists.
The airport has 42 parking bays for aircrafts.
4,850 metre-long Eastern Runway and 4,250 metre Western Runway which are 2km apart.
Dubai International’s latest expansion, the construction of Concourse D in Terminal 1 is opening for its first flight on Wednesday 24th Feb.
I could preview this brand new and shiny Terminal which increases capacity at the Dubai airport to 90 million passengers a year and bringing big photo gallery for you to enjoy.
A train connecting Concourse D with Concourse C in Terminal 1 is already operating and 17 gates will accommodate over 100 airlines.
A total of $7.8 billion has been invested in expanding Dubai International.
In my opinion, it is a huge improvement compare to old Terminal 1. Its airy layout offers unobstructed views at the aircrafts taking off, amazing selection of F&B outlets, enough seating by the gates and charging stations for your gadgets. The shopping areas are enormous.
My only comments pointing towards the Gate corridors, as they feel a bit “warehousy” (because of the ceiling ) and also, it wasn’t easy to find the way out.
I guess few extra signages will fix this and hopefully all the visitors will apppreciate this new gateway to Dubai.
Vaclav Havel Airport Prague, formerly known as Prague Ruzyne is your gateway to the beautiful historical capitol of Czech Republic.
It is served by 67 airlines and more than 11mil. passengers passes thru the doors annually. I am sure you won’t a have a problem to find suitable connection.
Arriving into a foreign airport and getting to your final destination could be sometimes tricky or even frustrating experience. From dreadful immigration officers to shady taxi drivers.
Prague Airport it’s in general, very easy to use due to its small-ish size and no major problems are common.
Terminal 1 is used by non-EU airlines and new Terminal 2 is for EU except Ireland and UK ( Schengen States – check here).
Immigration officers are efficient and friendly enough and if you have EU passport you can use the smart gates to exit the airport quickly. Bags takes forever to arrive onto the baggage carousel.
One of the most challenging “tasks” is to find reliable transport from the airport. I was many times a victim of “truthful” taxi drivers during my travels and sometimes, it can take the better of you, to try negotiating price as for the taxi drivers, we are just “walking wallets”.
Prague taxi services have a bad reputation in general. Officials are trying to keep eye on this but still…here is a few tips how to reach your dreamed place without any hassle.
Have a Czech currency ( ATM’s available after exiting baggage claim hall on the left )
Ignore anyone trying to offer you a transport
Choose only one of those yellow taxis ( I recommend AAA taxi ). AAA also offers a half price return voucher, so ask for one!
Make sure the meter is on and clearly visible
If you wish to use public transport, there is a bus connection to the nearest metro station, or Main Railway Station ( Airport Express / AE)
Follow directional signage outside
AE Bus leaves every 30min ( from 7am -10pm) for 60CZK ( use max 100 banknote at the bus )
Metro Bus : Line 119 – metro st. Nadrazi Veleslavin ( Metro A – quick to the city )
Line 100 – metro station Zlicin ( Metro B )
Tickets are available at arrival hall kiosks, outside machine or the driver
Don’t forget to validate your ticket inside the bus machine ( there is a staff controlling this)
If you plan to explore some of the amazing country side, you can book your bus ticket together with train online. I personally recommend Leo Express Premier class.
Try to avoid buing any souvenirs, alcohol or presents at the airport as the prices are much higher than in the city itself.
Mind, that the security check it’s just before your entering your gate and they will remove any beverage from you, even purchased one at the airport. If you like to have water with you, buy at the airport and keep it in sealed plastic bag until you pass security.
For affordable meal and drink use self-service restaurant on the 1st floor (follow sign for lounges) as you can purchase decent lunch for 100CZK
If you prefer to travel in comfort without the hefty price tag, stop hassling Emirates check-in staff for free upgrade ( they heard it all 🙂 ) and try Dubai’s low cost option Flydubai.
Business class section is being used on nearly 85 destinations on Boeing 737. There is 12 seats, with 42″ seat pitch and 21″ width. They also recline little bit, feel comfy and soft and you get pillow and blanket.
Ok, it’s not full flat bed/seat, but with flights of max.6 hours I am sure you can survive.
They even fly to my home… Prague, or if you more into beach laziness… to Maldives.
Flydubai’s hub is Dubai Terminal 2, so if you have connection with Emirates, keep on mind that the transfer my take some time.
Seats have USB port ans 12″ touch screen and you get some food too.
The most important thing is…it won’t cost you the earth.
T2 – Flydubai and budget airlines only (separate terminal and not connected with T1/T3 )
T3 – exclusive to Emirates
T3 concourse A – exclusive to Emirates A380 aircrafts ( only accessible via train )
T1 concourse D – opening November 2015
T1: also known as Sheik Rashid Terminal is at the present time under re-furhbishment. Until renovations is finished, expect lots of noise, bad lighting, low ceilings, crowds and long queues. 63 check-in counters are serving all international airlines.
The entire building is outdated, chaotic and gate areas with duty free are ugly.
Passengers sleep on the floor as there isn’t enough seating and even the business class lounge is terribly overcrowded and old. There are the usual fast food and cafe options.
Pros : e-gates Cons : long distances, long queues, construction, wi-fi never works
Entrance to T1
Duty Free area
Corridor to the gates
Refurbishment in full swing
T1 inside…very 1980’s
T1 from the outside
“Tunnel” between terminals
Chaos while looking for departure gate
T2: flydubai’s hub just have been renovated and extended. Arrival hall spacious and clean but flydubai check-in counters always with long queues. Immigration and security usually quick.
Terminal is smaller size and all gates are in one big “warehouse” style space. Very noisy and busy at all times. Flydubai business class passengers have their dedicated lounge. There is a duty free and wide range of cafe’s.
Flydubai currently operates 49 B737 and flying to 94 destinations
Pros : quickly “in an out” due to relatively small sq.ft, modern and bright. Wi-fi sometimes works, e-gates Cons : very noisy, dirty toilets, nowhere to sit
Waiting for you
Security never takes too long
List of Airlines you can use self check-in
Self check-in stand
T2 from the outside
Nowhere to sit
Security screening area
Duty Free area
Some last minute shopping
T3: relatively new ( opened 2008 ) and exclusive to Emirates airline which currently handles 64% of all passenger traffic.
Huge check-in area and efficient immigration and security. Longer queues usual during night time at the weekends. Train to T3 A on right side after security and shiny lifts on the left brings you swiftly to the “gate floor”. Here all the magic ends and you find yourself in very long, narrow, extremely crowded space with low ceilings and nowhere to escape. You can not find one quite space and makes travelling stressful.
After traveling thru Singapore Changi, Hongkong Intl., Amsterdam Schiphol or Munich Airport, it is difficult to understand why something much better didn’t happen here at DXB Airport.
I am passing thru the airport very often and notice never-ending effort for improvement, but due to design and floor plan, there are mainly “cosmetic” changes being applied. Even the only one green little oasis at the end was destroyed to make a space for kids area, which adds to the noise.
Are the architects to blame?
Pros: modern, clean, easy to navigate, wi-fi sometimes works, e-gates Cons: claustrophobic and overcrowded, low ceilings, shops everywhere, nowhere to sit and relax
Make you journey faster
Info kiosk just in case
Or you can take a escalator
Huge lifts to transport you to gate area
Chaos while looking for departure gate
Smart gates to speed your journey
T3 – concourse A: newest addition to the airport. Opened 2013 and fully dedicated to the best aircraft A380.
It’s almost 1km long and connected with T3 via underground train ride. In a few minutes you enter much more quite and somehow spacious space, improved gate floor lay-out with interesting selection F&B outlets.
Due to used materials, flooring and lights, the entire experience is much more calming and civilised then all other terminals. It’s not Changi yet, but so much more comfortable and civilised.
Building is designed to handle 20 A380 at any given time and business class passengers enjoy lovely lounge with water features and multi level boarding. + two adjacent hotels.
Transfer desks are easy to find for all passing passengers.
Pros: passenger friendly, bright, not so crowded, nice restaurant, wi-fi usually works Cons: Non just yet
Here is a list of Airlines which will be more than happy to mix you one fabulous cocktail after another in very special and luxurious setting.
• Emirates – all A380 aircrafts has a well equipped bar and lounge on the second floor ( business & first class only). To make you feel extra special,there is a waterfall on top of the stairs and just in case you feel a bit sweaty after paying hefty airfare , you can refresh yourself in the onboard shower and spa.
• Korean Air – on their A380 aircraft is not just a very sleek, white bar sponsored by Absolute vodka but also a duty free store located in the rear section of economy cabin. It was designed by L’Oreal Paris designers and sells the best selection of Korean air duty free cosmetics.
• Qatar Airways : this rapidly growing Middle Eastern airlines has their lounge located in the middle section of all B787 Dreamliners and on second floor of A380. Dreamliner has also a great business class section but as per my own experience , economy is very crowded with little leg room and big TV. So if the person in front of you recline his seat, the TV screen is literally … “in your face”.
• Etihad – Abu Dhabi based airline is showing off with their first A380 equipped with ultra luxurious bar and “re-imagined” every class, according to the airline. This includes Sky residence and apartments. Economy class passengers can enjoy cute cushions and slightly bigger headrest.
• Singapore Airlines – the launch customer of A380 aircraft has also a bar on the second floor. Unlikely all other airlines has economy class in the rear section of the second floor and I was very lucky to tested on one of the first ever A380 flight back in October 2007 from LHR-SIN. Still remember the fresh paint and carpet smell 🙂 For me, Singapore Airlines represents the best service in the sky.
• Virgin Atlantic – with their new B787 Dreamliner you can taste the high life in beautifully designed bar with golden sink ,LED wall lighting and three spinning silver chair 10.000USD/piece. After couple of champagne glasses slip into your cosy Upper class bed and wake up feeling fabulous.
• American Airlines – galley type of self service bar on B777 in business class section
• China Airlines – Taiwan based carrier has a decent “wall” bar on their Boeings 777