In this review, we take a flight in business class on the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 from Singapore (SIN) to Manila (MNL).
To the gate
Having checked out the SilverKris Lounge for a beer and a small snack, it was time to head to the gate area to board my flight.
Security at Singapore Changi Airport is done at each individual gate, so make sure that you factor in some time for this and don’t leave it to the very last minute to catch your flight.
Both my expectation and anticipation for this flight were great. At the time of travel (2018), Singapore Airlines had just launched their brand new Boeing 787 regional business class product, which will eventually replace their older Airbus A330s.
Having just flown in business class on the Singapore Airlines Airbus A330 from Surabaya to Singapore, I could thus compare the old with the new on my two consecutive flights.
Surabaya (SUB) to Singapore (SIN) on Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ918 – Boeing 787-10 – Business class, seat 19A
Departure: 7.25pm – Arrival: 10.55pm
Flight time: 3h30m– Distance: 1,474 miles
Costs: 21,000 Aegean miles + 16.42 EUR in taxes for SUB-SIN-MNL
It was a great feeling to walk onto the jet bridge and turn left towards the front door of the Boeing 787 for the business class cabin instead of walking ahead to the second door for economy.
Although I have flown quite a few business class sectors on this trip, it is still not common for me to fly in a premium cabin as most of my flights are usually in the back of the plane in economy.
Needless to say, I therefore felt like a little kid walking into a candy store, being happy and grateful I could try out Singapore Airlines’ business class product on their Boeing 787-10.
Just like on my previous flight, I was warmly welcomed by the crew and escorted to my seat. It turned out that the load in business class would be light this evening – only five of the 36 seats were occupied.
Boeing 787 business class cabin
So let’s take a look at the actual business class cabin and seat on board the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787.
Aesthetically speaking, the Singapore Airlines business class cabin certainly looks neat and modern, with tints of black, brown, grey and beige dominating.
There are 36 business class seats on the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10. The seats are placed in a staggered configuration, meaning that some of the seats are closer to the aisle than others.
Although all the business class seats on the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 offer direct aisle access, you are best off selecting one of the window seats (A and K) as a solo traveller.
The window seats placed closest to the window and furthest away from the aisle (those in row 12, 15, 17 and 19) should offer a bit more privacy as they have the least amount of intrusion from people walking across the aisle.
The bulkhead window seats in row 11 (11A and 11K) could be a good pick as well for some solo travellers as they feature slightly more legroom and a bit more storage space next to the in-flight entertainment screen compared to all the other window seats, although the proximity to the galley and the lavatories is a minor negative.
Seats A and K on row 16 are the ones to avoid as they have a missing window, making them the least desirable seats in the entire business class cabin in my opinion.
If you are a couple travelling together you may want to opt for one of the so-called ‘honeymoon seats’ in the middle (seats D and F on row 11, 14, 16, 18 and 20) as they are the closest together, with the console being located towards the aisle instead of the middle.
As a solo traveller, the other rows (12, 15, 17 and 19) have the better aisle seat as here the consoles are placed between the two middle seats, therefore putting more distance between them and creating more privacy.
That said, even if you end up as a solo traveller in one of the honeymoon seats in the centre of the plane, you can still put up an adjustable divider between you and your seatmate.
Boeing 787 business class seat
So let’s take a closer look at the actual business class seats on the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10. These business class seats, which are manufactured by Stelia Aerospace, are of course fully lie-flat.
After stowing my trolley in the overhead bin I settled down in my seat 19A, one of the more private window seats as the console is on the side of the aisle instead of at the side of the window.
Although some people complain the business class seats on the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787 are a bit narrow, I didn’t have any such complaints at all (I’m 1.86m or 6’1″ for the record).
In upright mode, it’s certainly a comfortable seat which is perfect for lounging and there is plenty of legroom and the footwell is large enough. Given that Singapore Airlines is mostly using the Boeing 787-10 for short and mid-haul regional flights, it certainly is a great product.
Besides being comfortable, the seat really feels private and has plenty of storage space at the console or in front of you. If you open the hatch above the console, you will find even more storage space as well as two USB charging ports and a power socket.
Seat controls for the lights, window shade, TV as well as for seat recline can be found on buttons around your seat and on the control touchpad, which are all responsive and easy to operate.
All combined it is certainly a great seat on a nice plane. My only complaint has nothing to do with Singapore Airlines but more with the Boeing 787 in general.
Instead of having normal window blinds, the Boeing 787 allows you to control the shade of the window with some buttons. Although that sounds nice on paper, the problem is that the crew can override these commands and will often choose to dim all the windows on the plane after meal service, making it rather difficult or even impossible for you to look outside.
Just like on my previous Singapore Airlines flight, a colourful orange pillow, a blanket and headphones were already put on my seat before before boarding had started.
Singapore Airlines does not hand out amenity kits on such regional flights, but instead has placed all basic amenities you may need in the communal spaces or in the lavatories.
If you require a product normally found in an amenity kit, you can of course also ask inquire with the flight attendants as they will gladly hand out any item you might need.
After I had snapped some pictures and made myself at ease in my seat for the next 3+ hours, one of the flight attendants came over with the menu for todays flight and inquired whether I wanted a welcome drink.
Of course, I opted for a glass of champagne (Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve was served on this flight) and within seconds it was brought to my seat.
As the economy cabin was quite full for today’s flight and boarding took quite a bit longer than expected, the flight attendant even stopped by some moments later to inquire whether I wanted a refill. Who am I to say no to that!
The crew member also brought a refreshment towel and made a round through the cabin with some newspapers.
When boarding was finally completed, the jet bridge was detached from our plane and the Boeing 787 slowly made its way across the apron to the runway.
Take-off was fortunately quick and smooth, although there weren’t any views to write home about due to our ascent above the sea and approaching evening darkness.
Once we reached cruising altitude, the in-flight service immediately kicked in. The flight attendant serving my aisle inquired what I wanted to drink and whether or not I still wanted to have my pre-ordered dish or something from the in-flight menu instead.
Although the dining options on the menu looked appealing, I had pre-ordered my dish well in advance. Singapore Airlines is famous for its Book the Cook programme, which allows business, first and suites class passengers to pre-order their meals on certain flights.
The advantages are quite clear, as not only is the selection of meals much larger if you pre-order, but you are also certain to have your preferred choice served on your flight as you don’t run the risk of the airline running out on the items on the normal menu.
In case you are curious about the menu for today’s flight from Singapore to Manila, I have made pictures of every single page of it and posted them all below.
The Singapore Airlines business class wine list and drinks menu were certainly extensive, with a wide selection of liqueur, cocktails and mocktails, teas and all kinds of special coffees.
My apologies for the bad picture quality, as due to some light turbulence and dimmed cabin lights, my mediocre old phone camera didn’t manage to make the best ever pictures.
The whole dining experience on board was executed perfectly by Singapore Airlines. First of all, the flight attendant set up my tray table for dining with table clothes and proper cutlery.
As the Book the Cook programme only allows you to select your main dish, you are dependent on what’s on the actual menu during your flight for both the appetiser and dessert.
On my flight, the only option were the marinated prawns with asparagus. I’m not a big fan of prawns at all, although I must say that Singapore Airlines did execute the dish perfectly.
It was not only beautifully plated, but the fact the flight attendant dosed the sauce over the meal at your seat instead of in the galley made it all the more classy.
The flight attendant also came by with a bread basket, from which I selected some delicious garlic bread.
For my main dish, I had pre-ordered the lobster thermidor. It being one of the trademark meals of Singapore Airlines and a firm frequent flyer favourite, I just had to try out this classic lobster dish.
And my gosh, it was absolutely delicious and easily among the top three best meals I’ve ever eaten in the sky.
As I wasn’t sure what the best white wine was to pair it with, I asked the flight attendant if I could try both the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the Burgundy white (the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc being the clear winner in case you were wondering).
For dessert, the flight attendant informed me that they only had the ice cream and unfortunately not the more interesting-sounding raspberry bavarois which was listed on the menu as well.
The ice cream was tasty – although it was a bit unimaginative and paled in quality compared to the rest of the food. I ended the meal service with an espresso and a glass of port wine to wash down all the food.
The in-flight entertainment system on the Boeing 787-10 is excellent as well. The large TV screens are connected to the KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system, which contains hundreds of films, series, music albums and other programmes.
The controls are responsive and the system is easy to operate.
After browsing a bit through the available options, I simply put the screen on the route map as I preferred to chill a bit listening to my own music.
Slinging to Manila
As I was in a good mood – amplified by listening to some of my favourite music and the booze – I decided to imbibe a bit more by ordering the signature cocktail of Singapore Airlines, the Singapore Sling.
The Singapore Sling, which was served with a ramekin of nuts, went down very well.
Even though I’m not the biggest cocktail drinker around (certainly not sweeter cocktails such as the Sling) the drink did absolutely hit the spot.
As the flight attendant was insisting that I should have another one after I had finished my glass, I therefore might have had three Slings or so more in the end before the fasten seatbelt lights went on again and we started our final descent into Manila.
The Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 landed on time in Manila. Upon disembarking, I thanked the crew for the great flight and their excellent service. Just like on my previous Singapore Airlines flight, the crew on this flight again excelled with their professionalism and hospitality.
Being one of the first passengers to disembark, there was no queue whatsoever at passport control and the whole arrivals procedure went extremely smooth (especially for the hellhole which is NAIA – which stands for Ninoy Aquino International Airport – as it is called by the locals!).
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the taxi rank. It had a long queue and waiting for a taxi for the short ride to my hotel for my short overnight Manila stopover took at least an hour.
Singapore Airlines has a gorgeous business class product on their Boeing 787-10. Compared to the Airbus A330 which previously formed the mainstay of the Singapore Airlines regional fleet, the Boeing 787 is certainly a game changer for the airline.
All seats have direct aisle access and can be reclined to fully flat beds if you happen to fly one of these planes on an overnight route or just want some shut-eye.
Although some people do complain that these seats on the Singapore Airlines Boeing 787 are a bit narrow and tight, I had no such complaints myself and certainly had an extremely comfortable flight.
When it comes to service, there are few airlines in the world which have such a consistently professional, polished and well-trained crew as Singapore Airlines. This flight was no exception.
Add in some fantastic food, the inventive ‘Book the Cook’ programme by which you can pre-order the dish of your choice, and an extensive drinks list – and you have a great all-round business class product which is well-worth seeking out.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘Journey to Java‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Rome Ciampino (Airbus A321)
2. Half a Day in Rome: A Walk Around the Eternal City
3. Review: Casa Alitalia Lounge ‘Piazza di Spagna’ Rome Fiumicino Airport
4. Review: Saudia Business Class Rome to Riyadh (Airbus A320)
5. Review: Saudia Alfursan Business Lounge Riyadh Airport
6. Review: Saudia Business Class Riyadh to Jakarta (Boeing 777-300)
7. Review: The Hermitage, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia
8. A Day in Jakarta: Exploring Indonesia’s Bustling Capital City
9. Review: Garuda Indonesia Domestic Business Lounge Jakarta Airport
10. Review: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Jakarta to Yogyakarta (Boeing 737-800)
11. Review: The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – Mgallery By Sofitel
12. A Magical Sunrise Visit to Borobudur Temple
13. A Visit to the Great Hindu Temple Complex of Prambanan
14. Review: Yogyakarta to Surabaya (Indonesia) by Train
15. Review: Majapahit Hotel, Surabaya, Indonesia
16. A Day in Surabaya: Exploring Indonesia’s Second Biggest City
17. Review: Concordia Premier Lounge Surabaya Airport
18: Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class Surabaya to Singapore (Airbus A330-300)
19. A Short Singapore Stopover: Into the City or Stay at the Airport?
20. Review: SilverKris Lounge Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2
21. Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class (Boeing 787-10) Singapore to Manila (current chapter)
22. Review: PAGSS Business Lounge Manila Airport Terminal 1
23. Review: China Airlines Economy Class Manila to Taipei (Airbus A330-300)
24. Review: China Airlines Business Lounge Taipei Airport Terminal 1
25. Review: China Airlines Economy Class Taipei to Rome (Airbus A350)
26. Review: TAROM economy class Rome to Bucharest (Boeing 737-700)