After 2 years of launch, I finally get to try the Airbus A350-900 XWB. SQ 327 was originally operated on a 77W which was changed to A350 since 2017. With the change, Munich no longer has any First Class.
Singapore Airlines fly out of Terminal 2 (while the S-Bahn stops at Terminal 1). There is a Priority Security screening line for Business Class passengers and once through, you will be in the Schengen Area. There is a Lufthansa Lounge in the Schengen Area but international travellers need to use the one that is located after the immigration screening (which unfortunately has no priority line).
As time was short, I was only able to have a quick view of the Lufthansa Business Class Lounge. The Business Lounge is fairly small with only a small food selection.
The Airbus A350-900 has 3 cabins (Business, Premium Economy and Economy) and it sports the same seats as those on the 77WN/WR (with some subtle differences). There are 42 seats (compared to 48 in 777-300ER). The seat has a width of 28 inches (same) but with a slightly longer pitch of 60 inches (5 inches longer than that of 777-300ER). When converted to bed mode, it measures 78 inches (or 6.5 feet). Although the pitch is long, one has to sleep diagonally to make use of the small foot well for the space (unless you are at seats 11 and 19 which are the bulkhead seats). Unlike the 777-300ER, the mini cabin of the A350 is situated in front of the Premium Economy section (behind the Business Class galley). Unfortunately, the bassinet seats are also in mini cabin hence the disadvantage. For this flight, I had to change my date hence my seats changed from 12 D/F to 16 D/F.
Seat designs are the same. Each seat comes with an 18” Full-HD screen which is glossy. The definition and colours are definitely more stunning that the older matte screen but as usual the one weakness with such screen is the glare. The screen can be tilted slightly for better viewing in bed / lounging mode. To the right of the screen, you have the vanity mirror, a small storage space for your wallet and specs and a cup stand.
*Pictures from my previous SQ11 flight
This seat gives a much more comfortable lounging mode that the 2006 version. It also offers more storage space and 2 USB port (1 for data and 1 for charging – one need to be careful on which port to plug in else you may end up with a flat battery on arrival). To convert to bed, the seat needs to be flipped down. Once flipped, you will see an additional pillow and a duvet for sleeping.
I had an almost full cabin but the crew I had was better than what I had for my SQ308 flight (my wife beg to differ though as she said the crew handling her side kept forgetting her requests).
As SQ327 was a noon flight, we had the full lunch service. The meal started off with satay (which was way better than what I had for my LHR flight). There was at least a 30 minutes interval before the appetizer was served. The appetizer was pretty good and flavourful (unlike some of the appetizers or salads on SQ which can be quite bland). I only did one BTC for my wife (which was the steamed Arctic Char Roulade). I took the Seared Black Cod Fillet with Fried Soy Bean Crumbs which was excellent. The cod was juicy although the noodle was a little on the dry side. My wife’s BTC was ok but she felt that it was a little too oily. I took the sorbet for dessert and ended the meal with the cheese and praline.
I managed to find some space in my tummy to try the Spicy Noodle on the delectable. It was nice to have a nice spicy soupy noodle after almost 2 weeks in Europe. I may be wrong, but it tasted very much like kimchi flavoured Nongshim instant noodle with prawns and mushroom being added in. It was good nevertheless.
The breakfast was fairly standard with myself choosing the cheese omelette while my wife chose the Chinese Style beef noodle. The omelette was a little dry otherwise it was pretty standard. I did not get to try the beef noodle though.
Wi-Fi was available for this flight but again the speed was anything but spectacular. I managed to get a 0.15 Mbp/s download and a slightly better 0.55 Mbp/s upload. While First and Suites passengers get 100 Mb, Business Class passengers have only 30 Mb (which will run out very fast). Thankfully, I had my complimentary Boingo courtesy of my Citibank Prestige Card.
The flight was pretty uneventful and being one of the newer A350, 9V-SMN (only 11 months old) everything worked well. Although the pitch is longer, sleeping can still be a little uncomfortable for taller people like myself as we have to sleep diagonally and squeeze our feet into the small foot well which can be quite uncomfortable. Best is if one can snag the bulkhead seats where you have a full width leg rest which will make sleeping much more comfortable.
This marked the last flight I have redeemed using the old rate (68,000 miles x 2). Currently, one way Business Class to Europe goes for 85,000 miles x 2. That is a hike of 17,000 miles per person. The good thing is the smaller amount of cash required as Singapore Airlines no longer levy fuel surcharge.
Now, it is time to look for the next redemption. Where should I go next?
For now, my next few flights will be only short-haul:
SQ974 and SQ973 on Economy
CX711 and CX712 on Business
MI986 and MI985 on Economy