Quantcast

10 things about Singapore Airlines A380 at SFO (Photos)

 

Here’s a slideshow of the The BAT’s private tour of a Singapore Airlines A380 parked at SFO. Enjoy!

IMG_1686 IMG_1688 IMG_1694 IMG_1693 IMG_1691 IMG_1695 IMG_1697 IMG_1703 IMG_1706 IMG_1719 IMG_1712 IMG_1720 IMG_1711 IMG_1713 IMG_1783 IMG_1718 IMG_1754 IMG_1730 IMG_1746 IMG_1747 IMG_1743 IMG_1748 IMG_1749 IMG_1750 IMG_1732 IMG_1756 IMG_1740 IMG_1763 IMG_1721 IMG_1722 IMG_1757 IMG_1758 IMG_1768 IMG_1779 IMG_1777 IMG_1776 IMG_1791
Signs and banners all over the airport announcing the A380
Winner David Zippin and friends go through security
Checking in at the SilverKris lounge
The lounge offers a nice spread for business and first class passengers
Winner David Zippin and our guide Paul Ng, Singapore Airlines VP
Economy class boards downstairs, business and first upstairs
Singapore Air calls its first class seats "Suites"
Boarding the plane before the crew arrives
Upon entering, the first thing you see is a graceful staircase to the upper deck
First class (Suites) are downstairs, business class is up
Here's what a first class suite looks like from above
That's seat 1A-- a first class suite. Note the "murphy bed" panel behind the seat
BAT editor Chris McGinnis snuggles into a suite for a moment
Zippin checks out the side-by-side suites in the middle
View from the back of the 12-suite section
A suite for the pilots! Private rest area is located adjacent to cockpit.
Upstairs in the 60-seat business class section
34" wide biz class seats softened by two pillows. See the nice window bins?
Paul Ng demonstrates the murphy bed
Making up the bed for a nice nap!
Cuddle down cozy!
Zippin gives the bed a try
Zippin is 6'3" tall
Feet fit into a little nook. (Nice socks!)
Kicking back
He likes it!
Check out the size of that wing!
Secret spiral staircase at the back of the plane.
This is the lower deck coach section
Coach configuration is 3-4-3
An endless supply of inflight entertainment on a large screen
Knee room in coach
Secret locked door to crew rest area
Looking up from the "basement"
Plush, quiet quarters for the crew
There are eight berths in the crew rest area
BAT contest winner David Zippin on a private tour of Singapore Airlines' A380

 

While the double-decker Airbus A380 has been plying the skies around the world for five years now, it’s still a sight to see it take off or land at SFO. While you may have seen one of these big birds from the outside…only a few have been able to see what they look like on the inside.

Last week, lucky BAT contest winner David Zippin got one of those prized close-up looks when he took a private tour of a Singapore Airlines’ A380 parked at SFO. The BAT chose Zippin randomly from the hundreds of readers who helped us attract nearly 300 new subscribers in a word-of-mouth contest late last year.

BAT contest winner David Zippin on a private tour of Singapore Airlines' A380

BAT contest winner David Zippin on a private tour of Singapore Airlines’ A380

Thanks to all of you who helped turn your friends and colleagues on to The BAT! As a result, we are growing like gangbusters! And thanks to Singapore Air and other BAT sponsors- their support keeps The BAT free (and in this case, very interesting) for readers.

Now, back to that tour… BAT editor Chris McGinnis accompanied Singapore Airlines VP Paul Ng along with Zippin and three of his friends to see the plane. Here are nine interesting things we learned about Singapore’s A380 service at SFO along the way:

1-SEXY: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has a super-sexy flight number on its SFO>HKG>SIN run: SQ1, which departs SFO at 10:50 pm for Hong Kong and Singapore. SQ2 arrives back in SFO at around 8:30 pm. Ng told us that the SFO flights bear those numbers because San Francisco was Singapore Air’s first US destination 33 years ago.

2-BEST BUSINESS CLASS: There are 60 business class seats on the A380—and they are so wide (34 inches) that SIA has added a pillow and a cushion to cozy the expanse up a bit. Upstairs window seats have special storage bins. (See slideshow above.) The business class cabin in split into two sections- the section closest to the front is smaller, more intimate and likely more quiet. Business class fares on Singapore for mid-March flights run from $4,000 to $6,000.

3-BEST COACH SEATS: There are 88 coach seats at the rear of the upper deck (which are considered the best coach seats—windows in this section have the same special seat-side bins as in business class.) Upstairs, coach is configured 2-4-2 vs 3-4-3 on main deck. Due to the curvature of the fuselage, coach seats downstairs on the main deck don’t have the bins. Round trip coach fares on Singapore Air currently run around $1,200.

4-FIRST CLASS SUITES: Downstairs, there are 12 “Suites” in the first class section at the front, and then 311 coach seats in the back.  Each plush, rich leather, first class seat is enclosed in a private shell, with a sliding door to the aisle. Sleeping mattresses are 4″ thick. A seat in a first class suite to Hong Kong or Singapore runs about $12,000-$14,000 round trip. Ng said that the two pairs of adjoining suites (non-window) with collapsible walls between them are usually the first seats to sell out. (Think about that, all you Valentines Day romantics!)

5-MURPHY BEDS. Unlike other airlines, Singapore seats in both business and first class fold over, and then down, so you sleep on a separate mattress thick mattress, a different surface that what you sit on. See the slide show above for a demonstration. (On most other airlines, first and business seats recline to a flat bed-like surface for sleeping.)

6-THREE LEVELS. There’s a basement on this bird! Behind a combination-locked door in the middle of the main deck, there’s a steep staircase down to a crew rest area. The space consists of 12 bunks—with entertainment systems, mirrors and noise deadening privacy curtains. It’s a bit claustrophobic down there, but those nice flat beds look cozier than the first class suites upstairs. (Several shots of this in the slideshow above)

7-BIG BIRD.  The top of the tail of the A380 stands eight stories off the ground. According to Ng, one wing could keep a group of 2,000 people dry in the rain. We were skeptical about that claim until we peered out the window at the massive wing.

8-TWO VERSIONS: Singapore Airlines flies two different configurations of the A380. Version 1 is configured with both business and coach seats on the upper deck. Version 2 is all-business-all-the-time (86 seats) upstairs; first and coach are on the main deck.  Both versions have a grand wide staircase in the front, and a smaller curves staircase in the back.

9-SINGAPORE GIRLS. A small army of 22 flight attendants (Singapore girls and boys) staffs the flight, which takes about 13 hours to reach Hong Kong… then 3-4 hours more to Singapore. The flight departs SFO at 10:50 pm, crosses the International Date Line and then arrives in Singapore at noon—two days later. (So if you leave on a Sunday night, you get there in time for lunch on Tuesday.)

10-SAD TO SEE IT GO. Singapore Airlines’ A380 is currently scheduled for what the carrier is calling “popup” service at SFO—it started on Dec 28 and will revert back to a Boeing 777 service on March 24. But there’s hope: Ng says that the airline is always evaluating where to deploy its fleet of A380s, and it could come back.

 

For a limited period, San Francisco passengers will have the opportunity to experience spacious luxury onboard the world's largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380 on flights to Asia. Between December 28, 2012 and March 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines will pop into town with daily “Pop-Up” A380 flights between San Francisco and Singapore via Hong Kong. Flip through this slideshow to see its famous Suites and the widest Business Class seats in the sky. SQ1 departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is about 13 hours to Hong Kong, and with another 3.5 hours to Singapore, you'll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury and explore the 1000+ onboard entertainment options. SQ2 arrives daily in SFO at 7:45 pm on the same day it departs from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Want a private tour of Singapore’s A380 at SFO?

How would you like to see inside this big bird? (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

Do you like private tours? Would you like to get a true insider’s look at Singapore Airlines’ massive new double-decker Airbus A380 when it arrives in SFO later this winter?

Would you like to feel what it’s like to snuggle into Singapore Airlines’ signature double bed in first class (and of course take photos you can post on Facebook or Twitter)?

Peer into all the planes’ nooks and crannies, like the galleys where Singapore girls prepare in-flight meals? Run up and down the big ship’s secret spiral staircase?

Singapore’s signature first class double be on the A380

Maybe you’ve always wanted to check out the first class lavatories to see if they are any different than the ones in coach?

Wondered what it’s like to enjoy a pre-flight drink or meal at Singapore Airlines’ first and business class lounge at SFO? Meet BAT editor Chris McGinnis?

Now’s your chance to win that private tour in a fun drawing!

One lucky BAT reader (plus three guests of their choice) will get to check out Singapore Airlines’ big bird, from stem to stern, in a private pre-flight tour at SFO one evening in late January.

All you have to do is help The BAT grow by telling your frequent traveling friends about it.

Just follow these three easy steps:

1> Between now and January 5, 2013 compose an email (copy and paste the one we’ve prepared below—or modify it) and send it to at least THREE frequent traveling friends recommending that they sign up for The BAT.

2> Be sure to copy The BAT on the same email: contest@thebat-sf.com

3> You can only enter once, so be sure to include as many friends as possible on the first email. (NOTE: Emails will be used for this contest only—they will not be sold or traded or used by any other party for any other purpose.)

On January 5, The BAT will draw the winner from among the emails we’ve received. Once the winner is chosen, a date for the private tour (in late January) will be set on a mutually agreeable date. The winner can bring along three guests for the tour. (Allow about 90 minutes at the airport for the tour.) On the evening of the tour, we’ll meet in the International terminal at SFO, enter the terminal via security, visit the Singapore Airlines first/business class lounge for refreshments, and then tour the plane.

Does that sound like a fun evening or what? So come on and give it a go—and help The BAT grow!

Here’s the suggested email—copy and paste or modify to your liking:

Dear ____________:

Have you ever heard about The BAT blog for Bay Area frequent travelers? It’s a free travel blog that I subscribe to.

It’s full of helpful news and advice for frequent travelers who live in the Bay Area…just like us. For example, I first learned that PreCheck was coming to SFO, or that Virgin America was matching United Premier status from The BAT.

I think it’s definitely something you could use, and get this: If I can convince you to sign up, we’ll both be eligible to take a behind-the-scenes tour of a Singapore Airlines A380 at SFO one evening in January!

So please check out The BAT and sign up by January 5.  See “Subscribe” in the upper right margin of the blog, or just sign up right here.

Thanks!

*Your signature*

IMPORTANT! Do not forget to copy The BAT  (contest@thebat-sf.com) on the email you send! It’s the only way we’ll know that you are entering the contest!

Good luck! And Happy Holidays!

-Chris McGinnis

*****

Are YOU signed up for The BAT? If not, why not? Subscribe to The BAT via e-mail!

Follow @cjmcginnis

Welcome new readers! If this information was helpful to you, please subscribe to The BAT via e-mail- and tell your friends about it, too!

*****

Sponsor:  

For a limited period, San Francisco passengers will have the opportunity to experience spacious luxury onboard the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380 on flights to Asia.  Between December 28, 2012 and March 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines will pop into town with daily “Pop-Up” A380 flights between San Francisco and Singapore via Hong Kong.  Flip through this slideshow to see its famous Suites and the widest Business Class seats in the sky.

SQ1 departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is about 13 hours to Hong Kong, and with another 3.5 hours to Singapore, you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury and explore the 1000+ onboard entertainment options.  SQ2 arrives daily in SFO at 7:45 pm on the same day it departs from Singapore and Hong Kong.

***

 

 

 

 

 

For a limited period, San Francisco passengers will have the opportunity to experience spacious luxury onboard the world's largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380 on flights to Asia. Between December 28, 2012 and March 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines will pop into town with daily “Pop-Up” A380 flights between San Francisco and Singapore via Hong Kong. Flip through this slideshow to see its famous Suites and the widest Business Class seats in the sky. SQ1 departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is about 13 hours to Hong Kong, and with another 3.5 hours to Singapore, you'll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury and explore the 1000+ onboard entertainment options. SQ2 arrives daily in SFO at 7:45 pm on the same day it departs from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Another Airbus A380 arriving at SFO

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced that it will be flying its flagship A380 between SFO and Hong Kong with continuing service to Singapore this winter. SIA is the first Asian carrier to fly the double decker A380 into SFO. (Lufthansa and Air France arrived at SFO with the A380 first.)

Most frequent travelers have only dreamed of flying Singapore Airlines, renowned for its top notch service, Singapore girls and over-the-top business and first class cabins. It’s frequently cited as the best airline in the world. Airline spokesperson James Boyd told The BAT, “It’s important to note that the A380 will only be on the SFO route for three months. It’s a great ‘pop-up’ opportunity for Bay Area business travelers to get a taste of our premium flagship service.”

Singapore currently flies Boeing 777s between SFO and Singapore twice a day- one flight stops over in Seoul, the other stops over in Hong Kong. While the B777 service is nice, it’s now a little dated and not near as nice as what SIA offers on its big A380. Flip through the slideshow above to see its famous first class suite and the widest business class seat in the sky.

SIA’s got a super-sexy flight number on its SFO>HKG>SIN run: SQ1, which departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is 15 hours to Hong Kong, plus another four hours to Singapore, so you’ll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury. SQ2 arrives back in SFO at around 8:30 pm.

SIA is a Star Alliance partner, but unfortunately, you cannot redeem United Mileage Plus miles for SIA’s business or first class seats. However, coach seats are available starting at 65,000 miles round trip.

Ready to go? A quick scan of roundtrip fares for mid January between SFO and Singapore shows coach at about $1250; business at $5,900 and first at $12,500.

Have you ever flown Singapore Airlines before? What did you think? 

Singapore Airlines’ flagship A380. (Courtesy: Singapore Airlines)

*****

Subscribe to The BAT via e-mail!

Follow @cjmcginnis

Welcome new readers! If this information was helpful to you, please subscribe to The BAT via e-mail- and tell your friends about it, too!

*****

For a limited period, San Francisco passengers will have the opportunity to experience spacious luxury onboard the world's largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380 on flights to Asia. Between December 28, 2012 and March 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines will pop into town with daily “Pop-Up” A380 flights between San Francisco and Singapore via Hong Kong. Flip through this slideshow to see its famous Suites and the widest Business Class seats in the sky. SQ1 departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is about 13 hours to Hong Kong, and with another 3.5 hours to Singapore, you'll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury and explore the 1000+ onboard entertainment options. SQ2 arrives daily in SFO at 7:45 pm on the same day it departs from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Summer fare sale shockers

 

American's fare "sale?"

Have you checked out the latest round of summer fare “sales?”

I’m shocked! Not because fares are so low…but because the so-called fare “sale” rates are so…sky high.

Blame it on the high cost of fuel, declining capacity or increasing demand, but these fares hurt!

If you are planning to fly this summer, you better start saving now. Or start mapping out a summer road trip, which is looking more and more appealing with the price of gasoline declining.

A few examples of roundtrips from a “fare sale” trumpeted by American Airlines today:

  • SFO>St Louis: $538
  • SFO>Houston: $512
  • SFO>Ft Lauderdale: $480
  • SFO>Los Angeles (LAX): $186

Also today Virgin America trotted out a special introductory fare on flights to its newest airport, Washington National: $400 round trip! Ouch! And that’s only if you can fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday after August 14th. Those flying on other days will pay about $550 round trip. United, which just started flying nonstop between SFO and Washington National this month, is currently asking for a whopping $674 round trip for travel in late June. Double ouch!

Thinking about a July trip to Hawaii? Right now, you can’t find a seat on a nonstop for less than about $728 roundtrip between SFO, Oakland or San Jose and Honolulu.

Got some business to take care of in NYC? Get ready to pay up! Even in this hypercompetitive market, the lowest fares for nonstops from SFO in mid July are now in the $400-$500 range.

Thinking about Europe but you have not bought your ticket yet? Air France will fly you round trip between SFO and Paris nonstop for a mere $1,679 in July or August. Nonstops on United or Lufthansa to Frankfurt are now about $1500 round trip. How about SFO-London for a little pre-Olympics action in July? British Airways, United and Virgin Atlantic will get you there for about $1,400 round trip.  If you would like to fly in for the Games, fares are $2,000+ for economy class round trips.

My best advice for those on a budget is to try and schedule your trips before about June 15, or after about August 24—a cheaper period outside the peak of the peak summer travel season. If your schedule can handle it, choose one-stop flights or red-eyes, which tend to be cheaper. Most times, you’ll find cheaper fares on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays.

Have you searched summer fares yet? Please provide any highs or lows (or onerous restrictions) you’ve found in the comments boxes below. 

*****

Subscribe to The BAT via e-mail!


*****

For a limited period, San Francisco passengers will have the opportunity to experience spacious luxury onboard the world's largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380 on flights to Asia. Between December 28, 2012 and March 24, 2013, Singapore Airlines will pop into town with daily “Pop-Up” A380 flights between San Francisco and Singapore via Hong Kong. Flip through this slideshow to see its famous Suites and the widest Business Class seats in the sky. SQ1 departs SFO at 10:50 pm and arrives in Hong Kong at 5:50 am two days later. Flight time is about 13 hours to Hong Kong, and with another 3.5 hours to Singapore, you'll have plenty of time to soak up the luxury and explore the 1000+ onboard entertainment options. SQ2 arrives daily in SFO at 7:45 pm on the same day it departs from Singapore and Hong Kong.