Singapore Airlines launches A380 service into NYC. Private suite, anyone?
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It took a luxury yacht designer to notice that while the Upstairs/Downstairs arrangement of the A380 Airbus, with business and first class passengers alone on the top deck, may have had a certain snob appeal, it was, in fact, a questionable use of space. The widest, most generous part of the airplane is in the middle of the fuselage, so megayacht architect Jean Jacques Costes placed Singapore Airlines’ 12 private suites in the main cabin.
The result is arguably the world’s top long-haul commercial flying arrangement. And, good news for New Yorkers, the airline just started flying it from JFK to Singapore (stopping in Frankfurt). “It looks like a huge monster,” said Albert Chua, Singapore’s ambassador to the United Nations, as he welcomed the first passengers onto the plane for its maiden voyage on Monday. The double-decker airliner is so huge that JFK’s runways and jetways were rebuilt to accommodate its girth.
Singapore might have some of the biggest equipment in the sky, but the 12 private suites in first class make the international daily service downright cozy. Shut the doors, lower the shades, and forget about strangers peeking into your cabin—Singapore Airlines eliminated overhead bins so that the walls could rise above eye level.
And since the A380 has two sets of suites that can be combined to create the only double beds at 35,000 feet, mile-high discretion is a necessity for the staff. There’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, said flight attendant May Lin.
Singapore’s suites are as close to flying private as one can get on a commercial airliner. They’re lavishly appointed with the kind of amenities one might find at home: leather seats, flat beds, Givenchy blankets and pajamas, Ferragamo-designed toiletries, Kiehl’s amenities kits, and a choice of (nonvintage) Dom Perignon or Krug champagnes.
While Emirates’ signature A380 service boasts two-person showers and all-night bars, Singapore opted out of social spaces and sexed up its premium service with something that makes for truly friendly skies: privacy.
Singapore Airlines: Private suites on the A380 start at about $14,000 round-trip for the JFK-Singapore route.