Traversing the Kangaroo Route is practically a right of passage for Australians. But with so many airlines connecting the UK with Down Under, travellers are spoiled for choice. In Premium Economy, one of the better options proves to be Singapore Airlines on the Airbus A380.

Whisking passengers through its hub at Changi Airport, the route provides the potential for a Singapore stopover along the way. If you’re spending KrisFlyer miles, though, and are savvy about it, you can even wrangle a night in The Lion City on a one-way reward booking without burning any additional miles. That’s exactly what I do on this trip to London.

Check-in and boarding

Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s may carry almost 500 passengers, but Premium Economy flyers aren’t kept waiting at check-in. I begin my journey in Sydney to find a dedicated lane for Premium Economy. Service here is super swift.

I require an agent’s help with a special request, and even that is handled with ease. As it happens, I’ve booked ‘Sydney to London’ as one through journey, but with a transit time that provides an overnight stay in Singapore. Even so, the computer is happy to tag my bag right through to London, but I’ll want to retrieve it in Singapore. I ask for the bag to be ‘short checked’ only to Changi. The agent knows exactly what I’m requesting, and it’s done.

At the gate, the boarding area is much more crowded: this flight is full, after all. But the process is organised, with a well-signed lane for Premium Economy. Travellers in this queue are called forward after Suites and Business Class.

The next morning in Singapore, I’m back to the airport. I already have my boarding pass for London, courtesy of those switched-on staff in Sydney. I’m able to show that at the desk, have my bag tagged for the onward flight and be on my way. I get the feeling this happens a lot in Singapore: nobody bats an eyelid or seems the least bit surprised.

Airport lounge access

An Airbus A380 Premium Economy booking doesn’t include lounge access with Singapore Airlines. Instead, frequent flyer status, lounge memberships, or the right credit card can be beneficial. With that in mind, here are your key options in Sydney and Singapore—although they don’t contribute to our overall star rating for this flight.

Lounge options in Sydney

You might qualify for entry to the following six lounges when flying Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy from Sydney:

I’m fortunate to have the choice between most of the lounges above. I settle on SilverKris Business Class (courtesy of Velocity Platinum) to experience the same pre-flight ritual as most other elite frequent flyers bound for Singapore. I’ve had breakfast at my Sydney hotel and have lunch on the way after take-off, so enjoy a simple barista-made coffee before getting underway.

Lounge options in Singapore

Singapore Airlines’ flights from Singapore to London generally depart from Terminal 3 at Changi Airport. In this terminal alone, the following lounges are ready and waiting to greet savvy passengers.

Calling on my Velocity status again, I go for the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge this time. The space is light and bright, with high ceilings making the lounge feel particularly roomy. The hot food selections offer some delicious treats – although it’d be even better with barista-made coffee rather than the DIY machine.

Don’t already have a shiny frequent flyer card that works with Singapore Airlines? You could fast-track your way to Star Alliance Gold with the HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card. This could be your ticket to enjoying airport lounge access year-round, including when flying Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy.

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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy seating

Premium Economy has a 2-4-2 layout aboard Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s. The cabin sits at the very front of the main deck, which makes boarding a breeze. It’s also a bonus when you reach your destination, as you’re ahead of the hundreds of Economy flyers at immigration.

As for the flight itself, Premium Economy proves to be a comfortable trade-off between higher-priced Business Class and more affordable Economy Class. Legroom is more than ample – even when the passenger in front reclines. I choose an aisle seat on both legs and find this a good option for daytime flights.

Even for passengers seated in the middle quads, an aisle is only one seat away—at most. Once you’re settled, I appreciate the breadth of storage opportunities. There’s a small literature pocket directly in front, for starters. It swivels open to reveal a larger pouch behind. And of course, bags can fit underneath the front seat.

The centre console offers space for slim items like smartphones when not in use. There’s also a water bottle holder to keep these out of the way. Back to the tech side, though, I appreciate that there’s an AC outlet for each Premium Economy passenger. This isn’t always the case on other airlines, but it was a big plus for me, as I’d booked these weekday flights planning to work along the way.

I also like how the seat provides both a fold-out legrest and a bar footrest. This helps travellers of all statures find their preferred position. I chose to deliberately stay awake on both legs, given my opportunity to sleep on the ground in Singapore between flights. But I was able to take the seat for a doze on an overnight flight back from Paris to Singapore, on which I managed a solid seven hours in a window seat. Granted, that was an Airbus A350 flight, but the plane shares the same Premium Economy seat as Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380.

Food and beverage in Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy

For me, dining in Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy wasn’t quite what I expected. Don’t get me wrong – the food itself was delicious, and there’s Champagne. But presentation-wise, it felt like I was flying Economy.

The mains were delivered in foil-wrapped plastic containers, other snacks were also wrapped in plastic, and the refreshment came in a cardboard box. Drinks like my Singapore Sling arrived in a cardboard coffee cup—you get the idea.

Fortunately, Singapore Airlines is now catching up in this space. On Premium Economy flights from 31 March 2024, meals are delivered with porcelain tableware instead. It’s a much-needed upgrade, especially when competitors like Qantas and Emirates have offered this for some time in the Premium Economy cabin.

Given that my journey took place just before these improvements, I can only rate and review my experience. Nonetheless, we look forward to experiencing the upgraded dining service in Singapore Airlines Premium Economy soon.

Dining from Sydney to Singapore

Today’s flight – SQ232 – departs Sydney at 12:15 pm and reaches Changi at 5:35 pm local time. The schedule lends itself to lunch after take-off and a late afternoon refreshment. Of course, that’s exactly what Singapore Airlines provides on this Airbus A380 Premium Economy service.

First though, a glass of Champagne kicks things off. Singapore Airlines serves Charles de Cazanove in this cabin and it’s perfectly drinkable. It’s enjoyed with some packaged nibbles while the meals are being prepared. For lunch, I’ve used Singapore Airlines’ Book The Cook service to pre-reserve a dish that’s not on the normal inflight menu: beef rendang with steamed rice. It’s been a while since breakfast back at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, so it’s nice to have something hearty.

I’m in need of caffeine after the meal, so I order up a coffee. This is one point of difference between Premium Economy and Business Class on Singapore Airlines. When flying in the former, it’s standard filtered coffee rather than a barista-made brew. The main meal finishes off with a salted caramel ice cream.

Later in the flight – mid-afternoon, in both time zones – it’s time for a signature Singapore Sling. Closer to landing, there’s a sizeable stuffed pastry to enjoy. Bar service is available throughout the flight, but a Diet Coke does me for now.

Singapore to London

For my next hop, I’m on SQ308. It’s a 9 am departure from Singapore, reaching London at 3:20 pm local time on the same day – but from a journey of over 14 hours. Meals on this flight come as breakfast after departure, a refreshment about halfway through and lunch later in the flight. It works well overall because you’re then hungry enough for dinner on the ground in London – at dinnertime. Jet lag be damned!

Breakfast provides another chance to peruse the carrier’s Book The Cook selections. Choices are much wider when departing Singapore, and I land on the seafood hor fun. It’s served with wok-fried flat rice noodles and it’s a delicious way to start the day. The cabin crew compliment me on my choice, as it seems most other passengers have taken the more ‘tried and tested’ path, with omelette after omelette emerging from the trolley.

As the flight continues, I can’t say no to a glass of Champagne – it’s the same as on the earlier flight. I’m awake for the mid-flight refreshment: a plastic-wrapped sandwich. This is where the presentation really reminds me of Economy, but where Singapore Airlines is now improving.

I finish out this Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy journey with a late lunch—one final Book The Cook selection. I’ve gone for the herb-crusted fish fillet with mashed potatoes, broccoli, edamame and tomato concasse. The presentation is very ‘production line’, but it’s quite flavourful. If you’re peckish throughout the flight, a basket of snacks can also be found in the galley.

Inflight entertainment and service

On the Airbus A380, every seat in Singapore Airlines Premium Economy offers a crisp personal TV. The screen is very responsive to touch – much like a tablet. Colours are vivid, content selections are vast, and the screen also tilts to suit your eyeline – particularly handy if the passenger in front reclines.

The moving map helps you keep tabs on the journey, although it’s a shame that Singapore Airlines chooses not to make the external aircraft cameras available for passenger viewing. This is a staple of many other carriers flying the superjumbo – and it’s a nice alternative to looking out the window.

As a nice touch, Singapore Airlines offers over-ear noise-cancelling headphones in Premium Economy. These headphones match the headsets given out in Business Class – although you can still attach your own compatible pair to the system.

Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s also come equipped with Wi-Fi. When flying Premium Economy, access is complimentary for all members of the airline’s KrisFlyer program – even those at the entry-level. The catch is that you must have your KrisFlyer number linked to the reservation before departure to browse for free. Travellers with any other frequent flyer card attached – whether that’s from Velocity, Flying Club or a Star Alliance partner – don’t qualify.

Aware of that intricacy, and this being an award booking that doesn’t earn miles anyway, I’ve kept my KrisFlyer number on file. After all, a ticket in Premium Economy already grants access to priority check-in and priority boarding. At the lounges, I simply show my Velocity Platinum card for access, and I’m admitted without incident – even though it’s not on the booking. This gives me the best of both worlds: lounge access through status and gratis Wi-Fi through KrisFlyer.

The verdict on Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy

Premium Economy on Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 is undoubtedly a comfortable way to fly. Service is great, the free Wi-Fi works surprisingly well and the meals are tasty. Being able to access a lounge courtesy of Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic or Star Alliance status is also a plus to round out the premium travel experience.

As already flagged, the presentation of the meals on this journey were more akin to Economy standards. But it’s good to see that Singapore Airlines is upping its game in this area. Best of all, it’s a great way to spend Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles. There’s often lots of reward seat availability – even at peak times.

This journey from Sydney through to London costs me exactly 101,000 KrisFlyer miles and just AU$112.09 in taxes and fees. KrisFlyer evidently doesn’t levy any carrier charges on Singapore Airlines reward seat bookings. And when your connection in Singapore is less than 24 hours, it counts as a transit. In other words, even though I spent the night in Singapore, I didn’t need to burn the miles for Sydney to Singapore plus Singapore to London. It only cost the standard ‘Sydney to London’ rate.

It’s also possible to book these Premium Economy flights through selected partners like Virgin Australia Velocity. Just note, though, that carrier charges are payable through Velocity – the trade-off being that Velocity Points are easier to earn in Australia.

Reward points aside though, this journey is a great way to venture to the UK. I arrive in London with enough energy to wander out to a West End show the evening I touch down. My flights are on time, and I can track the progress of my suitcase on the Singapore Airlines app. In fact, it’s already on the belt when I clear immigration in both Singapore and London. If only all journeys followed this and ran like clockwork.

Also reviewed: Emirates Airbus A380 Premium Economy (Sydney – Dubai)

Featured image courtesy of Singapore Airlines, picturing the identical seat on the airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft. Other photography by Chris Chamberlin, who travelled at his own expense using KrisFlyer miles and accessed lounges courtesy of his (earned) Velocity Frequent Flyer status.

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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 Premium Economy (Sydney – Singapore – London) was last modified: May 8th, 2024 by Chris Chamberlin