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The secrets of the world’s best first-class cabin revealed: Travel expert goes behind the scenes at Singapore Airlines to discover how it creates its ‘5-star hotel in the sky’ experience

It’s been named the World’s Best Airline at the ‘Oscars of Aviation’ – and it scooped the gong for ‘World’s Best First Class’.

The secrets to its success? Coming right up, courtesy of The Points Guy (TPG).

As part of a brand-new video series called Airplane Mode, the site’s Senior Director of Content, Nicky Kelvin, takes viewers with him as he takes a ride in ‘Suites’ class on one of the airline’s A380s and talks to top Singapore Airlines staff about the carrier’s approach to hospitality.

He even receives a lesson on how to serve customers their meals in first class – and discovers just how fussy the airline is over the details. Read on for more about Nicky’s behind-the-scenes adventure inside a ‘five-star hotel in the sky’….

The Lounges 

The Points Guy’s Nicky Kelvin (above) is the star of a new video series – Airplane Mode. The secrets of Singapore Airlines’ success is the subject of the first episode 

Nicky takes a ride in ‘Suites’ class on a Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 

Nicky’s journey begins at Changi Airport, a travel destination in its own right where guests can admire the striking Jewel Waterfall, wander around its butterfly garden and lounge by its rooftop pool.

But the most exclusive area, Nicky reveals, is the luxurious Silver Kris first-class lounge in Terminal 3 – which Singapore Airlines invested $37million (£30million) in revamping alongside its Krisflyer Gold lounge.

Browsing its buffet, Nicky said it had ‘a wide selection of what looks like really healthy, but indulgent food’, as well as a ‘massive selection of drinks’, complete with a self-service wine bar – which Nicky swiftly poured a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from.

As well as helping themselves to food and drink, guests can order from a vast menu. Testing its ho fun dish [Chinese noodles], Nicky said: ‘I love ho fun. It’s something that I order when I’m at home in the UK, but I’ve never seen it like this before with that beautiful beef on top.

‘Gooey, chewy, everything I love about this, but the beef, you don’t see beef like this really. Absolutely fantastic.’

Singapore Airlines was named the World’s Best Airline at the ‘Oscars of Aviation ‘ – and it scooped the gong for ‘World’s Best First Class’. Before flying, Nicky ordered ho fun in Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris lounge, situated in Terminal 3 at Changi Airport

Nicky avails himself of the self-service bar at Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris lounge

Nicky explored Singapore Airlines’ ‘ultra-exclusive’ lounge, The Private Room

Nicky ‘road tested’ the sleeping quarters in the elite private lounge

Moving on, Nicky explored Singapore Airlines’ most selective lounge, The Private Room, which only accepts passengers with a first-class ticket.

Walking viewers through the airline’s ‘ultra-exclusive’ lounge, situated in Terminal 3, Nicky spoke to Tim Chua, Singapore Airlines’ VP of Airport Operations. 

Chua explained to Nicky the thought process behind the design. 

He said: ‘It creates a break from the busyness of outside, then adds onto the whole feeling of privacy and quietness.’

Experiencing it for himself, Nicky relaxed in one of the lounge’s enclosed seating spaces.

He said: ‘The movement and normalcy of the airport are behind you but you’re protected. You can sink into this chair and that craziness just exists in another place.’

Nicky revealed that guests can enjoy ‘sparkling clean’ en-suite showers with ‘beautiful products’ and private restrooms with their own bed to relax in before their flight, which Nicky sank into.

The only problem? ‘You might never want to leave,’ commented Nicky.

The Suite 

Nicky enjoyed a luxurious meal served by Singapore Airlines’ leading stewardess, Connie. Then received some tutoring on how to serve customers

Connie demonstrates that items have to be laid down in a certain order

Above is the sumptuous swivel chair that features in Suites seats 

A first-class Suites ticket aboard Singapore Airlines can amount to tens of thousands of pounds and dollars.

But then, it does come with ‘a very comfortable bed’, neatly tucked away until passengers want to rest. 

Passengers can also enjoy a separate reclining chair that turns ‘at the push of a button ‘, noise-cancelling headphones, and amenity kits.

In addition, Nicky described the storage space as ‘incredible’.

He said: ‘The suite comes with incredible storage. They even have this space designed especially for [Hermes] Birkin bags because they know their customers here aboard Singapore Airlines.’

Nicky enjoyed a luxurious meal served by Singapore Airlines’ leading stewardess, Connie. It included chilled Malossol caviar, French Champagne, poached lobster, Chinese oxtail soup, and lemon meringue tart.

Singapore Airlines Suites tickets can cost tens of thousands of pounds

Nicky’s dining experience included chilled caviar (above) 

Nicky was able to order a chicken biryani with basmati rice

Summing up his experience, Nicky said: ‘Dining in Singapore suites is not just any run-of-the-mill meal’

Connie served the meal with military precision, first placing down a table cloth then, in an anti-clockwise manner, a bread plate, butter, salt and pepper, a glass, cutlery and a presentation plate.  

Explaining the philosophy behind such exact service, Connie said: ‘Singapore Airlines Suites and First Class is all about exclusivity, privacy, comfort, and personalised attention.’

Nicky even got to try his hand at serving, which he soon found out wasn’t so simple, as he first laid the tablecloth the wrong way and Connie corrected his positioning of the salt and pepper.

Summing up his experience, Nicky said: ‘Dining in Singapore suites is not just any run-of-the-mill meal. You’re not just given nice wine, you’re given wine that’s specifically paired to your meal.’

The amenities 

Nicky was able to change into complimentary pyjamas in an upstairs lavatory

Nicky had access to various swanky amenities, including a vanity mirror and Lalique facial mist 

Putting the first-class amenities to the test, Nicky changed into the provided Lalique pyjamas in the Airbus’s upper-deck lavatories. And sprayed himself with facial mist.

The travel guru described the room as ‘probably one of the chicest bathrooms in the sky’.

Upon returning from the lavatory, Nicky said: ‘[I’ve] come back into what was before my dining room and what is now a bed ready for me to rest in.’

Any downsides to the experience? Nicky revealed there weren’t any.

He told MailOnline Travel: ‘It was an experience of a lifetime, and I was able to learn about every single element from the rigorous training staff undertake to the preparation that goes into every flight before passengers arrive on board. This was an experience beyond first class. It’s luxury at its very best.’

For more from The Points Guy visit To see the original Singapore Airlines video click here. 

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