How Singapore Perfected the Business-Class Seat
The Gulf carriers may have their showers and apartment-size suites, but when it comes to comfort and functionality in a business-class seat, Singapore Airlines remains unbeaten.
The carrier’s new cabin made its U.S. debut this spring on flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong. And though the business seat has its bells and whistles—at 28 inches, it’s one of the widest lie-flat seats in the sky, with more storage space than ever—it's the subtle details that set it apart. Here’s a look.
Illustration by 500GLS
1. The console next to the passenger’s shoulder has a dedicated laptop slot; its grooved surface prevents smaller devices from rattling around. Several charging ports are just inches away.
2. The seat enclosure is lined with an insulating material called Nomex that is soft to the touch, retains warmth, and helps neutralize ambient sounds.
3. The quilted-leather seat reclines to two positions, including the new chaise-longue-style Sundeck, made for passengers who like to curl up as they watch TV. The seatback also folds forward to become a 78"-long bed that attendants will cover with proper cotton sheets.
4. The 18-inch monitor has an ultrawide, high-definition display that allows you to fast-forward or rewind nearly frame by frame with the touch of a finger. You can also use the touch-screen remote.
5. The stowage nook by the monitor has a supple leather base and lights that slowly illuminate the space as its panel slides open to avoid jarring passengers’ eyes at night. The drink holder below allows cabin crew to provide service discreetly, without invading the passenger’s space.