The Best Feature of Singapore’s Premium Economy We Weren’t Expecting

By Marisa Garcia, Skift

We also love the design’s sleek and modern appeal, a welcome update to the more traditional design aesthetic of Business and First. The airline has said we should expect more surprises in store. — Marisa Garcia

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Singapore Airlines invested $80 Million dollars to launch its new Premium Economy, plus costs of accelerated deployment to achieve what the airline describes as the "critical mass” it needs to succeed. The end product reflects money well spent.

SIA’s new Premium Economy is beautifully designed, expertly crafted, and comfortable. It offers passengers a great number of product and service features they are sure to enjoy. While many features were included in the airline’s announcement prior to the reveal, there were some features we weren’t expecting to find when we saw the product, the best of which will make air travel much better for all.

Passengers can expect roomy, well cushioned seats, lots of cubby holes to store their personal items, including two designed to hold smartphones which include arrows pointing at their respective owners. Footrests deploy with ease, the seat recline is smooth, and there’s a generous fully adjustable headrest.

Pointing out that the screen on the state-of-the-art In-Flight Entertainment system is largest in its class, doesn’t quite express the cinematic experience of sitting in front of a high-resolution screen that takes up most of the upper back seat, further complimented by the quality noise canceling headsets that the airline provides.

Add to these hardware features, soft items which are truly soft. There’s cosy plush blanket and generously sized pillow covered in a material that feels like a blend of silk and cashmere, though it’s made of a special fire-safe textile. Soft flight socks and eye-mask are included in the airline’s collectible, limited edition, 50th anniversary amenity kits, which feature different prints of Singapore Girls and destinations. Passengers will receive one print on the outbound flight.

There is a rich, varied menu, which passengers can personalize by picking their choice of dishes and sides through the airline’s Book the Cook service, and champagne service throughout the flight. Passengers also get a generous 35 kilo baggage allowance, and priority check-in.

Entrepreneurs flying onboard will find that the tray table in the double armrest doubles as a good-sized solid work surface, and there are sufficient power outlets and USB outlets to keep devices working for the duration of the flight. The neat magazine pocket has ample room to store work documents securely until they’re wanted, and the personal reading light adjusts to focus-in where its most needed.

But the very best feature of Singapore Airlines’ new Premium Economy seats is hidden, and address a critical need for passengers who need special accommodations.

SA Seats

The retractable aisle seat armrest can be pushed down at the touch of a button, so that it is completely flush with the seat bottom. This universal design feature makes it easier for limited mobility passengers to get in and out of their seats, and also accommodates passengers of size who may need extra room to be comfortable. It’s a special design consideration which makes the Singapore Airlines Premium Economy seat really stand out from the crowd.