Today I fly on Singapore Airlines, Airbus A350, from Singapore to Milan Malpensa. For a grand total of USD 90, I managed to snag a preferred seat on this flight in the Economy cabin. What are preferred seats? Other names include Exit Row seats, Bulkhead Row seats etc. Once upon a time, passengers could request for such seats for free. These days, however, passengers have to pay an additional fee. Why are these seats preferred? Simple reason – more legroom. SInce this was a red-eye 12.5 hour flight, I decided to give it a try. I got seat 47J.
Verdict? It depends.
No doubt that the legroom was plentiful. I could stretch my entire leg horizontally, with no issues. This allowed me to have a very good sleep. But take note the disadvantages below.
1. Preferred seats are right next to the toilets. Hence, this place could get very busy indeed, especially during peak hours for toilet use (e.g. after meals, before landing).
2. At 47J, you will hear a ‘ding’, ‘ding’, ‘ding’ (9:26), and a blue light coming on. What was that all about? Turns out that whenever a passenger presses the call button for a flight attendant, the ding sound will happen, and a small blue light will be activated. (9:26). The ding beeper and blue light is located right above the aircraft door, near 47J. You can imagine the ‘ding’, ‘ding’, ‘ding’ throughout the night. Fortunately, they gave me ear plugs, and I managed to sleep through. I think this wasn’t an issue for 47B and 47C (i.e. the preferred seats at the other aisle), although I’m not sure.
3. Preferred seats have no space to put your backpack under your seat. Everything must go overhead.
4. The inflight entertainment screen can only be deployed when the aircraft is in the air. So you don’t have access to movies when the plane is on the ground, during take off, and during landing. Other passengers in normal seats have access to the IFE throughout.
Overall? Given that I had a good sleep (which was very important to me), the USD90 was worth the money. However, if I flew again, I would try 47A, 47B or 47C next time. (i.e the other side of the aircraft)
Seats-aside, the rest of the flight was good. We were served supper shortly after takeoff from Singapore Changi. I chose the Beef with Noodles option. I found the beef a bit tough, but it didn’t bother me too much as I wasn’t hungry. We were given a Magnum mini as dessert – that was nice. I slept a lot and woke up about 3 hours before landing. Breakfast was ok. I chose the noodles again. Everything went like clockwork and we landed in Milan safely.
Have a Blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2018.
Singapore Airlines – a great way to fly.
Singapore Airlines Terms and Conditions Preferred Seat
(7) passenger occupying an EMEX Preferred Seat must:
(i)Be at least 15 years of age on the date of the first flight.
(ii)Be fully able-bodied, and capable of opening and moving quickly or reaching and passing through the emergency exit doors. Passengers with reduced mobility or any disability, whether profound or partial, and passengers using portable oxygen or any other medical equipment may not purchase or be assigned an EMEX Preferred Seat as they may endanger themselves or others in the event of an emergency.
(iii)Be able to follow the safety instructions in English.
(iv)Be in good health at the time of check-in, boarding, and during the flight.
(v)Not be pregnant.
(vi)Not be carrying an infant or using an infant seat belt. Not be directly responsible for caring for children/infants, elderly or passengers with reduced mobility.
(vii)Not under the influence of any intoxicating substance at check-in, boarding, and during the flight.
(viii)Not require an extension seat belt due to a large body size.
(ix)Not use the Inflight Entertainment System during aircraft taxi, take-off or landing.
(x) Not be an unaccompanied minor.
Able-bodied passengers are those who have sufficient physical dexterity, strength and mobility to evacuate the aircraft expeditiously through the emergency exit without assistance and without impeding others. They have no other responsibility or commitment to persons or objects on board, such as caring for children/infants/elderly or incapacitated passengers, which may prevent them from evacuating the aircraft expeditiously or cause them to impede others. These are some of types of passengers who will not be accepted as fully able-bodied, and may not purchase or be assigned EMEX Preferred Seats:
(i)Invalid, sick or infirm passengers
(ii)Passengers with children/infants
(iii)Handicapped passengers (including the blind and/or deaf)
(iv)Passengers who are under 15 years of age at the time of travel
(vii)Frail or elderly passengers
(viii)Deportees or prisoners in custody