- 20-year-old Alex Macheras is a broadcast aviation analyst who flies around the world reviewing new first class cabins before they are even available to the public.
- He flew on the delivery flight for the Singapore Airlines’ first Airbus A380 aircraft on December 13.
- Says Singapore Airlines’ A380 first class suite is the “hands down winner” of all the competitors – including Emirates – for several reasons.
Alex Macheras has a pretty cool job for a 20-year-old. As a broadcast aviation analyst, he spends his time jet setting around the world reviewing new first class cabins before they are even open to the public.
Last week he took an empty flight from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France to Changi Airport in Singapore for the delivery of Singapore Airlines’ first Airbus A380 aircraft, and shared his experience via his Instagram. Here he is being greeted by the cabin crew ahead of the 13-hour flight.
Macheras told Business Insider that on these kinds of trips he spends the duration of the journey examining every aspect of the plane’s cabins.
“I’m usually on my hands and knees in the suites testing out what it’s like to work on the dining table, use the blinds, dim the lights, etc.,” he said.
His experience sounds similar to YouTube star Casey Neistat’s when he took a trip in one of Emirates’ newly-launched first class suites its Boeing 777 aircraft. After checking out all of the private cabin’s features, Neistat called it the “all-time greatest aeroplane seat.”
However, Macheras, who has experienced the first class offerings from the likes of Emirates, Etihad, and Cathay Pacific, said there were a number of things about Singapore Airlines’ new private suite that make it the “hands down winner.”
Here are the six reasons Singapore Airlines wins, according to Macheras.
1. The bed and seat are separate
The core reason Singapore Airlines’ A380 first class cabin is “miles ahead of Emirates'” is its concept, Macheras said.
“These days 99% of business class cabins feature a big seat that reclines into a fully flat bed – it’s so common nowadays – but this suite has a seat and a bed,” he explained.
2. It’s more spacious than a ‘central London apartment’
The second reason is the space, he said. “When we talk about spacious cabins in first class, it’s usually about how much movement you have in your seat.
“With Emirates first class, it’s a small area that is taken up pretty much by the seat, so you can just stand on the spot, but in the Singapore suite there was space to walk around. I’m known for my pacing on the phone – in fact I’m doing it right now – and I found myself pacing during the flight at 43,000 feet.”
“People have tweeted me saying it looks bigger than their central London apartment,” he added.
3. It has an understated, elegant style
“With all these airlines offering beds in their first class cabins, they have to differentiate themselves from competitors through the small details and quirks,” Macheras said.
“Emirates is known for its glitziness and sparkly gold products, whereas Singapore is understated and elegant. It’s low-lit like a boutique hotel, which appeals to many more people than the wild lights show of Emirates.”
4. The amenity kits are luxurious
Luxury French brand Lalique has designed the new amenity kits as well as the pajamas and bedding for the first class suites.
“The new amenity kits were another thing that impressed me,” Macheras said. “But this isn’t just a plush blanket, it’s white crisp Lalique bedsheets that you might expect in a hotel room.
The amenity kits are packed with Lalique fragrances, creams, balms, moisturisers, and even a scented candle.
5. The seat has a ‘swivel’ mechanism so you can face the window
The plush armchair featured in the Singapore Airlines’ suite has an electronic swivel mechanism that means you can face any direction you want.
“What’s the bonus in having this function? It’s something I hadn’t considered before I took this flight, but when you fly as much as I do, you’ve often seen all of the movies on offer,” he said.
Being able to reposition your seat means that you can soak up the views while aboard, he explained.
“When we flew over the Middle East it was 6 p.m. on the ground and the sun was setting and I caught this impressive sunset with so many different tones of orange,” he said. “I could just relax and watch it with my headphones in, without getting neck ache.”
It also just so happened to be the peak of the Geminid meteor shower while he was on the flight, so while flying over Iran the aircraft was surrounded by shooting stars. “In the space of about four minutes, I saw about 10 shooting stars,” he said.
6. There’s a 32-inch flat screen TV
“Finally, there’s a 32-inch flat screen mounted on the wall of the suite, which is controlled by the tablet and can move left or right – it’s like being in someone’s living room.”
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