Editor’s Note: We will never get those quiet, WFH Covid-19 pandemic years back. But we lived to tell our kids that an SIA Restaurant A380 existed in our time. Oh, memories!
Some time in October 2020, while the rest of us normies were watching Emily in Paris in our PJs, approximately 900 people boarded a plane for Singapore Airlines’ inaugural Restaurant A380 “dining experience”.
Yes, these people paid money to sit on a plane, eat a pre-packed meal and (presumably) queue to use the restrooms, all without a holiday destination at the end of it all to look forward to. I am just as mystified as you are.
And, whoa, just how much does this Sisyphean experience cost? Let’s take a look.
Restaurant A380: Singapore Airlines “inflight” meals
According to the Singapore Airlines web page for Restaurant A380, this is how much it cost to dine on a grounded airplane.
|Restaurant A380 @ Changi||Price (incl. GST)|
|Premium Economy Class||$96.30|
Even though Restaurant A380 is payable in cash only (not KrisFlyer miles), all four days were sold out almost immediately.
Just like “real” inflight dining, you get to select your dishes. Of note: There’s a Peranakan menu designed by Lee Kuan Yew’s niece, Shermay Lee, featuring nasi lemak. It also comes with up to 2 alcoholic drinks and free-flow non-alcoholic beverages, a tour of the A380, an inflight movie and a souvenir.
Inside SIA: Singapore Airlines tours
Other than inflight meals, Singapore Airlines also launched Inside SIA, behind-the-scenes tours of SQ’s training facilities. Inside SIA was sold out in a matter of hours.
This is how much aviation enthusiasts paid:
|Inside SIA||Price (cash)|
|Adult (13 years & up) incl. meal||$32.10|
|Child (3 to 12 years) incl. meal||$16.05|
|Add on: Flight simulator experience||$535 (for 3 pax)|
|Add on: Junior cabin crew experience||$94.16|
|Add on: Wine appreciation||$40.66|
|Add on: Grooming workshop||$94.16|
The basic admission fee includes a meal + goodie bag. You can add on extra $$$ if you want the following specific experiences.
- Flight simulator experience: Play in the same flight simulator SQ pilots use for training. Price is for up to 3 pax.
- Junior cabin crew experience: Get your kids to role-play as cabin crew and “learn customer service skills” for a day.
- Wine appreciation: Wine-tasting session (4 wines with cheese) with SQ sommeliers.
- Grooming workshop: Learn how to “achieve the Singapore Girl look” through a makeup and hair tutorial.
[email protected]: Singapore Airlines home delivery meals
Finally, here’s something that’s not sold out: [email protected], which is basically an inflight meal delivered to your home. It’s kind of like Restaurant A380, minus being confined in a tight space with plebs.
Here’s the price list for the 7 packages.
|[email protected]||Price (cash)||Price (miles)|
|Business Class Wine and Dine for 2||$308.16||38,520|
|First Class Signatures for 2||$350.96||43,870|
|Business Class All-Inclusive Experience for 2||$415.16||51,895|
|First Class Wine and Dine for 2||$479.36||59,920|
|First Class Champagne and Dine for 2||$607.76||75,970|
|First Class Wine and Dine, with Tableware for 2||$736.16||92,020|
|First Class All-Inclusive Experience for 2||$950.16||118,770|
There are many permutations available, so let’s just imagine we have unlimited money and run through the options. Decisions, decisions…
Seat class: Only Business Class or First Class available. First comes with caviar; Business doesn’t. Opt for Business if you’re poor.
Extent of experience: The cheaper “Wine and Dine” experiences do not come with plates. Meanwhile, the “All-Inclusive Experience” comes with a 22-piece tableware set so your SQ Suites-themed dining room can finally be complete. Either way, you need to do your own washing up.
Cuisine: Choose from French, Australian, Indian, Indian vegetarian or Japanese. For simplicity, we used the prices for the first 3 — the Indian veg one is a little cheaper and the Japanese one more expensive.
You can pay for [email protected] with your KrisFlyer miles if you wish. That’s probably a sensible choice given these dreadful times we’re in — who can say when we can redeem flights again? Even The Milelion, who famously ordered a First Class for 2 and lived to tell the tale, paid in miles.
Why do people even pay for these “experiences”?
Now that I’m done gaping at the expensive price tags and downright bizarreness ($94 for a chignon tutorial? Really?) of these Singapore Airlines experiences…
The real question is: Why are people paying good money to eat airline food?
That was also the question on this Straits Times journo’s mind. But she’s infinitely braver than I am: She actually posed the question to some interviewees. It takes guts to cross-examine people about their privilege in the middle of a recession.
As expected, most gave answers along the lines of supporting Singapore Airlines and helping to save jobs. Hm… virtue signalling much?
Meanwhile, another ST article about the opening of Restaurant A380 gave us a more prosaic (but believeable) answer: some are spending on these experiences to “make up for not being able to [travel]”. Now, that’s the self-interested Singaporean we know and love!
In any case, it’s your money (or miles), so don’t let my sour grapes get to you.
Which credit card should you use on KrisShop?
Planning to support Singapore Airlines with your money? Here’s which credit cards you should use to maximise your KrisShop.
If you’re a true SQ believer, then duh, use an SQ-cobranded credit card to earn extra KrisFlyer miles. Not sure when you’ll get to redeem them though…
- Local Spend
- S$1 = 1.1 Miles
- Overseas Spend
- S$1 = 2 Miles
- Grab rides
- S$1 = 3.1 Miles
- Local Spend
- S$1 = 1.2 Miles
- Overseas Spend
- S$1 = 2 Miles
- Grab Rides
- S$1 = 3.2 Miles
If you’re looking for cashback (because why bother with miles anymore?):
- Cash Back on eligible spend
- Up to 1.5%
- Min. Spend per month
- Cash Back Cap
Apply and spend S$250 to get an Apple AirPods Gen 3 (worth S$269) or Nintendo Switch Lite (worth S$279) or S$250 Cash via PayNow. T&Cs apply.
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