Review: SQ SIN-EWR Business Class

This. Is. It. The world’s longest scheduled commercial flight. Singapore to Newark clocks in at 9,534 miles. The flight block time depends on the direction and season. However, the flight takes between 17 and 18.5 hours. Today’s flight is blocked at 17 hours and 50 minutes. This ticket was purchased for 1,300 USD originating in Amedabad India.

Date: Monday January 28
Flight: 22
Aircraft: A350-900ULR
Origin: SIN
Destination: EWR
Seat: 15D Business Class
Scheduled Push Back: 12:40 AM
Actual Push Back: 12:36 AM

The SilverKris lounge was packed. This lounge is only open to customers in business class and is pretty large. However, every seat was taken. Singapore Airlines ground experience needs an improvement. We left the crowded lounge and headed towards the gate and went though security. Boarding was listed to start at 12:10 AM but started at 12:18 AM.

Seat

I boarded and was directed to my seat which had a day pillow on it. There wasn’t a day day blanket which is odd (only the bedding comforter).

To the left was the seat controls (and lighting).

To the upper left was additional lighting .

To the right was the entertainment controls and a storage compartment with headphones.

Behind me to the right is an electric port and USB.

The TV is large and clear.

To the right of the TV was another storage compartment and a mirror.

Singapore airlines has unique seats where unless you’re in the bulkhead you’ll need to sleep at an angle due to the footwell position. Slippers, socks, and an eyeshade were waiting here.

The literature pocket contained the inflight magazine, duty free catalog, and menu.

Trying to adjust I made it to 6:30 AM Singapore time (5:30 PM EST) and decided to make my bed. Rather than calling a flight attendant over I just flipped the seat down and made it my self.

Dining

The menu was extensive. The menu outlines the meal services on the flight. The first meal will be served after takeoff. Starting eight hours into the flight the second meal service will begin. Additionally, starting three hours into the flight snacks will be available.

For the first meal, “after take off”, I went with book the cook and pre-ordered the lamb loin.

The second meal is midway through the flight. Again, I went with book the cook. The second meal had several menu options. From a celebrity chef menu to the Canyon Ranch menu to standard options.

The mid-flight snack options consisted of several options including a Canyon Ranch parfait.

The drink section was comprehensive as well. Including wine, liquors, mocktails, soft drinks, coffee, and tea.

After takeoff the first meal service started with mixed nuts.

My book the cook option of lamb loin was served. Since this is a supper service no appetizer is served. This seems odd as many people may want to adjust to the destination time prefer a full meal.

A bread basket followed. However, this was fairly behind the meal service. Many people were already close to finishing their meals.

I decided to try the Canyon Ranch Agave Lemonade. For being a health drink it had a lot of sugar.

With 7 hours remaining in the flight the second meal service began. First was a chicken and beef satay starter.

The satay dishes were collected. A few minutes later tray tables were set and the smoked citrus salmon appetizer was served (which wasn’t listed on the menu). Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this dish. After the appetizer was collected my book the cook option of lobster thermador was served which was pretty good.

After the main meal options were collected cheese and dessert service followed which I skipped. I woke up about 1.5 hours from landing and asked about breakfast. The only option was a yogurt parfait and fruit. You’d think on such a long flight there would be a few breakfast options.

Service

During the boarding process hot towels were handed out along with a pre-departure beverage. Book the cook meal options were also confirmed.

We pushed back a few minutes early and began to taxi to the runway. The pilot noted our flying time would be 17 hours and 20 minutes. We took off around 1:12 AM and the seatbelt sign was off at 1:18 AM. Singapore Airlines doesn’t offer amenity kits in business class (nor pajamas). The idea being the lavatory has the amenities you’ll need. However on this flight a flight attendant comes around with amenities you can pick from. These include lotion, facial spray, and lip balm. I just went with the lip balm.

The flight attendants generally seemed over worked on this flight (slower service, working one aisle at a time). It seems Singapore Airlines needs to increase staffing to provide a consistent service level. The timing between courses was long, dragging out the whole service. The second meal service seemed odd. Passengers were actually woken up (I later came to learn there was a do not disturb button which I didn’t press). Singapore should embrace a dine on demand option and let customers eat on their own time.

Entertainment

Singapore Airlines KrisWorld has a ton of options. This particular flight has even more options as well. I was impressed to see Bohemian Rhapsody so quickly after it’s theatrical run.

Singapore Airlines launched a new feature where you can connect to the inflight entertainment via your KrisFlyer account to save preferences. However, the system didn’t recognize my email or KrisFlyer number. I used the option to pair the entertainment system to my phone. This let me view all the options on my phone and play them on the screen. This was a nice option rather than fiddling with the remote.

Lavatory

The business class lavatory was the standard size and included amenities such as a toothbrush and mouthwash.

There was a fold down tray which made changing a bit easier.

WiFi

Singapore Airlines sells plans per MB. This makes you appreciate US airlines which sell passes by time (but Uniteds WiFi doesn’t work anyway so I guess it’s moot). What’s annoying is getting to the portal splash page. The inflight magazine has instructions to first identify the underlying provider of the WiFi, then type in the correct URL. Singapore Airlines should just redirect passengers to the correct site. As a business class passenger you’re entitled to 30MB of data. I ensured I turned off background refresh. I burned about 2 MB of data just checking into my onward flight to SFO.

Survey Says

Well, it’s a long flight. There should be an option for a full meal service after takeoff (for those who want to be on New York time). It would be nice for passengers to have the flexibility to dine on demand. The service schedule seems confused. I don’t understand why there isn’t a proper breakfast arrival service. All in all, it’s the fastest way between the two cities and Singapore Airlines is an excellent option.

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