Ever since I saw photos of Singapore Airlines’ incredible first class suites, I dreamed of one day taking a flight in one. Once I figured how to easily accumulate airline miles, this dream became a reality and I was finally able to book my ticket for this incredible 23 hour journey.
Everything I heard, read, and seen online turned out to be absolutely true. The suite was spacious, the bed was comfortable, the food was delicious, and the crew was phenomenal.
Of course, I certainly didn’t pay $8000 for the the one-way flight. It only set me back $332.20 in taxes/fuel surcharges along with 191,250 Krisflyer miles that I earned with my various Chase credit cards.
The points transfer was nearly instant and the booking process was painless. The longest part of it was looking through the list of titles to figure out what I wanted to be called.
Check-in and Boarding
The experience began with first class check-in at Changi Airport and a stay in The Private Room, which I detailed in my earlier post. Once at the gate, I proceeded through security and anxiously awaited my chance to board.
Unlike most airports I’ve encountered around the world, Changi has their security checkpoints at the gate, which is incredibly convenient, as it makes it nearly impossible to miss your flight from being stuck at security.
After a few minutes of waiting, boarding for Suites Class passengers was called and I made my way down one of the three jetways to take my seat onboard.
The jetways were configured so that business class on the upper deck had its own jetway, economy class had the jetway at door L2, and all twelve Suites class passengers had the jetway at door L1 all to themselves.
Singapore to Frankfurt
Singapore Airlines flight 26
SIN [Singapore] to FRA [Frankfurt]
April 29, 2017
Depart: 11:55 PM
Arrive: 6:40 AM
Once aboard, I was greeted by name and escorted to my suite. At Ben Schlappig’s recommendation, I went with suite 3A, as it had three windows instead of two.
Once situated, the lead stewardess came by to explain the features of my seat, present the menu, and pour me my first of many glasses of Dom Perignon.
The menu had a list of items fit for a king. Although numerous entrees are available on the menu, I decided to utilize the Book the Cook option before my flight and choose from one of the over sixty entrees available for this journey.
If Dom Perignon doesn’t fit your fancy, they also have an extensive alcohol list with multiple wines and numerous top-shelf liquors.
Once I looked over the menu, the flight attendants came by to take my order and drop off my slippers, amenity kit, and pajamas. As my glass of Dom was getting low, I was also offered a refill, which I gladly accepted.
I soon had the chance to get comfortable and check everything out. The cabin was arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration across the over 21.4 foot wide main deck of the A380. On most other airlines, the first class cabin is located on the upper deck, which is about two and a half feet narrower.
Continuing with the theme of spaciousness, the lavatories were about twice the size of those I’ve encountered on other airlines.
One additional thing I noticed was that every time you exited the lavatory, the crew would go in to “freshen it up” for the next passenger. Also, if by some chance both of the lavatories were full, one of the flight attendants would offer to come get me when it was available for use. Queuing was simply too pedestrian for Suites class passengers I guess.
We departed on schedule and once we reached cruising altitude, the meal service began.
It began with a Singapore Sling and a bowl of warm nuts, followed by an appetizer of salmon and caviar served on Wedgwood china.
Next up, was a soup course of peking duck consommé, followed by the main course of wagyu sirloin with eringi mushroom.
The steak was very flavorful, but came out almost well-done. I assume this was because this crew was a tad overzealous with the cook time, as my meal on my next flight was cooked to perfection. Nonetheless, it’s hard to cook a steak right on a plane, so no hard feelings on my part.
Next, I was offered dessert of strawberry shortcake followed by a cheese course with port. By the end of it all, I don’t think I could have possibly consumed another bite. I was stuffed!
By the end of the meal, I could barely keep my eyes open, so I grabbed my pajamas and went to change. The ever observant crew saw me get up and offered to make up my bed while I changed.
When I returned back, my bed was ready.
I slept like a baby for the next eight hours. It was honestly the best sleep I’ve ever gotten on a plane. By my calculations, the cost of the flight broke down to about $5.79 a minute, so that night of sleep was worth just over $2700.
Shortly after I woke up, breakfast was served.
The meal began with a Dom Perignon mimosa and fresh fruit, followed by my selection of granola with cottage cheese, and then the Book the Cook selection of lobster and poached eggs with hollandaise.
The breakfast was decadent and filling. Just as with dinner, I think the crew was a bit overzealous with the cook time as the eggs were a bit hard, but overall, it was quite a fine meal.
After just over an hour, we were on the ground for our layover in Frankfurt.
Layover in Frankfurt
After disembarking, all Suites passengers that were continuing to New York were met by a Lufthansa agent and escorted through a security checkpoint and on to the Lufthansa Senator lounge to wait approximately thirty minutes before reboarding.
The lounge and food spread were expansive. As I was still full from the prior two meals, I just helped myself to a glass of milk and waited the short time until reboarding.
I arrived at the gate to two mostly organized lines of people for the economy and business class cabins along with a several “gate lice” standing around. I had my golden Suites boarding pass in my shirt pocket, which was immediately noticed by one of the gate agents. Quickly summoned, I was whisked in front of the growing crowd of passengers so that I could board without delay. The fanfare was definitely unnecessary, but it certainly made me the experience even more special.
Frankfurt to New York
Singapore Airlines flight 26
FRA [Frankfurt] to JFK [New York]
April 30, 2017
Depart: 8:40 AM
Arrive: 11:10 AM
Once aboard, I was immediately greeted by name and escorted back to my seat. Not but a minute later, I was offered a glass of Dom Perignon, an offer of which I gladly accepted.
I will definitely say that the crew is absolutely on point when it comes to photographs. I attempted to take multiple selfies soon after boarding both flights and as soon as I had my phone positioned, a crew member emerged and offered to snap a photo.
Several minutes after boarding began, the captain came on the intercom and announced that there would be a slight delay and that we hoped to be in the air by 10:00. Shortly thereafter, one of the flight attendants came by to personally apologize for the delay and offer me a refill of my Dom Perignon. I gladly accepted.
Such a horror! Trapped in this luxurious suite with a never-ending supply of overpriced Champagne. Such agony he must have expected I was in.
Nonetheless, the maintenance issue was fixed quickly and we ended up departing only about an hour late. Once at cruise, the brunch service began.
Brunch started with a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and a plate of fresh fruit. That was followed by a bowl of cornflakes, and then my Book the Cook choice of the 7oz beef fillet. Afterwards, came a delicious apple raisin cointreau cake with vanilla ice cream
The fruit, cornflakes, and cake were as good as I would have expected, but the steak was incredible. In all honesty, it probably was one of the top three steaks I’ve ever eaten, and this one was cooked on an airplane!
As for the odd assortment of meal items, typically, a more breakfast-like main course is served for this meal. As I knew I’d have eaten breakfast only a couple hours prior, I saw that they had multiple dinner items available for selection for this meal online, so I went with a steak.
After brunch, I asked if it would be possible to get a tour of the plane, a request to which the lead steward happily obliged.
We made our way up the front staircase and past the velvet rope into business class. Singapore’s A380 comes in two configurations: one with a full upper deck of business class and one with a small economy class cabin at the rear of the upper deck. Our plane was configured with the former.
Once at the back of the aircraft, we descended the spiral staircase to the economy cabin on the main deck and then headed forward.
Although nowhere near as spacious as the other cabins, the seats definitely have a bit more space than the economy seats back home on the US airlines.
Once back at my seat, the crew offered to make up a bed for me. Noticing that the cabin was only about half full, I asked if I could have one of the double beds in the middle, which they were happy to make up for me.
I changed into my pajamas and climbed in to attempt a few hours of shuteye. I eventually fell asleep after about fifteen minutes of sitting there in awe and grinning like an idiot.
After several more hours, it was lunchtime. For this meal, I decided to switch it up and try a glass of Krug.
This ‘light’ meal began with a salad of snow crabmeat and mango. Then, I was presented the famous lobster thermidor I had ordered, which had received excellent reviews. The meal was then finished off with a piece of warm chocolate ganache cake.
The salad and cake turned out excellent and the lobster thermidor was absolutely as good as it was said to be.
Sadly, after about another hour, it was time to begin our descent into New York City. After a beautiful approach and a smooth landing, I was finally back in my home country.
The flight turned out to be absolutely as awesome as I had hoped. I just only wish it was longer, so I could have sampled more of the food and drink. With a warm goodbye from the crew, I made my way down the jetway and towards customs and immigration.
One thing that I will certainly say is that one of the biggest benefits to riding up front on a big international flight is the fact that you get to be all the way at the front of the line when you get to immigration. It certainly saves a lot of time at a big airport such as JFK.
After being quickly processed and grabbing my bags, the next stop was the Delta counter to recheck my bags for the final leg of my journey.
Delta Airlines flight 4171
JFK [New York] to ORF [Norfolk]
April 30, 2017
Depart: 2:55 PM
Arrive: 4:24 PM
Ironically, my shortest flight in the smallest plane ended up being one of the most expensive legs of my journey. With no miles, the bill for the one-way flight came to $271.20 with tax.
Only moderately delayed by an hour or so, my Delta flight pushed back and made its way to Norfolk. It was hard to imagine that my bed on my last flight was nearly the width of this entire plane.
After a short time in the air, I was back home in Norfolk. I will say that no matter how much sleep you manage to get on a plane, you still arrive just a tad bit exhausted after a long journey, and I was glad to be able to get a full night’s sleep before facing the real world again and heading to work the next day.
This journey was truly one for the bucket list and I was happy to be able to make the trip, even if it’s probably ruined air travel for me for the rest of my life 🙂