This flight is one that I have been looking forward to for almost a year. It was heavily hyped upon its launch with some big aviation bloggers securing seats on the inaugural flight. But does the world longest flight between Singapore and Newark live up to the hype, 6 months after its initial launch. Is the A350-900ULR in a two-class configuration all it was sold to be? What is it like in the “cheap-er” Premium Economy seats at the back?Video Footage
If you want to check out the video footage of this flight click on the link below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mmwbTMjHvU
This footage shows the Premium Economy experience, KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, Singapore Changi Jewel and the "Book the Cook" meals i selected in Premium Economy.Singapore Airline Krisflyer Gold Lounge
My journey started at one of my favourite airports, Singapore’s Changi. This has to be the easiest and most transit friendly airports in the world – with clear signage, excellent amenities and some of the best airport lounge. Sadly, the Singapore Airlines KrisFLyer Gold Lounge is not on that list of excellent lounges. On the outside this lounge looks excellent however take a closer look and you see that all that glitters is not Gold.
As I am travelling in Premium Economy, access to Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounge is not available. Resulting in me using my Star Alliance Gold Status to gain access to a lounge. Singapore Airlines has a separate “Gold Lounge” for Star Alliance Gold members and their own top tier frequent flyers. This lounge I have always found to be underwhelming, overcrowded and lacking the most basic of lounge amenities – a toilet and shower within the lounge. I try and minimise my time here whenever I transit through Singapore.Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR
Tonight’s flight is on a A350-900ULR, specially configured with only two classes (Business and Premium Economy) for both financial and fuel saving purposes. With the limited number of seats on board this aircraft the boarding process was fast and efficient – boarding by class & frequent flyer status, as expected. The hardest part about boarding this plane as a premium economy passenger is having to walk past those lush business class seats to get to the rear of the aircraft -envious of how the “other half” live. First world problems!!Best Seat In Premium Economy
The biggest tip I can suggest to anyone looking at taking this flight is book one of the six solo Premium Economy seats at the rear of the plane. I normally avoid the rear of any aircraft at all costs due to increased noise, turbulence, last to deplane and so on, but the opposite is true on this flight. These six seats have no person next to them but instead a giant storage box. This is so handy for two reasons – the first being that you don’t need to have anything under the seat in front or have to access the overhead locker during the flight. The second being that you can get into a comfortable position for sleeping by putting a pillow on this box and laying to the side. I am not one that sleeps easily or well in an upright position but on this flight, I got a solid 7-8 hours.Book The Cook - Meal Service
There are three meal services during this flight one served immediately after take-off (late dinner), one at about the half way mark (light snack) and breakfast before landing into Newark. Premium economy guests can select from multiple options in the premium economy menu that is distributed prior to the first meal service or alternatively can use the “book the cook” option available online prior to departure. On this flight I chose the “book the cook” option. Both meals were delicious however nothing of note or much of an improvement on a standard economy meals. I slept through the snack meal service so was unable to take any photos.In-Fligtht Entertainment
Singapore Airlines was awarded “Best Asian Airline 2019” by Skytrax and spending 17+ hours with them makes it easy to see why they were award this honour. The cabin crews service, seat product and entertainment were phenomenal. The entertainment on board was excellent with a vast selection of movies, tv shows, music, games and other sources of entertainment available through the massive IFE screen. At no stage during this flight or the return trip (which contained the same base IFE content) did I feel like I had run out of options to kill the time. I only have one question - Why is there no tail camera on Singapore Airlines planes? A must for any IFE looking to get a perfect score by a #AVGeek
This flight arrives in Newark early in the morning as the sun rises, making for excellent views of New York City's skyline while coming in to land. Unfortunately, these views were experienced on the opposite side of the aircraft to my self allocated seat.Final Thoughts
Overall this flight was fantastic and one I will not forget anytime soon. If Ultra-Long-Haul flights are the future of aviation, then Singapore Airlines has nailed it already on this aircraft. In comparison, I took Singapore’s A380 from New York JFK to Singapore via Frankfurt on the way back, again in Premium Economy. The extra time, additional stop, time taken to unload and re-load in Frankfurt and quantity of passengers on board the super jumbo flight made it far inferior to the non-stop direct experience on the A350. My advise, if your are flying in Business of Premium Economy between Singapore and New York take the direct flight on the A350 over the A380. Especially when the price is normally the same, if not slightly cheaper on occasions.
All of the accompanying footage for this flight can be found at the link below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mmwbTMjHvU
Let me know your thoughts on what you think about Ultra-Long-Haul flights or if the hub and spoke model will continue to dominate how we travel?