Tuesday, 10 December 2019
SINGAPORE: Singapore-Newark Route Is The World’s Longest
First opened with the Airbus A340-500 earlier in the century, the route relaunched in October 2018 with the ULR aircraft being able to perform the flight with better economics than its predecessor.
Before the relaunch, the only other option for New Yorkers looking to head to Singapore and vice versa was through intermediary cities such as Frankfurt, increasing the journey time by hours.
It allows enough time for a business traveler to make it to their hotel early in the morning and freshen up before getting to the office to start the typical workday at 9 A.M.
Though timed perfectly, the flight regularly clocks in at an eye-watering 16 to 18 hours of flight time in each direction.
SQ22 leaves Singapore a bit before 1 a.m. and gets into Newark at around 5:30 a.m. or earlier. The proper strategy for this flight is to stay awake the first half of the flight and sleep the second half.
Qantas recommended a similar strategy to test subjects on its research flight from New York to Sydney in October.
This way, one basically sleeps during the nighttime of the destination and wakes up prior to landing. While not a perfect cure for jet lag it is the equivalent of having an early morning start vs dealing with a 12-hour time difference.
That’s what I did for the most part and this is something Singapore Airlines doesn’t seem to understand.
The airline insists on timing meal services around Singapore time instead of Newark time. The main meals on the flight are served at a time when people should be sleeping.
There is an initial meal service after take-off, which is acceptable, but the timing of the second meal service is downright disrespectful since it is more geared towards people operating on the departure time instead of the arrival time zone.
This effectively negates the notion of getting some proper rest on a business class flight.
Singapore Airlines insists in pairing meal times to the origin and not the destination.
The cabin on Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350-900ULRs consist of only two cabins, premium economy and business. While the premium economy seats feature only recliner chairs, business class seats come fully-equipped with lie-flat seats.
There are a lot of complaints about this seat being cramped and having to sleep at an angle but for someone of average height, the seat is great and I actually prefer it to a lot of the reverse herringbone style type seats due to the width of the bed space in the upper body area.
Bulkhead seats in rows 11 and 19 are recommended for taller folk but those are hard to come by since Singapore Airlines reserves them as bassinet seats but will occasionally release them to high-value customers.
Many would say I missed out on the flight but I didn’t I accomplished exactly what I intended to do, maximize rest on the flight.
Often times we lose sight of what business class is about, it’s primarily a method of effectively get rest to be ready to go right upon reaching your destination.
Economy class is about being miserable and first class is about having fun. Business class is business.
The more you travel, the more you start to appreciate sleep. You can only be so excited sitting in a reverse herringbone seat for the umpteenth time, you don’t need to stay awake to revel at the fact I’m not in coach.
That’s what you do when sitting in Cathay Pacific first class because that’s first class. That’s supposed to be fun, even though you do aim to sleep well on those flights too.