The world’s longest commercial air route has returned to the skies aboard a new Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900ULR, and Belinda MacNeil, product manager for Goway Asia, checked it out, taking her Premium Economy seat for the route’s second flight on Oct. 14, an 18.5-hour journey between Newark and Singapore.
With only 94 Premium Economy and 67 Business class seats, boarding the flight is quick and efficient, allowing passengers time to get settled into the spacious seating. While tray tables are stowed in armrests that cannot be raised (no sneaky impromptu beds here), this format allows for a bigger screen for in-flight entertainment. A wide body and high ceilings ensure a spacious cabin, while carefully controlled lighting encourages rest and relaxation, with no sudden bright lights turned on after hours in a dark cabin.
Meals came in portions large and regular enough to get through the 18 hours. During this epic flight, there are three meals included, a lunch or breakfast, dinner, and a refreshment before landing. The galley is also open with snacks for times in-between. On the return flight MacNeil took advantage of the “Book the Cook” option, which allows travellers to choose their meals from the in-flight menu prior to travelling, and receive their food first, as if it were a special meal.
MacNeil highly recommends the flight, particularly to those who would like to lessen the number of connecting flights to South East Asia, or for those who want to experience business class or premium economy as a bucket list item. As for handling those 18 hours, the Goway officials says 14 hours is the threshold for a long-haul flight. Anything beyond that is “just another movie.”
Singapore is one of Goway’s most popular gateways to Southeast Asia, and is simple to add to any itinerary, either as a city stop on the way elsewhere, as with its Taste of Singapore. Or as part of a longer journey, like the tour operator’s Bali to Singapore which is currently on promotion with a savings of $400 per couple.