Flight Review: Singapore Airlines A380-800 Business Class JFK-FRA

by joeheg

I can’t remember a flight I’ve looked forward to more than our trip on Singapore Airlines from New York-JFK to Frankfurt, Germany. As soon as Sharon mentioned she’s like to visit Germany to see the Christmas markets and possibly tack on a trip to New York, this was the only flight I had in mind to get us to Germany.

I had already booked our flights when we were going to London in March on Virgin Atlantic, and as we sat in the terminal, I heard the boarding announcements for the flight. My level of anticipation kept rising as the flight got closer.

Everything reminded me that I was getting closer to flying on that A380. Even my work trip to NY brought me to JFK Airport, and as I was taking the Airtrain to my hotel shuttle, this was my view.


So close, yet so far.

I’ve already gone over how I used points from three transferrable points programs to book our flights. I even was able to get some of my points back when the saver award space opened up for our trip. I ended up paying 72,000 miles and the taxes of 7.80 SGD per ticket.


I had a hard time deciding what seats to choose. We were traveling together so we could take the middle seats, but that would mean we’d have no view out the window. Since it was mostly a night flight, I decided to take the two middle seats on the bulkhead.  I also took advantage of the “Book the Cook” option offered by Singapore Airlines.

Boarding the plane

We spent our time before the flight in the El Al King David Lounge since the Swiss lounge was being renovated.

When boarding for the flight was called in the lounge, we gathered our items and walked across the terminal to the Singapore gate. As soon as we arrived, boarding for business class passengers was called and we walked right onto the plane.

The Singapore A380 on this route has both business class and economy passengers on the upper deck. Instead of opting for the nose, we took the bulkhead seats, 18D &18F, if that matters to you.


Now, these aren’t the newest Singapore Airlines seats. In fact, they’re quite old. However, they’re insanely comfortable, and booking the bulkhead eliminated one of the main complaints people have about the seats, but more on that later.

Once onboard

As we got to our seats, we were greeted by the cabin crew by name. Can you tell that I’m excited about this flight?


Sharon, not so much. For her, a plane is a plane, and legroom is never a problem. She’s trying to look happy, but all she wants to do it try to go to sleep.


Once we took off after a bit of a delay, we were served warmed nuts and sparkling wine.


Then the meal service started. Our reserved meals came out exactly as ordered. Meals began with a salad. Sharon and I both had a glass of white wine. We were soon offered a bread choice and both of us picked the pretzel bread.


Of note, I received every part of my meal service before Sharon. I think this is because the left side of the cabin gets service first. If you want to get to sleep sooner and still eat on the plane, this may be helpful information to you.

Once the salad plate was cleared, the main course was brought out. I had the short ribs.


While Sharon had the beef filet.


Both meals were excellent and some of the best food we’ve ever had on an airplane. I need to mention that neither of our meals was on the regular menu for the flight, so the “Book the Cook” option does really get you the exact meal you order just for you.

Off to bed

Now that dinner was finished, it was time to try to get some sleep. Time to put these Singapore seats to the test. One of the pros and cons of these seats is that they don’t just recline. You have to get up and change the seat from a chair to a bed by folding and maneuvering the cushions. For a first-timer, this is not an easy procedure. Fortunately, our cabin crew was there to help and I was set up within a minute.

I headed to the bathroom, which was nothing to speak of, and changed into my pajamas. Here’s where I loved my seat choice. Where the regular business class seats on this plane require you to angle your feet into a cubby hole, the bulkhead seats have a full footrest. Here’s a series of pictures showing the legroom when sitting, reclining and when sleeping.

a person wearing pajamas and slippers

I took some sleeping medicine and managed to get about 4 hours of sleep, which is terrific for a transatlantic flight from the East Coast.

I even slept right through the breakfast service, which sounded yummy.


Final Thoughts

And then it was over. We started our descent into Frankfurt, and I headed to the bathroom to change back into my clothes.


Did I enjoy the flight? You bet I did. Singapore Airlines lived up to the hype. The service from the cabin crew was great. (It would have been excellent, but they kept pouring white wine throughout dinner even though we both had beef dishes. Had we known what we ordered with the salad would be our choice for the rest of the night, we would have ordered red wine.) But as gripes go, that’s not a huge one to deal with.

The food was as good as any we’ve ever had on an airplane and getting to order exactly what we wanted was a vast improvement over what we’ve experienced on other airlines.

The fact that I was able to sleep for several hours was a rarity on an airplane and is a credit to the comfort of these seats on Singapore’s A380’s. While I’m sure it’s better to curl up in your own double bed in suites class, this was an acceptable substitute.

Given the reasonable price of these seats when redeeming award tickets with the KrisFlyer program and that you can transfer miles from all three major banks, this is not a hard ticket to get. I had a harder time getting two tickets at the saver rate since I was flying on a Saturday night, but other days of the week had availability as soon as the schedule opened up.

If you’re looking to get to Germany or other European destinations, I’d highly recommend this flight. I’m looking forward to when we’re able to fly with Singapore Airlines again, and hopefully, to spend some time in their home country and check out Changi Airport.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary



Glenn January 8, 2020 - 8:07 pm

I’ve done this flight before. It’s good, but as eastbound flights are shorter you don’t really get a full night of sleep. On the westbound flight from FRA-JFK you can get a good amount of sleep between two full meal services.

Henry Sik March 10, 2020 - 4:46 am

Many thanks for your detailed report on SIA flights. My family and I are booked on SIA non stop flight from Singapore to Newark. Because of the coronavirus, how are we to be informed in advance on possible flight cancellations.


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