Five Thoughts On Last Night’s Singapore Suites Class Flight

Hello from Germany! I flew Singapore Airlines Suites Class from New York to Frankfurt last night. I wrote an extensive trip report about the same flight last month, so won’t be reviewing it again, since it was basically the same (including the menu).

Instead I figured I’d share five thoughts on last night’s flight:

1. Christmas decorations in full swing!

How adorable is it that Singapore Airlines has wreaths aboard their aircraft? While I’m not much of a holiday person, there’s something nice about getting a bit festive when flying (previously I just relied on holiday themed cocktails as a way of getting festive). 😉


2. Free wifi!

I’ve complained extensively about the price of wifi on Singapore Airlines’ A380s. It’s horribly expensive given that they charge based on usage, and don’t have an option for a flight pass with unlimited data. It’s especially uncompetitive when you consider that Emirates is now offering complimentary onboard wifi.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Suites Class passengers received complimentary internet vouchers. Unfortunately they were for 15MB each, which is enough for maybe a social media check-in and refreshing your email.


This seems to just be a temporary promotion offered by Citi through January 31, 2015.


It’s a nice touch, but even so, Singapore’s overall wifi program is still exceedingly uncompetitive.

3. Did anyone else fly over the North Atlantic last night?

In fairness, the captain warned us before takeoff that it would be a bumpy flight due to the jet streams. The first two hours were smooth. The last two hours were smooth. Everything inbetween was B-U-M-P-Y. Not like scary bumpy, but uncomfortably bumpy. We were rocking and rolling for well over three hours, during which time the crew mostly had to remain seated.

Eventually I had to sit up in the bed position, because being flat while the plane had some serious vertical movement became uncomfortable.


The funniest part had to be that the captain was really actively managing the seatbelt sign. During the nearly four hours where it was bumpy, he switched on and off the seatbelt sign about six times. Each time he would come on the PA and explain that we were going through a “small pocket of clear air turbulence.” If by “small pocket” he meant about a 2,000 mile stretch of the North Atlantic, then that sounds about right. 😉

Of course this is outside the crew’s control so it’s not a complaint at all, but this was among the longest duration of turbulence I’ve ever experienced, and as a result, I didn’t get any sleep on the flight.

Did anyone else fly over the North Atlantic last night, and if so, how was your ride?

4. Singapore’s over-the-top bathroom cleaning

The attention to detail on Singapore Airlines really is second to none. Every time I went to the lavatory the leading steward would hold the door open for me. At first I thought it was just a courtesy, but the last time I visited the lav to put pants on, I figured out what he was doing. He held the door open for me, and then said “one moment, Mr. Schlappig.” He then quickly wiped down the sink, flushed the toilet again, and wiped some “liquid” off the floor.

There aren’t many airlines with that level of attention to detail!

5. Lobster Thermidor disappointment

One of the awesome features of Singapore Airlines is that they have the “Book the Cook” program, whereby you can pre-order your main course from a wide selection of options.

Probably the most popular Book the Cook option is lobster thermidor.

I ordered it a few weeks ago on my Singapore to Melbourne flight, and it was spectacular — easily one of the best main courses I’ve ever had on a plane.


However, on last night’s flight it was just sad-looking… bordering on wretched. It was tasteless, overcooked, and there wasn’t much “meat.”


Love, love, love me some Singapore Airlines!


  1. “preciously I just relied on holiday cocktails”. Ben I’m so disappointed, this is obviously a racially charged slight and you obviously are an agent in the war on Christmas. Too soon?

  2. Flew CLT-FRA last night and it was the bumpiest I have seen it for a few years. It was horrible and very uncomfortable! I wish I flew CLT-GIG instead.

  3. I know, almost a week later but… flying JFK – LHR last week, overnight 16th into the 17th, we had the same experience. Pilot warned us that it’d be smooth until about the last two hours of flight and so help me if the “time to destination” didn’t read 2:05 when it got moderately bumpy for the rest of the flight. The FAs were up and about and able to do the service but I wasn’t able to lay down at that point and honestly I wouldn’t of risked getting up.

  4. yes i’m with you on the scrupulous bathroom cleaning– I’ve noticed that in Economy Class on SQ too.

    Can you imagine this happening on US carriers?

  5. I don’t really know lobster thermidor, as I am allergic to shellfish. But are you sure that wasn’t a plate somebody had already nibbled at and returned?

  6. I did ZRH-EWR during the day on Saturday, and indeed it was bumpy. Not as bad as you describe — I had no trouble napping for a couple of hours, and didn’t find it particularly uncomfortable for the rest — but definitely and consistently choppy. I was genuinely amazed at how well the United pilots handled it; they notified the passengers that there would be bumps, but left the seat belt sign off as much as possible. Kudos to them for managing it that well — wayyyyy too many US airline pilots turn the seatbelt sign on at the first sign of chop and leave it on for hours.

  7. Wish it happened on Thai too. Early on in a CDG-BKK flight, another passenger left ‘a trail’ in the first class toilet. It was never cleaned up, and it was impervious to repeated flushing.

  8. Its pretty weird. I am flying that route constantly. For the last 4 years it has always been bumpy as hell during December. Had the SQ flight 3 years ago and it was the exact same thing with the seatbelt sign going on and off every 30min. To me this is a SQ thing. Flying Emirates on that route seems to be a different story.

  9. Actually lucky I took your inbound aircraft from Frankfurt to jfk yesterday. They had a five hour delay. Not sure if your flight was delayed because of this.

    And we did experience long periods of turbulence half way thru the flight. Not as long as yours but still enough to wake you up while I was trying to sleep on suites class. I took seat 3F as per your recommendation.

  10. Oh lucky one last thing… My flight leader told me that when i needed more Internet vouchers just to ring the attendant button. So the whole session would be free. Did you’re not communicate that to you?

  11. On my Lufthansa flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt we had a lot of turbulence, so much that it woke me up and kept me up for half of my nine hour flight.

  12. As a pilot sometimes you just can’t find smooth air. With that said US pilots tend to try and find a smooth ride. The roughest rides I have ever had as a pilot have been on Cathay and Singapore as a passenger. They just sit and get the crab beat out of you. It’s rare you can’t go down to the low 30’s or mid 20’s and find smoother air. However this comes at a cost more fuel. It’s up the the Captain to call dispatch and plan for this. Some do, some do not!

  13. Talking about seatbelt

    I recently had a pilot not turning on the seatbelt sign when landing All the way to the gate

  14. @ Sergio — Hmmm, they gave me two internet vouchers upfront, but didn’t bother asking for more. Guess I should have! Still a pain to reconnect every 15MB.

    Hope you enjoyed your flight!

  15. @ Sem — Nope, you can’t. Why not? Same reason you can’t keep the china or cut out the leather from the seat. It’s property of the airline.

  16. @ Carl P — Hah, almost looked like it, eh? Interestingly my friend flew the same route the night before and had a similar complaint. Guess I won’t be doing lobster out of JFK in the future.

  17. @ Noel @ Matt — Heh, bad slip on my part, whoops. Fixed the post. I guess you can guess what was on my mind.

  18. Wow, it seems like all the northern hemisphere has turbulence :D. I took SQ 11 from LAX to SIN and the first leg was okay. However, the NRT-SIN leg, we had turbulence for a solid 4 hours. The captain said he was only allowed to fly from 32k feet to 36k feet and could not go to 40k feet, where there was no turbulence at all because the traffic was really heavy there :(. He and the crew apologized for that for the whole flight. For us C and F passengers, it was kinda annoying but for economy passenger, it was a nightmare!

  19. Were you at JFK on Dec 20th? If so, I was there at the clubhouse as well flying JFK-LHR on VS but didn’t see you. Ah well. I was on VS046 but our flight was delayed to 8:30pm and thus was at the clubhouse from 5pm-8pm. Nowadays when I fly transatlantic, I eat dinner at the lounge and simply sleep for 80% of the flight. I didn’t notice any huge turbulence over the Altantic at all but then again I was sound asleep. I did feel a little movement/shake here and there as we got close to the UK but I wouldn’t say it bothered me too much.
    Have a great time in Germany!

  20. @ Joey — I was there at exactly the same time. Can’t believe I missed you! Hope my peeps took good care of you. Who was serving you?

  21. I can vouch for the consistent bathroom cleaning. I had a really bad case of air sickness in Suites on SQ 12 a couple of weeks ago on the NRT-LAX leg. I was probably in the bathroom no less than 8 times. I felt really bad each time I headed for the bathroom since one of the FA would open the door for me with a look of sympathy on her face, and then they’d go right in after I left to tidy up.

    Also, Lucky, I didn’t end up using my two wi-fi vouchers. If you want them, let me know. They expire on 1/31/15 and I don’t have any SQ plans before then.

  22. We flew PHL->LHR on Nov. 21 and had a similar experience. Between Nova Scotia and Ireland, there was at least 2 hours of continuous (and sometimes, very pronounced) turbulence where the crew had to stay seated. Thankfully this happened after the meal service, but it didn’t make for an easy flight to sleep. My daughter actually puked in the first restroom that she saw after we got off the plane. She was absolutely fine the rest of the day (and trip), so I can only conclude that the bumps made her a bit nauseated.

  23. Seriously re: that Bose headset comment…That was someone else that goes by Sem, I’m going to have to change my handle…!!! On a more relevant note, Ben, is there a link to you on Fox News that other day, I missed it…Have a great time at the Airbus launch…

  24. I flew Singapore from Hong Kong to Perth last year on an old tired plane in Business Class
    It was average/barely satisfactory at best and the food sucked
    Ill assume its not their premium routes they are known for
    Having said that no desire to fly them again. Cathay for me!
    I guess I wasn’t Lucky or Lucky 😉

  25. @Lucky, I tried to get a head massage but the schedule was full! I was on the waitlist but flight was about to start boarding so I cancelled it (though I hit myself on the head when I heard the flight was delayed!) Ah well. There’s always next time! BTW, I just flew on CX and they had a wreath in the plane too! 🙂

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