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6 Things You Should Know About Flying the World’s Longest Flight in Business Class

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James Larounis
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James Larounis

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James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...
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The world’s longest flight is no joke.

At about 19 hours, Singapore Airlines’ flight from New York (JFK) to Singapore (SIN) puts the “long” in long-haul.

It’s an extremely convenient flight, transporting you from New York to Singapore without any stops, allowing you to fly between 2 of the planet’s largest business and financial hubs. But the fact that these 2 cities are literally a world apart is why this route sits on top of the list of the longest flights operating today.

There are actually 2 flights from New York City to Singapore, and it’s worth distinguishing them from each other. The longest flight is from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), and this flight leaves in the late evening and arrives in Singapore in the early morning 2 days later with the time zone change. There’s also a flight from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), which is only a few miles shorter than JFK, and this flight leaves in the morning and arrives in Singapore in the evening on the second day.

Both flights are nearly the same distance, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll be talking about the JFK flight, the one that is truly the longest.

I booked my business class flight on points, and you can, too. But there are a few things you should know about this arduous journey. Read on so you can be prepared!

1. Timing Is Everything

Unlike the Newark flight, where you’re up for the first half of the flight, the JFK flight leaves in the evening, so you’ll likely be ready for bed soon after you board. Because of this, you need to map out your rest schedule on the flight quickly.

Though you’ll probably feel like starting a full night of rest as soon as you take off, you should actually not sleep for that long. You need to be able to wake up and then feel tired again to get a good night’s rest before arriving in Singapore around 5 a.m. Without this “second” night of rest, you’d feel extremely groggy on landing. Though 19 hours sounds like a long time, the time can pass quickly with enough sleep, so you need to plan out that sleep schedule well.

SIngapore Airlines A350 at JFK
Singapore Airlines departs JFK after 10 p.m.

My recommendation is to sleep about 4 or 5 hours after takeoff, force yourself to stay up for around 6 hours after this, and then fall back asleep for the remaining 8 or 9 hours. This way you are fully refreshed for your early morning arrival in Singapore.

2. Meal Service

There are 2 full meals in business class on the JFK-SIN flight, with a third shorter service. Here’s how the meal services work on the flight:

  • Shortly after takeoff, you’re offered a supper service. Of the 3 meals you’re served on board, this one falls in the middle by size. You’re offered an appetizer, a choice of bread, your entree, a dessert, and a full drink service.
  • About 10 hours after the first service, there is a second meal, this one being the largest of the flight’s meals. While you still receive an appetizer, entree, and dessert, like before, there’s more to choose from and more fanfare to the meal (table settings are different, and the meal is drawn out).
  • Anytime after this second service, you can order any hot or cold snacks on board. The flight is loaded with sandwiches, pizza, soup, noodles, and other snacks, and you’re welcome to request any of these at any time. Oddly enough, there really is no formal prearrival service, likely because it is in the middle of the night, according to the time zone Singapore is in.

The meal service follows a similar pattern on the return flight back to the U.S., with a lunch service, dinner service, and then an on-demand snack service. While the first 2 meals are certainly heavy, there was actually less food than I thought there would be for a flight of this length. So make sure to understand when the meals are served so you can plan when and how much you eat.

Singapore Airlines Lobster Thermidor detail
Order the lobster thermidor if you can!

On both my JFK-SIN and SIN-JFK flights, I found the food to be incredibly filling, so I wouldn’t necessarily say you should eat a huge meal prior to departure. But given the time span between meals, you should gauge how hungry you’ll be and eat enough to fill up accordingly.

3. Flat Bed Seats That Flip Down

One thing I found very annoying about the Singapore Airlines business class seat was that the back flipped down to create a bed, forcing you to stand up and away from the seat to arrange it into a fully flat surface. While there was some recline when you were seated, the fact that you had to completely get up and stand away from the seat to turn it into a bed was incredibly annoying.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class - Flat Bed
Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 business class seat in flat-bed mode. Image Credit: Greg Stone

While I certainly wouldn’t avoid this flight because of that fact, it’s something to note before flying so you can set your expectations. I much prefer a seat where I can immediately recline it into a bed without having to get up, since I often will fall asleep watching a movie and am comfortable. To have to unbuckle my seatbelt, stand in the aisle, have the bed turned down, and then get in it (and repeat the process when I’m done sleeping) is cumbersome at best.

4. Terrible Lounge Situation in JFK

Singapore Airlines partners with Primeclass at JFK Airport to provide access to the lounge for business class passengers, and this lounge doesn’t even begin to compare to Singapore’s own lounges. While the Primeclass Lounge isn’t necessarily bad, the buffet is limited, and there are not a ton of places to sit.

JFK PrimeClass Lounge
Singapore Airlines uses the Primeclass lounge at JFK.

For a much better lounge experience, there is a Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club With Etihad Airways on the same level once you go through the security checkpoint. There’s a lot more seating, a more extensive buffet, and shower facilities. Make sure to check out our guide to the Chase Sapphire Lounge network for access rules and restrictions.

5. Amenities Are on Demand

Most long-haul flights on airlines have an amenity kit waiting at your seat, but Singapore Airlines does this on an on-demand basis only. You find what you want on the food and drink menu and let the flight attendant know what you want, and they will get it for you. To me, this doesn’t feel as premium as other airlines, though I can certainly see how it cuts down on waste.

You can request an amenity kit, hair brush, slippers, eyeshades, socks, earplugs, a face mask, and disinfectant wipes.

Singapore Airlines also does not offer pajamas in the premium cabin, even though these flights are much longer than the flights Qantas operates to Australia, which do include pajamas. I note this because you should plan on bringing on board a change of clothes you can sleep in — perhaps a pair of pajamas or sweatpants. Keep these in your carry-on bag, ready to take out after takeoff.

Singapore Airlines Amenities on Demand
You can request any amenities you’d like on demand.

6. Know Your Onboard Entertainment

Since this flight is 19 hours long, onboard entertainment is going to be super crucial to keep you from going insane! The inflight entertainment screen has tons of movies and television shows to choose from, so you should have no shortage of things to watch, thankfully. You’re also able to connect your laptop or other device via an HDMI port to the inflight screen to watch any shows you may have downloaded, which is an especially cool feature.

Singapore Airlines IFE Screen
The television isn’t touchscreen but is controlled via a remote in your armrest.

One slightly annoying thing is that the screens are not touchscreen, so you must use the built-in remote to switch between shows. These remotes are often hard to use — a touchscreen would be better for ease of use.

Hot Tip:

Singapore Airlines does not provide HDMI cords to connect your device, so if you’d like to utilize this service, you need to bring your own cord.

In addition to the screen, there’s also complimentary inflight Wi-Fi. To log on, you either need to be a KrisFlyer member (free to join) or seated in the premium cabin. All you need is your seat number and last name, and you’re good to go!

I found the speeds to be quite high during my trip, though there are instances where things may cut out depending on the country you’re flying over.

You can also use the inflight Wi-Fi to connect to multiple devices, so if you want to use both your laptop and phone, that should not be an issue.

Final Thoughts

Would I fly this nonstop flight from New York City to Singapore again? Absolutely, but only if I could guarantee myself a seat in business class, since comfort is essential on such a long journey. Now that I know what the flight entails, I’m better prepared. It helps to know when each meal service will occur to plan your rest accordingly. For those traveling between New York and Singapore, this is an extremely convenient way to go!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which terminal is Singapore Airlines in JFK?

Singapore Airlines flies out of JFK’s Terminal 4.

What type of plane is Singapore Airlines from JFK to Singapore?

Singapore Airlines flies a specially designed plane called the A350-900 ULR. “ULR” stands for “ultra long range,” and is equipped with extra fuel tanks to make the long journey.

Which is the longest flight in the world?

New York JFK to Singapore is currently the longest flight in the world.

How many meals are served from JFK to SIN?

There are 2 full meals followed by an on-demand snack service toward the end of the flight.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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