We (my technical manager and me) had to attend two meetings in Germany and Hong Kong. After we had searched several different fares, we came to the conclusion that the cheapest way for us would be the Singapore Airlines RTW fare. There are two fares: In Business Class for USD 5,299 and First Class for 6,699 USD. But: If you have any segment on the 77W or the 345 included on your Business Class trip, SQ charges you 700 USD extra per leg. Because our trip indeed included 2 legs on the 77W, the prices for the RTW in Business and in First would have been the same by the penny.
Of course we went for the First Class version.
Airline: Singapore Airlines
Aircraft: Boeing 747
Route: New York JFK - Frankfurt (SQ 25)
Date: April 2011
After some long driving from South Virginia to JFK we were among first ones to check in and went to the Virgin Clubhouse. It's basically sad. SQ only sends C-passengers into the Star Alliance lounge, F-passengers are sent to VC. Does anybody know if the Star Alliance Club is really that poor? At the Clubhouse they have only very limited snacks for self-service, however, they have a full à la carte menu. We ordered a crab cocktail and some Bruschetta und found it had an excellent quality.
The good thing - for me as a smoker - is that the Clubhouse is outside the security area. So it is no problem to step out of the airport and have a short smoke during your waiting time.
I wondered what this flight would be like. In other trip reports I read that T 4 at JFK has no priority line for security and that the SQ 747 F seats are really outdated and way too narrow. Of course nothing of this applied. There was a priority line which let us pass security within some minutes and after boarding was announced we entered the plane as first passengers. At the door the cabin crew greeted us with a smile and guided us to our seats which were very comfortable, even for me as a really heavy guy. 5 of 12 seats had been sold on this flight.
After some pre-departure drinks (everything, even Espresso was available) doors closed in time and we were on our first leg to Germany. I ate caviar, followed by a soup, some salad, another soup and some ice cream to finish. Then I put on the really wonderful pyjama they provided and when I returned from lavatory my bed was already made. I slept like a baby until 20 min before landing (already descending). I changed clothes, got some cups of coffee and arrived relaxed from a remarkable good flight. I heard from other people that the SQ F service would be quite impersonal; excellent, but inflexible. I did not get this impression during any of my 4 SQ legs I flew on this trip.
After having arrived in Frankfurt, I picked up my car, which I had left at the Steigenberger hotel (park, sleep and fly service), and off I went to Cologne, the city where I had lived before I went to the US. James, my technical manager, is 62 years old and had never been anywhere else than to the US, Canada and Mexico. Now he entered his first German Autobahn by my side. Of course I speeded up a little and when I reached 155 mph he really got pale.
Part 1: New York JFK - Frankfurt
Part 2: Frankfurt - Singapore
Part 3: Singapore - Hong Kong
Part 4: Hong Kong - San Francisco - Washington