The Beginning – Flight


I’m not gonna lie. The entire trip already started pretty well. I had booked my flight via Singapore Airlines, which was a premiere to me as I hadn’t experienced a voyage with them before. At first I was quite apprehensive, trying not to think about the disastrous flight Air India had provided my friend with on his way over to the US. “Asian airlines are hopefully not all the same,” I prayed and hoped to not get squashed in a narrow seat in the back of the plane with bad-tasting container food and finding no way to sleep.

But luckily, all my fears vanished when I approached the counter! A polite steward checked in my underweight bag (yes, this is always a problem for me, packing the right amount of things without going over the limit!) and I was able to stuff some more relevant presents and pieces things into the suitcase before handing it over to him. Since I hadn’t ordered a vegetarian meal 48 hours ahead of time, I didn’t really get my hopes up about this matter. But his superior, who was standing behind him, smiled at me and assured me that I wouldn’t starve on this flight back home. The guy checking in next to me was desperately trying to upgrade his seat to a window view. I couldn’t help but laugh, secretly wishing him good luck and shaking my head about his stubbornness.

JFK airport is disappointingly unimpressive, regarding its reputation of being the biggest airport in the metro area. It is quite easy to get around it, too. Therefore, after walking past dozens of unexciting duty-free stores and observing the different types of people bustling around the airport, I settled in a seat near the gate, mentally more than ready to board and to maybe get an hour or two of rest. All of a sudden an employee of Singapore Airlines called out three persons who were meant to come to the check-in desk immediately. My name was the last one of these three and I sort of expected to be told that the plane was overbooked and I would receive some extra money for waiting another day or so until the next flight went out. Great!

Airtrain to JFK
Workers at JFK securing bags
One of those stores...

Yet when I got to the counter, the clerk briefly looked at my ticket, switched it out for another one and handed it back to me with a big grin on his face. “Welcome to Singapore Airlines,” he said, “Enjoy your flight!” I was confused at first and glanced down, not realizing the difference in color instantaneously. Then I read more carefully and deciphered the word “Business Class” on the token, but still did not understand what this really meant. “Does this mean I get more storage room for my feet and bags?” I thought, “Well, that shouldn’t be bad, right?”

But as it turns out it was a bit more than that. I waited ten minutes instead of half an hour to board the plane. I got two seats that had so much room in front and in back of them I could have comfortably pulled my entire seat back if I had wanted to. I was politely greeted by my own personal flight attendant, or so it seemed, as she was responsible for only five more people in the section. I got to choose between ten different kinds of newspapers and magazines but settled for “only” two. And the very best was that my dinner consisted of a three-course meal, starting with a fresh salad followed by an Asian eggplant dish, and finished off with a well-flavored blue-berry cheese cake. Only four hours later my breakfast consisted of two courses. We even had a MENU listing all these delicacies for crying out loud! Altogether there were 10 varieties to pick from, not to mention drinks, snacks, sandwiches and other goodies in between.

On top of these meals we could choose from free champagne, wine, or beer or all three together throughout the entire flight. I opted to stay with one choice of alcohol and downed my first two glasses of champagne before the plane took off. It was a very enjoyable flight, as you can imagine! And the entire time I felt like a queen, to be honest.
Supposedly Business class nowadays is equivalent to what it used to be First class years ago, so now I am really starting to wonder what an upgrade to First class would have looked like… it must have been like paradise! On the entire 7 hour flight I got to sleep a good 5 hours and watch movies that had just come out in American theater. We could pull of our shoes and put on some slippers, rub our hands and faces with warm, wet towels, and enjoy other sorts of luxuries.

The cutest flight attendants ever!
The menu to choose from
three course dinner
Me enjoying my eggplant dish!

Throughout the flight I struck up a conversation with the girl sitting three seats next to me. As it turns out she happened to be German, too, and she had also received an upgrade from Economy to Business class. “Well, lucky us,” I thought, and was glad it had happened. She had been waiting for four days for an opportunity like this, though, as her flight on Sunday had been pushed off to Thursday because of the hurricane (which seems to have happened a long long time ago from now) and she was simply glad to be on her way back home. I guess we all were.

I believe to date this was the only flight I have truly enjoyed and I highly recommend Singapore Airlines for anyone traveling further distances than domestic flights.

And, to not worry you, Economy class on my way back might have been less luxurious but nonetheless also very comfortable for this amount of time. What really got my attention was their 32 kilo limit on one bag or two bags weighing each 23 kilos (compares to 70 lbs and 50 lbs but you might want to verify this with their Web site!) you are allowed to take with as free checked luggage. In a time were airlines try to charge you for everything and nothing, I think this is about the most decent deal I’ve ever found.

Thumbs up to the only airline I’ve flown with in over four years which really seems to care for their paying guests!