Review of Singapore Airlines flight New York Frankfurt in First

Airline Singapore Airlines
Flight SQ25
Class First
Seat 3A
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 07:15
Take-off 25 Jan 15, 20:25
Arrival at 26 Jan 15, 09:40
SQ   #11 out of 74 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 649 reviews
socalnow
By 5982
Published on 27th May 2015
Hello Flight Report community. This is a continuation of a fantastic RTW trip I took in January 2015.

I will dissect the journey as follows:
Planning, Virgin America Loft LAX, VX LAX-JFK (First)http://flight-report.com/en/report-10395.html
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK and SQ JFK-FRA (Suites) (This report)
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge FRA, Lufthansa Senator Lounge FRA, and SQ FRA-SIN (Suites)(Coming Soon)
The Private Room SIN and SQ SIN-PEK (First)(Coming Soon)
Air China Business Class Lounge PEK and CA PEK-NRT (Business)(Coming Soon)
Delta Skyclub NRT and DL NRT-LAX (Business)(Coming Soon)

I spent the day walking around Manhattan but I was really only able to think of the flight that night. This segment of the trip would be a couple of firsts for me including: First trans-Atlantic flight from JFK and first visit to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.

I took the shuttle from the Sheraton JFK/Jamaica and it drops you at Federal Circle where you can board the Air-train. In my excitement I was probably among the first to check in as the staff was still laying out the rugs and vacuuming. The agent was a contract worker of German descent and she was very friendly. At the time I did not have a Chinese Visa so there was some confusion among the agents. I told her I intend to Transit Without Visa (TWOV) at PEK for less than 72 hours. She was not familiar with this. I showed her my Air China itinerary for onward travel but she was still having problems. It wasn't until she was able to get help from an SQ manager that I was issued my boarding passes and sent on my way. She apologized several times but I assured it was no worry as I can tell this was a new encounter for her. I obtained a 10 year Chinese Visa upon my return to avoid such delay in the future.

The premium security line at JFK T4 is rather non-existent. I was told to go all the way tot he left and ended up in a crew/diplomat type line. It was marginally faster but still dumped you out at the front of the regular line. Singapore Airlines doesn't participate in TSA Pre-check so that was of no advantage. I was through in about 10 minutes.

Before proceeding to the lounge I took a walk to see if our aircraft was here. It was.

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Nice comparison here

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Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse JFK
I have read several reports on this lounge so my expectations were high going in. It did not disappoint. Like the TK lounge in IST I had to remember that this is a Business Class lounge, it's that good.

The lounge is located one floor up from the departure level in the B pier of terminal 4

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Lounge entrance

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I was welcomed in after an inspection of my boarding pass and a note was made. I was asked if I had been in before and when I responded no I was given a tour. Let's look around.

Seating area facing west

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Central seating/bar area

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The billiard table

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Seating on the east side

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I settled into a seat on the west facing side as the evening sky was lovely and the there was a good view of the ramp. I was greeted almost immediately by one of the wait staff and shown the menu and drink list.

I ordered a sparkling water and a cocktail of some variety from the list

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View from my location in the lounge, the A pier of JFK T4.

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I read many reports with favorable reviews of the fried squid so let's have a go at those. Nice presentation and fine and tasty version of calamari.

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Some Lanson is in order to mark this special place

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I was impressed by the service in my area. The young woman helping me had several tables and a great rapport with her guests. She seemed to even have a few that were regulars. My Lanson was topped up as needed and water too.

After my snack and champagne party I decide to go have a walk around the terminal. With the recent addition to the A pier it's a huge space. I walk all the way down tot he RJ gates on the Delta side and back to the end of the B pier. It's probably a 30 minute journey all told.

Upon my return I request a shower and a glass of Lanson. Both are granted and off we go to freshen up before the flight(s).

In keeping with the Virgin brands nightclub theme there is colorful lighting in the hall towards the WC



The shower room is spacious and clean

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After freshening up I decide to have seat in the dining room and sample a few more of the menu items.

First up, The Red Carpet (Prosecco, Bombay Sapphire Gin, St. Germain, Creme de Framboise and fresh lemon) wonderful!

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From the menu I select the cheese toast with Worcestershire, deviled egg, and olives

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This is when something rather remarkable (to me) happened. Please bear with me on this aside. I am a die hard San Francisco Giants baseball fan. Yeah, it's a good time to be one. The pain of the 2002 World Series is but a distant memory after what has transpired in the past 5 years. Anyhow I follow the team closely, even in the winter, and I was taking note (via twitter) that team officials were in NYC showing of the three World Series trophies (the triplets) as the SF Giants were the NY Giants prior to 1958. I thought to myself what a coincidence that I am in NYC today too. Anyhow, upon entering the lounge today and receiving my tour I noticed a group with several SF Giants hats among them and made note as I always like to see the orange and black when traveling about. From my vantage point in the dining room I was looking directly at this group right now. An airline official (presumably Virgin America) approached the group and appeared to inform them it was time to board. At that time they rose, parted a black curtain, and had all three SF Giants World Series trophies in their possession. Needles to say I shot across the room like a dog after the postman and had a picture made with the 2014 World Series trophy.

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I was quite filled with excitement now and back in the dining room I called my wife to say goodnight and share my story. The server brought me another Red Carpet, unsolicited, but welcome.

After snack time I moved over to the bar to order a cappuccino and enjoy the last few minutes before boarding.

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I noticed a gentleman sitting one seat away at the bar wearing shorts and a golf shirt. I remarked that I assume he's going the same direction as I am as we are the only two who don't have New York / London winter attire. Indeed he was. He has business in Thailand but takes this longer duration two-stop route specifically for the SQ experience. My kind of traveler. After swapping travel stories we looked at the clock and decided to head down to the gate.

Boarding was well underway when I arrived at the gate. I proceeded to the Suites queue and was on board in no time.

View of the cabin from 3A

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3A - Not the refreshed product but no complaints;)

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Welcome aboard refreshments

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It appeared the load was 10/12 but it's awfully hard to tell in a cabin with so much privacy.I beleive 4A and 4F went out empty.

Looking out above 3A

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The IFE screen set to my preferred channel

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I was welcomed aboard by numerous crew, always by name. My Book the Cook meal was confirmed but I was reassured I can enjoy anything from the menu if I prefer. I took note of the couple sitting in the center section as I recognized them from being seated next to them in the Clubhouse. They were in their pajamas very quickly and were making arrangements to have their beds made right after takeoff. I thought it must be nice to make this trip in Suites to the point where you're not even interested in the service. That is not the point where I find myself today. A couple of refills on the Krug and we were off the gate.

There was a 20-30 minute push back and taxi. A nice break in the onslaught of food and beverage and time to just reflect that this is really happening. I still marvel that someone of average means can have this experience that is normally reserved for the 1% all through points.

Once aloft drink orders are taken. I select the Dom, not because I prefer it to he Krug, but because I can.

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I am also offered nuts and I request a class of sparkling water. Once your drink preferences are known to the crew they never run empty.

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The table is set for dinner. I like the Givenchy plates. Staying with the Dom for now.

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The fish egg course among my favorite part of any first class service

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The other starter was a rather sad looking salad but under that wilted rocket is some divine salmon.

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At this point I would like to branch out and explore the wine list. Lovely dry Chablis

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Let's enjoy some soup. I can't remember what it was. I think sun choke. It was rich and warm, a great soup.

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The blue cheese wedge salad was up next. Fresh crunch and rich cheese.

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A red to pair with the main.

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Pecan crusted veal via book the cook. It was underwhelming and I only took a bite or two.

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I am not much of a sweets person but this dessert was fantastic. It is called the Gotham Pineapple and it has pineapple mousse with curry ice cream, caramelized pineapple and pineapple cream. Absolutely stunning.

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Some cheese because, well, I have no idea why.

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To pair with the cheese a nice late harvest sauternes.

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Dinner is an involved affair on Singapore Airlines. There are a variety of staff conducting various parts of the service. It's complex but comes off perfectly, as if I was the only guest on board. I would like to see a guide, or write one myself if one doesn't exist, that tells the roles of the various crews based on the color of their kebaya.

After all of that food and booze it's time to get some sleep (pass out). The bed is made.

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All snuggled up

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I had no problem going to sleep. When I awoke from my nap we were approaching London. That was fast. I spend almost all of my flight hours on the TPAC so these short flights are new to me.

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Time for some refreshments. The blue Mountain coffee is divine.

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I appreciate the light morning meal here. Really no food is needed but I suppose they have to offer something.

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About to dive into the cloud layer on approach to FRA.

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Low vis day here.

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No remote stand toady. :(
See more

Verdict

Singapore Airlines

8.9/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.5

Virgin Atlantic Virgin Clubhouse

8.5/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Services8.5

New York - JFK

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Frankfurt - FRA

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I may have run out of superlatives at this point. The whole experience is the pinnacle of what my image of air travel can be. The lounge is everything you need, nothing you don't. The airplane is outfitted with both a comfortable seat and bed. The crew is well trained and operates with grace and precision. The food and beverage are of high quality, great selection, and generous portions. It's all very enjoyable. Also, at this point, I have two more segments with this stellar airline. Thanks for reading.

Information on the route New York (JFK) Frankfurt (FRA)

13 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 137807 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    VS Clubhouses are probably the best J lounges in the U.S. and concur with your assessment about this one 100%. I have only been to the ones in SFO and JFK, but must say that the one in JFK has the Clubhouse Spa in association with hairstylist Bumble & Bumble which elevates it a few notches up.

    The shower room is spacious and clean
    - You took your glass of Lanson to the shower? Boy you know how to live. ;)

    From the menu I select the cheese toast with Worcestershire, deviled egg, and olives.
    - That looks awesome. Great choice.

    The server brought me another Red Carpet, unsolicited, but welcome.
    - Now that's service!

    I still marvel that someone of average means can have this experience that is normally reserved for the 1% all through points.
    - I guess that is why you are posting here. Some have money while others have shrewdness and intelligence. You can't have it all in life.

    I would like to see a guide, or write one myself if one doesn't exist, that tells the roles of the various crews based on the color of their kebaya.
    - Perhaps you might find this link useful:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Girl

    To pair with the cheese a nice late harvest sauternes.
    - Heavenly!

    I had no problem going to sleep.
    - Nobody should with that type of seat. It looks so comfy.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing FR and congratulations on taking that picture with the trophy at the club. That made the experience extra special and even more memorable.

    • Comment 317229 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Jetsetpanda.

      the one in JFK has the Clubhouse Spa
      -Thank you, I neglected to mention this int he report. I was told at the lounge entrance to make an appointment for a treatment as it's complementary to guests. When I attempted to do so I was told it's only for Virgin Atlantic guests. No big deal, just odd information disparity. I am not to big on spa treatments so I opted not to pay for one.

      Perhaps you might find this link useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Girl
      -Thanks! Very interesting.

  • Comment 137808 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1772 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this very nice report with us!

    At the time I did not have a Chinese Visa so there was some confusion among the agents
    - I had this problem too, in the US, the policies for Chinese visa on arrival are not well known so confused ground agents agents are completely expected. SQ probably outsources their check-in so the agents are probably even less aware of visa policies.

    The Virgin Clubhouse looks nice with on-demand dining (I don't particularly care for their modern furniture choices), with a nice view of the tarmac. Champagne in the shower? I guess if any one objects, you could just say you are flying SQ F and that would quiet them. I like your you can look, but don't touch photo with the trophy, you can see how careful they are not to touch it using the towel.

    Not the refreshed product
    - Uhh, the first world problems we have in life :)

    that is normally reserved for the 1%
    - A little generous in that estimation, I'd say it's more like .0001%

    Dinner comments: The wedge salad doesn't look like it belongs, visually looks like a miss given the other courses. I always like a nice soup, this one does look good, but a bit heavy? The veal looks very nice, but the vegetables look a bit sad on the side, especially the asparagus. How was the cook on the veal, was it cooked to a temperature that you requested? The dessert looks very good. I'm surprised they don't have a fitness room on these planes to help burn off the meal calories...

    When I awoke from my nap we were approaching London. That was fast.
    - With the length of these coursed dinner services on TATLs, the 8-hour flight quickly dries up, which is probably why your neighbors just opted for the bed option. How would you compare the sleep in the SQ seat to the LH F bed?

    How extensive was the breakfast menu pre-arrival? Obviously, you played it conservatively having gorged yourself with dinner, but just curious what hot options they had. The fruit plate looked pretty simple.

    • Comment 317282 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Hello NGO85 and thanks for the comments.

      Champagne in the shower?
      -Yes, it's a new policy of mine.

      I always like a nice soup, this one does look good, but a bit heavy?
      -I suppose so, it is a cream based soup. I have enjoyed fantastic consume on SQ and suppose I prefer that in a multi-course affair.

      How was the cook on the veal, was it cooked to a temperature that you requested?
      -I honestly don't remember being asked. I only made it a bit or two in so I cannot even say if it was to my temp liking.

      How would you compare the sleep in the SQ seat to the LH F bed?
      -LH 744 F bed is the winner for me.

      I'm surprised they don't have a fitness room on these planes to help burn off the meal calories...
      -Are you listening EK???

      How extensive was the breakfast menu pre-arrival?
      -That was the entirety of the offering.

  • Comment 137833 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Very appreciated sharing this dream come true for you flight.

    Standing by the World Series trophy, brought memories of that TV ad from the 70's where the adult re-lived childhood memories of playing catch with his dad.

    So which champers got your trophy? Great vino selection. Can't figure the reason for the cheap Sauterne. When flying, it's better to have the main along with the salad. The dressing compensates for moisture and flavor deficiencies.

    Thanks for sharing the cocktail ingredients. I got a free drink from the bartender at my favorite watering hole in SF for giving a clue how to use that dusty bottle of Elderflower liqueur.

    • Comment 317283 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Greetings Caribela and thank you for the comments.

      So which champers got your trophy?
      -That's a tough one. To my tastes the Krug would be my preference for sipping and enjoying with nuts. I would select the Dom as a more food friendly wine.

      I got a free drink from the bartender at my favorite watering hole in SF for giving a clue how to use that dusty bottle of Elderflower liqueur.
      -I am certainly seeing Elderflower liqueur/St Germain coming back in vogue lately and I'm happy about it.

    • Comment 317284 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Sorry...typo...Caribel

  • Comment 137840 by
    indianocean BRONZE 7302 Comments

    The Virgin Club House is quite impressive, much better than the average US airlines lounges.
    Nice choice for high premium passengers and too bad for Business Passengers.

    Too bad the flight is that short. Cannot enjoy to the fullest the Suites cabin.

    Thank you for keeping me dreaming.

    • Comment 317285 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Hello Indianocean and thank you for the comments.

      Too bad the flight is that short. Cannot enjoy to the fullest the Suites cabin.
      -This is so true. Lucky for me I got back on board and continued FRA-SIN so I think I had the full experience.

  • Comment 137847 by
    kelval 122 Comments

    Looks like you had a really great time!
    I'm really impressed at how flight reporters manage to hold so much booze (for FR's sake of course!). I would have passed out even before boarding!

    • Comment 317286 by
      socalnow AUTHOR 978 Comments

      Hi Kelval, thanks for reading and commenting.

      I'm really impressed at how flight reporters manage to hold so much booze (for FR's sake of course!). I would have passed out even before boarding!
      -It's all in the liver.

  • Comment 138564 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5963 Comments

    What a great report! A pleasure to read. A cool and random run in in the VS Clubhouse and you have a picture with the trophy to prove it! I really like the Virgin Clubhouses. Normally, I would say that having First class passengers in a Business class lounge is kind of a shame, but the Clubhouse is so high end with the table service and full meals on demand that it is just fine for First class. Certainly better than when you had to use the United club in DEN before your F flight to FRA! lol.

    Flying SQ suites is definitely the epitome of travel luxury. And all those great champagnes! I think I'd easily drink the price of the ticket in champagne, lol. JFK-FRA is too short of a flight to really enjoy the SQ suites, luckily you are going all the way to SIN so you get the full experience! That's the way to go!

    Your enthusiasm really shines through in this report and makes it all the more pleasant to read. Although I can't imagine having a bad experience in SQ Suites...is that even possible? You'd have to be the grumpiest person ever, lol. Thanks a lot for sharing and looking forward to the next longer leg in the series!

  • Comment 138890 by
    pititom GOLD 11335 Comments

    This looks more like a Roman orgy than a report ^^

    The ClubHouse is impressive in comparison with standard US lounges. Cooked-to-order dishes and Champagne may usually be found only in some Asian and European lounges. And I actually know very few offering both in J.

    The flight then is...an SQ flight :) True luxury in the air.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this report here :)

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