When I was a kid, practically every summer my parents sent us to Dominica. It’s a small island in the Caribbean with a unique population of 70,000 (so you’re excused for never hearing of it). On this journey we would wake up at 3 am, head to JFK airport and board a 6:30 am flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico, not to return to NY until 2 months later, when school started again, (my parents made parenting look too easy).
Now this plane was pretty big, hell this was back in the 90’s when they still gave full meals on 3-hour flights, not just pretzels and peanuts (no shade South West, at least you don’t make me choose which one). I remember the luxuries of air travel back then; this is also a time when people would clap in honor of the crew when we landed safely. The good old days.
Before May of this year, that was the last time I was impressed with an airliner. In May, I spent 26 hours traveling from NYC to Indonesia and I was in awe the whole way. From the flight attendants to the food, to the service, even at the ticket counter at JFK! Let’s be honest, great service + New Yorkers usually sums up to a prophetic eye roll. No offense fellow New Yorkers, but … where is the lie?
But, everything was top of the line service. If I hadn’t bought my tickets myself, I would swear up and down I was flying business class. From the moment I walked onto the plane, I knew I would forever be spoiled by the luxuries of Singapore Airlines. I will never be able to travel another airliner in true peace. Not only was I greeted with a helpful smile, but I was also offered a hot towel by a gorgeous Singaporean woman dressed in what I can only assume was a designer ensemble made from traditional fabrics and prints. I’m almost sure after our flight, they were going to hit the Singaporean runway.
Raising The Bar
Now, this hot towel service is just the beginning of a 26-hour flight that raised the standards of traveling for me. The towel alone had Singapore airlines on the top of the list. There was a family sitting next to us heading to Germany, the first leg of the trip. They had 4 kids, ranging from an infant to a 6-year-old. Singapore Airlines is like the Disney of airlines. They were on top of everything. The kids received their food first, they had little gifts and books for them to play with. The mic drop moment for me is when I saw one of the flight attendants pull down a bassinet from the wall like it was just a normal old day. I wish I could explain my level of shock and excitement. Kudos Singapore airlines for exceeding expectations at every moment possible.
Believe it or not, (but seriously, believe it) when we sat down, myself and the other two foodies I was traveling with perused the menu.
“Is that shrimp? “Wait, all of these cocktails are available complimentary”?
We had Pad Thai for dinner washed down with a couple glasses of red wine. Eggs and sausages for breakfast. Whitefish in a cream sauce with a side Shrimp pasta salad and decadent chocolate cake for lunch. Can you believe, there was still one more meal before we landed in Singapore…. WHAT? And, this wasn’t my first long-haul trip so we were proactive. We brought tablets filled with movies, music, and books. I planned on writing my life’s’ greatest work in those 26 hours.
Guess what, I didn’t pull out my tablet once! What for? There were movies available to watch that were still in theatres in the states. There were games, tv shows, music and if I asked nicely I’m sure I could get one of those coloring books the kids next to us received. How in the heavens do they remember to stock the shrimp and bourbon and have Black Panther for my viewing pleasure?
Singapore airlines take the phrase top-notch service to another level. When we finally landed in Germany, full bellies, a bit tipsy and well rested, we walked past the ominous business and first-class entrance, wondering if it could actually get better.
I still have no idea but one day I will find out and I’m sure, I will forever be tarnished from flying “normal” again. All I can say, after 26 hours on Singapore Airlines, I am a customer for life!