Singapore Airlines A350ULR inaugural meets with mixed reactions

The aircraft was sold out for its first return flight from Singapore to New York JFK, just on 19 hours flying time away outbound, and 17.5 return. It’s now the worlds longest direct flight again, having been dropped in 2013, when the airline used A340-500’s in a 101 seat all-business configuration.

Some mixed reactions came from an almost 100% enthusiast group and a sea of journalists.

One, Richard Quest of CNN, said he’d planned what to do over the 19 hour flight, all the way to when to sleep and eat, others found the flight tiring and, a little boring, but had nothing bad to say.

Frankly I don’t really know what else you’re going to expect? The staff and the seating – it’s all business and premium economy only – were praised as exemplary, the food outstanding, along with the in-flight entertainment. The airline even ran exercise videos to help you feel active.

The problem is it’s 19 hours and you can’t get out, and that makes the best of us stir-crazy. The most I’ve endured in one flight is 14.5 hours and the idea of another 5 on top regardless of what there is to watch, or eat or who there is to talk to, leaves me challenged. I think I’d rather stop along the way. But for some this is the way forward, and it’s more about where you’re going than the journey.

There’s no doubt Singapore Airlines are possibly the best airline you’re ever going to want to make this type of flight with, which makes you wonder what anything less will be like. Qantas is no SIA, and 22 hours to London in a Dreamliner in economy may prove a challenge for many.

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