Trip Report: Singapore Airlines A380 New York to Frankfurt in Business Class (JFK-FRA)

A perfectly-timed overnight flight from the East Coast to Europe – 7 hours in an exceptionally wide, leather seat with 81" of pitch and a lie-flat mode. Dinner and breakfast services.

Pros

  • Well-timed flight (10am arrival into Frankfurt)
  • Great food
  • Amazing service
  • A380 feels very spacious and quiet
  • Espresso machine onboard (and staff willing to use it) 
  • 30MB of free Wi-Fi included with a Business Class ticket
  • TSA Prechek

Cons

  • No pajamas
  • The flip-over bed is a little inconvenient, but the staff are super helpful about making the bed up for you

 Tips

  • Back of the plane (row 96) feels very private, despite the proximity to the galley and lavs
  • The middle two seats are great for couples
  • The back of Business Class is known for being much colder than the front
  • "Book the Cook" feature lets you choose your meals from a huge menu
  • The Frankfurt airport has a high-speed rail terminal so easily reach other parts of Germany (Baden Baden is only an hour away, hint hint
  • Disable your phone's app auto-updates and Facebook/Instagram's video auto-play settings before boarding the flight so you can maximize the free 30MB of internet.
  • Download a copy of Crazy Rich Asians to read onboard the flight – it's a fun book and it was awesome being aboard the very same flight where one of the book's pivotal scenes happens! 

 

🔄 The review of the return flight is here

 

How I did it

I found a great deal – $1995 per person, round-trip – so I just paid for the ticket. I earned around $300 worth of Chase and United points from this trip.

 

Airport and Lounge

Terminal 4 at JFK was a piece of cake – no line for check-in, and almost no line for security. Singapore's systems are tied in with the TSA's so we were able to use the Precheck line. The Swiss lounge checked all of my boxes: clean toilets, self-serve bar, fast Wi-Fi, hot food, showers, espresso, and ample space.

No waiting to check in



Swiss lounge

Hot food

Lounge Menu

Lounge



Pour-your-own bar

Boarding

The usual gate scrum ensued, and the lines were so long and chaotic it was difficult to tell where to go. We got it all figured out and they boarded the plane through a two-story gate so we could walk right on to the upper deck.

I'd chosen the back of the plane for us because I'd read that it's the coldest part of the plane, and Asian airlines are notorious for cranking up the heat during the sleeping hours of a flight. My seat was stocked with two pillows, slippers, socks, eyeshades, a blanket, and headphones. They don't give out the traditional amenity kit, opting instead to stock the Business Class lavatories with toothbrushes and razors and lotion. I actually prefer this because it creates less waste.

Gate scrum

two-story boarding

Very back of the plane for us...
Two pillows, no amenity kit


The flight

I used Singapore's Book The Cook feature to choose my food a few weeks before the flight. During one of the initial greetings, the flight attendant confirmed with me my Book The Cook meal choices and handed me a menu so I could choose a wine to go with my food. 

Hot towels and bottled water came out first, followed by champagne and warm nuts. A prosciutto and radish salad followed, along with a bread basket – I chose the garlic bread. The fillet with asparagus and potatoes was perfectly cooked and delicious. The chocolate cake was forgettable, but I'm not much of a dessert person. Fruit, cheese, and port finished off the meal. 

Once trays had been cleared the flight attendant offered to make up my seat into a bed while I changed into pajamas. Sadly they don't provide any, but I'd brought my own with me.

Hot towel and water

Champagne and warm nuts

Radish, prosciutto, and egg salad to start

Book The Cook grilled fillet

chocolate cake

Cheese and fruit

Flip that seat over and it's a bed!
Amenity kit items are stocked in the lavatories

Landing

Before I went to sleep, the flight attendant asked if I wanted to be woken for breakfast and I decided I wanted sleep more than food, so he turned on my seat's "Do Not Disturb" light and I slept until the lights came up. I had just enough time to order a double espresso before we touched down in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt security was a complete mess, and there didn't appear to be an arrivals lounge anywhere remotely convenient, sadly. We were traveling onward to Baden Baden for a spa day, and I gotta say the DB Navigator app was awesome – it let us buy our tickets within the app and skip long lines at the ticket machines and counters.

Not one, but two onboard espresso machines!

Seatback airshow

lol the IFE called it "space wars"
Triple jetways in Fankfurt!
Avoid rail ticket lines with the DB App

Final Thoughts

Sitting here watching the US carriers race to the bottom on service, comfort, quality, and amenities means that I'll bend over backward to avoid United, Delta, or American for any long haul travel. Given that they're often one of the most expensive options, I'm actually saving money by doing so. This flight was pretty darn close to perfect. I wish it were two hours longer (so I could get a full night's sleep) and came with pajamas, but beyond those two things, it was pretty much perfect.

 

Menus

Click to Enlarge. The New York Book The Cook menu is here.






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