Bali and Berchtesgaden: Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Frankfurt

Introduction
Singapore Airlines First Class Houston to Moscow
International Business Lounge Moscow
Singapore Airlines First Class Moscow to Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class Singapore to Bali
InterContinental Bali
Exploring Bali
W Retreat Bali Seminyak
Singapore Airlines Business Class Bali to Singapore
The Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore
Singapore Airlines First Class Singapore to Frankfurt
InterContinental Berchtesgaden & Surrounding Areas
Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa 747-8 First Class Frankfurt to Washington Dulles
Westin Washington Dulles Airport


Singapore Airlines 326
Singapore (SIN) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Monday, July 30
Depart: 1:55PM
Arrive: 8:40PM
Duration: 12hr45min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2D (First Class)

From the moment we stepped onboard I could tell it would be a fantastic flight. At the door we were greeted by the leading steward and leading stewardess, who directed us to our seats in row two.


My seat


Cabin

While (almost) all Singapore crews are polished, this crew definitely had the “charm” factor. As soon as our bags were stored the leading stewardess informed us we’d have the row to ourselves, as there was only one other passenger in first class.

She offered us beverages, and I went with a glass of Krug. What I find the most telling of a good Singapore first class flight is whether the crew introduces themselves or not. As soon as we were served pre-departure beverages, both the leading steward and leading stewardess came by our seats together, introduced themselves by name, and informed us of the flight time of 12 hours. They said we shouldn’t hesitate to ask if there’s anything at all we wanted. Moments later the in-flight supervisor came by our seats to welcome us aboard as well, and promised to take great care of us.


Krug

The pre-departure service was an experience in and of itself as usual. We were offered beverages, newspapers, magazines, pajamas, amenity kits, slippers, eyeshades, and hot towels.


Pajamas and amenity kit

It’s the little touches that set apart a fantastic crew from a good crew, and one way to tell is by the way the crew phrases different aspects of the service. For example, instead of saying “what do you want to drink?” it was instead phrased “Mr. Lucky, what would you like to drink to get your flight off to a good start?” Instead of saying “do you want a newspaper or magazine?” it was instead phrased “Mr. Lucky, may I offer you some reading materials to keep you entertained while on the ground? Perhaps the Financial Times or Time Magazine?”

Before pushback I quickly changed into my pajamas, and as I emerged from the lavatory the leading stewardess was waiting there with a clothes hanger, and simply said “Mr. Lucky, allow me.”

Within about 10 minutes of us boarding the departure announcement was made, and we began our taxi to the runway. Our taxi was pretty quick, and within about 15 minutes we were airborne. 10 minutes after that the seatbelt sign was turned off and service began.

The leading steward and stewardess worked so well together, and were almost on the level of Janesis, Ivy, and Toon, that I had from Moscow to Singapore. The service was brilliantly coordinated, and at every step of the way it was just apparent how well they were communicating with each other to deliver a flawless experience.

Service started with drinks and nuts. I ordered a Diet Coke and was served both cashews and macadamia nuts.


Diet Coke and nuts

At that point meal orders were taken. The German guy seated in row one wasn’t eating right away, so we had all three crew members to ourselves.

The service was “head tingling,” if that makes any sense. You know when you’re watching someone be so detail oriented that you get that tingling feeling in your head? Well, I had that throughout the service. My tray table was arranged with amazing precision, and at every interaction the crew was sure that the logos were facing me and that everything was plated symmetrically. When my Diet Coke was empty it would always be replaced with a fresh glass so that I had plenty of ice. Every time a dish was served, the leading stewardess would point at it after placing it down and say “please enjoy, Mr. Lucky.”

Anyway, while I found the food rather underwhelming out of Moscow, the food out of Singapore is fantastic.

For the appetizer I had crab cakes, which were delicious and had a kick to them. I was offered bread with the appetizer, and I found the bread selection to be especially good out of Singapore.


Spicy crab cake with celeriac puree, baby spinach and strawberry vinaigrette

The next course was caviar, once again plated beautifully.


Chilled malossol caviar

After that I was served cauliflower soup, which was once again great.


Cream of cauliflower with tomato confit

For the main course I ordered the lobster with fettuccine. This entree was spectacular (though I realize it may not look like it). Literally the best thing I’ve ever had on a plane, which I wasn’t expecting.


Lobster in pesto veloute with cherry tomato, asparagus and fettuccine with rocket leaves

The dessert was equally awesome, a Baileys lava cake with macadamia nut ice cream. I love nuts, I love chocolate, and I love Baileys. How did they know?!


Warm chocolate baileys liqueur lava cake with berries compote and macadamia ice cream

The meal finished off with a selection of pralines and a bottle of water.


Praline


Water

Lunch was done about two hours into the flight, so we had 10 hours to go to Frankfurt. 12 hours is the perfect flight length, in my opinion – it allows two hours on both ends to eat and watch a movie, and eight hours to get a full “night” of sleep.

I requested turndown service after lunch, which was quickly taken care of, and slept for about eight hours, till we were two hours out of Frankfurt.


Turndown service


Turndown service


Airshow when I fell asleep

At this point I decided to watch a movie, and selected “The Five-Year Engagement.” It was hilarious, and kept me entertained all the way to Frankfurt.


Airshow after waking up


Entertainment selection

About 90 minutes prior to landing the pre-arrival meal service began. The menu read as follows:

And for anyone that’s interested, the snack menu (which I didn’t take advantage of) read as follows:

The starter was tomato soup with a massive prawn, which was delicious.


Warm seared spiced prawn with cauliflower custard and tomato soup

Then for the main course I ordered the fajita bowl with balik salmon. I know, it doesn’t sound “gourmet,” but it was damn good. Nothing beats a simple, well executed meal on a plane.


Warm fajita shell with smoked Balik salmon

My friend ordered the lamb loin, which he enjoyed.


Lamb loin with rosemary jus, roasted carrot, asparagus, cherry tomato and gratin potatoes

For dessert I ordered the warm peach tart with ice cream.


Warm peach tart with macadamia ice cream and vanilla sauce

The two dining experiences on this flight couldn’t have been any better, in terms of the quality of food, pace of service, etc. Heck, I’d say the entire flight couldn’t have been better – amazing service, great food, perfect flight length, and a fantastic seat.

About 30 minutes prior to arrival I changed back into my jeans and t-shirt and restowed my carry-ons. The friendly crew bid farewell to us on the descent, and wished us a pleasant onward journey.

The sun was slowly starting to set during our descent, and the views on the approach were beautiful, especially of Frankfurt and the Rhine.


On approach


Final approach

After a smooth touch down we held short of the parallel runway, waiting for a China Southern 777 to land, which took about five minutes.


Frankfurt Airport


China Southern 777

As much as Frankfurt ranks as one of the most poorly designed “first world” airports, it’s just such an awesome airport as far as traffic goes. For one I love Lufthansa, so seeing their entire fleet in one place gets me pretty excited. But beyond that you have airlines from everywhere. And there’s something incredibly organized about the airport’s disorganization. For example, we parked right next to an ANA and Thai 777-300ER. Three Star Alliance 777-300ERs from Asia all parking next to one another is pretty sexy.


Crossing the parallel runway


Terminal


Terminal


Terminal


Terminal

The more time I spend at Frankfurt Airport, the more tempted I am to reconsider my plans of moving to the First Class Terminal.

Anyway, the flight was perfect. Simply perfect. It’s rare that I can’t even find one thing to complain about, but this flight was one of those.

Comments

  1. wwk5d says

    “I love nuts, I love chocolate, and I love Baileys. How did they know?!”

    Maybe a certain someone working on other routes started a dossier on you and passed it along? ;)

    Does SQ have a “dine when you want” option in first?

  2. says

    A definite weak spot with Singapore though has to be that snack menu…

    Of course, not every airline caters snacks the way that ANA does.

    But instant noodles and lay’s potato chips? What is this, the old BA “raid the larder” business class offering on a short hop across the Atlantic?

    An airline like Singapore should do proper noodle dishes as a midflight snack.

  3. says

    An interesting report would be about the crew preparing, plating and serving these fantastic dishes (assuming they would let you watch).

  4. sam says

    Great report, as usual. Queation, since you arrived at 840 PM, and you slept a full 8 hrs, did you end up staying up all night? Seems you would want to power through the flight and get on German time by sleeping when you arrive…just curious. You help us with our Bali trip and one of the things I did was sleep very little on the NYC – HK since we would arrive at night so I could sleep the first night in HK.

  5. beachfan says

    I noticed the Lay’s too. I also heard their wine program is going downhill (other than the champagne of course).

    Can’t get much cheaper than Lay’s.

    I should do a poll to see if people like Evian. I don’t.

    Lucky, just curious; no desire to use “book the cook”? I thought that’s the way to go out of singapore.

  6. Dan Ray says

    Thanks for this review. I haven’t told my wife yet that we are flying to Singapore next month from SFO with a stop in Seoul. We’re only spending 36 hours in Singapore before returning home. We’ll spend about 36 hours in the air with a short stop in Seoul each way. Seems like it won’t be to hard to endure.

  7. lucky says

    @ sam — Surprisingly enough I conked out the second I got to the hotel as well. I didn’t get much sleep during the trip, so was catching up, I guess.

  8. JRL says

    @ Gary, Indeed! SQ’s snack items are underwhelming. However, as a snack while flying SQ F I’ve managed to order entrees remaining from the first service as a snack- and in typical Singapore style, without hesitation, they were excited to please.

    Happy JewJetting,
    -JRL

  9. Blaine says

    I know you’re not much of a drinker Ben, but I’d sure love to see the wine/spirits menus on flight reviews like this.

  10. Mark says

    I was in Frankfurt airport last week, admittedly in Business and not in First, but I honestly couldn’t say I liked the airport. I even found Heathrow nicer, except when in line for takeoff/landing

  11. lucky says

    @ Blaine — Sorry, I should have clarified, they were the same as on the outbound, so I posted them with the Houston to Moscow review.

    @ Mark — There’s no disputing the terminal itself is crap. Though the First Class Terminal probably is the nicest “terminal” in the world.

    What I like about Frankfurt Airport is the variety of traffic and not the main terminal itself, which I agree is awful.

  12. Jason says

    I find it odd they give you a bottle of Evian for dessert, while your picture makes it clear you were served a glass of “inferior” water with dinner.

  13. Paladin says

    @Mark,

    Having flown Business and First on separate times, it is literally night and day at Frankfurt. If you fly First you get access to the First Class Terminal (which Lucky does a better job describing than I ever could). Having spent 9 hours there yesterday (due to the strike), I really have to say, its quite comfortable. Compare that to, QR’s Premium Terminal (spent 12 hours there the week before, again due to delay), if you’ve been there, and I still think the LH FCT is far and above.

  14. Dax says

    You know, this may sound absolutely crazy, but while I do enjoy a fancy hotel or restaurant now and again I don’t really long for first class flights nearly as much.

    I think it’s because most of the appeal with first class is based on how it compares with other air travel and not how it compares with the rest of your life. My everyday bed is leagues better than any airline seat I’ve ever slept in. My home based movie and television options dwarf the on-board entertainment systems. I have far more control over the temperature and the decor, and unlike a plane window there’s something recognizable to look at outside.

    That leaves the meal service, but even then I can easily meet or exceed the freshest airline meals simply by visiting a fancy restaurant for a fraction of the cost. Is the service as attentive and (ahem) retentive? Well no, not really, but I honestly don’t enjoy being fussed over to such a degree. I’d rather just be treated with kindness that is welcoming without being taken to uncomfortable extremes. And if I want a bottle of Dom or Krug I’ll pick one up on the way home from work. It may not be cheap, but it’s easy enough to find and compared to international first class airfare it may as well be a dime a dozen.

    But maybe that’s just me? ;-)

  15. Kevin says

    just booked an awesome flight maximizing united’s generous routing rules for award flights for my girlfriend and I next summer, sadly in economy though….wish I could do this in First Class like you always travel!

    First Leg: CLT -> TOKYO NRT flying both the Singapore and Lufthansa A380 JFK->FRA->NRT with Tokyo being the final Destination

    OPEN JAW 1 : Bangkok BKK -> Paris CDG with Paris being the STOPOVER city

    OPEN JAW 2 : Paris CDG -> Cancun CUN

    will have to buy the tickets from NRT to BKK and from CUN to CLT but those will be cheap tickets to buy

    After all is said, will be visiting 4 different cities using United’s very generous reward routing all for 130,000 United miles and $250….. very well worth it!

  16. Krystle says

    @Kevin, did you do multi-destination or CLT-NRT in the search engine? Did you have a stopover or layover in FRA? Also was it 65,000 per person r/t?

  17. lucky says

    @ Krystle — I’m not Kevin, but I’d guess something this complicated has to be booked by phone. 65,000 roundtrip per person is the right price for coach. I suspect there was no stopover in Frankfurt of more than 24 hours, as that would make the award illegal.

  18. lucky says

    @ JH — There wasn’t wifi on this particular flight, and if it were, it wouldn’t have been free for anyone.

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