Review: Singapore Airlines 19-Hour Nonstop Experience

The Fantastic Business Class Bulkhead Seat

by Sash
a seat and a television in a plane

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The world’s longest flight is operated by Singapore Airlines and flies its longest nonstop between Singapore and New York (both Newark and JFK). When I first heard about this inaugural nearly 19-hour flight in 2004, I could not help but be ecstatic at the thought of connecting directly from the East Coast of North America to Southeast Asia on one of my favourite airlines! Plus, I wanted to experience what a journey this long would feel like.

SQ 21 (Singapore Airlines)
Airbus A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range)
Newark- Singapore (EWR – SIN)
Duration: 18h 37m
Seats: 11D and 11F

Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to fly the flight, which was operated by a fuel costly quad engine Airbus A340-500 then.  The flights stopped in 2013 and did not resume until 2018 after Singapore Airlines acquired a more modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, the A350-900ULR. There are only 7 Ultra Long Range (ULR) aircraft made by Airbus, all operated by Singapore Airlines and featuring business and premium economy class only cabins; there is no economy class seating.

a large airplane on a runway

Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR, source:

It was not until March 2023 that I finally got the opportunity to fly this amazing journey in the coveted business class bulkhead seat, which I deem worthy of a Business+ title.

This flight review is the 2nd part of a series covering my recent trip to Singapore, Thailand, India, and UAE:

Luxury Hotels, 2 First Class Flights, The Million+ Award Redemption
Singapore Airlines 19-Hour Non-Stop Experience
The Singapore Suites Sweet Spot
An Epic Stay at Four Seasons Bangkok
Treated like Royalty at the Taj Palace Hotel Udaipur
Luxury Retreat at The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra
An Oasis in UAE: Qasr Al Sarab
Qatar Qsuites is home in the Sky


Route & Positioning

The Singapore Airlines Longest Nonstop Flight from Newark to Singapore would be the first leg of my journey as part of 4 Luxury Hotels, 2 First Class Flights, The Million+ Award Redemption.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

SQ21 Flight Path, sourced from

I opted for Newark vs JFK as the departure time was preferred to marry with my positioning flight from Ottawa, Canada. When connecting two flights on separate tickets, especially international, I always try to leave more than ample time necessary between flights, especially in the winter. I chose to fly into Newark the night before for the 10:00 AM flight the following day.

Booking Strategy

There are 3 ways to book the Singapore/NY nonstop flight in business class using points:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Alaska Airlines

Although the cost is relatively similar across the programs, availability varies. For example, I have often seen availability only through Alaska Mileage Plan but not through Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer reward program. Here is a chart comparing the cost between the 3 programs, their cancellation policy, and how far in advance the bookings can be made.

a yellow and black table with numbers and wordsFor Canadians, booking with Aeroplan makes the most given the ease of earning these points in Canada. American Express Canada has stunning offers on their Aeroplan Reserve cards, offering up to 115,000 sign-up bonus points.

For those readers with US cards, the transferrable reward currencies to Aeroplan and KrisFlyer are numerous, including Amex Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou, Capital One Reward, Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc. All offer a minimum 1:1 transfer ratio (higher during promotion periods).

I booked two seats using both KrisFlyer and Alaska, with one seat reserved through each program. Additionally, I secured the bulkhead seats  (11D and 11F ) that offered more space than the standard business class seat. Keep reading to learn how I booked these special seats.

a hand holding two passports with boarding pass tickets

Ground Experience

Door Score:🚪🚪

Airline outstations are rarely exciting, and Newark was no exception. Check-in formalities were through a dedicated business class lane; it was quick and efficient. Boarding commenced on time, and boarding procedures by zone/class were respected.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Check-In counter at Newark

a sign in an airport

Boarding SQ21 in Newark


Door Score: 🚪🚪

Singapore Airlines provides business class passengers access to the Virgin Atlantic lounge at Newark Airport Terminal B. The lounge itself was average, with the usual Virgin Atlantic vibe. Dining was a la carte, but unfortunately it was nothing special.

a group of people sitting at a table with food

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse – Newark

The Cabin & Seat

Door score:🚪🚪🚪🚪

Whenever I board a Singapore Airlines flight, regardless of the class I’m travelling in, I always feel like I’ve been transported to another world. Their level of hospitality obliterates that of any North American airline.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Flight Attendant handing out children’s items

I booked seats 11D and 11F in the middle for my daughter and me for this Singapore Airlines’ longest nonstop flight. These bulkhead seats, like all bulkhead business class seats on the A350-900ULR, provide amazing legroom, much more than the non-bulkhead business class seats. I consider them Business+ because they are that good. A special thanks to a certain cat from MPC For providing a few of these pictures.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR Bulkhead Seats

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR Bulkhead Business Class Legroom

Now, compare to the non-bulkhead seat, the difference in space is night and day!

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR Non-Bulkhead Business Class Seat

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Leg Room in a non-bulkhead seat

The only feature lacking is the presence of a door; if it had one, it would rival Qatar Qsuites, which I also consider to be a Business+ product and remains my favourite business-class product. However, the Singapore Airlines suite is wider, a lot wider. The width measures a whopping 28 inches! This is wider than an Emirates or Lufthansa First Class Seat, which measures a measly 22 inches in width.

Booking Strategy – Singapore Airlines Bulkhead Seat

I often get asked how to book these bulkhead seats. The answer is to select the seat 36 hours before departure through the Singapore Airlines website. Before 36 hours, the seat is blocked but will become available if it is not reserved by passengers who require a bassinet or for accessibility.

a diagram of a plane

Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR – Forward Business Class Cabin, source:

The seat itself is fantastic! Much better than I expected.  It can be adjusted in a multitude of ways for comfort. The tray table can also be adjusted vertically, which I appreciated. I could set it low for typing and high for slurping down noodles when working.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Height Adjustable Tray Table – Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR

When it came time to sleep, the seat must be converted to a fully flat bed by flipping down the backrest, which the crew will do for you anytime. A common complaint it hears is that the seat/bed is quite hard. I did not experience this, but I prefer my bed harder than most.  Yes, it’s certainly harder than other products out there, but nowhere hard enough to cause grief. A mattress topper is provided that provides extra cushioning, along with plush pillows and a blanket. I had a fantastic 8-hour sleep, and it felt no different than being in a first-class bed (minus the door).

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Bed Configuration – Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR

Normally after a long sleep on a long-haul flight, it’s almost arrival time. However, on this flight, I was surprised that we had just passed the halfway mark. Still, a long way to go!

a screen with time and time

Pyjamas & Amenity Kit

Door Score: 🚪

Singapore Airlines does not offer pyjamas or proactively offer an amenity kit to business class passengers. Only socks, slippers and an eyeshade were present on the seat. An amenity kit must be requested, which is very basic—certainly a letdown for an airline of this calibre.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Amenity Kit

Food and Drinks

Door score:🚪🚪🚪🚪

I always look forward to the dining experience on Singapore Airlines as most dishes are catered and quite delicious. Departing from Singapore, meals are almost guaranteed to be good. However, I’ve heard the opposite for flights out of North America.  I took advantage of the Book the Cook feature on this Singapore Airlines Longest Nonstop Flight by pre-selecting a few meals. The Book the Cook selection is more limited out of Newark, but at least it would guarantee certain meals I wanted to try.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines Book The Cook Menu: Newark-Singapore

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Singapore Airlines SQ21 Menu

a menu of a flight

Singapore Airlines SQ21 Menu

a menu of a restaurant

Singapore Airlines SQ21 Menu

a white paper with black text

Singapore Airlines SQ21 Champagne Options

I heard stories of people complaining about the timings of meal service on this flight, but I had no concerns. The first meal service came out a few hours after take-off and the last before landing. During the rest of the flight, I could order any items off the menu whenever I wanted.

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Dining aboard SQ21

Singapore Airlines Nonstop Flight

Dining aboard SQ21

Inflight Entertainment

Door score:🚪🚪🚪🚪

As I mentioned in my The Singapore Airlines Suites Experience article, KrisFlyer is a top-notch inflight entertainment product offering many shows, movies, and games to keep anyone entertained for hours, especially on this Singapore Airlines Longest Nonstop Flight.

a screen with a video game on it

Music on Singapore Airlines IFE

A feature I always look for is an HDMI input. I always bring my shows and connect to the IFE, so I appreciate any product that offers this, which, luckily, Singapore Airlines provided on this A350-900ULR.

The screen is not touch-enabled, so you must use the handset for scrolling and making selections the in the IFE.

a screen on a device

Sample SQ A350 IFE controller, source: pinterest

Singapore Airlines Service

Door score:🚪🚪🚪🚪🚪

As mentioned in my The Singapore Airlines Suites Experience article, Singapore Airlines’ service was fantastic. The flight attendants went above and beyond for my daughter and made sure she felt at home in the air. The little touches, such as adjusting the blankets that had shifted off my daughter while she was asleep. Plus, who doesn’t love the adorable Singapore Airlines bears? Fantastic crew on this flight, and truly memorable experience!

two stuffed bears on a white background

Singapore Airlines Bears, source: carousell


The world’s longest flight is now checked off my bucket list, and what can I say other than it was fantastic and far exceeded my expectations.  I will consider flying this route again in the future. The Airbus A350 is a technological marvel. The aircraft can connect the furthest points across the globe, allowing passengers to arrive feeling rested by benefiting from the lower cabin pressure and higher humidity that the A350 provides.

For anyone who loves to fly, the length of this Singapore Airlines nonstop flight won’t be a burden but rather an experience to savour. For those who don’t like to fly, this flight will just be a vehicle to get from point A to B the fastest way possible. I didn’t find the flight too long, and I highly recommend this flight to anyone seeking the fastest way to Southeast Asia, especially in the bulkhead business class seats that provide the utmost comfort compared to the regular business class seats. Happy Flying!

a man and a girl sitting in an airplane


Verra Harris January 22, 2024 - 9:55 pm

Nice Article! Thank you for this!

Ozan January 13, 2024 - 2:29 pm

I wonder. flight way tho from New York to europa to Singapore ? or New York to japan to Singapore ?

Sash January 14, 2024 - 3:10 pm

I don’t understand your question. Are you asking about the route between the 2? If so, SQ does not fly NY-Japan-Singapore, only via Europe through Frankfurt

Swarna December 12, 2023 - 9:43 am

Any idea what time these get released? What time did you book them? I’ve been searching at 7am EST but no luck 355 days out, I wonder if they are blocked for the holidays?

Sash December 14, 2023 - 2:42 pm

I noticed the same issue around the same time frame. It appears that SQ is blocking award space during the busy travel season around the holidays. I checked on KrisFlyer and its also blocked there.

Wesley December 2, 2023 - 1:33 am

Thanks for the insights
Just wanted to ask if the subsequent meals are dine-on-demand?
Will be flying the same flight

Sash December 2, 2023 - 2:05 am

The only “scheduled” dining was at the beginning and then near the end. In between, its dine on demand.

Keith November 25, 2023 - 7:52 pm

Singapore’s web site shows it takes 223,000 miles for a Business Saver Award Ticket. How were you able to get it for 115K miles?

Sash November 25, 2023 - 8:42 pm

Not sure where you are seeing 233k. The current price for a business class ticket between Singapore and New York is 111,500 on Business Saver and 143,500 on Business Advantage. I’m looking at it right now.

Kerry June 29, 2023 - 10:37 pm

Qantas also provide pyjamas for Biz on night flights.

Sash June 29, 2023 - 10:55 pm

oh really? I had no idea. Good to know, thanks!

C Steger June 28, 2023 - 7:07 pm

I flew this route last year and will be on it again in October, both trips in premium economy. The 2022 flight was abysmal. The seat was broken and didn’t recline, the footrest was too difficult to move and they had no record of my “Book the Cook” selections. The crew were apparently taking care of those in biz class because I had to search them out twice to get my seat addressed. (They took the cushion off, and after about 10 minutes, fixed it temporarily. Once I sat back up, it didn’t recline again.) I have very low expectations for my 2023 flight.

Sash June 29, 2023 - 1:36 am

Oh wow, sorry to hear that. That’s horrible that you had to deal with all that on such a long flight! Hopefully, this was just an anomaly, and your October flight will be better. I have a friend who used to fly it pre-covid in premium economy, and he seemed to enjoy the experience. By the way, I’m sure you are also aware of the “special” solo seats at the back of the plane. Rows 40-42. From my recollection, I believe you can grab these seats also at T-36h.
Good luck on your next flight, and if you can share your experience of how it went back here in the comments, that’d be great! I’m really curious to know how it goes.

Anthony June 27, 2023 - 10:31 am

Great review ! On my bucket list And I will agree with you…. SA service is probably the best I’ve had too.

Suprised no pyjamas offered for the world’s longest flight. Couldn’t request a pair either ?

A few questions…. how far in advance did you book the flights ? 11 months ?

I’ll probably use Alaska, as I know Alaska charges $12 USD to cancel on a partner airline and get the points back… what is the Singapore cancellation cost ?

What was the kid’s activity kit like on the flight ? I collect those : )

Sash June 29, 2023 - 1:29 am

Thanks for the feedback.
Actually, pyjamas are not offered at all on this flight. SQ only provides them on First Class, like most other airlines. Receiving pyjamas in business class is quite rare. Qatar and Oman are the only 2 that offer it from the top of my head that I can think of. Yes, I did book these flights 11-12 months out. Using Aeroplan, you need to snag them the moment they open up at the end of the calendar because they get snapped up really quickly. SQ releases 4 seats per flight. Remember, you have both EWR and JFK as options. Singapore charges $75 to cancel.
The kid activity kit was quite basic. Crayons and drawings to colour on, a puzzle, and of course, the teddy bears that you would normally not get in business class as an adult (only first clas).

Eddy June 25, 2023 - 8:24 pm

Flying the opposite leg of this trip on April of next year. Very much looking forward to it.

Sash June 26, 2023 - 12:00 am

How exciting! Departing out of Singapore will have even better catering than I did. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Book the Cook service if you want. The selection should be quite vast. Enjoy the flight!

Hannah June 25, 2023 - 1:13 pm

Your beautiful daughter has the same smile as you!

Sash June 26, 2023 - 12:01 am

Thanks Hannah, but I think you would agree that her smile is better than mine. 🙂

Christian June 25, 2023 - 11:10 am

I want to fly this route! I’d love to hear a bit more about the doors. Maybe a door article in the future?Thank you for the run down.

Sash June 26, 2023 - 12:03 am

It’s a fantastic route, and if you love to fly, you will 100% enjoy this. Yes, I know folks are seeking a door article from me. it is coming, I just need to gather more data first. Stay tuned!


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