REVIEW: A Muslim Traveller’s Experience On Singapore Airlines A350-900ULR Business Class From Newark


Noor Aishah Karim •  Jun 16, 2023

I recently went to the United States with my family for my baby brother's graduation (AH, SUPER PROUD!). We booked a direct flight on Singapore Airlines almost a year in advance and accumulated enough miles (finally!) for a business-class flight back. The worlds longest flight (19 hours 10 mins) was about to have nothing on me.

Here’s my review of the world’s longest flight (19 minutes and 10 minutes) from Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines business class!

P.S. Thinking of travelling by Malaysian Airlines via Business class? Here’s what our content writer, Farah has to say about it!

The spacious seats are perfect for an adult + a toddler (below 2 years old)!

We were contemplating whether to request a bassinet because our little one surprisingly slept well on our journey to New York, despite being a bit too tall for it. However, we decided against it since it would mean being separated from my husband by the aisle as the seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Since there was no bassinet, our toddler would be sharing the seat with either of us. Thankfully, the Business Class seats on the long-haul A350-900ULR are incredibly spacious, measuring a generous 71cm wide so there was enough room for her to stretch out and sleep comfortably. However, it was less comfortable for the person sharing the bed with her… Who knew a small child would need so much space!

To convert the seat into a lie-flat bed, you need to stand up and flip it down. The flight attendants were kind enough to assist us with this, and apparently, many business class reviewers consider it to be a superior sleeping surface. Each passenger receives two sealed pillows (one firm and one softer) and a blanket.

However, it does feel a bit unusual to sleep diagonally on your side in order to stretch out your feet in the small cubby. It takes some getting used to, but we're not complaining. We're just grateful that we can lie down and get some sleep.

The multiple storage areas are fantastic, and you might not even need the overhead compartment, but with a baby in tow, we definitely did! #travelwithbaby

P.S. Looking for tips for travelling with a toddler? Check this out

There are no halal options for Book The Cook 😭😭

When it comes to Business Class travel, one of the undeniable highlights is the incredible dining experience! 🍽️ And Singapore Airlines has a special feature called "Book the Cook" where passengers can pre-order their dishes in advance, giving them even more menu options. We excited to try so we reached out to SQ to check if any of the Book the Cook options were halal. Unfortunately, they informed us that none of the options was halal and suggested requesting halal meals 🙁

From our experience flying economy on SQ, we usually received Indian/Middle Eastern cuisine for our halal meals and we were wondering if it would be the same for business class. We were concerned that if our little one wanted to taste our meals, the spices and richness of the halal dishes might not be suitable for her so I decided to go for the seafood meal, while Mikhail opted for the halal option.

True enough, Mikhail received meals with curry for both courses and it turned out that two courses with curry and gravy was a bit overwhelming for Mikhail's stomach, resulting in him needing the airsick bags. 😔 On the bright side, the attentive crew promptly prepared two cups of strong ginger tea to soothe his discomfort and even provided indigestion tablets upon request. They went above and beyond to assist us. #mykindofdreamteam

We wish a wider selection of halal meals beyond the predominantly Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine options was available for Business Class passengers. It would have been great to have more diverse choices and if we could try the Book The Cook concept. 🍛🌶️

The dining experience was fancy, with the tables meticulously set with exquisite Narumi tableware, silverware, salt and pepper shakers, and water glasses, all beautifully arranged on a linen tablecloth. Although we didn't fully appreciate the table setting because we were busy keeping our toddler from grabbing and possibly breaking everything! 😅

Oh, and we can't forget to mention the popular garlic bread! 🥖 According to reviews, it’s a must-have but we thought that the bread was a bit hard.

As for non-alcoholic beverages, Singapore Airlines offers a range that includes refreshing mocktails (in other words, juices with Sprite), various juices, TWG tea, and gourmet coffee by Illy. Our little one's drink was thoughtfully prepared in a paper cup with a straw, and the crew also provided warm milk and water for her to keep her hydrated and comfortable throughout the flight.

Overall, the dining experience in Business Class offers a delightful array of choices, from the special Book the Cook concept to the carefully curated tableware. However, the experience would have been even more exceptional if Muslim travellers are able to choose from a selection of halal options (beyond Indian/Middle Eastern cuisine).

“Have never heard my name mentioned so many times in 19 hours before!” 🤩

Throughout the flight, the crew was friendly and attentive. They took the time to get to know our little one, engaged with her, chatted, and made her feel comfortable and welcome onboard. It was heartwarming to see their warmth and attentiveness from the moment we took off until we landed. They truly went above and beyond to ensure that our entire family had a pleasant journey. Mikhail, mentioned that he had never heard his name, Mr Goh, mentioned so frequently in a span of 19 hours before 😂

To our surprise and delight, our toddler's seat already had her beloved Spidey toy waiting for her when we boarded. It was such a thoughtful gesture that instantly put a smile on her face and made her feel at home in the cabin.

We truly appreciated how the crew understood the dynamics of travelling with a little one and accommodated our needs seamlessly. When it came to dining, they politely inquired about our preferences and made sure to serve the parent who was ready to dine first, allowing the other parent to attend to Sofia. This level of consideration and understanding was truly remarkable.

Flying for such a prolonged duration of 19 hours can be a bit overwhelming, but the crew managed to maintain their high service standards throughout the flight. Their professionalism and dedication were evident in every interaction, making our journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

I watched Frozen 2 six times

Each passenger has a set of noise-cancelling headphones onboard to enjoy the inflight entertainment on the wide screen. Mikhail mentioned that it was comfy while I wouldn’t know because I anticipated that our toddler might want the headphones too, so I watched a silent Ant Man movie.

Thanks to my toddler who is currently in her Frozen phase, I found myself indulging in one particular movie multiple times—Frozen 2. I watched it at least six times during our journey to and from Singapore.

One feature that Singapore Airlines offers is its app, which allows passengers to connect their devices to the inflight entertainment system even before boarding. This convenient feature enables passengers to control KrisWorld content, browse through the available options, and even bookmark content to resume watching where they left off.

As Business Class passengers, we were delighted to have access to unlimited inflight Wi-Fi. The speed felt acceptable for an inflight connection, and I even took advantage of it to catch up on some work while our little one was napping. It was a productive way to utilise the time during the flight.

All in All:

Overall, we had a fantastic experience flying with Singapore Airlines Business Class. The excellent service, comfortable seats, and convenient amenities made the 19-hour long flight fly by. However, as travellers who love our food, we feel that the inflight experience on Singapore Airlines would have been even more exceptional if the dining options for Muslim passengers are not limited to the usual Indian/Middle Eastern cuisine and we want to enjoy the Book The Cook concept too!