"Hello, Ms. Jones, Mr. McCarthy. May we take your bags?"
As we approached the check-in desk for Singapore Suites—the ultra-premium, first-class-plus cabin of Singapore Airlines—the agent greeted my husband and me by name before we'd even pulled out our passports. This was only the first indication of many that our journey from London to Singapore would be a 14-hour flight unlike any other.
With the possible exception of The Residence on Etihad Airways, Singapore Suites is considered by plane-hounds to be the best commercial airline flying experience in the world.
Fliers of Singapore Suites do not even have to walk across Heathrow: An airport buggy whisked us right to the lounge, where we sipped on Perrier-Jouёt and ate the best mee rebus noodles I'd ever had outside Singapore. Fliers of Singapore Suites also do not have to wait to board: We were led to the front of the queue, even first-class passengers scowling at our advantage.
Once aboard the aircraft, rather than a seat, each lucky traveler gets their own personal tiny cabin, resembling the train cars of yore.
Each cabin is equipped with a 35-inch, full-grain leather chair, which reclines as much as you please; a bench of the same leather, close enough to prop up your feet but wide enough to serve as a second seat; a sliding door for ultimate privacy; and blinds to shut out the light from the aisle. And if you're traveling with a partner? The wall between two suites can be collapsed, leaving you with a double bed in the sky.
For honeymooners like ourselves, it was a dream come true. Such luxury could be yours, too, for around $10,300—or, in our case, 93,175 Singapore Airlines miles. One way.
As we settled in, our stewardess, resplendent in her green woven sarong kebaya and sleek chignon, offered us more Champagne: Would it be the Dom Pérignon 2006 or Krug Grande Cuvée? Why pass up the opportunity for a tasting? we thought and requested one of each.
Suites passengers do have to adhere to basic flight safety protocol, Su Lin apologized, as she scurried over to clear our glassware after the pilot asked attendants to be seated for takeoff.
Not more than a minute later, takeoff commenced. Not two minutes after that, the Dom was back. Our stewardess winked at us and slid the door shut.
After a leisurely hour of movie watching and Champagne sipping, it was time for dinner service. "Would you prefer to sit at the same table?" What honeymooners wouldn't? She worked a bit of magic with the seat configuration, and there it was: a table for two in the sky. Ready for our seven-course meal.
We started with the lamb and chicken satay, set on Wedgwood bone china, followed by an entire tin of malossol caviar—each. There was Chinese oxtail soup with wolfberries and flower mushrooms, a mesclun salad with soy-sesame dressing. And then, the entreés. Singapore's Book the Cook service allows you to select your meal ahead of time. I opted for a Singaporean beef noodle dish; my husband, lobster thermidor, because when else?
Draining the last of our Premier Cru Chablis, we both needed a rest before tackling the cheese plate. "Why don't I change over your suite," we were asked, "and I'll bring you cheese and port in bed?" An offer that was impossible to turn down.
We donned our Givenchy pajamas and slippers, and found a double bed fully made up for us—with his-and-hers Singapore Airlines teddy bears propped on the pillows. Our stewardess set up a bedside table and returned with a sizable cheese plate and a 30-year Taylor's tawny port for me, a rare Macallan Scotch for my husband.
High on Champagne, caviar and unearned luxury, we spent a good 10 minutes taking giddy selfies before tackling the cheese, and then falling into a deep, satisfied sleep. Nine hours later, we were woken for breakfast. We were only an hour from landing.
Never had I wished for a flight to stretch on longer, but I felt a twinge of sadness as we descended into Singapore Changi Airport. Before we disembarked, several flight attendants came to bid us farewell. "Happy honeymoon," they said, presenting us with a lovely cake from Harrods in London. "We hope you enjoy every minute."
We did—but perhaps nothing quite so much as our Singapore Suite.
Carey Jones is a New York-based food and travel writer and the author of Brooklyn Bartender: A Modern Guide to Cocktails and Spirits. Follow her on Twitter at @careyjones.
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