Singapore Airlines’ SQ22, the ultra long-haul flight touting itself as the world’s longest, landed at Newark just a few hours ago (Oct. 12). Its passengers have likely recovered their baggage and left the airport: They now face the staggering jet lag that comes from traversing 12 time zones in less than a day.
How was this very long sit-down in the sky? Pretty good, if the reviews are to be believed—though that may simply be attributable to flying business or premium economy class (the only options offered on this flight) in an airline said to be the best in the world. A gaggle of transport journalists and aviation fans were on board to chronicle the journey, experience the thrill (or otherwise) of a whole day in the air, and even take home a special certificate.
Travelers dined on beef hor fun and lobster dumplings, guzzled bottle after bottle of champagne, and were catered to by 13 cabin crew, who each took a four-hour nap in bunk beds up in the roof space. A selection of 1,000 movies helped to while the hours away. Less successful was in-flight internet access, available for an additional fee.
The flight made good time, arriving a little over half an hour ahead of schedule, for a total of 17 hours and 25 minutes in the air, according to CNN’s Richard Quest. The tailwinds behind that speedy journey come at a cost, however: “Of course, that means the return flight to Singapore will face strong headwinds and that flight could take up to 19 hours,” he noted.
But 17 hours and 25 minutes is still a very long time to be in a tube in the sky—even if breakfast mimosas and customized teddy bears are on hand to soften the blow.