I went behind the scenes with Singapore Airlines to see how it’s massively upgrading the onboard experience on the world’s longest flights

I went behind the scenes with Singapore Airlines to see how it’s massively upgrading the onboard experience on the world’s longest flights

While an airline might have one or two routes than rank in the top 10 longest in the world, Singapore Airlines has three. In 2018, the airline took its place on the throne with the relaunch of non-stop flights between Singapore and Newark, in addition to non-stop flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Onboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900ULR.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Singapore is reopening to the world with its new “vaccinated travel lane” program and travelers booking non-stop flights from the US will be able to skip quarantine if they meet the requirements. And waiting for them onboard will be an entirely new offering come January.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900ULR

Onboard a Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900ULR.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Chef Greg Frey Jr is the executive chef at Golden Door. His job is to ensure that spa-goers not only enjoy their meals but that the food being served contributes to the overall wellbeing of the guests.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


It’s a delicate balance between controlling portions and crafting a meal that will satiate enough so that guests aren’t asking for more. He jokes that his job is to ensure that patrons aren’t sneaking off to the local In-N-Out Burger amidst a wellness retreat.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


“The food is not meant to be very overarching, very high-end, and very fancy,” Frey told Insider. “I’m here to feed you not to starve you.”

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Helping bring Frey’s creations to the airline world is Antony McNeil, Singapore Airlines’ global food & beverage director, along with the executive chefs of the airline’s contracted catering facilities.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


“There are some dishes that are on here that are created solely for our partnership, but there are many of these that are big favorites for our guests,” Frey said.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


The Golden Door’s signature dish, served like clockwork every Sunday, is the miso-glazed black cod. For the spa-goers, it provides energy for the next morning to take on the day’s activities while for airline passengers, it could give them the energy to take on the day after a long flight to the US or Singapore.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Meal choices are very deliberate in that each ingredient serves a purpose. It’s a skill that Frey has spent the better part of the last decade honing while at Golden Door.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Some of the other dishes that Golden Door spa-goers will enjoy over the course of the week that may soon find their way onboard Singapore Airlines planes include the portobello meatballs in an heirloom tomato sauce with risotto…

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Smoked fennel duck with chow-chow sauce…

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Citrus grilled shrimp salad with ginger balsamic dressing…

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


And blue crab tower with wheatberry salad.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Travelers on the non-stop flights between Singapore and the US spend as much as 19 hours on the plane, giving them ample time to try a variety of the menu items across the three meal services.

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


Frey sources the ingredients for his meals from the Golden Door’s multi-acre garden just beyond the main resort area. Insider toured the garden, as well, and found a cornucopia of produce intended to feed the 40 weekly Golden Door visitors.

Golden Door Spa and Resort

Inside the Golden Door Spa and Resort.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


“The purpose of this relationship is to develop a robust and a very flexible wellness program,” Betty Wong, Singapore Airlines’ division vice president of in-flight services and design, told Insider. “We want to make sure that these options are available, but at the end of the day, the choice is yours.”

Inside the Golden Door spa — Singapore Airlines Golden Door Spa Partnership

Inside the Golden Door spa.

Thomas Pallini/Insider


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