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Singapore Airlines and Golden Door Spa Are Bringing the Perks of a Wellness Resort to the Sky

Condé Nast Traveler logo Condé Nast Traveler 10/18/2021 Ramsey Qubein
© Courtesy Singapore Airlines

Usually requiring hours and hours spent in a cramped plane seat, ultra-long-haul flights are not exactly synonymous with wellness and relaxation. But Singapore Airlines, known for its spacious business cabin and first-class suites, is making even its most lengthy routes a little more comforting. The Star Alliance carrier has announced a new partnership with Golden Door Spa, one of the most iconic destination spas located in Escondido, California, for new wellness-focused amenities on the world’s longest flights.

Beginning in January 2022, new spa-inspired meals, hydrating drinks, and an audiovisual selection of wellness and sleep content will make crossing time zones a bit more manageable.

The Golden Door Spa-branded amenities will be available on the airline’s Airbus A350-operated flights between Singapore and the U.S. These are the longest nonstop flights in the world with flight times stretching as long as 19 hours. Unlike other airlines, these planes feature only two cabins, business class and premium economy. Passengers in both classes will enjoy the benefits of this new partnership.

“A healthier travel experience is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity,” Kathy Van Ness, general manager and chief operating officer at Golden Door, said in a statement. The new in-flight perks come as Singapore recently reopened its borders to vaccinated American tourists, which means U.S. travelers can get back to the airline's long-haul, intercontinental jaunts sooner than they may have imagined.

Menus with wellness in mind

Flying across time zones is challenging on the body, and there is no cheating science on the effects you feel during long periods aloft. Altitude can add to the body’s stress during air travel, which is why paying attention to the food you eat in the air can affect your relaxation, sleep comfort, and energy levels both during and after the flight.

Golden Door’s team of nutritionists and wellness experts worked with the airline to design in-flight meals specifically suited for ultra-long-haul flights. What’s on the new menu? Dishes like citrus salmon over pumpkin dal, basmati rice, and cilantro ghee or, for breakfast, oatmeal with goji berries, blueberries, quinoa, almonds, and honey. Dessert fans have new options, too. In addition to international cheeses and sweets, there are new dishes like vegan coconut ice cream with mango and avocado chocolate ganache.

Singapore Airlines’ frequent fliers need not worry about some of their favorite recipes disappearing, however. The airline’s “book the cook” menu, which lets business class fliers pre-order their favorite meals, is not going anywhere. The Golden Door-designed menus will complement, not replace, the airline’s signature business class menus giving passengers the chance to mix and match their favorites. (So, yes, you can still order the beloved Lobster Thermidor and chicken rice.)

It’s not just the food that is getting an upgrade—so is the beverage list. Rejuvenating and hydrating mocktails and juices are still under development, but will be designed for enjoyment at 36,000 feet when the program launches early next year. This will be in addition to the airline’s lengthy wine and cocktail list (although understandably those don’t get the same Golden Door seal of approval).

Spa-designed stretching and meditation 

Sitting still for long periods of time is not ideal from a wellness standpoint, so Golden Door experts helped Singapore develop a range of new exercises convenient enough to perform in your seat, no matter which cabin you’re in. The various stretches were created to improve circulation and flexibility.

These exercise regimens are available via a dedicated channel on the in-flight entertainment system. Passengers will also find meditation-style programming as well as tips to get better sleep on the plane and at their destination. The same content will be available via the Singapore Airlines app from the moment you reserve your flight to 30 days after you touch down at your destination.

Although many travelers might still feel rusty when it comes to boarding long, international flights, the new partnership is sure to help ease passengers back into the swing of crossing global time zones—and even add a new touch of glamour to the experience.

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