Airplane food, if you can find it, often gets the same raised eyebrows as hospital food, but when it comes to air fare, the consumer is usually grateful for whatever they see as such amenities are disappearing. Singapore Airlines, however, has never been a company to call airplane food … well, airplane food. On SQ (or SIA), which originated the “Book the Cook” concept for noteworthy onboard gourmet dining, airplane food is a canvas to which the best chefs of the world are invited to paint their oeuvres, always to the delight of those lucky and smart enough to choose this airline to ferry them over the distances.
As Singapore opens borders to non-residents the airline is ramping up flights to the Lion City from all over the globe. And never one to rest on its accomplishments, Singapore Airlines is at it again, stirring the pot and making the onboard experience that much richer. This time, that means a partnership with San Diego-based destination wellness retreat Golden Door and a menu that is not only good for the body, but also good for the soul.
With healthy travel increasingly becoming a priority for everyone who flies, this partnership brings a new roster of health-focused meals, exercise and well-being options to passengers aboard the world’s longest flights.
Golden Door experts, including top chefs, nutritionists, and personal trainers have developed a broad range of menus, exercise/stretching programs and other content designed specifically for Singapore Airlines customers. This will help passengers achieve improved nutrition, sleep, relaxation and energy levels aboard flights that can extend to nearly 19 hours without making a stop.
“Our long-standing commitment to wellness has led us to work with Golden Door’s highly specialized expertise, and create new options for health-oriented dining, exercise, and strategies for better sleep on long flights,” said Mr. Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience for Singapore Airlines. “Now more than ever, our customers are focused on maximizing wellness in every aspect of their lives. This partnership is instrumental in finding practical, effective ways to extend the principles and practice of well-being to air travel.”
“We did several surveys and focus groups among our customers, especially after COVID, just to check if their values had changed or their preferences changed and to learn what is most important to them,” said Betty Wong, Divisional Vice President Inflight Services and Design at Singapore Airlines. “Wellness kept coming up on top. That was a wow for us. Under the inflight experience, wellness was always in the top three. That is, wellness through the inflight experience and wellness in the food experience. And what else also came up repeatedly: variety. And we listened.
“As both SIA and Golden Door have been regularly named as the leading international airline and #1 destination spa in the world’s top travel publications, it is fitting that we come together to further enhance our passengers’ well-being and comfort on board our flights,” Wong added.
So what, exactly, does an enhanced new wellness focus on Singapore Airlines mean for passengers on those long, transglobal flights?
New Wellness Menus for balanced Health and Flavor: Building on Golden Door Chef Greg Frey Jr.’s philosophy that healthy dining can still be satisfying, the partnership is developing a broad range of appetizers, main courses and desserts for SIA nonstops. These new options will be available in addition to SIA’s existing line of dishes from the carrier’s International Culinary Panel, Book the Cook (the airline offers premium-seated passengers a chance to book signature dishes by the world’s top chefs created for the airline and engineered to be served in the altitudes) and other programs. Guests are free to mix-and-match individual dishes from any SIA dining program to further customize their inflight dining experience.
Staying Hydrated with New, Wellness-Focused Beverages: The new program features specially designed beverages to enhance hydration and promote a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation within the drier environment of an aircraft cabin.
Keep Moving with Aircraft-Specific Exercises: Golden Door trainers are developing a range of small-scale, inflight exercises and stretches passengers can conduct at their seats – in all classes of service – to increase circulation, enhance flexibility, and enhance alertness prior to arriving at a new destination.
Sleep Secrets for a Better Night’s Sleep in the Air: Getting quality sleep inflight ranks as a top priority for many international travellers. Golden Door practitioners are sharing a range of experience-based techniques and approaches to help travellers maximize both the amount and quality of their sleep aboard SIA’s ultra-long-haul flights. A quick bonus for SIA passengers will be access to the wellness library of content for a month after the flight through a login window, so passengers do not have to feel pressured about consuming all the good information in one sitting.
The first menus and content from the SIA/Golden Door wellness partnership will launch aboard SQ37 from Los Angeles to Singapore – one of the world’s longest commercial flights – starting in January 2022. The program will be extended to additional SIA nonstop services from San Francisco and New York (JFK) to Singapore shortly thereafter.
Sample Wellness Menu Dishes:
(Not all dishes available on all flights)
- Portobello meatballs, risotto heirloom tomato sauce with wilted greens
- Lemon-roasted Cornish hen, farm verde, asparagus, roasted eggplant fricassee
- Scallops or tofu with cauliflower sauce, wild rice and beurre noisette
- Citrus salmon over pumpkin dal, basmati rice and cilantro ghee
- Citrus grilled shrimp salad with honey glazed mushrooms, blackberries, sourdough croutons, balsamic ginger dressing
- Hearty vegetable black bean chili with cornbread croutons, avocado cream and cilantro
- Cauliflower chowder with cheddar cheese and chili oil
- Orange-braised baby beet salad with endive, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts
- Power-packed oatmeal with goji berries, blueberries, quinoa, almonds and honey drizzle
- Sourdough French toast with ginger maple syrup and vanilla berries
- Smoked salmon with crisp Lavash and lemon crema
- Cocoa granola with cinnamon hazelnut milk
- Vegan coconut ice cream with mango
- Avocado chocolate ganache
- Persimmon pudding cake
- Spiced apple cake
- Baked seasonal fruit crumble