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SQ A380 Inaugural SIN-NRT Flight In J With Pix Lin  
User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Singapore Airlines A380 Inaugural Singapore to Tokyo service
May 20, 2008

Dear all,

I finally get to find time to write this amazing inaugural flight experiences. I have attended a number of inaugural flights throughout the years, but none is as excited as Singapore Airlines’ A380 inaugural service. I really urge all aviation enthusiasts (or everyone) to attend one of Singapore Airlines A380 or inaugural flights. SQ is just great in terms of throwing great parties and gathering lots of publicity. Of course, the focus of this flight is the newest Jumbo Airbus, A380-800, which is just an amazing airplane. The plane just performs so well at every stage of the flight. It is so quiet in the upper deck that you can really hear everything going on around you. The new business class seats are really nice and I really enjoy the side storage bins for the window passengers in the upper deck. This plane is just so beautiful.

Photo link (for those who do not like to read):
SQ 173 – http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqLBY
SQ 636 – http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8QbNHDNy5bqLDQ

May 19, 2008
SQ 173 SGN-SIN Lv1450 Arr1745 Boeing 777-200ER 9V-SVL “Spacebed”

I started planning this flight rather late because I was not originally scheduled to be in Hong Kong during that time. When I found out that I would indeed be in Hong Kong, I immediately went into action. I want to do the return NRT to BKK originally (because I hate redeye flights and SQ’s sleeper service is just an awful idea to cut costs), but the flight was 100% sold out in F and J, and Y fares are available but cost $2000USD. Well then I begin searching for the cheapest option from Asia to Tokyo, I tried a couple options including the usual BKK. I finally found a decent C one-way fare from Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo via Singapore for USD$1325. Still pretty steep, but I was able to find award seats on flights from HKG to SGN, and the return NRT to Bangkok. So why not! I used SQ’s own website, and it was easy to use. I selected my seats, and then was all set to go on May 19. Plus, I get to add Ho Chi Minh City Tan Song Nhat International Airport as a new airport to my log. The only annoying aspect is that I have to make sure I pack my AMEX (that used to pay for this ticket) or else I will deny boarding. I still don’t get this stupid rule.

The day of:
I arrived Ho Chi Minh City on CX 767 from Hong Kong and immediately headed to the transit counter. My first impression of Ho Chi Minh City’s Terminal Two was excellent, as it was very nicely designed airport, easy to navigate and lots of natural lights, which is so much better than Bangkok’s new airport. I found the transit counter easily and one of the VN agents got my e-ticket receipt, passport, and other documents. She even asked if I wanted to head to the city, as she assumed I am a Singaporean, which I was not. Then she politely asked me to take a seat and told me that she had to head out security and did the check-in there. I said, “fine,” and sat on the side reading magazines. She was excellent and everyone I encountered were friendly, efficient and polite, which was better than other similar transiting experiences at Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and even non-SQ flights at Singapore. She came back fifteen minutes later apologizing for the wait, but she got my boarding passes all the way to Tokyo Narita, and also the invitation to the A380 inaugural parties, which I took photos and placed them at my photo album. Then a colleague of her brought me to security, and took me to the Star Alliance lounge, which was vacated at that time because the TG flight has just left and the SQ flight was not leaving till a few hours later.

Ho Chi Minh City Lounge:
The lounge was actually not bad at all with big windows facing the tarmac and international terminal. I took many pictures of interesting Vietnam Airlines’ planes, and the lounge was well stocked with cold drinks and food, including really nice spring rolls, beef stews with French bread, and chicken-flavored instant noodles. I read from various forums that it used to be better. I found the current food offering fine – nothing extraordinary, but not too awful. I spend a couple quiet hours there, and then head off to gate 14 near boarding time.

Short flight over:
It was a very short flight of an hour and thirty minutes, and as Krisworld was not turned on properly, I don’t have any routing information. The flight took off from R/W25R at 2:53pm. Yes the flight was full in J and Y. The meal service was a quick one-tray light meal service, and the food was okay. I like the Vietnamese beef entrée much. I tried to take a short nap, but descent soon began at 4:50pm Singapore time. (Singapore is an hour ahead of SGN). We landed on R/W20C at 5:23pm and parked at gate F58 five minutes later.

Wine List and Menu Transcript:
Wine List
Charles Heidsieck

White Wines
Welnhaus Ress Riesling Kabinett 2005 Rheingau
Villa Franz Riesling Kabinett 2006 Hattenheimer Rheingau

Saint-Veran “Rives De Longsault” 2005 Domaine Des Deux Roches

Red Wines
Chateau Fonreaud 2002 Listrac Medoc
Rive Barbera d”Asti “Il Cascinone” 2004 Araldica

Dow 2001 Late Bottled Vintage Port Portugal

Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore
Light Meal Menu
A Savory Note
Smoked ham with roast vegetable and pasta salad

The Main Event
* Provence Style tuna steak with basil tomato coulis, ratatouille, and steamed potato
* Exclusively created by Georges Blanc, Vonnas
Vietnamese spiced beef with vegetables and rice
Sauteed prawns and fish in white wine herb veloute, spinach and fettuccine

A Sweet Note
Selection of Sliced Fresh Fruits

A Connoisseur’s Choice
Gourmet Coffee
Selection of Tea
SQ173XC SGN-SIN (LM) 133-1.1 05 RC

Since it was an inaugural flight and I had a long layover, I decided to exit immigration (plus it is Singapore and no one will grill me for the reason for exiting immigration) and headed over to T-3 and saw if there was anything special going on for the inaugural check-in. The immigration line at T-2 was very long this afternoon and in hindsight, I should have headed over to T-3, which had limited arrival flights at that time. Anyway, time was not a factor here.

May 20, 2008; Tuesday
SQ 636 SIN-NRT Lv0040 Arr0830+1 Airbus A380-800 9V-SKC

Aisle 7 hosted the special check-in counters for all SQ 636 passengers this evening. I arrived early while they were setting up. I asked a SQ staff nearby and she told me that the check-in would not begin till later at night around 9pm. I inquired if anything special going on at check-in, and she said, “not really” and all the celebration would hold at gate A10. I took a few pictures and decided to tour around T-3, which was amazing inside and outside. I took a number of pictures, as you could tell. The only disappointment is the lack of a proper viewing area of the apron, and you cannot really do any meaningful plane-spotting. Since it was a public holiday at Singapore, the new T-3 was filled with visitors and there was a giant shopping mall at the upper level and basement. There was a giant food court in the basement, which was huge and filled with excellent food choices. This airport is just a destination for locals as well. It is interesting to see airport being evolved from designing for travelers only to a shopping mall for locals as well.

After a while, I headed back to airside and decided to have a nice dinner at the new Silver Kris lounge at T-3, which was not disappointing. The food selection was improved dramatically from the old T-2 days, and I had many bowls of Oriental Seafood and tofu soup, as well as a few plateful of a great selection of warm food. Since I anticipated more food at A10, I was not going too crazy except with the soup. But I also know about the stupid sleeper service, which was the weakest point during this whole trip, (yes, even worst than the Nagoya diversion in this case) and I had to make sure I had a decent dinner before boarding.

The invitation stated the celebration would begin at 9:40pm, but knowing our departure time, I headed over a bit later. I arrived around 10pm and things were still mellow. I immediately passed through security and headed over to gate A-9 for the souvenir photo-taking session. I have yet to see the photos, since I am still on the road now. But I was impressed with the arrangement. Everything was so well organized and it is just a flawless event. We headed over to gate A-9 and filled out our information on these small standup coffee tables with light snacks. Then a guide leaded you to the A380 poster board and someone took your information sheet, took the pictures, and for economy class passengers, they would lead them to the souvenir pick up stations for their gift bags. Suite and business class passengers would get their bags on the plane. I believe the content is somewhat identical with all passengers, but suite and business class passengers got a nicer bag and a few more gadgets from the “Planet Traveler,” a travel store at Singapore. Business class passenger got a Mandarin duck bag, and you can see the pictures of the bag and the content towards the very end of my photo album.

At the gate, a small band is playing relaxing lounge music and two Singapore Airlines girls were there to take pictures for you and/or with you. They were all pretty and nice, just like your typical Singapore Airlines girls. There was a sumptuous Japanese themed buffet, and there were sushi chefs making fresh sushi, which were actually excellent (compared to the cold sushi at the lounge). Other Japanese dishes include Chawan-mushi (steamed egg custard with seafood and gingko nuts), miso soup, teriyaki chicken drums, and other western dishes like assorted cold cuts, cut fruits, petit fours, warm pannini sandwiches, and seafood stew, were on offered, and properly served in first and business class china. A non-alcoholic bar was set up with juices, sodas, teas and coffees on the other end with a large staff of waiters and waitresses offering drinks to everyone. There were so much food around, and the crowd grew, as we got closer to departure time. Soon I saw a bunch of aviation enthusiasts and actually bought a homemade SQ A380 NRT inaugural t-shirt from one of these guys, which I would treasure dearly. In the future, you guys can make more of them, and perhaps can do a good sale.

About the plane itself, not many pictures of 9V-SKC were taken, because my camera was not professional enough to take nighttime photos and the windows were a big hindrance. But a quick note about the other A380s used that evening – SKA was not here (possibly at LHR or on its way back to SIN), SKB was heading to LHR, and SKD was heading to Sydney).

The CEO of Singapore Airlines soon arrived at the gate, but did not give any speech. He talked to the captain of the inaugural flight, other ground personnel, other passengers, and was very friendly to all requests and took pictures with many of them. Two hosts – one English speaking and one Japanese speaking – talked a number of times about the history of A380 and Singapore Airlines’ new service.

Boarding soon began at 11:57pm, and the flight looked pretty full in all three cabin classes.
Y had a few empty middle seats, but J was 100% full with the media occupying the aft section of J. The flight attendants were very attentive and the usual array of pre-takeoff beverages, newspapers and magazines were passed out. People were taking pictures left and right, and for the first time, I did not experience a few awkward moment. Flash-photographing happened throughout the night, as the crew took pictures of the F/As serving the meals, the crew taking pictures of the food, of course, the business class galley, the new business class bar, and everything was so new. Champagne was selected tonight as my pre-takeoff beverage, as I settled into this new business class seat. I flew on the Boeing 777-300ER before in J, and nothing was strange to me. The seat was pretty similar, except a few more inches of legroom and an additional side storage bin. Door was closed at 12:35am, and we pushed back three minutes later. Changi was very busy at this time of the days, as there were many late redeye flights heading to North Asia, India and South Asian, Europe, and Australia. We took off at 12:59am from R/W20. My first impression was how quiet the takeoff was, and there were roaring clapping from economy class cabin, but business class folks were quiet. Perhaps it was the redeye nature of the flight.

Flying time was estimated to be six hours and eleven minutes to Tokyo, and the routing was pretty much all over water. We climbed towards 36,000feet for a while, before climbing to 38,000feet and 39,000feet before crossing the Okinawa Islands, and finally at 41,000feet. After the diversion was announced, we actually did not climb back up to much higher attitude, but staying at 20,000feet till we reached Nagoya. Our flight back to Tokyo took fifty-five minutes and we stayed at 26,500feet.

After takeoff, amenities were passed out, which were the usual socks and eyeshades. I still don’t understand why a proper amenity kit was not handed out. I can’t believe that SQ can’t find a reasonable vendor, and I am sure many world brands will like to be placed side by side with SQ’s name. But the J socks were at least Givenchy and the Y amenity kits are also Givenchy brand. Anyway, a first round of beverage was served with mixed nuts, and supper was then offered to those passengers who requested them first, and inaugural flight certificate in a plastic frame was passed out individually from the F/A to the each J passenger. (I believe Y passengers got their certificates on the ground.) The cabin lights remained dimmed throughout the night.

Around 4:30am Singapore time (yes a full two and a half hours prior to arrival), the F/As gently woke up those passengers requesting hot breakfast, and served us hot towels. Then the appetizer cart rolled out at 4:42am, our table was setup individually (no tray used), and fruit bowl and yogurts were offered. At 5:03am, entrees were served (as well as those requesting the Japanese bento box, which was one tray service), and at 5:15am, my tray was recollected, and tea/coffee service was offered. Why am I telling you the time aspect? Because I really don’t think a hot breakfast required a full two and a half hours to serve. It literally took less than an hour. It should be serve an hour and half prior to arrival for those requesting hot breakfast, and an hour for continental breakfast. This sleeper service is certainly the worst planned inflight experience by Singapore Airlines, and no one seems to realize how cheap this sleeper service look, regardless of reality, and no one at SQ seemed to want to change it or find a better solution. I saw the “supper or breakfast” service more like a cost-cutting exercise than an “enhancement.” I can’t imagine getting only one main meal on a seven-hours flight to Melbourne or Sydney. (Sorry for the additional rant following! Feel free to skip it!)

I think that redeye flights are tricky because everyone has different sleeping habits and for Asian passengers, serving a hot meal is unavoidable especially in premium classes, not to mention on a six to seven hours flight. “Choices” is important for premium passengers, but “choices” meant a full snack-on-demand menus and a proper main meal service, not a choice of “supper” or “breakfast.” For suite class, I think SQ should do what Qatar and Cathay Pacific offer – an “indulgence” menu with noodle soup, sandwiches, light appetizer plates, cheese plate, and fruit plate, and then a breakfast prior to arrival. The breakfast service does not need to be as extravagant as on a transpacific flight or European flight. It can be a simple one-tray service with fruit, yogurt, and entrée. A bento style service, just like the Japanese meal option, can be served between sixty and ninety minutes prior to arrival. I think most passengers don’t mind a simplified breakfast on a short six to seven hour redeye flights. For business class, a slight reduced “indulgence” menu can be offered too, like noodle soup (instant is fine), sandwiches, sliced cheese and fruit plate, and then a bento style breakfast prior to arrival. The “sleeper” service is simply unacceptable right now, and something better can be done with it. Check out what other airlines are offering! Knowing SQ’s customer service, I am not counting on them listening to me, but next time, I am going to have the “supper” service because it was just hard to eat at 4 in the morning, and then with an hour and half left on the flight.

Menu Transcript: (All three class menus will be posted here… thanks to the F/A, which so generously grab me extra menus from Suite and economy! It is also interested to note that they use the A380 cover, not the current spring design. The menus also clearly state that they were for the inaugural flights, and in business and economy class menus, the return segments are not included. So I assume Singapore Airlines knew that many passengers would like to hold on to the menus for this special flight. On a typical SQ flight, the menus will be used on both inbound and return flights in business and economy, and that’s why the F/As recollect menus. Of course, they loaded extra menus, but not a full load of them.)

Suite Class
Wine List
Dom Perignon 2000
Krug Grande Cuvee

White Wines
Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett 2005 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Beaune Du Chateau Premier Cru 2006 Bouchard Pere Et Fils

Red Wines
Chateau Pichon-Longueville Au Baron De Pichon-Longueville 1998 Pauillac
Chianti Classico 2001 Castello Di Brolio

Dow’s 20 Years Old Tawny Port Portugal

Sleeper Service from Singapore Tokyo
To allow you a longer period of undisturbed rest, please let us know your preference for the following meal service options:
To be served your meal after takeoff
To be served your meal about 2 hours before arrival

To Start With
A choice of apple, tomato, freshly squeezed orange juice or hot/chilled soy bean milk

Puree of Cauliflower soup with sautéed curry spiced scallop and crème faiche
*Exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay, London

Your Choice of:
Ballontine of chicken breast with truffle and duck liver, natural jus, selected vegetables and sautéed potato
*Exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay, London
Singapore style prawn noodle soup
A richly flavored local dish of yellow noodles in prawn and pork stock served with king prawns and bean sprouts
Kitsune Udon Soup
White wheat noodles in light bonito broth granished with fried beancurd and fish cake
American Breakfast
Yogurt with berry compote
Freshly prepared egg on toast served with ham steak or chicken sausage, slow roasted vine ripened tomato and mushrooms
Bread selection with pastries

Continental Breakfast
Assorted bread with preserves

Your meal will be served with a selection of sliced fresh fruit

Yoshihiro’s Choice
A respected authority who has helped shaped Japan’s culinary culture, Yoshihiro Murata draws on European influences without compromising on the authenticity of traditional Japanese cuisine. He brings to you his recommendation for a most exquisite dining experience in the sky.

Chilled hot spring boiled egg with soya flavored stock

Sesame flavored beancurd with jelly, shiso

Grilled eggplant, simmered octopus, lady finger

Yakimono & Ashirai
Grilled semi dried flatfish, dried sardines with shishito pepper

Gohan or Okayu
Steamed rice or rice porridge


Red miso oup with lotus root dumpling

Business Class
Charles Heidsieck

White Wines
Villa Franz Riesling Kabinett 2006 Hattenheimer Rheingau
Saint-Veran “Rives De Longsault” 2005 Domaine Des Deux Roches

Red Wines
Chateau Fonreaud 2002 Listrac Medoc
Rive Barbera d”Asti “Il Cascinone” 2004 Araldica

Dow 2001 Late Bottled Vintage Port Portugal

Menu From Singapore to Tokyo
Sleeper service same as Suite Class

To Start With
Choice of apple, tomato, freshly squeezed orange juice or soya bean milk

Caesar Salad with poached egg and marinated anchovies
*Exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay, London

The Main Event
Boiled beef cheeks with peas, baby turnip and asparagus in beef consommé
*Exclusively created by Gordon Ramsay, London
Selection of dim sum
Lotus leaf rice, siew mai, bean curd roll with prawn and “har gow”
Assorted sushi
Japanese style vinegared rice topped with marinated seafood
American Breakfast
Omelette with jalapeno jack cheese
Served with chicken chipolata, roasted tomato and hash brown potato, with a side of fruit yogurt and a selection of breads with preserves
Continental Breakfast
Served with assorted breads with preserves

Your meal will be served with a selection of fresh fruit

A Connoisseur’s Choice
Gourmet coffees
Selection of tea
Served with Pralines

Yoshihiro’s Choice
A respected authority who has helped shaped Japan’s culinary culture, Yoshihiro Murata draws on European influences without compromising on the authenticity of traditional Japanese cuisine. He brings to you his recommendation for a most exquisite dining experience in the sky.

“Finding the change of the four seasons in a flower and translating it into cuisine”
An array of nine appetizers and entrees together with miso soup, served Japanese-style.
Kuchitori – Yam jelly with green soya bean and tofu paste
Kobachi – Egg tofu with fish “sho-men” and fish-flavored jelly
Sunomono – Vinegared pike eel and marinated vegetables
Yakimono – Grilled flat fish, green bean, chicken, carrot and black sesame miso
Takiawase – Octopus, taro, pumpkin, and lady’s finger
Owan – Miso Soup
Gohan – Grilled rice roll with sesame and seaweed
Kounomono – Assorted pickles
Mizumono – Assorted Fresh Fruit
Ocha – Green Tea

Economy Class
Refreshment from Singapore to Tokyo
Enjoy a light treat on your journey
Light Bites
Warm mango and shrimp with herbs panini sandwich
Warm black-peppered chicken with potato wrap

Hot Beverages
Green Tea

Cold Beverage
Japanese Oolong tea

Breakfast from Singapore to Tokyo
Gordon’s choice
Celebrated for his ability to marry rich flavors with healthy cooking and creative genius, Gordon Ramsay’s artful blend of textures and flavors spawn stylish creations. He brings in you his recommendation for a most exquisite dining experience in the sky.

Fruit appetizer
Bubble and squeak with poached egg and bacon
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter-Fruit Preserve
Coffee, tea

Yoshihiro’s Choice
A respected authority who has helped shaped Japan’s culinary culture, Yoshihiro Murata draws on European influences without compromising on the authenticity of traditional Japanese cuisine. He brings to you his recommendation for a most exquisite dining experience in the sky.

Fruit appetizer
Grilled salted salmon, omelette with grilled eel, vegetables, baby sardines and ‘sancho’ pepper-flavored rice
Assorted breakfast rolls
Butter-Fruit Preserve
Coffee, tea

Arrival and Diversion:
For the rest of the flight, I went back to sleep, and descent soon began at 6:43am. The pilots announced that the weather at Tokyo was not great and there were high winds, but weather should clear out a bit, and he apologized, but we would circle for a while till the weather cleared out at Tokyo. Everybody was not so surprised or simply too sleepy to care. The pilots announced landing check at 7:20am, so I thought we were all fine, till I spotted the changes with the Sky Map, and we were climbing again to 20,000feet. Shortly after, the pilot announced that the weather did not improve and a number of planes reporting strong wind shear and he decided to divert to Osaka. He apologized for the delay and would come back with updated arrival time. A few minute later, the destination was changed once again with the Sky map, and we were heading to Nagoya, as it was closer to Tokyo. Descent began at 7:43am (8:43am Nagoya time). We landed on Nagoya Centrair Airport’s R/W16R at 9:09am local time, and parked at Bay 119 five minutes later, next to a diverted TG’s Boeing 777-200 as well.

Diversion at Nagoya:
The pilot went on the speaker and told us that he had no estimate for our takeoff time, but would give us a reasonable estimate after the weather cleared up at Tokyo and a new flight plan was filed. I looked out of the window and saw many ground staffs taking pictures of our planes using their cell phones, and many of them certainly came out to see this giant jumbo. It was a pleasant surprise, and even the purser and some TG F/As looked out from the window and checked out the jumbo plane, which TG will get within the next few years as well. The F/As immediately opened up the J galley bar and the leading F/A went downstairs to discuss with the other leading purser about what to do. So what to do? I decided to take the opportunity (along other passengers) to take pictures all over the plane, since now it was daytime and pictures are easier to take. I walked downstairs and the new staircases were super nice. The main deck had a really high ceiling (higher than 777), and the plane was very spacious. I checked out the front business cabin and avoided row 11 for those who wanted a window. Row 11 has no window at all. I almost picked that seat. The galley was huge, and despite the diversion costing me $1600USD (which I will explain later), it was a pleasant surprise to walk up and down the plane. Around 10:20am, the leading stewardess came back up and was not too happy to see people wondering around the plane. An announcement came next, and passengers returned to their seats, as snacks would be served now and it would help the F/A out significantly. Then we spotted a number of catering guys (all smiling and at awe with the planes) dragging these snack boxes up the stairs. I guess the catering trucks are not ready for A380 yet. Business class passengers got a nice warmed eel rice box, while Y got a sandwich bento box. F/As did a quick beverage service as well. SQ really tried to make the experience a bit better, and who would expect a proper snack service during an unexpected diversion. Around 11am, I spotted the TG plane moving and the pilot came back on and said we were all set to go soon.

At 11:11am, door was closed and we pushed back at 11:22am, and taxied towards R/W20C soon. The observation deck was packed understandably at Nagoya airport, and I spotted also a Virgin’s A340-600 diverted to Nagoya as well. At 11:41am, the plane took off and another beautiful takeoff. Got to love this bird! Two A380 takeoff and landing at a day… you can’t really fault it. We climbed back to 26,500 feet, and F/As made a beverage run. Descent finally began at 12:03pm, and we landed on a cloudy NRT at R/W16R at 12:36pm local time. We got a proper water canon salute and parked at gate A46 shortly after.

A46 is now the designated A380 gate, and there are only two jetways though – one for upper deck and one for main deck. My concern with Narita is the holding room – is it large enough to accommodate a full A380 load of passengers? Other than that, it is fine. As we parked into gate, you should see the line of press on the side and it was beyond impressive and how serious the Japanese were with the first commercial A380 flight, and not to mention part of the celebration of 30th Anniversary of Narita Airport.

A troop of Singapore Airlines girls and Narita Airport staff and more camera crew welcomed all of us but no arrival gift! Greedy me always wondered if the Narita Airport would provide some souvenirs! Then there were three to four SQ staffs assisting with arriving passengers and not to mention rebooking passengers, who misconnected. Passengers returning on the same flight was directed to a desk set up before the security, and I should have taken the same flight home. You will be surprised on a good number of passengers turning back. A couple of passengers were continuing onto Seoul and other North Asian destinations, and individual SQ agents were helping everyone to rebook flights.

So what should I do? I had a complicated award ticket issued through bmi, and the SQ staff immediately took my information and asked me to wait, while she worked on rebooking the flight. I knew it would take a long time, and after more than thirty minutes, even the F/As were gone. The ground agents informed me that they were having problems rebooking me, as it was a bmi award ticket. So they asked me what passport I carried – US of course? They asked me to exit immigration and headed to the rebook desk downstairs. They were polite and helped me every step of the way. I waited for a while at the baggage claim area reading my novel. The staff finally came back to me and apologized profusely that they had problems rebooking my ticket and not to mention, the bmi office at London was not helping. They immediately offered to overnight me here to Tokyo and tried very hard to book a hotel room. Unfortunately, things were pretty full due to the summer season, but they found a room at the Mercure Hotel Narita (next to the Narita train station), and provided me dinner and breakfast coupon. The hotel was not that impressive, but decent enough. I asked for a phone card, but was told they did not have that, which actually in my case was more useful than a hotel room. They apologized again, and finally they decided to book me on their own Bangkok bound flight the next morning.

I arrived at the hotel later, and towards late afternoon, I got a phone call from the SQ representative again. He apologized again for the delay and told me that bmi refused to endorse my award ticket to SQ, even SQ explained my case and took the blame. They tried to put me back on ANA, but it would not work for me, as I had to be back in HK early Thursday for my flight back to the US. I tried to call bmi myself and of course, that was no use, and made me more upset. At the end, I just booked myself an oneway ticket to Hong Kong, which was beyond expensive. The SQ staff called back later and followed up, and I told him that I was heading back to Hong Kong on my own. He apologized.

Lesson learned: Never book an award ticket following an inaugural flight! Not to mention bmi award ticket! My problems are first, some of the Indian agents are borderline rude and had not any flexibility. Second, the gold line was not 24 hours and sometimes you could not cancel before the flight departed. They made it your fault as well. Third, I just could not comprehend why bmi will not endorse the ticket to SQ. For Christ’ sake, SQ is a member of Star Alliance (and that suppose to make our lives easier… not so much the case…), and even SQ offered me a seat. I also learned a lesson because I am partially responsible for booking such a tight connecting flight. Next time, I am playing very safe, even though I would be very tired after a redeye flight. I will also be more careful with bmi award ticket. For SQ, I could not be more thankful for their hardest effort in rebooking such an award ticket. SQ will certainly gain my business, but bmi, not so! A strike against bmi and my original plan to fly bmi at least once this year will be cancelled.

Singapore Airlines and A380 are excellent, and I love both products very well. A380 is a magnificent airplane, which symbolizes the twenty-first century and its efficiency and modernity. SQ inaugural parties are just fun and SQ is not cheap when it comes to souvenirs and partying. CX seriously can take a major lesson from SQ, and sees how SQ spins its inaugural flights into major parties and press event, which help promote the airline in a very positive way. It is a promotional event and SQ gains lots of recognition and more praise for its onboard and ground services. CX can easily accomplish it, but chooses to be “cheap.” For folks, I urge you to attend a future SQ inaugural flight.

Sorry for the super long report!


11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineGkyip From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great trip report and fantastic pics! One day I should be lucky enough to fly on an A380 inaugural flight!

What is SQ's next new destination for the A380 and when will it start?


The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 9280 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Descent began at 7:43am (8:43am Nagoya time). We landed on Nagoya Centrair Airport’s R/W16R at 9:09am local time, and parked at Bay 119 five minutes later, next to a diverted TG’s Boeing 777-200 as well.

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):

At 11:11am, door was closed and we pushed back at 11:22am, and taxied towards R/W20C soon.

Just a quick note for accuracy's sake...the runway at Nagoya Centrair is 18/36.

If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1737 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Truly an excellent TR Carfield!
Cool that you managed to get on the first A380 flight to NRT. The pics were nice, i always enjoy the pictures you take on the food.
$1325 seems like a very good fare for such a flight, how do you manage to find so low premium fares?
One thing though there were no pics of the lounge at SIN, did you take any pics of it?
It was a bit strange that J didn't get a snack after take off while Y did.
Was the noodle box you got while waiting in NGO supposed to be the after take off snack?


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2324 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR!! Sounds like BMI needs a swift kick to the BUM......Glad it worked out for you!


Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineToby25 From Hong Kong, joined May 2008, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Fanastic TR! love the pictures, i would love to travel on one of them, maybe i will have to wait until BA gets them delivered whenever they get them. Heck, i would love to see one! You kinda got two trips in one getting diverted to Nagoya, haha i bet the ground crew there were loving it!
what is a BMI award ticket and how did you get one? is it a frequent flyer award scheme?

i thoroughly enjoyed your report, seemed like you got a lot of freebies on this flight! were there alot of interviews and photographers on this flight? seemed a bit more mellow and relaxed than other A380 inaugural flights?!


Seriously dude! I swear!
User currently offlineNicholaschee From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report.  Smile Looking forward to my next A380 flight too.

Quoting Gkyip (Reply 1):

What is SQ's next new destination for the A380 and when will it start?

Peking (2-8 August)

User currently offlineCarfield From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2127 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the comments.

Sorry about the wrong runway info on the NGO diversion... I will get the correct information from my logs, when I got the chance.

About the snack at NGO, it was served in the ground during diversion, and there was not much service after takeoff from NGO, because it was such a short flight.

yes, things are a bit more mellow due to the late night nature of this inaugural flight, but I am sure the return should be more festive. Maybe someone can report back.

PEK is the next A380 destination... hopefully the US will be in the horizon soon.


User currently offlineCoolfish1103 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 415 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wow at the detail pictures of everything on board A380. Excellent trip report!

User currently offlineMadameConcorde From Monaco, joined Feb 2007, 11332 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I was also on the flight, upstairs in seat 75H. I have not finished my trip report. There will be one posted here soon.

Your pictures are very nice. I particularly like the ones from the landing at Narita with the ground pictures that follow.

I am surprised that you did not include us the "first to fly" group in your photo book. We were really noticeable, I wore the specially made London Inaugural flight SQ308 navy blue polo shirt while the rest of the group was wearing the SQ636 Narita white/red specially made polo shirt with the gold inscriptions. We are at our third round of SQ A380 inaugurals after the Sydney historic flights and London Heathrow which in my opinion was the very best and most fun one so far.

I am not sure of what will be next. There is Beijing on August 3 but there will be nothing special going with it from what CEO Mr Chew told me. It will just be a one week of using the A380 for the Olympic Games. Then should come HKG and SFO but again they are not sure when that will be either. They need to get their next two frames, SKE and SKF first.

There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Hi Carfield,

Great report as always, nice to see you on an SQ 380 inagural flight, SQ really know how to make an event special.

The lounge in SGN looks pretty nice, like the open views of the tarmac.

Meal service though light looks pretty nice on SQ173.

Think there were too many pix of the Viva Macau though.

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
People were taking pictures left and right, and for the first time, I did not experience a few awkward moment.

- I found it so neat being able to take pictures so openly, makes a change!

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Lesson learned: Never book an award ticket following an inaugural flight! Not to mention bmi award ticket! My problems are first, some of the Indian agents are borderline rude and had not any flexibility.

- Had similar problems when the BMI website went down a while back, the agents were less than helpful!

Glad you enjoyed your first A380 flight, it's a great plane, can't wait to get on another!



User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

A wonderful trip report Carfield !

I note your opinions on the meal service provided on SQ0638 and they are interesting. Perhaps you can feedback your view to Singapore Airlines for their consideration?

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
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