Ojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2785 posts, RR: 23 Posted (4 years 10 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 21080 times:
After a wonderful flight on SQ's inaugural B77W, it was our turn to display our passion for aviation. Myself and Karan had planned it that we do the BG DC-10 between SIN and BKK, and the cheapest available return to SIN considering the "punctuality" displayed by Biman Bangladesh Airlines. So our actual plan was
SIN - BKK BG 085 3 July 1915 2020 (LOL do they ever stick to the skeds)
BKK - SIN whatever the cheapest available.
Initially we were thinking about LX on th return sector, but seeing the fares decided to stick to the cheapest available.
So after a days shopping we were all set to fly the DC - 10. We were mentally prepared for a 8-10 hour delay and we were not expecting ANYTHING from the airline in terms of service or anything. All we wanted to do was enjoy the ride on the DC-10. Till afternoon we were not updated of any delay. And at 1400 hrs (Singapore time) we proceeded to the airport. We took the MRT right to the Changi airport. With just a backpack with some essential stuff, we were on our way. We had informed our friend and fellow member Vivekman2006 to keep us updated on the flight status. As we approached City Hall station vivek messaged us saying the flight had been rescheduled to 0245 hrs! great!. A 7 hour and 30 mins delay. So we had a LOT of time to kill at Changi. Once we reached the airport, we were wandering around the airport as though it was a picnic spot. But seriously Changi does seem like a picnic spot! We saw the enormous check-in line and were like wow a fully loaded DC-10 with 99% Blue collared workers with enormous cartons of luggage being taken back to DAC. The lines were soooooo long. Check it out
First Leg of the journey: Singapore - Bangkok
Airline: Biman Bangladesh
Flight no.: BG 085
Aircraft Type: DC-10-30
Aircraft Registration: S2-ACQ ( City of Hazrat Shah Jalal)
When we saw the huge queues we decided to come back later, and check-in. In the mean time we toured the brand new Terminal 3 and we took some pictures from the viewing mall, some spotting at Changi
We sat at the Food court from where thankfully we could see the check-in queue. It was still long. After chatting and yapping we finally proceeded to the check-in counter. It was yet crowded. I noticed something here that Biman Bangladesh flights passengers have their passports checked by a police officer before proceeding for check-in.
The check-in reminded me of the scene which one sees normally at many gulf airports on flights departing to COK,CCJ,CMB,DAC etc. For all those who don't know our flight BG 085 does SIN - BKK - DAC and has rights between BKK and SIN. Huge lines moving slowly, excess luggage of every third passenger. Slowly and steadily we crawled towards the check-in counters. We had nothing to check-in to which the SATS agent smiled and issued our boarding passes to BKK. Along with that we were given free meal vouchers at the 24 hour food court. Just happening the way we read in the previous TR on the DC - 10 by member Airpearl. It was 1930 hrs and now we had to kill another 6 hours till the departure. Passing through the immigration was quick and now we were stuck in a mall for the next 6.5 hours assuming the rescheduled time was to be followed. We wandered around aimlessly enjoying every moment of it. We were all mentally prepared for the worst ever possible things, so eventually it turned out to be a reasonably decent flight. Food vouchers weer given at check-in, but we decided to use them after some time as we had stuffed ourselves a while back. We decided to do some spotting around terminal 3. The brand new terminal looks just awesome albeit slightly deserted at that time of the day..
The food vouchers that were given were to be utilised at the 24 hr food court at some restaurant. Veg & Non Veg options were allotted and Rice, Vegetables/Chicken cakes some beverage to drink. The meal was fine and filling and of good quality. We went there pretty late and almost everyone had finished their meals. We then headed towards our gates after our meal.
Time flew by quickly as me and Karan were glued to the internet kiosks checking and replying our pending mails. It was like spending time in probably another mall. I cannot recollect myself and Karan getting annoyed due to the delay caused by Biman. As the time approached 2300 hrs myself and Karan were drained out completely. It was a real test as to how we would land back in Singapore in one piece. We proceeded towards our gate C18, where the passengers of our flight had already flocked. Passengers too were not irritated, after all it may be a routine thing for them. Just outside the gate myself and Karan seated ourselves and we took a nap for sometime. Unfortunately, I was not able to sleep and hence went for another round of net surfing at one of the Internet kiosks. Karan was fast asleep and I did not bother waking him up. While walking I noticed there were 3 EK flights departing in a span of 10 minutes to DXB, and all running full. On our departure gate it was displayed that the gate would open at 0135 hrs. We had decided that if there is a further delay announced we would cancel our tickets and stay back at SIN. Fortunately nothing of that sorts happened. The gates opened at 0200 hrs and for all the passengers to pass through security check, it took an hour. We decided to sit back and rest till everyone clears their security check. By 0235 hours we all were inside the gate and there was no sign of the aircraft even now.
Just few minutes ago, we saw the BG crew arrive at the check-in area. The FA's at appearance were reasonably attractive, and very well groomed. And even their sarees were well chosen by the uniform designer. Now was the time..... from the left we saw a the Biman tail arriving into SIN, a DC-10 being docked to the gate. The delay and the exhausting wait paid off and for us aviation nutters it was the moment where we saw the trijet docking at our gate. The funniest part is as soon as the aircraft docked the passengers queued up at the boarding gate to which the security guy shouted " WAIT" and all began to form a queue. the deplaning of the passengers from the aircraft which landed was interesting.
The plane had just docked and passengers already rushing to queue up LOL.
All arriving passengers had their passports checked immediately after they passed the aerobridge. From what I observed this only happens with Biman, I did not see this happening even with Air India express passengers where you had huge blue collared workers coming in from MAA and TRZ. And just as expected the same happened with us at BKK as well as soon as we deplaned.
Loads: There were 288 passengers out of a possible 303 pax maybe , approx. 95% loads
Boarding was announced at 0310 hrs, and the passengers just stormed into the plane and we were the last people to board the plane. As soon as we approached the entrance we could see the old styled doors which went inside the fuselage. The FA's actually smiled and greeted us "Asalaam walekum" (bonus #1), and I just smiled back to her. The seating configuration was 2-5-2 and towards the end of the aircraft it was 2-4-2. I was assigned the second last seat and Karan was on 40A. Apart from the excitement that we were on the DC-10 nothing was good on that flight. I had however flown the GF Tristars many times, but for Karan it was something novel.
The Air Conditioning was working (bonus #2) and so were the engines after the announced departure (bonus #3). We pushed back at 0330 hrs and the FA made the announcements in Bengali and English. No word of apology for the delay ( No one expected it anyways) and we were told our flight would take us 1 hour 50 minutes. The FA's actually made 5 rounds around the aircraft yelling at passengers to fasten their seat belts. God knows why even when speaking to the passengers in their native language they were not at all ready to listen and actually made the FA's behave like some school teacher. A person wanted to visit the restroom and the FA yelled at him saying " why couldn't you visit the bathroom at the airport whilst waiting for the aircraft?". I was like WTF, was truly a hilarious situation.
Being the odd our of the day there was no queue for take off and by 0340 hrs we were airborne. It was an awesome experience as we could also feel the noise of the engines at the top.
Just as i attempted to take the pictures the FA came literally barking that " No pictures!!!!!". Her shrill voice could have actually made some passengers detest photography for at least a month. Meals was the first thing that was actually served ( imagine expecting amenity kits, hot/cold towels IFE etc. LOLOLL). It was probably the worst meal I ever had on any airline. chicken cutlets, some boiled potatoes cakes and some Pepsi to drink. I just had one bite and left the meal as it is. Later the FA's came calling for Tea/coffee where I had some coffee. The coffee was a little better, maybe because we were quite hungry. There was some turbulence on the way but other wise the aircraft actually raced its way to BKK. We could actually feel it. At 0410 hours local time we started to descend and we touched down at BKK Suvarnabhoomi at 0430 hrs.
Announcements were made and finally we docked at our gate. There were just 15 passengers who actually got off at BKK, the rest were all continuing to Dhaka. We deplaned at the FA actually said " Goodbye " (Bonus #4). And like the arriving passengers at SIN we too had out passports checked before we stepped inside the terminal. And with this it marked the end of our journey on a classic aircraft.
A/C : 5/10 ( just because it was the DC-10 else it deserved a 2 or 3)
Boarding& ground Formalities: 8/10 (credit goes to SATS than Biman)
I would have never flown Biman had it not been the desire to fly the DC - 10, for which this seemed the best option as in a flight near India, not many visa issues and thankfully not involving DAC airport. This is because Biman is probably the worst airline existing in the aviation sector. I blame this thing entirely on the corrupt management, owners of the airline.
This was my first time in Thailand and it seems I was expecting a lot from the Suvarnabhoomi airport. It turned out to be a very sad airport, and I could not even find a loo till we passed immigration! What a shame. From the overall experience, I was very very disappointed with the airport. We got our visa at the VOA counter and proceeded through immigration and we immediately went towards the departure side to do our booking for SIN. Actually it was a tedious task of searching the flight as it was just 0500 hrs and we had to wait till 0630 hours for all airline counters to open. We enquired with TG, CX but they were too expensive for a one way ticket 15000 THB. So we decided on an LCC. Tiger Airways was not selling tickets at the airport. So finally we settled for Thai Air Asia which quoted a price of 5800 THB. We purchased 2 tickets and checked- in immediately.
Second Leg of the journey: Bangkok - Singapore
Airline: Thai Air Asia
Flight no.: FD 3503
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-375
Aircraft Registration: HS-AAR
Finally we were relieved after arrangements were made for our travel back to SIN. With Air Asia it would be my first time ever on a Low Cost Carrier.
Check-in took not more than one minute and we got our Boarding slips. Air Asia it seems is true low cost carrier, and it is a nice way of keeping the costs low, I was personally impressed. We passed through immigration and headed to have breakfast at Burger King.
These passengers in the white "sauf"'s were headed to my hometown DOH on QR 613
The breakfast really helped us feel more relaxed as we were quite hungry. The gate assigned was F1A and we passed security and went to the gate and literally slept on those benches considering we had a sleepless night. The gate area was so cold that one could actually retrieve ice if the person had kept some water in that area an hour back. It was so cold and this is the MAJOR drawback of the airport , the variable temperature around the airport. The authorities could have made Suvarnabhumi a a world class airport but ended up as a mediocre airport. We slept at the gate for nearly 2 hours. After our sleep we looked at each other and said " Fuck! we could actually sleep like this!". We got up at 1040 hours just an hour before departure. Strangely there was no one at the gate and we were thinking all the things that Air Asia has bad loads yeda yeda yeda. After we freshened up, I went to search for the departure board.
9W arriving from DEL and returning to CCU.
9W flight 062 off to BOM.
Now another drawback about Suvarnabhumi. To all those who used this airport, you know that after a security check there are a group of 7-8 gates. And ironically there was no departure board! I was searching all over thinking maybe the flight is delayed or something. The gate at which we were had an Air Asia staff who was clueless about where the flight to Singapore is, I literally felt like telling him " What an ignorant ass you are! ". Come on an Air Asia staff could have easily accessed information and told us about the status of the flight. the gate at which we were was assigned to some other destination. I then decided to ask the security guys to allow me out to check the departure board. And After checking the board Brilliant! there was a re-assignment of the gate. the departure was at 1140 hrs and 1110 hrs we were at the wrong place. I went back to where Karan was, had to pass through security once again and told him to hurry and thus we reached our new gate G3 at 1115 hrs. the gate was full and knowing that Air Asia has free seating, we sat right near the boarding gate. The plane was a B737-300, the first one for me as well. Boarding began at 1130 hours and within no time the process were over.
CX 750 arrived from DXB - BOM, and continuing to HKG.
WY wide body, waiting for its return journey to MCT.
Boarding & Flight Details:-
Flight No: FD 3503
Gate No: G3
Seat No: free seating though I got the seat 5F.
Loads: There were 131passengers out of a possible 150 pax maybe , approx. 87% loads
We were greeted by a beautiful FA. And I mean a truly beautiful one. The interiors were clean and the leather seats were pretty comfortable. After the boarding process was over, we pushed back from the gate and after queuing up for take off we were airborne by 1148 hrs. Some pictures while taxiing
CX 713 to SIN.
As soon as we reached cruising altitude I fell asleep hence could not figure out what food items were on sale. A nice but uneventful flight.
The knee shot
After a nice peaceful flight we started our descend into Changi airport, here are the pictures.
We landed at 1451 hrs and docked tot he gate at 1500 hrs.
Cakentennis From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 150 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 20661 times:
Biman gives us Air India fans a tasty slice of schadenfreude. Thanks for the TR, although I wonder what the airport authorities, airline and your families think about your gallivants around south Asia!
Airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 934 posts, RR: 37 Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 20212 times:
Somehow getting a sense of the deja vu with this TR Well done on a very nice TR and glad you made the flight with less of a delay than me - they must be getting better! haha
Judging from the responses I got last time, we could see a lot more A.net members trying their luck on BG - an enterprising travel agent could probably do well doing a deal with Biman for a charter just for us...
Quoting Ojas (Thread starter): Just as i attempted to take the pictures the FA came literally barking that " No pictures!!!!!". Her shrill voice could have actually made some passengers detest photography for at least a month.
Oh man, real, real pity you had this happen - I was stopped too but luckily the crews in my section were too preoccupied with other things like disciplining passengers for smoking in the toilets...
Econojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 6 Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 19491 times:
Another brilliant BG trip.
Quoting Ojas (Thread starter): We decided to do some spotting around terminal 3. The brand new terminal looks just awesome albeit slightly deserted at that time of the day..
I think it looks a little over-the-top aesthetically but very comfortable, especially airside with the great selection of retail and F&B outlets and tranquil rest areas.
Quoting Ojas (Thread starter): Now another drawback about Suvarnabhumi. To all those who used this airport, you know that after a security check there are a group of 7-8 gates. And ironically there was no departure board! I was searching all over thinking maybe the flight is delayed or something.
That happened to me on my first encounter with the airport a month ago. Transiting from TG to LH for BKK-KUL, I was too eager to find my gate and ended up on a concourse (already past security) with nothing else but access to gate holding areas (provided the gate was open). And no general departure screens to find out if the gate has been reassigned. Fortunately, LH appears to have a preferred gate and there were things with LH logos on them.
T3 at SIN also uses a common security point for a cluster of gates but there it is obvious to the traveler that it's boarding gates only after security.
BigTom From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2006, 594 posts, RR: 3 Reply 12, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 19269 times:
Nice report Ojas, those trijets will be missed, I did a few trips on UL and GF's Tristars myself. I'm curious about one thing though, did both of you have multiple entry visas to Singapore? As Singapore doesn't offer VOA to Indian nationals, I was wondering how both of you made a quick out and in trip to SIN?
Ojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2785 posts, RR: 23 Reply 13, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 19164 times:
Quoting BigTom (Reply 12): I'm curious about one thing though, did both of you have multiple entry visas to Singapore? As Singapore doesn't offer VOA to Indian nationals, I was wondering how both of you made a quick out and in trip to SIN?
From India, normally tourists are offered a 2 year multiple entry Visa (with proper documents to be submitted and all that, takes approx 3 working days). However, when I showed my Qatar's residence Permit to the Singapore Consulate, they issued me a 5year Multiple entry Visa and Malaysian Consulate a 1 year Multiple entry.
A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
Justbala From India, joined Feb 2006, 149 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (4 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 18858 times:
Good TR Ojas.. completely agree with your description of Suvarnabhumi!! Passed thru BKK last week and got to experience the hot n cold areas in the airport. It really sucks that there is limited seating areas prior to the security check point... just hordes n hordes of retail outlets and eateries ( oh yeah... some of the restraunts hv ladies holding the menu and inviting you in, like you would find in most tourist places!!). I was not feeling too well and wanted a place to just stretch n feel better.. but cudnt find any n my onward flight did not have a gate mentioned against it yet.. so finally had to book a day room for almost 2400 THB!!
Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
Ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1541 posts, RR: 54 Reply 23, posted (4 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 16876 times:
Quoting Ojas (Reply 22): I have done the DXB-BOM and v.v on 2 occasions, once on the B747-200 and once on the B777-300A. October onwards the B747-400 will be flying in and out of BOM.
Yea, DXB-BOM-BKK-HKG is one of CX's most profitable routes, and at one point was one of their top 10. Long gone are the days of multi-stop flights. This particular route is one of a few that are still around.
Once the 74A's are deployed on this route, would be nice to try their new YCL.
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500