Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2158 posts, RR: 6 Posted (6 years 2 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 25134 times:
Following my trip to Shanxi and Inner Mongolia provinces earlier this week (the trip report of which you can find here http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...s/trip_reports/read.main/137359/), I got back to Beijing on Friday. I did some work up until 7pm, got some food, and met a friend who has been living in Beijing for a few months for drinks. We went to a place called Lan Club, at the Twin Towers mall. Very recommendable. They have a good jazz band with a great singer, and a very eclectic and artsy décor.
Saturday morning I met up with a girl from Qingdao that I had met earlier in the week, and she agreed to show me around the Forbidden City and some of the remaining Hutongs in Beijing. This was ended with a visit to a DVD shop. I should point out the interesting fact that in China, bootleg DVDs go for about $1 a pop, while legit ones are just double the price, which to a Westerner is still great!
After this I returned to the Grand Hyatt, finished packing, checked out, and was driven to the airport in an Audi A8, which seems to be the choice of luxury cars for picking up VIPs. Interestingly, I read an article that said that the A8s in China are 4 inches (10cms) longer than those found elsewhere, given their popularity as chauffeured vehicles.
I got to the airport about two hours before the flight’s departure time, but even then I couldn’t find the check in row in the FIDS. However, I walked around a bit and found a handful of SQ counters open, including two for Business class and one for First class. After checking in I roamed around the airport a bit, took a few pics for your viewing pleasure, before I took the train to the E section of Terminal 3. T3 has three sections: T3 C (the domestic departures area), T3 D (not in use), and T3 E (the international/HK/Macau/Taiwan departures area).
SQ check in desks
Looking towards the departures area
Four dragons holding the world
I work for one of these companies
CA 985 to San Francisco
Gate boarding area
SQ 777-300ER arriving from SIN, which will take me back to SIN
Air Macau and ANA
CA and BR
After taking a whole bunch of pics, I decided to go to the lounge. SQ uses the BGS lounge in PEK, which has a very Chinese feel to it. Most of the food offerings were not great, but they did have some Japanese ramen, which was really good. I also had some pork bao and beef dumplings, but these were not so good. I connected to the internet for a bit and checked my email. After 30mins at the lounge, I gathered my belongings and headed to gate E07.
Walking to gate E07 I took some more pics, walked past the long line to board the CA flight to SFO, and saw the plane that would take me to Singapore. When I got to the gate, boarding had already started and from the number of people I saw at the gate, it looked like a relatively lighter load today.
Terminal 3 and Air China Star Gold Business Class lounge
SQ 777-300ER to Singapore
Once boarded, I quickly found my seat, 14A, which is the bulkhead seat in the 2nd Business Class section. Although there are two toilets and the galley in front of this seat, it has a very private feel as you are virtually unnoticeable by the rest of the passengers (which is good if you’re and A.nutter but are ashamed of being seen taking pics of everything like some hillbilly that has never been on a plane before).
As I got to my seat, one of the F/A’s came over and took both my suit bag and my coat, and put it in the closet. Boarding didn’t take long to complete, and it seemed we were sitting at the gate just waiting for our departure slot. However, 4pm came and went, and by 4:10pm the pilot came on the PA and told us that ATC would not let us leave yet because of either too much traffic or bad weather around Hangzhou (I couldn’t really understand the pilot over the PA very well), and we’d have to wait another 25 to 30mins. Finally at 4:35pm we pushed back and taxied to rwy 36R. However, it wasn’t until after 5pm that we got on our way, as there was a bit of a line for take off.
Air China domestic ramp
Air China domestic ramp and T3 C
Air China A321 and Shanghai Airlines B757 giving way to us for departure
Having taken off to the north, we made a very sharp left turn towards the south and then continued through the middle of the country towards HK and Shenzhen. Not too long after this, the seat belt sign was turned off, and the F/A brought me a glass with Perrier and a wedge of lemon.
The sun setting over Beijing
Turning left somewhere over Shanxi province
Mood lighting (not quite clear in this pic)
The F/As set the mood lighting, which was very pink, resembling the sunset, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to really capture the effect on my camera.
The F/As then brought out the ubiquitous satay that is seen on many flights on board SQ, and it was delicious as always. Not very long after this the meal service started. As an appetizer there was a citrus and prawn salad, although the prawns were pretty tasteless. With this I was offered a bread roll and olive oil, but unfortunately I was not offered a second round which they usually do. This was followed by the main, for which I ordered the pork noodle soup, which was quite nice, although I had to ask for more chilli and soy sauce, as it lacked a bit of flavor.
Satay and peanut sauce
Citrus and prawn salad
Pork noodle soup
For dessert we were brought a fruit plate which was nice, but somehow I was craving some ice cream. Too bad. After this the usual cheese platter was offered, and for the first time, I obliged, since I was still a big hungry. This was all finished with a nice cup of cappuccino.
Following the meal, I made a quick visit to the toilet, camera in hand, to take a pic. Unfortunately the flash went off, but hopefully no one noticed it. So embarrassing! Silly hick has never seen a bathroom before?
Just after dinner, the inflight supervisor came on, and as soon as I heard his rushed voice, I knew something was wrong. He informed us of an inflight medical emergency and asked if anyone was a doctor or had medical training in order to assist the ailing passenger. I feared we would have to divert, perhaps to Shanghai or to Hongkong, which would be a bit of a pain as I was counting on arriving in time and going out for a drink with some friends. I saw one of the F/As carry two “Emergency Medical Kits/EMK” marked boxes, and then the inflight supervisor came on the PA again and said “flight attendants, doors 4 and 5 left and right.” What did this mean?
Luckily it seems they were able to deal with the medical emergency without having to divert, and we continued on our way due south-southwest towards SIN.
Flying over the South China Sea
We started our descent into Singapore about 30mins prior to landing. We came in from the northeast, and made a wide turn over all the hundreds of cargo ships waiting to come into the port, with the CBD on our left, getting a view of my apartment.
Once we parked at the gate, in the (also) new Terminal 3, I got my suit bag and coat back, and headed to the arrivals area. Unfortunately, after clearing immigration, it took nearly 15 minutes to get our bags. Gasp! In Singapore that is nearly 15 times longer than it usually takes! Tsk, tsk tsk
Finally, a few pics of Beijing for your viewing enjoyment.
Thanks for reading, and if you made it this far, do leave a comment.
Haha, that's a good way of putting it! Its exactly what I feel like when I'm taking pictures of everything on the plane. I always wonder though what the FA's are thinking, because with the amount of a.nutter flying around everyday, they must be used to it
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8611 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 24140 times:
Thanks Coal, nice stuff as always, much appreciated.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I quickly found my seat, 14A, which is the bulkhead seat in the 2nd Business Class section. Although there are two toilets and the galley in front of this seat, it has a very private feel as you are virtually unnoticeable by the rest of the passengers (which is good if you’re and A.nutter but are ashamed of being seen taking pics of everything like some hillbilly that has never been on a plane before).
- That's funny, guess thats how we look!
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I made a quick visit to the toilet, camera in hand, to take a pic
- Thanks, not seen the SQ 77W loo before, like the sink.
Quoting AFKL (Reply 1): I always wonder though what the FA's are thinking, because with the amount of a.nutter flying around everyday, they must be used to it
SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1798 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 23580 times:
Thanks for the report. The same thing happened on my recent flight out of PVG. We pushed back, and mid-way during our taxi to the runway, the captain came on informing us that we would be delayed due to 'weather en-route', and the aircraft just sat on the tarmac for a good 20min before finally taking off. I highly suspect this 'weather en-route' is probably another word for 'military exercise'.
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): Unfortunately the flash went off, but hopefully no one noticed it. So embarrassing! Silly hick has never seen a bathroom before?
Nah, the crew probably just thought Wonder Woman was changing in the lavatory...
Ryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4758 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 23514 times:
Quoting Coal (Thread starter): I feared we would have to divert, perhaps to Shanghai or to Hongkong, which would be a bit of a pain as I was counting on arriving in time and going out for a drink with some friends.
I hope you meant that as a joke...
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
AGRflyer From Switzerland, joined Nov 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 20593 times:
nice report. I just booked a flight ZRH-SIN-ZRH in business class for my trip to SIN next february.. Looking forward to the expericence of the flight. BTW what Hotel do you recommend in SIN? I am thinking of the Mandarin Oriental or Pan Pacific.
ZRH-TLV-ZRH in January (LX in Y), ZRH-BRU-ZRH in January (LX in Y), ZRH-TLV-ZRH in February (LX in Y)
Quoting AGRflyer (Reply 12): nice report. I just booked a flight ZRH-SIN-ZRH in business class for my trip to SIN next february.. Looking forward to the expericence of the flight. BTW what Hotel do you recommend in SIN? I am thinking of the Mandarin Oriental or Pan Pacific.
Good. I've stayed at the Oriental once and it's OK. Not sure about the Pan Pacific. Have you thought about The Fullerton? That one is decadence at its best. Or if you want to go for boutique you can stay at the Naumi or the Scarlet.
Honcircle From Austria, joined Apr 2006, 62 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 19428 times:
I wouldn't recommend the Fullerton, as the service is kinda crappy. If you wanna stay at a really nice hotel I'd say choose the Raffles. Great service, plus you can easily experience some of Singapore's history, without leaving the hotel.
Coal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2158 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 18983 times:
Quoting Honcircle (Reply 14): I wouldn't recommend the Fullerton, as the service is kinda crappy. If you wanna stay at a really nice hotel I'd say choose the Raffles. Great service, plus you can easily experience some of Singapore's history, without leaving the hotel.
I beg to differ on the service. Besides, the Fullerton serves a real, mixed-before-your eyes Singapore Sling, as opposed to the pre-mix they serve you at what is supposed to be the place where the Sling was invented (The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel).