Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
SIN-CTU-SIN On Air China / Silk Air (Short & Sweet  
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2065 posts, RR: 9
Posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13290 times:

Airline: Air China
Flight: CA 404
Equip: Airbus A319
Route: Singapore – Chengdu
Dep (Act): 2:00am (2:00am)
Arr (Act): 6:30am (6:10am)
Class: Business Class
Seat: 1L

I took a week off work for the first time since I started my new job in September in order to visit my GF who was in China for Lunar New Year as well as to meet her parents.

I had decided to leave work early in order to sleep for a few hours between 5pm and 11pm, get up, take a shower, and head to the airport. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to do this, so I was not looking forward to a 4hr flight departing at 2am.

I left my condo at midnight and got to Changi Terminal 1 at around 12:30am. Being Star Gold, I approached the Air China Business Class counter to check in. Initially I was going to ask if it was possible to get a window seat and block off the other two seats, but I decided to be cheeky and ask for a free upgrade. Well, surprise surprise, I did get a free upgrade to Business Class, seat 1L (Air China has a very odd seat numbering system). After this I headed past immigration to the Sats Premium Lounge, which was completely empty at this time of the night. I had a few sandwiches and a drink, then headed to the duty free.

Boarding started at about 1:30am, with no announcement made. Everyone knew we were boarding as the gate doors were opened and people rushed through. I was wondering if seat 1L would be aisle or window, and it turned out to be a window. I took my seat and soon realized that my seat was only one of two that were free in Business Class. The F/A then came around and offered water or OJ, as well as almonds, as well as Chinese newspapers.

We pushed back on time and headed to the runway. After a quick take off, I reclined my seat (it looked like the typical First Class seats you get in the US) and tried to fall asleep. I did have a nice pillow and the F/A came around offering a pretty thick duvet, which made sleeping easier.

I skipped the meal service (breakfast) and didn’t wake up until we were on final approach to Chengdu. It was still dark outside and pretty foggy when we arrived, and we parked next to a Sichuan Airlines A320.

Immigration was a breeze and I picked up my bag not too long after, noticing that this time the priority tags did make a difference (my bag was one of the first to come out). After this I met my GF and her mom outside and drove off to Mianyang, her hometown.

Airline: Silk Air
Flight: MI 935
Equip: Airbus A319
Route: Chengdu – Singapore
Dep (Act): 5:45pm (5:45pm)
Arr (Act): 11:00pm (10:50pm)
Class: Economy Class
Seat: 6C

After 8 days around Sichuan province, it was time to go back to Singapore. Originally I was flying out on a Wednesday on Air China, but decided to stay a few extra days, and as my ticket was not refundable or exchangeable, I booked a flight on Silk Air using SQ’s KrisFlyer miles. Interestingly enough, Silk Air’s flight departed nearly two hours prior to Air China’s flight, but arrived just an hour earlier. Still, it was more convenient that way.

After a two hour car ride on the Mianguan Expressway we got to CTU, where I experienced something I had never experienced before (even in China). When you get to the terminal building, the Int’l / HK / Macau / Taiwan check-in desks are behind a frosted glass screen and a police check point, which was not open when we arrived. It opened about one hour prior to departure.

The MI flight was the only one leaving at the time (CTU doesn’t see much int’l traffic, other than to SIN, BKK, HK / Macau, and a few others). Four check-in desks had already long lines, so we used the Business Class counter. My GF and I asked for an upgrade, but I knew we wouldn’t get it on MI. After checking in we passed through immigration and the security check and went over to the duty free shops, of which the only one that tickled our fancy was a Tibet store selling very overpriced Tibetan art. After this we headed to the Business Class lounge, where I saw the first two non-Chinese men I had seen in a whole week! We checked our emails, had a snack and a coffee, and then headed to the gate.

This was only my second flight on MI and I noticed it had very nice leather seats up front and new-looking seats (or covers?) in Economy. We were seated in row 6, in the middle and aisle seats.

We pushed back on time and after take off my GF and I took to reading and taking a nap. There was a silent cartoon-like movie on the drop down screens, which were comical. Looked a bit like those Pingu cartoons.

The meal was a choice between chicken and rice (not Hainanese chicken rice) and pasta and fish (a bit of an odd combo, IMHO). We both had the chicken and it was pretty tasty, although we were hungry later on before we arrived. Overall the experience was OK and the 4 hr day / night flight went by pretty quick. We flew from CTU direct to BKK and from there down the eastern coast of peninsular Malaysia before making a turn to land on rwy 02 (L or R?) at SIN.

Apologize for the lack of pics but hopefully this is vaguely informative about travelling to and from China.

Cheers
Coal


Nxt Flts: VA SYD-LAX | VX LAX-FLL | B6 FLL-BOG-FLL | VX FLL-LAX | VA LAX-SYD | VA SYD-PER-SYD
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 12649 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Thanks Coal, nice report, pictures would have been good, but I trust your reports  Smile

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2065 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 12029 times:

Thanks Mark. No pics on the way to Chengdu as it was a night flight and it is always challenging to take pics with low light levels, not to mention I wanted to get some shuteye.

Ditto for the return just out of embarrassment  wink 

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-LAX | VX LAX-FLL | B6 FLL-BOG-FLL | VX FLL-LAX | VA LAX-SYD | VA SYD-PER-SYD
User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7592 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11663 times:



Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
Initially I was going to ask if it was possible to get a window seat and block off the other two seats, but I decided to be cheeky and ask for a free upgrade. Well, surprise surprise, I did get a free upgrade to Business Class

Lucky you! That does not happen too often, so I am happy you were able to get upgraded.  Smile

As always, a very nice trip report. I look forward to your upcoming trip to Japan.



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineSQ_EK_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1640 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 11463 times:

Great report despite the lack of pictures, your MI experience seems to have been better than mine...

Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
We both had the chicken and it was pretty tasty, although we were hungry later on before we arrived. Overall the experience was OK and the 4 hr day / night flight went by pretty quick

That's one of two huge gripes I have with MI. I know they aren't branded as a luxury carrier by any stretch of the word and are supposed to be "exotic" leisure oriented, but I paid about $1,000 for a Singapore-Kathamndu-Singapore flight in coach - the food served both ways was mediocre at best, but the portions were tiny! I was starving after 5 hours! (packed a snack on the return). Also, my request for a tea about 45 minutes before landing was refused because it was "too soon before touchdown" (initial descent hadn't commenced yet).

On top of that, while service was polite and smiles on the way there, it was downright rude and obnoxious on the way back (F/As talking really loudly in Singaporean slang as they pushed carts up and down the aisles and serving meals, also in the galley within earshot of passengers, completely absent during boarding, laughing with each other then turning around to pax with a look of complete disdain, etc.).

Are MI crew known to be patchy? Because the crew up were really nice and conversational, pretty standard stuff. The way back was just something else. I know there are bad apples and such within any airline crew contingent, but what struck me was that it was the entire crew that partook in this behavior and it was disproportionately bad coming from an Asian airline that closely associates itself with SQ.

Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
There was a silent cartoon-like movie on the drop down screens, which were comical

My second gripe (though not a deal breaker for me unlike the crew on my return flight) was the absolute lack of IFE on board. A 5 hour day time flight without any audio or visual entertainment was definitely really boring (except approach into KTM which was beautiful). My A320s didn't even have the drop down screens, and the crew preformed the safety demos manually. I tried to purchase the use of the DVD players at $15 a pop per flight, but both ways they hadn't loaded enough for Y, only for Business (which is contrary to what their in flight magazine indicates). It was odd to me because the F/A said they had only 3 on board with them overall (and J seats more than that).



Keep Discovering
User currently offlineCarnoc From China, joined Oct 2001, 875 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11024 times:

Thanks for the informative trip report despite the lack of pics.

Quoting Coal (Thread starter):
This was only my second flight on MI and I noticed it had very nice leather seats up front and new-looking seats (or covers?) in Economy.

They certainly did make a few changes to the cabin as reported here ( http://en.carnoc.com/list/8/8441.html ).

Look forward to your future trip reports!


User currently offlineCXtra From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10645 times:

Nice reading; thanks for writing this up, Coal  Smile

Quite surprised that you snagged the upgrade on CA even as *G, but perhaps they had overbooked Y anyway and were looking for someone to bump up.

Cheers,
CXtra



Cathay Pacific, Now you're really flying
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic SIN-CTU-SIN On Air China / Silk Air (Short & Sweet
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
SIN-DEL-BOM-GOI On Air-India posted Tue Oct 5 2004 00:49:55 by Mrniji
Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics) posted Mon Jul 26 2004 07:30:53 by Ryanair!!!
SIN-CDG-BHX On Air France With A 6 Hour Delay posted Wed Apr 21 2004 00:47:27 by G-KIRAN
SIN-KL-PEN-SIN With KL-PEN On Air Asia posted Sun Jan 12 2003 06:38:19 by Tsentsan
SYD-SIN-SYD On SQ A380 & 77W posted Thu Nov 20 2008 02:39:31 by Bill142
CNX-BKK-SIN-SYD On TG & SQ The Ride Home posted Sun Jun 18 2006 09:36:54 by Bill142
PVG-SIN-KUL-SIN-PVG On SQ & MH (Very Long) posted Wed Sep 15 2004 22:09:29 by Flyerfly
Another Short Trip To DEL On Air India posted Thu Mar 27 2003 11:35:19 by B747-437B
FRA - SIN - SYD On LH & SQ Part 2 posted Tue Oct 15 2002 04:23:18 by 767er
Air China To Harbin, B777 Economy,A330 First Class posted Wed Feb 25 2009 07:43:50 by Gabrielchew
SIN-KL-PEN-SIN With KL-PEN On Air Asia posted Sun Jan 12 2003 06:38:19 by Tsentsan
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332 posted Sat May 29 2010 02:38:24 by PlaneHunter
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W posted Tue Nov 10 2009 09:23:50 by PlaneHunter
SHA-PEK On Air China 777 (Pics) posted Sun Jul 12 2009 19:55:55 by Coal
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744 posted Tue Mar 10 2009 12:50:31 by PlaneHunter
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146 posted Fri Oct 31 2008 11:16:37 by PlaneHunter
SIN-DEL-BOM-GOI On Air-India posted Tue Oct 5 2004 00:49:55 by Mrniji
Golden Falcon SIN-SYD On Gulf Air (Pics) posted Mon Jul 26 2004 07:30:53 by Ryanair!!!
SIN-CDG-BHX On Air France With A 6 Hour Delay posted Wed Apr 21 2004 00:47:27 by G-KIRAN
SIN-KL-PEN-SIN With KL-PEN On Air Asia posted Sun Jan 12 2003 06:38:19 by Tsentsan
To PEK Via Ukraine On Aerosvit And Air China posted Sat Sep 17 2011 06:06:56 by tobbry
5hrs PVG-PEK On Air China posted Mon Aug 23 2010 22:25:18 by iflyCA
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332 posted Sat May 29 2010 02:38:24 by PlaneHunter
SHA-PEK On Air China 777 (Pics) posted Sun Jul 12 2009 19:55:55 by Coal
Air China CAN-PEK-CAN Y&F (lots Of Pics!) posted Sat Mar 28 2009 19:24:31 by Phileet92

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format