I’ve always loved reading peoples experiences through their trip reports on airliners.net, but never really had a chance to share my own. So, I thought I would try writing my very first trip report. Sorry there aren’t many pictures as I didn’t think to take many while on my journey.
I had been in Malaysia for 1 ½ months visiting relatives. However, all holidays must come to an end and it was time to begin my journey back to Sydney via Singapore.
My day started off with a relative dropping me off at KL Sentral to catch the train to KLIA airport. He dropped me off very early however, and I had to wait two hours for check in to open. I was flying Jetstar Asia to Singapore – the only low cost carrier which doesn’t depart from the LCCT. While checking in, I enquired if my bag could be checked all the way through to Sydney. However, as it was a budget carrier the check in lady would not allow it. Oh well, I wasn’t too surprised. Interestingly, the boarding pass was printed on a proper ticket, unlike in Singapore where they give you the traditional ‘receipt’ style ticket. It was printed on MH paper.
After a quick lunch at McDonalds, I went through immigration and headed to the gate. With about an hour left before boarding, I attempted to connect to KLIAs wifi to do some internet surfing. This was not to be however, as the network appeared to have problems with the DNS server. I was somewhat expecting this, as a friend had told me about this problem when he was at KLIA a couple of weeks ago.
20 July 2009
Jetstar Asia 3K 686
Departure Time 15:15
Aircraft - Airbus A320-200
The cabin was relatively clean, and the plane looked new. Having chose seat 8A months in advance, I hoped to have somewhat of a good seat. Alas, this was not to be as a mother and her crying baby was seated next to me. Luckily it was only a 45 minute flight. Somehow the flight attendants managed to find time to come around selling drinks, souvenirs and newspapers. As I needed to collect my bag, and re check in for my flight to Sydney, I took an immigration form. Soon after filling this in, the captain announced the start of the descent to Singapore. Landing was a bit fast for my liking, although acceptable.
After landing in Singapore, I made my way across the many travelators to immigration. The line was very long due to a couple of large planes which had just landed. Having made my way to the front of the queue, the immigration officer asked me if I was transiting – to which I replied ’yes’.
At the baggage reclaim belt there were hardly any people waiting for their bags. In fact there was a ground staff clearing the belt and putting all bags on the floor next to it. I quickly spotted my bag (which was still on the belt), collected it and walked out.
The good thing about travelling Jetstar Asia instead of MH or SQ is that the plane lands at Terminal 1 at Changi Airport - the same terminal that Qantas/BA departs from. In the past I had to take a connecting shuttle to get to Terminal 1.
I had booked my flight back to Sydney on BA, in the World Traveller Plus cabin. In previous years, I had travelled in the World Traveller cabin, as well as Club World. I thought I would see what BA’s Premium Economy product was like compared to Qantas’ – which I had travelled twice, thanks to OP Up’s.
There was no line at the check in counter for World Traveller Plus / Frequent Flyers, and so check in was quick and easy. I had preselected seat 23K in the WT+ cabin, which made the process even quicker. After the check in lady handed me my ticket and asked me if I knew where the lounge was, I was on my way.
It was now about 16:45, and with the gate only closing at around 19:15, I had plenty of time to spend in the lounge. I made my way up the escalator, and headed right then left for the Qantas/BA Business Class lounge. As I handed my boarding pass to the lounge receptionist, he checked that I qualified for access, scanned my boarding pass and let me in.
This was about my 5th time in this particular lounge in the past year and I had already deduced that they always served exactly the same food. After finding a seat I went to go have a look. Sure enough it was Pizza Squares, Cream of Asparagus? Soup, Cheese/Fruit/Crackers, and small pieces of bread with condiments on top. I decided on some cheese and crackers and upon finishing those decided I would have a shower.
Walking to the end of the lounge where the showers were, I saw no one manning the shower reception. I then walked back to the main lounge receptionist who told me that there should be somewhere there, but if there wasn’t to just use any available shower. Upon going back, I looked around. Half the showers were unclean and I still could find no one around. Having discovered no towels anywhere, and still being unable to have my shower, I went back to the main reception to explain. The man at reception didn’t appear to believe me and sent the other receptionist, a lady to go and have a look. After looking, she told me to go back to my seat, and that she would call me when a shower was ready. Five minutes later, the man came to me and escorted me to a shower, handing me a towel and apologising. There was still no sign of the shower staff.
The shower room I was in was clean and presentable. It was of a medium/small size with a sink, toilet and shower. I had my shower and feeling refreshed, changed back into my clothes and walked out. Finally, I saw the shower staff – they were starting to clean the other showers. They must have been missing in action for quite some time, as after I was back in my seat there were several announcements. Someone had left a pair of glasses in a shower room. These announcements continued until I left the lounge, which I assumed meant that the owner had probably already left the lounge.
I had a couple of Pizza squares, and a couple of drinks. Going back to the food area, I was surprised to see something different on offer! A vegetarian curry and rice next to the pizza. I decided to skip this however, and tried the soup. I thought I may as well eat a bit more in the lounge as from reading trip reports, the meal service in WT+ is exactly the same as the normal WT cabin. Unlike Qantas which has a different menu for Premium Economy. I ate my Pizza and other nibblys while using the free WIFI service, which thankfully worked much better then at KLIA.
At 7:10 an announcement was made in the lounge for boarding of my flight, so I headed out.
20 July 2009
British Airways BA15
Departure Time 19:45
Aircraft - Boeing 777-200
Seat 23K – WT+
Getting to the gate meant walking through a lot of travelators again, which seems common for Changi airport. I passed through security easily after taking my laptop out for scanning. Handing my boarding pass to the gate attendant, I was in for a nice surprise. He scanned my boarding pass, and upon checking his computer said
“Sir – you are now in seat 10k, in Business”
This made my day as it meant I could get some better rest before landing in Sydney at 5:15am. Interestingly, unlike Qantas – I did not get my boarding pass reprinted. The gate agent merely crossed out my old seat number and wrote a new one on.
20 July 2009
British Airways BA15
Departure Time 19:45
Aircraft - Boeing 777-200
Seat 10K – Club World
As I entered the Aircraft I was happy to see that the plane had so called “Next Generation Club World” seats. As I had booked and travelled on BAs older “New Club World” product the previous year, it was nice as I could experience the difference for myself. The cabin was spotless – as I expected from a Business cabin. A ground agent came to my seat, to see if I had found it, and soon left. Drinks were soon offered, and the cabin prepared for takeoff. Hot towels were issued, and drinks then taken away.
After the plane reached cruising, I headed to the lavatory. Soon after, amenity kits were handed out followed by menus. One quick look at the menu and I saw that it was exactly the same as when I had flown last year! Oh well, at least there’s some variety to choose from. I started watching a movie on the fairly big personal TV. I was happy to see AVOD on this aircraft as my previous two flights with BA had only the video channel loop. The amenity pack was different to last years – I hardly use anything besides the socks, so it didn’t bother me at all. The flight attendants also handed out immigration cards for Sydney, as well as an Express Inwards pass to use when clearing immigration/customs. This was surprising as I had not gotten one last year in Club World. This pass was different to the one which is issued by Qantas. It was issued on glossy paper, slightly thicker than a magazine. Whereas Qantas’ Express pass has the shape of a boarding pass.
After I took off my shoes and put on the airline socks, I started a movie and a flight attendant came to ask what I wanted for dinner. I replied by saying the prawns, followed by caesar salad. Interestingly, she did not address me by my name though I guess that may have been due to the upgrade. A while later and the Prawn starter arrived. I had this last year, and it was exactly the same. The prawns were dressed well, and quite sweet. The salad however, was very ordinary. I decided against any sweet drinks or alcohol and just went for water as a drink. The Caesar salad main was not too bad, there was certainly a lot of chicken. However, could have used more dressing. Desert was Creme Carmel which I thoroughly enjoyed. After that, I had a black tea.
Caesar Salad - Forgot to take a picture of the starter sorry. Already started eating, so presentation doesn't look good.
After everything was cleared, I went back to the lavatory. While on the way, another flight attendant asked me how my meal was, to which I replied “very good”. She then motioned me to the snack bar and told me I was welcome to come get something anytime I wanted. Having finished, I went back to my seat and settled down with my movie. The seats, in my opinion were excellent. Good recline and seat width with plenty of leg room. It was easy to get comfortable and I felt very relaxed.
Loving the leg room!
The only thing about a window seat is the feeling of being really closed off, and slightly claustrophobic. However the privacy is amazing.
When the movie ended I decided I would try and get some shut eye. I always find it hard to properly sleep on a flight with such short “overnight” time. However, I managed to get more rest than usual. The flat seat/bed was excellent as well, although maybe a bit small in length as my feet touched the end of the seat. I especially liked the retracting armrests which go into the seat as I reclined. I found the cabin wasn’t quite as cold as usual and using the blanket made me far too warm.
We were woken up about one hour before landing time with breakfast. This was also the same as last year. I was given a bowl of fruit, and I chose a croissant and a smoothie to go with it. I then had a tea with milk. Flight attendants came around with bacon rolls. I felt this was not so good. It came out very hot. The bread was hard, to a point where I felt that it was almost burnt. I was quite hungry however, and managed to finish it off.
I watched the flight path and soon the captain made the announcement to prepare for landing in Sydney. We had a very smooth landing, and touched down at 5am – ahead of schedule. Disembarkation was quick, and I headed towards baggage reclaim. My bag was one of the first to come out and customs and immigration were fast and efficient. I managed to be out by 5:40am – which included a visit to Duty Free to buy some alcohol.
Having only flown in Economy/Premium Economy since December, having food and service in Business was a very welcome change. Not to mention the much better seating. I much prefer this New Generation Club World cabin, as it looks very new and I especially liked the white colour scheme. This made the cabin seem much brighter, unlike the dark blue/brown colour scheme of the older New Club World.
I hope you enjoyed my first trip report – though it may be full of (over)descriptions of my personal experiences. If there’s anything that I could improve in future trip reports please let me know! Sorry about the lack of photo’s as I had not really intended on writing up a trip report. I may take more photo’s next time.
My next trip will be early December – back to Singapore where this time I will be in the A380 Economy Cabin. Unfortunately next month I will lose my Qantas Gold/OneWorld Sapphire status due to lack of paid flights in premium cabins. However, I’ll survive and maybe even write up another trip report!